Sunday, 14 September 2014

Shan Shui Mountains Blouse

CASUAL BLOUSE - A shirt my brother did not want. It was a mens XXL. I managed to cut the blouse without needing the fabric from the sleeves I removed. I adore the fabric, and you wouldn't find anything like this in Fabric Land! It's a lovely soft material that keeps its shape and colour and doesn't bobble, smooth knit. I've called it shan shui as it has water and land in the print.


I removed the existing collar as I wanted a cute neckline (it is a busy print). I used the fat end of a grey/blue polyester neck tie, opened and removed the interfacing using a picker. Cut it in half and used as the front of the collar. I had to re-iron one of the sides and stitch in white on the edge, Maybe I should have matched the lines for symmetry, but for a one-off design, anything goes! I used the thin side to make the back of the collar (the inside of the shirt is shown in the centre). I also created a flap of material to act as interfacing on the blouse - it joins the tie to the blouse to make it less flimsy. I have no idea how old the tie is but the font looks retro! And really, it hasn't been in fashion for a while! and Made In Britain -  most items are imported now.

This is the original mens shirt. I know I could have charity'd it but I REALLY wanted the fabric! The more unusual the better. My blouse looks feminine with the round short sleeves (they are cut from the blouse not stitched on). I am making the Bellini blouse this week for the sew-along. I bought a white with jaquard embossing table cloth for £2.49:

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Midnight Fluted Skirt

The glitter in this fabric looked like stars...
I used a Japanese crepe satin (£4.99/metre at Fabric Land). I love this electric blue! I created a kick pleat at the back and hemmed. I straight & zigzag-stitched the join of the fabrics (the satin folds over). Because the fabric is stretchy it isn't the best to hold a trim, the trim is lightweight at least.
As you can see I sewed the satin very close to the hem! I  wore it with navy Blouse here.
Before Dress NOT LINED -  it was clingy (wasn't suitable for a top) and short so not flattering! Keep it classy! 'Debut' which was an 1980s debenhams dress - Skirt fabric approx £5. I used the wide Black Elastic from a short skirt I bought for £4 in oxfam (fabric wasn't nice enough to reuse when I saw it in daylight). Lining (from a shimmery beige/pink dress I'd only worn once when I was thin. I cut the chest off the dress and folded it over the black elastic so it is covered both sides (perhaps I would just cover the outside next time, but it hid the rose-beige lining I stitched to the inside of the elastic).
2nd post this weekend: Office dress here

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Tweed Waistcoat from Outerwear

I wouldn't normally pair tweed with those pants but...  it's sunday!
The fastening had come apart so I removed it completely with the picker - it reminded me of monkey tails and was clearly too flimsy to hold tailored tweed.
How do you do
Lastnight I watched Alfred Hitchcock's Marnie again and felt in fashion awe of Tippi Hedren's styling. Can I watch a 60s film without thinking 'I want that outfit'? I love how the bag coordinates with the skirtsuit and the taupe court shoes.
Chanel  A/W 2014

I loved the film but wouldn't describe it as a 'Suspenseful Sex Mystery'.
The Chanel burgandy tweed suit is a contemporary version of the 60s style -  fluted with a modern layered skirt. I thought I'd refashion my tweed this morning, as a result!

I'd purchased a jacket second hand for about £6, it's not vintage so I felt I had creative liberty on this (Per Una brand). It is a pink, white and brown tweed so I chose a black bobbin (it does not show in tweed, enough to start a new bobbin!) and brown tweed over thread. Along with the sleeves, I removed the shoulder pads (I's keep them for a jacket), then I sewed about 1mm from the edge of the fold, and sewed again to close the hem - make sure the lining and tweed are straight and the lining edge is inside the tweed before sewing down.


The waistcoat I made would look cute and 60s over blouses or sweaters in the winter or sleeveless as it is Autumn. I also use waistcoats to smarten the look of dresses with the thinner sleeves.
You can see The Birds Tippi Hedren costume I put together for last halloween in London! Albeit, I was without a green suit. One day..
I was inspired by the Autumn / Winter runway designs for sleeveless coats. I was going to make a ruffle for the bottom out of the sleeves but it's a good hip-length on me (5ft 4 1/2!).
The waistcoat option is a simple way to tailor coats that are too tight at the arms or look too much like outerwear to wear in the office. I sourced a long olive green tweed coat that is just beautiful - debating whether to castrate it or not. Perhaps just a refit if in doubt! I love tweed and it doesn't have to contain animal wool - but even secondhand wool is a kinder option. I will sew on buttons in future if I can see any matching - I'd prefer to source them vintage rather than at Fabric Land.
Those pants are next! I felt like I was wearing PJs! They are navy and white very-fine-gingham check
RED Longline shrug - Autumn/winter 2014 blanket-cardigan trend. Mine was £4 in a charity shop and acrylic so vegan-friendly. It's a rusty terracotta red. I prefer the cape jackets; this is a cape inspired sweater:
I also finished the Pyjama / loungwear (I made a skirt originally with elastic and then shortened it and cut and sewed & rehemmed into shorts). Brown paisley matching set. My first ever shorts from scratch!