Silk and faux leather

This month’s challenge/pleasure was sewing this outfit with faux leather and Italian silk from Minerva Crafts.

Yes I made this hat earlier this year because I knew it would pair so well with this outfit.
I’ve used my pencil skirt block and a basic shirt pattern. As crazy as mixing prints together can be, I felt these two fabrics would be great together. I only have access to what I can see from Minerva Crafts website and I was really pleased when the fabrics and notions arrived at my doorstep.
Here are all the sewing goodies I used to make the skirt and blouse. There are also notions here that I’ll be using for a few future Minerva Crafts projects.
The pleather has flower motifs sewn onto a knit mesh backing. It’s really quite a flexible fabric. Minerva Crafts has a few new faux leather fabrics to choose from in an array of colours.
This Italian floral silk has a bold, all over floral paisley print. It’s a great print and you need to pay attention to the right and wrong side of the fabric. The print is more striking in real life.
Using this beautiful silk meant adding silk organza to the facings so there was reinforcement in the fabric where I needed it but the fabric still remained soft. Normal iron in interfacings can change the way silk flows so silk organza was a better option.
Maybe choosing such amazing buttons for this skirt was not the right choice but they really keep this silk looking luxurious. They really do.

I used two layers of silk organza to reinforce the button tabs on this blouse.

For the skirt, I had to choose a lining for the skirt to keep it stable over time. Well…I chose this jacquard lining. There’s something so appealing when a skirt has interesting linings. I chose the darker side of the lining to show on the inside of the skirt.

The other amazing detail with this pleather was the selvedge. It’s just as striking as the fabric so I used this at the hem.

The skirt does finish above the knee and the mesh selvedge is on the knee so it’s a bit different but still works. I did harvest a floral motif to balance the front hem.

I rarely wear skirts tucked into skirts but I really love the shaping this gives to these two pieces. Having some waistline definition helps for my height.

For both of these pieces I applied the couture sewing techniques I learnt earlier this year.

On the skirt, I applied the waist reinforcing detail with Petersham tape. I also added the large hook and eye on the inside of the waistline. The zipper is hand picked into the skirt.
On the blouse, I marked the button tab detailing so that it all matched at the front of the blouse.
When I ordered this silk I was tempted to use the Vogue top below but the front tuck would have hidden the print definition.
I rethought this and decided to use this Burda pattern (2561) and added sleeve cuffs for more definition.
I had previously made Burda 2561 for a blouse last year for Minerva Crafts in 2015 so I knew it would fit this Italian silk fabric.
As always my Prym tools make this blouse a sharper and more accurate finish.
You can really see the difference using beautiful silk does to this basic shirt pattern. PS I added cuffs to the sleeves.
I love wearing this outfit because it’s really a simple skirt and blouse but the fabrics are amazing to wear.
Thanks again Minerva Crafts.

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MMM13 week 2 and a Perth meet up

The week that just flew by had me flying east to west between offices. That rarely happens.

Day 7:
Me-made shirt Butterick 4985, Me-made cardi McCalls 5978 and Me-made skirt McCalls 8972
Day 8 totally excited:
Me-made dress (can’t find this post) and Me-made sandwich bolero
Day 9:
Me-made dress Butterick 5638 and Me-made jacket

And I got to meet up with Penny Hooper, Jenny (JenleeC) and CarolynS. We had a lot to talk about and only in one night. We still look as fresh as a daisy eventhough we were last to leave the resturant.
You’re all very special ladies and talented sewers! You made me feel more at home while working away from home and with such short notice for our meet up too.
Day 8 BTW: Me-made top and Me-made jeans.

Day 10 tired and heading back home:
Me-Made Jalie 2908 jeans, Me-made floral knit top, Me-made brown jacket.
Day 11:
Me-Made NewLook 6977 top, Me Made Jalie 2908 jeans.
Day 12:
Happy Mothers Day in my sewing room
Me-made pleather jacket McCalls 6292, Me-Made rust bling peplum Vogue 8815, Me-Made Jalie jeans.

What a difference a hem makes

At Rhodes ASG, Sharon kindly pinned the hem on two of my dresses. They went from matronly to woo hoo in 4″ or 10cm so I raised the hems of the tulip and bias dresses. Funnily enough, when they are on a hanger on the door handle, the hems just touch carpet, so maybe that’s my measure in future. Now they’re not cougar length just woo hoo length. Alison, you were right about the length.

On another front, a friend who gets out more than I do when nuts over my pleather jacket. When I mentioned how this was a practice jacket for a future leather jacket I could see leather jacket stars in his eyes. It was such a scream because he checked out my jacket and kept caressing it. I thought I’d share that with you. Ok, so this was the end of a heavy eating/drinking session but I couldn’t stop laughing with him.

Proud Grandmother and father of the groom
Do you remember this outfit?
It was a chilly Spring day so I wore the coat I made for special occasions. And this wedding counted as a special occasion. Mum looked good. Her clothes were comfortable and she looked great from day and into the evening. We were really proud of the happy couple (it was their wedding) and our Mum.
BTW I wore Vogue 8280. The next family wedding is August next year and we both have our next wedding outfits made. I’m never that organised:) but I have committed to making my youngest niece a coat for her next year so she stays warm as flower girl.
TJ, I’m making up the gold dress this week.

Gloves – Butterick 5695

These gloves were a test and now I like them. And the pattern doesn’t call for lining but the next pair will be lined, especially if I use leather.


This shows the handstitching on the fingers. I couldn’t do this by machine. I’ve used a knit scrap to test the pattern size and sewing steps.
Here’s the right side palm view. 
Here’s the right side back view. 
You can see the pleather has a soft knit wrong side. The pattern piece shows how I took 1cm off the finger length. 
The reason I went back to this project is because Theperfectnose from blogging heaven, sent me an email with this glove sewing article and I thought I should strike while the iron was hot. The article is easy to follow and much better than the pattern instructions. Well, I also went to the Alexandria ASG meeting on Saturday and I deliberately left my machine at home so I had no other option but to handstitch – and chat over a cuppa, of course.  I did learn to handstitch at the Leatherworkers Guild last month.
These wonderclips were great to prevent extra puncture marks on the pleather but I did need to stitch carefully so I didn’t wreak them. Thanks to Sharon for getting me to buy these last month when she had a special offer. These clips were a timely purchase. The inside fabric was great for writing on.

Here’s how I used them on the machine and how I used the zipper foot for the 3mm seam allowances. 3mm! I did check the fit of the first finger I hand sewed and realised the finger length was a bit short so I clipped each by 1cm. I think my knit fabric stretched while I sewed so the pattern pieces have been altered back to their original lengths.

Here’s how they finished up yesterday.
I did a bit more handstitching on the fatter fingers and added a 1″ cuff with elastic and I was able to machine sew this cuff on using the zipper foot again. Brilliant.
Thank you so much theperfectnose. You gave me the kick-start and article I needed.
Now to make the matching jacket…McCalls 6292 but a bit longer than finishing at the waist.
I’ve started on the toile so that I can get the jacket length and construction right.