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Planning Sewing Partnerships

In an attempt to get myself to focus on pairing up the lovely (and overflowing) fabrics I’ve got on hand with the lovely (and overflowing) patterns I’ve got on hand, I did a bit of mental and virtual pairing using my scanned catalogues of fabric and patterns and a bit a Photoshop wizardry. I don’t particularly like doing SWAP wardrobes as they’re so rigid they end up feeling like a chore by about the third garment, so instead I wanted to focus on partnerships of fabrics and garments that could go with each other.

The first is the most straightforward: a skirt and blouse combo.

The skirt is one from last October’s KnipMode and features two big chunky zippers on the wide waistband. I just took the plunge and bought two fantastic brass teethed ones with big ring pulls from Zipperstop’s eBay store, only to find out that the brown colour in their photo was actually bright purple. They’ll now definitely be a “feature”!. The blouse is from my beloved August issue and is the Marni catwalk clone – I’ll be sewing that in some pewter silk charmeuse from Goldhawk Road that really brings out the blue in the skirt’s wool flannel.

Patterns from a suitcase

My mom arrived on Friday morning, bearing a ridiculous amount of American cookies, candies, chocolates, cakes, and kitty treats, but also a few patterns that were on my wish list!

Vogue 1109 is a Sandra Betzina pattern for a knit top/tunic with really interesting seam lines. It kinda feels expected for all sewers to love SB without question, but to be honest, I don’t find her “all that” and this is the first pattern of hers I’ve even remotely liked (though not in either of those fabric choices, ugh) so I wanted to give it a try.

Simplicity 2647 is a knit dress with varying lengths and bodice treatments, but I really liked the short version with the wrapped side even though it’s quite similar to a Vogue pattern I already have.

Blue kimono teeshirt

I’m still working through my backlog of posts to show you everything I’ve made over the past fortnight, but the good news is, I’ve taken a lot of photos this weekend and should have enough for at least five delectable nuggets of sewing glee to share over the next few days.

Last weekend I revisited an old friend, the kimono sleeved-top of Simplicity 4020 which you may remember from when I made it in chocolate brown way back in October 2006.

The quickest pirate coat ever

SCENE: Last Sunday night on the boat…

James: So for Simon’s stag night on Saturday we’re going to dress him up like Dick Whittington. I thought he could wear my pirate coat and we’ll get him a tricorn hat and he can carry Bagpuss as his cat…

Me: If anything happens to that coat, I will murder you. I would sooner make a whole new coat than see anything happen to it after I slaved for two years making it.

James: Oh really? You’d make another coat? Would you?

And so begins the tale of how I made a pirate coat in less than a week.

The Porsche dress

What a difference a week makes! Spring has finally come to London, meaning I could wear my new dress outside without fear of goosebumps (the reverse – I actually got a bit sunburnt!).

If you recall from earlier, I bought a vintage Porsche cotton duvet cover and pillowcase off eBay for £8 (including shipping). It was in great condition and even had a full wraparound print which meant I had a lot more fabric to work with than I ever imagined when I clicked Bid Now…

I decided it’d work best with a suitably vintage pattern, so I decided to use Simplicity 3780, using a bit of careful pattern placement to get the most out of the different printed areas of the duvet cover (so the stripes along the bottom of the duvet became the red halter straps, for instance).

A Walking Advertisement

I was away all day Saturday hiking near Guildford with our monthly walking group, but a friend staying at ours said it snowed back in London. Ugh. It’s still too cold to wear either the silk blouse or the ikea skirt apart from their hurried photoshoots, so of course I’m sewing practical winter clothes to suit the weather…

Ha! Gotcha! No, I’m sewing a sleeveless, cotton halter-top dress, out of this vintage Porsche duvet I bought on eBay:

Birthday bolero and Thames jeans

I’ve just spent nearly all of my four day weekend (double bank holiday, woo!) behind my sewing machine and ironing board, and I couldn’t be happier! For the last few years I’ve made myself something nice and new to wear on my birthday, so today I’m wearing my new clothes! It dulls the pain of turning 29, you see… 😉

Silky Secretary Blouse

Following on from the jedi jacket, I thought I’d stick with Simplicity 3631 a little while longer and make a blouse using the bodice from the dress and the poofy, cuffed sleeves from the long jacket. On closer inspection, however, I realised that the jacket and coat both have raglan sleeves, which wouldn’t work to just attach to the bodice (which needs a cap sleeve). So rather than go through some extensive redrafting session, I just used a cap sleeve pattern piece from elsewhere, widened the hem, and created my own cuff to button closed at the wrist.

Jedi master

I’ve now completed two pieces for my FW/07 Collection, a pair of chocolate brown trousers, and a white cropped jacket.