The reversible disco jacket

I don’t often sew for James (preferring to fill my own wardrobe instead!), but every now and then he either sees something online that he’ll take inspiration from, or have a fully formed idea in mind that he’d like me to bring into reality. So this one is another fantasy jacket, this time modeled heavily on Betabrand’s reversible smoking jacket.

When we were in Paris in March, he bought a wonderful wonderful wool/poly blend corduroy at the Tissues Dreyfuss Coupons shop for €10 total (a complete bargain!) as well as some red chinese brocade to use for the other side.

I started sewing this when we were in drydock in April/May, then I stalled at the bound buttonhole stage since my little red machine isn’t great for precision jobs (no speed control!). Then the pressure was off during summer, but the cooler weather meant I really did want to finish it for him!

Even better – James surprised me buy buying Betabrand’s “open source” disco fabric, so now the jacket changed slightly in that the reverse will be PURE DISCONIUM!

What I’ve made here is the ultimate day-to-night jacket!

(Thank you to Kerry for the photo on the right!)

I started with his last fantasy jacket as the pattern base (which, in turn, started life as Burda 10/2008 #134) since it fit him really well, then James had a bunch of style changes to make to this one:

A velvety MyImage bolero jacket

Ever since I saw the first previews online of the MyImage Summer 2011 issue, I knew that this cropped, pieced jacket (M1107) was going on my Must Sew list! I just didn’t know quite how quickly fate would throw us together!

Even though MyImage are a new pattern company, other sewers have reported that the sizing was pretty consistent, so I just threw caution to the wind here, made a size 42, and cut into my fabric!

And yes, it goes really well with the jeans I’d just made, too!

Steel grey cords

I had a bit of a photoshoot backlog, but I think you’ll be pleased to hear that I’ve got lots to show off this week, and you’ll only have to forgive the GALE FORCE WINDS whipping everything around while I tried to pose and smile sweetly (hence the headband keeping my hair out of my eyes!).

First up are my pleated corduroys! You’ll remember seeing these in their “in progress” state, hanging on my sewing room clothesline, and also that this steel grey corduroy wasn’t my first fabric choice, but was the only suitable fabric in my stash. I’d bought this stuff back in May 2009 on Goldhawk Road for a total of £5, so if it didn’t work with the deep pleating on these trousers, well, then I wasn’t too fussed.

The pattern for these is KnipMode 08/2010 #13, modelled by a mother/daughter pair and looking fabulous on both of them!

And here they are on me!

Cute stuff and red cords

I had quite the busy weekend! On Saturday, my neighbour Veda came over with her new book, Cute Stuff, and we had a sewing lesson all afternoon. She recently turned 11 and asked for sewing stuff for her birthday (getting that same awesome Chinese-themed sewing tin, too!) so I said I’d let her rifle through my scraps and we’d make something.

So she chose the pocket tissue holder from the book, and we went through the instructions, step-by-step and I taught her how to press and pin, knot the thread and tie off, and how to turn corners. It was loads of fun, and in the end we embellished little faces onto our holders like they do in the book so it looks like the holder is eating the tissues (they come out its mouth!).

The book is really well written and illustrated, and (as you’d expect from the title) full of really cute projects. I don’t think Veda will have any problems doing most of these on her own soon. I should offload way more of my scraps onto her, come to think of it!

As for myself, after the intellectually- and technically-stimulating green silk dress, I needed something brainless and easy, so I made BWOF 08/06 #109 in red corduroy (again!). Seriously, I’ve made this pattern so many times I could sew it with my eyes shut now, but these just fit me so well that my wardrobe is constantly crying out for more… I made a pair of these red cords over a year ago, but the corduroy I’d bought blind off the internet was way too thin for trousers and wore out after only a couple months’ wearing. Boo!

Red JL Mini sewing machine bag

I’m so enamoured with my new tiny red sewing machine that I decided to use my time at the moorings crafty night on Monday to sew up a travelling case for it so I didn’t have to lug the box and styrofoam everywhere. There’s something almost perverse in using a sewing machine to create its own case, though. It just feels a bit cannibalistic somehow…

Anyway, I drew up some plans based on its measurements, and did a few calculations:

And then when I got to my neighbour’s boat I plugged it in, chopped up some spare red corduroy, and had a nice carrying case for it by the end of the evening (in amongst the traditional crisp and cake eating, of course).

Great basics – Green corduroys

I’m in rather desperate need of trousers for my Fall/Winter wardrobe, and so I naturally turned to Burda WOF 08/2006 #109. You may remember that this is essentially my favourite trouser pattern ever – I’ve made it as jeans (twice!), in brown twill, and even in red corduroy. The fit is perfect for me, and it serves as the backbone of my wardrobe when I just need some nice, wearable trousers and don’t feel the need to be particularly challenged by a new pattern. As much as I love trying new patterns and techniques, sometimes you just need something reliable that you know is definitely going to work.

A Taupe Notch Skirt!

This has got to be the quickest ever turnaround for a fabric purchase. I bought a remnant of taupe big wale corduroy on Thursday at Goldhawk Road for a pound, sent it through the washer on Friday, hung it out to dry overnight on Friday, and had sewn it up into a new skirt by Saturday dinnertime! It didn’t even see my stash box!

Red vines

I have such a thing for red corduroys. I’ve probably owned about ten pairs over my lifetime, and they have all been worn multiple times a week until their inevitable downfall. For the last few months, however, I haven’t been out shopping very much and when I have been out in stores, I haven’t been able to find any cherry-red cords anywhere.

So in my American fabric buying orgy I picked up some bright red baby wale corduroy to make my own. The fabric was a bit thinner than I was expecting (more shirt weight than trouser weight) so I hope they don’t wear out prematurely, because I’m stupidly happy with them!