Made in Ireland (Again!)

McCalls 7694

Sometimes sewing plans take a while to come together. I was given a long wool coat by my Aunt over 2 years ago, she knew I’d appreciate the pure wool fabric, and would put it to good use.

William Lett Wool Coat (1985)

It was Made in Ireland by the label ‘William Lett’ approx 35 yrs ago, and despite being worn in the 80’s to Weddings and Funerals alike – other than the lining and foam shoulder pads coming apart – it was in almost perfect condition.

I had thought about altering the shoulders and trying to change the collar etc, but I knew it still wouldn’t be my style, so I put it away for a while.

Then this pattern caught my eye:

Mccalls 7694

So in November I took the coat apart at the seams and tried to fit as many of the pattern pieces as possible.

Disassembled coat!
Pattern tetris….

Despite the length of the original coat, I was left with only small scraps once I had cut and pieced some of the panels.

The front panels have an extra vertical seam, the sleeves have a longer cuff panel than on the pattern and the inside facings are also pieced together.

I added a seam parallel to the zip line so that it would look intentional!
Sleeve panels, longer cuff panel than the original pattern
The back pleat is a pieced panel and not as deep as the pattern, due to fabric shortages!
The paisley lining and snaps were the only things I bought to complete the jacket.

It’s a great pattern and I seem to fit Mccalls size 10 quite well – despite my measurements matching up with the size 12 on the envelope. (my measurements are approx 34-29-36)

I did take the shoulders in a little, they are cut to be a dropped style, but this doesn’t suit my straight shoulders so I took them in about 1.5 cm to sit on my shoulder.

Before altering.. Comparing shoulder fit to the original

Below after altering. I also love the lower curved hem detail:

The zip came from an old RTW Cardigan!
Final bit of posing I promise! It’s lightweight but so warm!

Other than a few swear words while attaching the snaps (they kept popping off as soon as I tested them – I was being too gentle with the hammer ūüėā), I loved making this.

It’s nice to prolong the life of this fabric, and good to show alternatives to buying new fabric!

Vogue 1316 – A dress made from jeans

So here it is …. Vogue 1316 – the dress I made from old jeans.  It has been worn twice already and,thanks to the small amount of stretch in the denim, it’s very comfortable.

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Vogue 1316 – Made from old jeans!

I really enjoyed making this, despite the large amount of pattern pieces.  I don’t buy many patterns any more – after more than a few years sewing, I’ve got a pretty big collection of Burda Magazines, and a few boxes worth of paper patterns. After a while you start to see that the pattern companies rarely offer something new.  Added to that is the fact that Vogue patterns are not the cheapest around… but this one was worth every penny for the complexity of the design.

The panels were a great opportunity to use scraps and oddly shaped pieces of fabric cut from jeans.  The bands at the underbust wrap around to the back panels in a very interesting shape.  (Although my panel matching could be better here!)

Vogue dress side view

Side view

 

I hadn’t intended to line it, but in the end it was the quickest solution, as it saved me having to bind or face the edges.  The lining makes it more comfortable and less likely to cling to tights in the winter too!

I had to alter the panel at the upper back – there was a bit of gaping. It was the only part that I found difficult as I had to get help with pinning, so it held up finishing the dress for a while.

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I took a little from the upper centre back and some from the back yoke panels, and it now sits nicely on my upper back. (Although the only photo of the back is obscured by my hair, so you’ll need to take my word for it!)

 I used a regular centred zipper, because I didn’t have an invisible one and I really wanted to get it finished in time for a meetup with some friends!

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Vogue 1316

Simplicity top 2599 – And an alternative way to sew a neck-facing.

 

Simplicity top

The dress on the¬†above left ¬†wasn’t being worn for a couple of reasons….. the plain fabric at the top was almost see-through and just looked odd no matter what I wore.¬†¬†¬†Having such a¬†pale colour next to my face didn’t do me any favours either!

But, because I really like the colourful print, I took out Simplicity 2599:

simplicity 2599

I’ve¬†used this pattern¬†three times before¬†– and all versions were made from the refashion pile.¬†This one was also made from an old¬†dress.

It’s a great woven t-shirt pattern to have on hand.¬† It comes with different cup sizes and various frills, (none of which I’ve never used). I like that it has bust shaping but is¬†loosely fitted at the waist.

 

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The back of the top is a light sweat-shirting fabric that has a little give to it, making it easy to put on without an opening at the back neck.

I finished the neckline with a facing that was attached a little differently to the pattern directions.  Firstly, I attached just the front neck facing to the front, right sides together, trimmed, flipped it to the inside and pressed it.

s1

 

Then I stitched the front to the back, at the shoulder seams ( not pictured) , This caught the front facing onto the shoulders.

With the inside front facing me , I pinned the back neck facing across the back neck and over onto the shoulder seams (sandwiching the front facing at the shoulders again)

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Here is a close up showing how I then stitched it in place:

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Before trimming and turning it through.¬† Below is a close up of the inside at the shoulder seam.¬† Sewing it this way keeps the facing secure at the shoulder line, and its a change from the usual order of sewing.¬†¬†Keep in mind that¬†the shoulder seams are all¬†pressed towards the back, so this only¬†works on fabric that isn’t too bulky.

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Inside neckline

 

I topstitched across the back neck with a stretchy machine stitch:

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Back neckline

 

The armholes are finished with strips of bias-cut lining fabric,  and the armholes are topstitched.

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Lastly the side seams and hem are sewn, and then it’s ready to wear¬†!

 

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