"" the girl who makes things: January 2018

Friday, 26 January 2018

A bomber jacket

After a long break, between last summer and Christmas, I've suddenly got my sewing mojo back. I'm surprised at how many things I'm managing to tick off my sewing list. What's the reason for this sudden outburst of creative energy, I wonder? I have a theory. I'm doing a professional qualification alongside working full-time at the moment, and looming deadlines have sent me into procrastination overdrive. Somehow, having less time to sew means I'm actually giving myself more time to sew. Weird paradox.



This bomber jacket's been on my to-sew list for a while. In fact, ever since I saw the first episode of Portugal's version of the Great British Sewing Bee (Cosido a Mao) I've been obsessed with the idea of making one like the contestants made on the show. The network's website actually lets you download the pdf pattern for free, but for some reason when I tried, it wouldn't print. I was actually willing to pay for a similar pattern but after a quick Google search I found this version on Mood Fabric's website from a community member. Best of all, it was free!



Now, there was just one problem with this pdf pattern: it's not so easy to put together. There are no little joining tags and some of the lines don't match up neatly. Also, I managed to mix up the papers so they weren't in the right order. I ended up laying them all out on the living room floor and piecing them together like a jigsaw puzzle. Luckily, I quite like a challenge and I didn't mind giving my brain a work out, but maybe don't try it if you're a pdf novice. 



Once I had the pattern pieces I set about looking for the fabric. I had plain grey in mind, but then I found this fabric in Feira dos Tecidos and, BIG FLORAL PRINT you say?! Any other sensible fabric options went out the window. If you want to see how much I love big floral print fabrics, then just look at my Instagram account



I'd say this is a scuba-type polyester, fairly thick and stretchy. I hardly ever look at fabric labels now and mostly go on the feel and texture. It's served me well so far. I cut a size 10 which turned out to be fine. I could do with a little more space around the shoulders, but stretchy fabric is forgiving. 



The instructions are quite minimal so I used my instincts to sew the jacket together. It was easy and, as I decided not to include a lining, quick. I over-locked the seams and top-stitched the edges. The zipper is a little bit wavy, probably because I over stretched the fabric. Next time I might use some twill tape or interfacing to stabilize it. I hand stitched some white ribbon over the zipper tape to hide the white stitches which looked ugly against the grey tape. 



I've already had lots of lovely compliments from people when I wear this jacket, so it's definitely a winner. No doubt I'll think about making another, especially after all the effort it took to put the pattern together!


A big thanks to my very talented boyfriend for these photos. Check out his photography skills on his Instagram account, the pictures are truly amazing. In case you're wondering, these photos were taken down by the Tejo River in Lisbon.


Friday, 12 January 2018

And that's a wrap

I'd never worn, owned or made a wrap dress before, but for some reason I ended up making three last summer. The first was my Kielo wrap dress, then this Ultimate Wrap Dress by Sew Over It, which was so good I had to make another one in blue velvet.


The fabric is jersey cotton with blue and red apple print. It's fairly thick so no lining was needed.


I cut a size 8 with no adjustments as the fabric is very stretchy. The whole project came together without a hiccup. 


To stabilize the fabric I sewed twill tape to the edge of the facing where it meets the neckline and also the shoulder seams. I can't remember where I read this advice, but it really helps to prevent the jersey from over-stretching and gaping at the front. Sewaholic has some great advice on how to do this.


The only thing I'd change about this dress is that it's a little too short on me. I prefer my dresses to be longer nowadays so next time, I'll definitely lengthen it. Apart from that I love this pattern, it's incredibly elegant and lady-like. A great weekend sewing project.