Sydney Jacket | twice as nice

One of my greatest sources of sewing inspiration is undoubtedly Instagram. The power of the hashtag to collate thousands of photos of the same pattern made up a thousand different ways is an immense resource. It’s how I often come across new patterns and bloggers. And it’s where I first came across Tessuti’s Sydney Jacket. 
 
The thing that drew me in to making this pattern was the soft drape of the design, creating a sculptural shape without being boxy or bulky. The thing that sealed the deal was the the fact it had pockets. 

  

Not sure why I look so confused in this photo! Perhaps it was the construction. I found it quite confusing. For one thing most of the seams sit on top of one another rather than face-to-face inside the garment. This was strange but things were going ok until I got to attaching the collar. I made the fatal mistake of overthinking it – the collar folds outward so the inside will become the outside so it needs to be attached backwards. Rather than following the instructions and I ended up attaching it the wrong way around. However because of the overlapping seams it didn’t really matter, it’s just not as neat as I’d like. 

  

Surely the test of a pattern is whether you  want to make it again straight away? Well I did with this one. My second Sydney Jacket is made out of much nicer fabric than my first – coffee coloured cashmere – delish. Yes it is the $13/m on special from The Fabric Store, no it hasn’t pilled yet.  

  

I’m pretty in love with my new Tessuti jackets, they’ve already made their debuts at #NISM2015 and my work winter ball – casual and chic FTW. Have you made this jacket? I’d love to see yours!

Made by Me | Inari silk dress

Look! I’m finally blogging about something I’ve sewn this winter! This is my Inari dress by Named Clothing. It has become such a staple that I’m bound to make another one soon.  
I made this dress from a lovely navy and white silk, bought from the Fabric Store (where else?) approximately a million years ago. Despite being immediately attracted to this bold print I really struggled with what pattern to match it with. The large print and twill weave made me think it would be too full-on and heavy-looking as a blouse. I was also rather precious about this fabric because it was sold in panels. And although I have no recollection of how much it cost, the fact that it was sold in panels made me think it was a little expensive. I’m not sure if this is a strange inference to make!

It took me far longer than I had hoped to get this dress from the cutting board to the wardrobe. Aside from feeling oddly precious about this fabric, I’m also not terribly used to having to add seam allowances on to my patterns. Needless to say – I spent a lot of time fluffing about trying to fit my pieces on as little fabric as possible and then remembering that I still needed to add another 1cm. As you can see, I worked the navy panel edge into the dress at the hem and the sleeve cuffs – a look I think ‘finishes’ the dress nicely.

As you may know, the newest season of Named Clothing designs will be available at dressesandme.com very shortly. Like their previous collections this offering is on-trend urban-chic. I’m really excited for these patterns to arrive! If you’d like to be one of the first to know you can sign up here.

Shoes from Asos // Glasses from SpecSavers

Corporate Georgia – third time’s a charm

I made another Georgia dress – this time it was corporate… And by that I mean black. I made this dress on quite a whim.  

Because I was on a fairly tight schedule I decided to make the Georgia dress as I had made it couple of time before. I had already worked out the adjustments, it was simply a matter of sewing 20 pieces together, overlocking and throwing in a zipper.

This dress is made from a black raw silk bought eons ago from Fabric Store. Because it has zero stretch and it wrinkles easily I wouldn’t recommend sewing a dress in this style. However it was still comfortable and lovely to touch.

I made all the same adjustments as last time including my unofficial FBA, shortening the staps by 7cms at the back and shortening the skirt by about 15cm. I cut the long length thinking I’d like to do the mid-calf/below the knee look but it is quite a hard look to pull off when you’re only about 5 2.

We had a lovely, yet corporate, night.

A Riot of Colour

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We’re averaging a high of 27* in Auckland this week and I am loving it! Best of all, my new dress is perfect for the warm weather – a By Hand London Georgia dress. I was gifted this crazy multicoloured print by a friend. I think it is linen and it’s so loud that it is perfect for summer!

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I have made this dress before (including two muslins) so I knew how the sizing would work on me. I mean, this is a very fitted dress. I used the amended bodice pieces that I had created for my previous Georgia but decided to cut a bigger size than my usual for the skirt because this fabric has absolutely no stretch. In the end I did take the skirt sides in a bit but after my vanity sizing disaster with my Alder I wasn’t willing to risk it.

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My previous Georgia is the wide strap v-neck version. It’s a great little evening dress with a twist. But this version, I feel, is more versatile. The sweetheart neckline is traditional, pretty flattering on a lot of body types and certainly easier to pull off. It’s also a lot cooler in summer.

Because this dress is super fitted I made several adjustments so the pattern. I had intended to make the longer version that finishes below the knees but being the five foot two gal that I am this looked really frumpy. I lobbed off 10cm and voilà. I also shortened the straps by 6cm, and used my amended bodice pieces. I’m not sure if this is an accepted bodice adjustment but it has worked well for my body shape. That’s all that matters right?

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Have you made the Georgia dress?

The Jobhunt Dress

I feel most comfortable when I’m wearing a dress. Trousers can bulge awkwardly, blouses need ironing, skirts and tops can be hard to match perfectly so dresses, for me, are a great, choice for a job interview. So here is my newest edition of an old favourite, a tried and true pattern – McCalls 6201, rated easy.

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I made this dress in a wool blend houndstooth that I acquired many moons ago from, of course, The Fabric Store. It’s a nice lightweight fabric, with the right amount of body and drape. It’s also got a tiny bit of stretch for extra comfort.

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I made a couple of alterations to the sizing and construction of this dress, including adding an additional 1.5cm to the side edges. It turns out that the 2011 edition of Penny guessed that she was a size 10. Little did she know that RTW sizing has no bearing on McCall’s take on sizing. Silly 2011 Penny. I also decided to finish the neckline with some store bought bias binding. The pattern had suggested a full lining but there was no way that was going to fly with us Southern Hemispherians heading into summer! I decided to compromise by making a facing to attach instead. I cut and interfaced this facing before remembering that I abhor facings, hence the bias binding.

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Here’s another one of me taking a picture in the shiny facade of building. What must the people inside think?!

In Other Exciting News there are two things to watch out for this week! Firstly, I will be teaching a class at Sew Love sewing lounge at St Kevin’s Arcade this Saturday! We will be CHRISTMAS APRONS! I’m really looking forward to it! Second, the Auckland Sewists’ Collective is having our first ever sewalong! The theme is nice and easy – “summer dresses”. If you live in Auckland and would like to be part of the Sewalong and blog tour you can request to join our Facebook group.