Isla Trench Coat

I’ve realized I’m a bit behind on my blog posts… I made this coat prior to my trip to Paris in early June. I love it! I realized I did the back vent lining attachment a bit wrong, but most people won’t notice that, ;). The pattern is the Isla Trench Coat by Named Pattern.

Overall, the instructions were good, minus the vent lining to exterior attachment and flap pocket construction. I cut a US size 12, EU size 44, with 3″ FBA.

I realized I hadn’t lengthened the cape along with lowering the bust point, so the dart showed instead of being hidden by the cape. Luckily, I had enough extra fabric to redo the front capelet pieces.

As you can see, major difference!

The other tricky spot was the flap pockets. It was a little confusing, so I took pics as I went to maybe help others out in the future, ;). I took images each step of the way.

I made this coat out of a water resistant polyester twill from Mood Fabrics with a blue polyester plaid lining from Jo-Ann’s that was on sale. Perfect for a water resistant trench coat for Tennessee springs, ;).

I interfaced my pieces using a lightweight nylon knit interfacing purchased from Vogue Fabrics. As my fabric was already a little stiff, this offered just enough extra support for the high stress points and buttons.

Overall, the fabric was easy to work with and is water resistant enough for a drizzle but not a downpour. I wore it nearly everyday while in Paris.

Added a pop of collar to the under collar.

Photos of me wearing my beautiful trench coat in Paris, ;).

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Floral Magnolia Dress

I was looking for a fun summer dress and came across the Magnolia Dress by Deer & Doe: I just had to make one, or two, ;). I perused fabric options at fabric.com and came across this gorgeous Floral crepe and green Dutchess stretch crepe that will make a gorgeous sleeveless long version. I used the floral for Version B. I did a 2″ FBA following Deer & Doe’s tutorial, but then ended up moving the front bust seam over an inch by cutting 1″ off the front side, thus negating the FBA. I made a 1/2″ swayback adjustment. But it fits perfectly! Plus he fabric has a slight stretch.

Otherwise, I just followed the pattern instructions with no other changes. I made a size 44 based off of my waist and hip measurements. For reference, I wear a size 10-12 in RTW and a 34G. When the pattern mentions being drafted near a C/D cup, I would say it is closer to a D which was perfect for me.

I serged all of my seams to prevent fraying. Love this dress! It is such a nice, lightweight, and flowy dress. This was my first go at butterfly sleeves, and I love them!

J’adore Mon L’amour Dress

I love this dress!!! I purchased the L’Amour pattern as a pre-order back when Gertie with Charm Patterns was raising funds through Kickstarter. I gathered all of my materials and had even fitted the bodice this past summer, then I got distracted, ;). I was finally able to finish this beautiful dress this past January, just in time for the Spring like temps in early January before the weather got cold again.

Have I mentioned how much I love this dress? hahaha. The L’Amour dress is a 40’s/50’s dress with a fun circle skirt, in-seam pockets, and decorative straps that can be worn a variety of ways. With the structure of spiral steel boning, the straps are unnecessary for function, but love the design feature!

I did have to make a few changes to the bodice to get it to fit my body shape. Love that the bodice went to a DD cup, made the bust adjustments so much easier! I moved the apex point over a 1/2″ so that the princess seam was centered over my natural bust point, shaved off 1/8″ to decrease pointiness, and took in the neckline 1/4″ to take a little gaping out of the neckline. Otherwise, no changes were needed, :). Below I have included an image of the side and center bust lining pieces. Transferring the changes to the exterior pieces was a little tricky with the side front being split into two pieces to fit the straps, but it worked out well.

Gertie’s directions are amazing as always with a lot of detail, easy to read and understand, and lots of great pictures to help us, visual learners.

Hemming is always my least favorite part, but I managed to get that skirt done, ;). Overall, the fit is perfect. I even knitted a matching cardigan, the Vianne Cardigan by Andi at Untangling Knots.

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Lastly, pics of the finished dress! I also took pics of me wearing the straps in several different ways.

My favorite is the criss-cross.

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Then there is the halter-top.

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The bow-tie.

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The low in back.

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And just an image of the amazing fit from the back.

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Simplicity 1016 Coat

I was excited to finally have the opportunity to create this gorgeous coat. This is Simplicity 1016.

Unfortunately, I ran out of my thin Thinsulate before finishing the cloak. The Thinsulate I found online turned out to be thicker, so it’s not as draped as expected, but definitely warm!

The wool is a wool/polyester blend Melton from Fabric.com in a color called Petrol. Love it! Such a gorgeous teal color, and nice and warm. The fabric was wonderful to work with.

I did my usual FBA, but made the error of using the Vogue princess seam directions first, oops! Basically with the Vogue FBA method you add the extra width to the front piece, but I needed to add it to the side front piece. Once I did that, it fit much better. If I were to make this coat again I would lower the bust curve down about an inch as it’s a little high on me.

The actual construction went smoothly. I underlined my lining with the Thinsulate, and then just followed the directions. They were well written and easy to follow. This was my fourth coat, so I only had to refer to the directions a few times. Of course when I was attaching the sleeve lining to the exterior coat sleeve I sewed one the wrong direction, but an easy enough fix.

I cut out the size 14, but graded the hips out to a 16. The only other adjustment I made was the 3″ FBA. The coat fits very well and I love it, :). I haven’t had a chance to make the matching belt yet, soon though!

Photos from my glacier explorations in Iceland.

Standing on a beach in Iceland.

It survived the snow as well, :).

