Brighton & Bank holiday sewing

We had a long weekend here in the UK this weekend, and I’m pleased to report that I made the most of it! On Saturday, James and I made an impromptu trip down to Brighton, and we stopped off at Lewes on the way down. Our main objective in Lewes is always the Harveys Brewery shop, but I also discovered The Stitchery just across the road upstairs in the Riverside Centre, which stocks a wide variety of fabrics, embroidery floss, yarn, and haberdashery. I checked my handy “sewing shopping list” on my phone, and bought black waistband elastic and trouser hooks, both of which I needed. Very sensible of me, I know.

But the real temptation was walking right past Ditto in the North Laines in Brighton, and I told myself I was only allowed to buy ONE fabric there, so it’d better be a good one! In the end, this gorgeous butter yellow floral silk charmeuse won out over a similar yellow coloured, textured, ex-Blumarine crepe.

Florals really aren’t my usual fabric choice (and I would’ve never bought it from the terrible photo on Ditto’s site), but in real life, I was just captivated by it, and I’m thinking I’ll need to pair it with some edgier like jeans or my leather skirt to diffuse the twee-ness.

After our big day on Saturday, on Sunday we didn’t leave the boat at all! I spent most of the day doing sewing stuff, starting off with fusing all the interfacing onto James’s reversible smoking jacket pieces. I find fusing interfacing to be really boring at the best of times, but it’s beyond teeeeedious with a mini ironing board and mini iron! Once that was all fused, I then moved on to hand basting all the pocket placements (it’s a fantasy jacket, so there are five pockets!) and then basted the bound buttonhole placements, too.

Rather then push on with sewing the bound buttonholes (since those really require a fresh head, in my experience), I instead cut into one of the oldest fabrics in my stash, a dark turquoise silk charmeuse, since I bought in January 2009. And I cut into it to make the cover top from the Burda April issue:

I got the construction of the shell entirely finished, but ran out of brain power to do more than baste the pleats on the sleeves (which were totally fiddly in the slippery silk!)

One thing I noticed about this pattern is that there’s a surprising amount of ease in the bodice – way more than Sorbetto, for example, and that’s also a non-bias, slip on shell. I ended up cutting this with the front and back pieces a centimeter or two off the fold simply to fit it onto my narrow silk, but I checked first to make sure it’d not be too small. And having completed the shell, I can say that it’s still on the loose side, even with my reductions!

I said Nuts! to the facing and did a narrow bias edge (in leftover silk from my birthday top which I still had lying around) on the neckline, and did a two-step narrow edge for the hem.

Then we had a Bank holiday yesterday (woo!), but we spent most of the day on Hendrik in the boatyard doing lots of manual labour. I managed to squeeze in 15 minutes at the end to trace off the cover blouse from the April 2012 Manequim for the new Ditto floral silk:

The layout of it is really cool, but if you look at the diagram, you’ll see that, even though it’s only one fabric piece, the pattern is split into five separate pieces to trace (47, 47a, 47b, 47c, and 47d!).

As per usual, I’m omitting the facings and doing a narrow bias edge instead, because facings on silk are just ick. And I’m also leaving off the big shoulder tie, because there’s enough “Look” there without it.

Hmm, two silk April cover blouses in a row??

Also, attention Londoners – did you see that Selfridges are holding an exhibit of dresses made from vintage 1950s Vogue Patterns? OMG, I must go see this! It’s on til 24 June.

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