Saturday, September 24, 2011

Tessuti's New York Cape Pattern

After sewing my second Lady Grey this year, I had been seriously hankering for more winter sewing. I thought about making a jacket, but then Tessuti released their New York Cape Pattern, and I decided that a hooded cape would work a treat!!

The pattern was expensive ($35), but I really wanted it... :-) It came printed on printer paper, with black and white photos and instructions on A4 paper. The cape is unlined, and all edges are finished with poly-cotton hong kong binding for the inside and wool binding for the outside.

I found the pattern very easy until I got to the wool binding. I sewed the binding on according to the instructions, but it looked awful. It was all wonky and the edges were wavy. I don't know what I did wrong, but I unpicked it, sewed it again and it still looked awful. My next attempt was to sew it in by hand. Thats 10m of hand stitching. It still looked dreadful. So I unpicked it and sat down for a while and thought about it.

I realised that the binding was too short in length. I also realised that if I was going to sew it in by hand I should only use a single thread, not a doubled-over thread. So, off I trotted to Tessuti to buy more binding. I bought half a meter more than the pattern suggests.

I sewed it in by hand, and here is what I came up with!

I am very happy with it now. I did do a few other things differently than the pattern instructions. I added a line of topstitching along the edge of the hood, as the layers of wool were a little bulky. Now it sits flat.

I also hand-sewed the buttonholes. To do this, I consulted Shaeffer's Couture Sewing Handbook. I used silk thread and a buttonhole stitch. I am really proud of them:

The fabric is from Tessuti - a dark navy wool/cashmere blend, the wool binding is also from Tessuti and is black, and the black buttons are from Spotlight.

This project took me a loooong time... but I am really happy with it. I think it will be great for Melbourne's spring - not really cold but not warm yet either. I wore it this morning out to breakfast and it was perfect!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

I'm Back! In Black and White!

Hello! It is has been soooo long since I've posted a project! I have been doing a little sewing - not a lot though, because Michael was away in Chicago for 2.5 weeks, then we went to Cairns for a week. So not a lot of free time for me!

I finished this blouse some time ago. It is Pattern 'C' from 'Casual Sweet Clothes' - the Japanese pattern book I sewed my other shirt from. The fabric is 100% medium weight cotton from Tessuti Fabrics.

These pictures were taken ages ago - I've since cut my hair and lost another 5 kilos, so I'll have to take some more up-to-date pictures of me in another completed project very soon!

This shirt came together very easily. It is essentially a simple princess-seamed blouse, with the sleeves sandwiched between the seams. You finish the neck edge and arm-hole edges with self-made bias binding. The pattern calls for the stripes to all be going horizontally, but I like the way the CF and CB panels are vertical. Plus I would have had to do way too much stripe matching if I'd made them all horizontal!!

The only complaint I really have about the shirt is that it is too large, especially now that I have lost more weight. I can't seem to get my head around the sizing in the Japanese pattern books. I guess I'll have to do muslins in future projects from these books. But muslins take time! And time I do not have.

Little M is verrrry active these days. She sleeps through the night (started to at about 2 months), and will nap after every feed, but only for a short while - 30 mins to a rare 1 hour. So I am on my toes the whole day! She's so lovely - her personality is really coming through, and my goodness she is cheeky! I love her so much and love being a mum. It has taken me a while to find my feet with motherhood, but I found that Michael being away really helped me, and I got my groove.

Sorry I haven't been commenting on the wonderful projects I've seen around the traps - I've been reading and admiring and filing things away for inspiration. There are so many beautiful projects out there!