Simplicity Workout Tank

I’ve been looking to make more workout clothes and bought this Simplicity pattern awhile ago. I made it a few weeks ago, but just now getting around to posting about it. This is the Simplicity 8338. Other than my 2″ FBA, this was a straight size medium.

I decided to do a 2″ FBA as its already a loose pattern. Couldn’t find any tutorials so I photoed my progress.

1st I drew my 2 lines across the bust horizontally and down from the center front through the apex point.

2nd I drew my line to about half way up the armhole.

Then I cut the lines and moved them around to get my 1″. I drew and cut another horizontal line near the bottom to add some length per the usual FBA protocol.

Then I took out the bust dart that was created in the previous step by cutting along the original lines and folding it back up. Then drew out my original straight line down from the bust point to the waist.

Then moved the left side back in towards the right to take out the excess created in folding the side dart.

Then I redrew the curve along the bottom portion.

Had to add extra bits of paper along the bottom.

And voila! My finished FBA adjusted front pattern piece.

So comfy, practical, and cute. The sewing instructions were well-written, so I didn’t make any changes. Overall this was a quick and easy project.

McCall 6700 Knit Floral

I loved my green and blue version so much, I wanted to make another maxi version. Love the¬†McCall 6700¬†pattern. This pattern is no longer available for sale from McCall’s, but there are a few versions on sites like Etsy here.

I found this gorgeous floral rayon mix knit at Jo-Ann’s. I needed about 2 3/4 yards and they barely had 2 1/2 yards on the bolt so I was fearful I wouldn’t have enough. After some creative pattern Tetris I managed to have just enough, yay! Pre-washed the fabric, then let it hang for a day after I made it (shaving off 5.5″!!!), only to have it grow another inch after wearing/washing it again…at least 1″ and not 6″, ;). That’s rayon jersey for you.

I used the same pattern pieces as last time but nixed the belt as I never used it, and didn’t do the long straps tying the back pieces together. I will be making something to connect the back pieces as it turns out this fabric is much more stretchy and floaty, thus this version requires those straps to prevent wardrobe malfunctions. I did put some tacks in the front pieces to keep those together.

I also decided to add in-seam pockets this time. Perfect! Just used pockets from one of my Gertie patterns. If pockets are an option, I always add them.

For the hem and hemming of the sleeves I used my twin needle. I use this option so much, especially with knit fabrics.

Love it! So pretty, floaty, and summery, :).

Orsola in Silk

As soon as I saw the Orsola dress pattern, I knew I had to jump on board and make my own. Rather than start simple, I went straight on as complicated as I could make it: silk charmeuse.

So, it took me about 6 tries before I decided the By Hand London method of doing an FBA on the Orsola bodice wasn’t working for me. Maybe it was the pattern, maybe it was the method. Any who, I decided to use the Basic Bodice from Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book. This took about 4 attempts before finally gaining a good fit. Hooray! It ended up being so simple: traced the size 8 neckline and armscye, then graded to a size 10 for the darts and waistline before lowering the side bust dart 1″ and moving the bottom busy dart towards the center 1/2″ to match my apex point. The Curvy Collective has the best tutorial. The final change I ad pinched 1/2″ out of the armscye using this tutorial from Craftsy.

Here is my Frankenpattern, ;).

After perfecting my bodice fit, I then adjusted the neckline and armscye to match the Orsola bodice front and used the Orsola back pieces with no adjustments. After putting them together in silk, I would pinch out about an inch of fabric from the tops of the side backs. As I had already cut and stitched the silk together, I basically just gathered the top edges of the back pieces so they wouldn’t flop open while wearing it.

Now the actual construction… I understand why everyone comments on the darts. Between the front, back, inside, and outside pieces, so many! Also, I decided to use a silk charmeuse…so about as slippery and lightweight as you can use. I made this a little easier by marking lots of points along each dart to reduce error to fabric slipperiness. Of course I hand knot the thread at the top of the dart (pointed end), but I backstitch at the end of the dark (edge of fabric).

After doing all the darts, putting the bodice pieces wasn’t too tricky except my server didn’t quite cut off enough of the seam allowance, so I struggled getting the seams to iron flat. Also, my silk did not want to iron, so I under-stitched as much of the bodice as I could. This helped so much! Plus lots and lots of ironing, then pressing the pieces with my wooden ruler until the fabric had cooled.

Here are a couple images of my bodice progress. Love having a made to my measurements dress form, :). (It’s from Bootstrap Fashion).

Next part: the skirt pieces. This part was so much easier than the bodice. Still some darts, but not as many, and only single layers as the skirt isn’t lined. I french seamed the skirt sides so that there weren’t any pesky strands unraveling. I loved the look of the tulip hem, so I made that version. Pretty simple. I stitched the facings together, then pinned them to my skirt. I skipped the ironing the seam allowance of the non-skirt attached side as I decided to just serge that off after stitching the facing to the skirt. I made sure to mark the dot of the v of the tulip hem in the front. Then I trimmed the seam allowance down to about 1/4″, ironed it really well to the inside of the skirt. Then I serged the excess 5/8″ seam allowance for the inside and top stitched the facing down.

As for the waistband, I decided to interface the waist parts with lightweight interfacing to add a little extra structure, but not the tie ends because I want to leave those softer for tying. Also, I decided to edge-stitch my color blocked waistband because 1) I didn’t want to hand stitch it, 2) time constraints, and 3) my silk was not ironing very well.

Pinning took awhile, but worth it!

I love this dress! I like the line’s of the bodice (next time I’ll use something easier like rayon or polyester) and the skirt. I love By Hand London’s circle skirt hack though, so I see a possibility of one of those versions…

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