Bamboo shoot Peony

Here’s a partnership – Colette Peony and Pattern Magic Bamboo Shoot – in a lined cotton dress for summer.
Shown after working for the day.
Ironed nicely before work

The bodice folds needed a bit of work when I tested it. They’re still a WIP. I wasn’t 100% sure about the waist so I added the cumberbun with 3 pearl buttons.

The front bodice came to a v point at the waist – unintentionally – based on the Pattern Magic istructions. That’s been fixed. The dress is fully lined because the fabric is light weight cotton for a top or blouse.

I’ve added the bamboo shoot treatment to the sleeve, but I’m not sure this is good idea. This feature need editings. Sleeve or no sleeve?
The pattern change below shows you the sleeve treatment I’ll try next. The pleats will fall from the sleeve head and not the sleeve hem.

The zipper was short so I’ve added a 3 button button closure to the back neckline.

Making totes, bags (no more UFOS left in 2012) and purses is fun but making clothes is more my cup of tea.

Merry Christmas y’all. It’s time for a break when there’s a fish face pose.

M5525 – bound buttonholes

Bound buttonholes
After speaking with Renata about all things trench coats, I had to make bound buttonholes on this trench. She made me an offer I couldn’t refuse so I decided to test out 2 methods that I found online.

I pulled out every tool in my sewing kit to attempt these button holes.

Coletterie‘s version worked out but the button hole was a bit bulky and to be honest, this was my first ever bound buttonhole. I showed DH the amazing bound buttonhole and he nodded politely and gave me that “walk away from the crazed sewer” look.

Then I used Sherry’s method. While this was my second ever bound buttonhole, I felt more confident sewing with the basting guidelines. pencil lines would hsve worked too. I used a zipper foot for these buttonholes. The buttonhole was slimmer and flatter. What you see below are the basted guidelines and it looks messy but this worked for me.

Below is the buttonhole guide on the actual trench coat. This is where the ‘rubber hits the road’. That night I gave up after making the first buttonhole and made the other two buttonholes the following day after a good night’s rest.

If you think your trench could use a bound buttonhole, push yourself and learn a new skill with the sewing reference that suits you. This was a huge push/learning curve for me and I’m a bit critical of how they look.

The middle buttonhole was too closely trimmed and pulled apart when I tried to unpick the hand basting too fast. No tears were shed but I did take a very deep breath, had a nice cuppa, and then re-sewed the buttonhole again and used lots of Steam a seam lite 2 to reinforce the buttonhole. This time, I didn’t trim the underside so closely.

If you use waxed thread when you sew, keep a bunch of waxed thread close by because you’ll need them to finish off these impressive buttonholes.

I used
Sherry’s method because she’s also updated her bound buttonhole technique and I’ve listed Sherry’s post on the side of my blog – so I can find it fast!

The next step is to read the references I have on my bookshelf and practice this technique because I’d like to use this technique again.

Peggy Sagers tutes
Jacket or trench coat collare finishes are the same. I found a handy video by Peggy Sagers on Youtube. Peggy talks about overstitching when you sew a collar and overstitching when you sew the trench facing to the trench with the finished collar piece sandwiched in between the facing and trench coat.

The same video tute includes tackling sleeve ease with a bias strip and a method for welt pockets. Peggy has a whole stack of interactive video webcasts I use from time to time. She gives up her time and knowledge so regularly and they’re free.

Welt pockets and bound buttonholes:
Have some fusing tape like Steam a seam lite handy to reinforce the back of these features for a firm finish. I used quiet a bit of Steam a seam lite on my Derby Day Peony for the exposed zipper and hem.

Peony QAs:
I did wear the Derby Day Peony on Melbourne Cup to work – but not with the screamingly high strappy heels.
Carol mentioned she’s been avoiding the whole exposed zipper thing. I had been too but the eyelet fabric wasn’t going to behave with an invisible zip so the exposed zipper would worked really well. I think the black piping helped pull the desingn aspect together. I did this 2 days working this out. That’s how I seem to learn new skills these days.

