Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Vogue 8939 ~ Snowflakes and Reindeer

My old faithful sewing pattern Vogue 8939 has made it out of the envelope once again and in time for Christmas to help me celebrate the festivities. 
Yes Christmas is here once again! The lights on the tree are sparkling bright, the presents underneath anxiously await to be opened and Santa Claus is very soon to be on his way.

This time last year we were soaking up the Christmas atmosphere in the Capital of the World, New York City. 2014 saw us finally move into our new home (we call it "The Ranch". It's not at all but for the first time in years we have our own outside space and so to us, it feels like there's quite a bit of it!) so this year we are spending a quiet first Christmas in our new house. This calls for lots of good food, drink, nibbles and snuggled up in front of an open fire :). And so all of this also calls for a warm, cosy, comfortable Christmas Dress.

And there's plenty of stretch in here for when I eat too much food!

I've used this pattern 3 times before. First time HERE, second time as a jumper HERE and again as another dress which I never blogged. Yes, yes I know I said I would log e v e r y t h i n g but the photos of this were pretty awful and the dress, well, it's since gone to a better home
See what I mean?! But there you have it. Done. It's blogged now ;)

As this is my third (but definitely not final!) dress, I decided on some extra detail this time with (my favourite addition) a ruffled hem. Oh how I love a good ruffle! That combined with a patterned fabric has made this my favourite of the 3 dresses I've made so far.

The fabric was inspired by Tracy H from Tracy Sews Happy. She made a jumper in a very similar print which I loved instantly (HERE). Since then I became on the lookout for something like it and this is what I found. 

This dress is also my Project for the MAGAM Challenge. This months theme was to make a dress for Christmas. And so I did! Literally... in Christmas fabric! 
So I shall be feeling very festive indeed wearing this tomorrow on Christmas Day :)

My original alterations to this pattern was to take it in considerably for a snugger fit and to lengthen the sleeves a little. Of course, this now being my go-to pattern, I make it up straight out of the envelope. Love this pattern it's one of my favourites :)

**Merry Christmas fellow sewers !**

To Read My Sewing Pattern Review CLICK HERE

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read :)

Dawn xx

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Vogue 1419 ~ Sewalong Coat

DAH DAH!!! So here it is... the unveiling of V1419. The Coat that took up most of my sewing time throughout October and November!

I took on this project as exactly that. A project. This coat was all about learning new techniques and improving my skills. So when The V1419 Sewalong was introduced by Mccalls I knew I had to do this. I won't go into any detail about this as I talked about it on my blog before (twice) but for those who missed it or are reading this and actually want to read that too, you can get the info HERE and HERE

Anyhow, moving on, let's start with the fabric. Boy did I have trouble sourcing fabric for this pattern. I dont think I have sent off for soooo many samples since looking for fabric for my wedding coat. When I finally stumbled across a lovely brocade by pure chance, I wanted it for this coat so badly. But to cut a long story short and so as not to bore you with the details, it wasn't to be.

I think it tuned out for the best anyway as on making my toile (muslin) for this pattern I didn't like the A line on me at all. 

If there was any chance that I was going to wear this afterwards, I had to at least like the look of it on me! So I knew then, I wanted a softer fabric so it would have more drape. I came across this THIS corduroy with corded appliqué, which is smart yet casual. And also a little more practical and wearable for me than brocade.

I kind of went into this project blind, as I had no idea what I was taking on. I had done welt pockets before (once, back in the 80's) but never bound buttonholes or seams finished with binding. The seam finishing turned out to be much easier than I had thought (time consuming but fairly easy). Oh and what a fabulous finish! 
 Sleeve seam
tacking (basting) before topstitching!

Had it not been for all the seam binding this coat probably would have made up in no time at all!

I was so excited to get started on these bound seam finishes. But at the same time also quite anxious as this was another new one on me. I began with great caution determined to get it right. But after mastering the first couple and being rather impressed with myself at how well they turned out; i.e. neater (although not the neatest I'm sure!) than I expected, my confidence grew. I was loving this....err.... for a while...

The instructions went:
Baste seam, attach binding, stitch. Press. Baste Binding. Top Stitch 
Baste seam, attach binding, stitch. Press. Baste Binding. Top Stitch 
Baste seam, attach binding, stitch. Press. Baste Binding. Top Stitch 
Baste seam, attach binding, stitch. Press. Baste Binding. Top Stitch 

Ok, so you get the idea! So the coat was coming together but this was the entire process throughout umpteen amount of steps with nothing else different to do in-between.
Oh. My. God. Boy was I glad when it came to make up the welt pockets! Yes those seams were great but gees I'm not afraid to say I got slightly fed up of the monotony!

Speaking of the Welt Pockets, I have to say, I LOVED making these! And no, not because it was such a relief to get onto a new process (although that helped!). 
I had made welt pockets (once with and once without a flap) many, many years ago and from memory I don't recall finding them hard or having any issues. Same this time. And I even enjoyed finishing the pocket edges off with, yes you've guessed it.... binding!

I mean, check these out for a lovely clean finish. This beats overlocking!!

The instructions say to hand sew the binding down on the folded edge, which I did on the left side, but for the right hand side I stitched in the ditch as recommended by Lladybird Lauren using  my new #5 foot. I did both methods to see which I preferred. I suppose if I'm honest. you can't beat a bit of hidden hand sewing, it's soooo neat. But uhhh, I hate hand sewing. Loved stitching in the ditch with the special foot, but perhaps choosing to use it for the first time on a curved edge wasn't my best idea!

The Buttonholes were one of the very last things to do. Obviously. When Lauren said these were fiddly and time consuming SHE WAS NOT JOKING!! These are my first ever bound buttonholes and if I ever see another one again it will be too soon lol! Hand sewing is not my favourite friend and there was hours of hand sewing on these (10) bad boys! And that's excluding the 4 bar tacks on EACH one, making a total of 40. Arghh

This was my first ever attempt at bound buttonholes and taking that into account they are not that bad. But they are not that good either! I'm pretty sure Patrick and May would throw me off the Sewing Bee for these efforts. But hey, we've all got to do something for the first time and thanks to (Lladybird) Lauren  and Meg from McCalls I achieved everything that I set out to do by making this coat. 

I never made this coat as a wearable item, but as a project. But it's turned out Ok so I suppose you could say that this is my wearable muslin. For now when I see a coat pattern I like and want to make, (in the year dot haha ) I can do so with confidence.
 Those seam finishes are pretty awesome but in all said and done, you can't beat lining!
 But bound buttonholes...? hey bring it on...!

To Read My Sewing Pattern Review CLICK HERE

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read :)

Happy Sewing!
Dawn :)x