Lena commented that the eyelet fabric would have also worked with a coloured lining. I agree that it would have and I’ll keep experimenting with laces/eyelets and colourful lining while it keeps my interest.

I’m still working on doing beautiful piping like Carolyn.

And I’ve allowed anonymous comments but I’ll have to keep an eye on the non-comments/spam that keep filtering in.These are the trenchcoat posts:
Trenchcoat sewing
Jalie 2680: city coat trench
McCalls 5525: single breast trench
McCalls 5525: a hood in the collar
McCalls 5525: pockets
McCalls 5525: shoulder detailing
McCalls 5525: bound buttonholes
McCalls 5525: belt carriers
McCalls 5525: finished

Derby Day Peony

With Spring racing in the air, this version would have been perfect for Derby Day – yesterday’s race has a wear black and white tradition. What do you think?

It’s a fairly well structured dress and can withstand being worn with heels or ballet flats (Colette Peony 1017). The hibiscus Peony version is also fully lined.

This version is fully lined in white poplin. And a jacket would help manage the changing weather on the day. I bought this fabric from the fabric store on Church St Parramatta for $9/m.

I got very excited when I added the bias trim on the eyelet fabric.

Then the issues was, how do you finish these seams.

I decided to pink them instead of using french seams because the eyelet stitching is very thick (I love this aspect of this fabric) so pinking helps keep the seams stable without added bulk.

So to add a bit more complexity, and skill development as we say at work, I’ve added an exposed zipper. Threads has an article for applying exposed zips but the layout of the article wasn’t easy to follow. I tried adding an invisible zip but the cut out eyelet bits along the centre back are at least 5cm long.

Left pic – iron fusing on right side with guide stitching:
Middle pic – pin and baste for first row of stitching near zipper teeth;

Right pic – trimmed underneath before final row of stitches at the side of the zipper tape.

Then I watched Gretchen’s exposed zip tutorial to see how an exposed zipper is sewn on. Wendy also had a video tutorial for more traditional craft projects and I’m guessing this topice is going to keep growing. Linda McGeHee shows lots of zipper ideas in a tute so you can then make add as as your own own and she is The exposed zipper was the perfect solution but I didn’t use contrast stitching. That would have been an embarrasing outcome.

Once I watched Gretchen tute I was able to insert the exposed zip without a practice run. Talk about taking a punt! Now to go back to the form guide to pick Tuesday’s winner. Lots of luck everyone.

Travel update – TBD but I’ll keep you updated.

Wow. Michelle Obama wore a similar outfit recently from the Miss Wu collection.

Peony Pt1 – Spring test

I like using indie patterns and sewing their styles during a sewalong is part of the fun. Sewing is fun – most of the time. Just don’t say ‘bound buttonholes’ too loudly at the moment. Just taking a moment away from the trench journey. Just for a moment and to relieve your boredom.

My first Colette pattern was the Macaron so the Peony was next on the list.

This week I got the invite to Diner de blanc – Sydney but missed out on registering on the day, and this Peony was supposed to be all white. If we did get in, I would then have had to scrounge around for DH’s white outfit. Anyway, there’s no need. DH was thrilled to miss out. I – was quietly relieved.

I did what I thought would be a quick check of the front bodice darts with the tissue and then made the dart changes. I tested the bodice changes with the lining to confirm the fit.

Then I tested the skirt to the bodice and found I actually did need the full bodice darts and I’ve split them into 2 darts. I still don’t acknowledge my body shape changes that I’ve gone through over the last 18 months. How utterly normal is that?

You can also see the extra back bodice width that will be adjusted on the fashion fabric.

Lots of previous reviews commented on the skirt fullness and as I’m short, I decided to slim down the skirt fullness, by 2″. After testing the skirt, I kept the waist width and made the gathers into darts and slimmed the hem fullness. I will raise the skirt centre front seam by 1cm so it doesn’t have a sway back tilt. I’ve already made the sway back adjustment on the back bodice at the waist.

The dress is going to be fully lined because of my eyelet fabric choice and I’ll add black piping to the neckline and sleeves.

The first test dress is next, using the test lining and there are two fabric earmarked.

The main reason I chose the eyelet fabric is because I made an eyelet shirt a couple of years ago and I’m adjusting the side seams so I can wear the shirt this summer.

This huge purple tropical rayon print was from a visit to Vanuatu. It’s soft and light weight.

This rose print is light weight and either fabric will give me the chance to play with placing the prints while testing the dress. And I would still line both fabric because they have a white. Mmmm.
Sew Busy Lizzy has already made a Peony with lemon eyelet fabric and I agree with her advice when you decide to make a Peony. She used piping on her lemon Peony and had bodice adjustments.

I do appreciate the effort of Sarah, Erin and Rochelle who are hosting this dress sewalong for Sew Colette 2.0. The Oolong and Roobios in my stash for future tests.

Sew Squirrel is an excellent way to buy indie patterns in Australia. I was very well looked after when the patterns I wanted weren’t in stock but they became available within a week and she kept me in the loop!

Trench coats ready to wear
Here’s the back of a Burberry Prorsum on The Outnet discounted to £805.87 if you don’t have sewing time or are obsessed with trench coat detailing.

Here’s the D&G purple version discounted to £513.33.

Now because I’m all over the shop, I’ll list the useful Trench coat entries on the right hand side for your reference and mine. I’m no expert but I’ll endeavour to make sure that you can always see useful trench coat posts whenever you can fit in sewing a trench.
Janine commented that when she made a trench without the detailing it looked like a lab coat especially if it’s beige. I suppose if the fabric is bright it would still be a bright coat but the detailing, including sewing time, your energy and a clear head, will help your trench evolve. My SIL’s Jalie city coat easily became a trench with the shoulder epaulets and a belt. Have a great weekend.

M5525 – da hood

The Minoru jacket had a hood in the collar so I’ve taken the hood pattern to use it on this trench. Why not read the sewalong instructions that Tasia has done? I’ve lined this version with red binding.
The red lining was used to prepare the welt / zip opening. Tasia has a more impressive and professional version on preparing a zipper opening on her blog.
Here’s the outside collar band look, before applying it to the collar and shoulder. 
Guess what? The collar band isn’t wide enough to house the hood. And the hood covers the back shoulder detailing. I don’t like the hood on this trench, so the hood got the flick.

I will use this hood again, but with a wider collar band. I’m happy that I applied the hood to the collar and really happy that it’s not on this trench coat. It just doesn’t work with a hood but it could work for you.

Trench coat inspiration
TJ of The Perfect Nose is always way ahead when it comes to researching most things in life like trench coat styles. When I was stuck in a glove rut, she sent me a gloves Thread article right when I needed a nudge along. Well she’s done it again for anyone who’s contemplating trench styles that aren’t from the big 4 sewing pattern companies.
We tweeted last week about McCalls 5525 being too big for her. That’s where the big 4 sewing patterns let some of us down who are busting to sew, but need a pattern that generally fits with a few adjustments.  TJ has listed Patrone, Burda and Knipmode versions you’ll drool over.
Renata is in the middle of making a Burda trench but she’s rethinking a few construction issues.
That’s why I’ve been trawling to other trench options and finishing. And I have a habit of checking out what’s available online, again for detailing ideas.

Now that I’ve been making a trench, I’ve enjoyed doing more research into indie pattern coats.

Roobeedoo has an addiction to Deer and Doe patterns and they have a lovely transeasonal jacket. The Poppy jacket. This is very tempting because of the fit and design lines.

This pattern is rated intermediate however, the style is so feminine it’s very tempting to want to try. I can’t read French so I love using Google translate on their website.
I do like the Lady Grey too by Colette patterns.

These are the trenchcoat posts:
Trenchcoat sewing
Jalie 2680: city coat trench
McCalls 5525: single breast trench
McCalls 5525: a hood in the collar
McCalls 5525: pockets
McCalls 5525: shoulder detailing
McCalls 5525: bound buttonholes
McCalls 5525: belt carriers
McCalls 5525: finished