Sunday, February 11, 2018

Concert Black Cotton Twill Pants

 I have always wanted these pants! Always! I had tried to buy some version of them in several occasions, but none of the versions were up to my expectations. These are! And I made them myself! Super-proud!
I love Rock&Roll and Metal, and "army pants" are part of my tribe. Boys find them in second hand stores, from army supplies, but those never fitted my curves, so of course I had to make them myself.

Probably the most important part of this success is the fabric. It is not easy to find a good cotton twill. In fact, this is the only one I have ever encountered (Lisboa), and believe that I've searched! I am still looking for the same fabric in army green, but that will be even more difficult. It seems they keep their twill only for industrial purposes.
In fact, this fabric is so gorgeous and inspiring, that after making my Borgen Suit with it, I sent my daddy for more to the Lisboa shop when he went there in one of his travels. And I'd buy more to make some pants for my boyfriend and some short version for me!

I was lucky to find the perfect pattern for these too. It was in Burda April '08, which has a "Safari Special", and the fitting was more than good, it was perfect (as usual with Burda). I had to enlarge them, and narrow the legs. I did not like the upper pockets and I made a different version to be just stitched over. Following my adviser opinion, I finally did not put them, but I still keep them, because one feels the need to put the hands into the pockets wearing these pants, although the leg pockets are awesome and you can put a tone of things there.

I decided to apply some snaps in the pockets' laps. Since I learnt to put them myself, I love to use metal snaps!
I love my concert pants, and I plan to wear them in many a gig, hopefully!

Friday, February 2, 2018

Turquoise Cushions

I finally finished my cushions, hurray!
I started them in August and they took forever to finish: 6 months!!! Probably because they were too boring and I never found moments to knit... 
Also, I had doubts during the process that they would become nice at all, but now that they are finished and in my sofa, I love them. They are beautiful, and sweet to the touch.
I used the wonderful Shiny Happy Cotton by Wool & the Gang, which is wonderful, thick (5.5 mm needles) and brilliant, gorgeous. I will knit a black sweater with that cotton, and probably more things!

The pattern is mine (you can read it in my Ravelry page), invented by yours trully. I had this idea to create texture, and I think it is lovely now that I see them finished.
Once finished, grafted at the end, washed and blocked, I constructed a white cotton base with the zipper included, with the apropiate measures. Then, I put it inside each knitted cushion and secured it with pins along both sides of the zipper. Finally I stitched it by hand with a back stitch, and done!

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Black Rib Cotton Turtle Neck

I bought this wonderful rib cotton jersey in my last trip to London, in MacCulloch and Wallis. It was a circular bolt, with a deep black colour. Gorgeous.

I used my eternal "Universal T-shirt" pattern, because this jersey claimed raglan sleeves. And a turtle neck. 
 The result is just perfect. I do not understand how could I live without it until now. Everybody needs a black turtle neck, it goes well with every skirt or pant you have in your closet, and it plays every dress code, from sporty to very elegant. Of course, it must be cotton, to keep peace with the planet and with our skin.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Love Boat Hat

Hello there!
I bought this kit from Wool and The Gang one year ago. It was a sale I took advantage of, because with shipping costs and pounds, WATG products are expensive to me.

 I wanted to test their jumbo wool and patterns and this seemed a small project to test the brand. Plus, the hat looked gorgeous on pictures.

Finally I decided to insert this make along another (two cushions I've just finished now) during my Christmas Holidays, because I did not want another winter gone by. 

But this takes only a couple of days to knit! Glory Alleluiah for jumbo wool!!! If I had known, I had done it before.

As I explain in my Ravelry Project page, I love the wool (I will repeat), but the pattern was all wrong, in terms of sizing. So I will buy WATG wool again, but I don't trust their patterns, sadly. On the other hand, I wrote to them to ask for care instructions and they never answered. Bad attention to client. Me don't like it.
But the hat is just gorgeous. And so nice to wear!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Red Wool Coat

 I bought this wonderful cashmere and silk fabric at Unique Fabrics, in Goldhawk Rd., London. I confess the salesman totally sold it to me, he observed and chatted with me while I was drooling over their silks (OMG!!!!), and he showed this beauty to me, I couldn't resist, a red coat came to mind and nothing could stop me, not even the 200Eur I paid for the motherfucker! Totally good value for money!

Two weeks before Christmas I decided I absolutely needed it for then, so I started sewing in another of my typical stupid deadline frenzy madness (as if I did not have a coat to put on my back!).

I wanted a coat with an imperial waist and I found this cute pattern at a Burda magazine (from the library), which patterns I totally and absolutely trust.
I followed my usual method:

First, I traced the pattern in white sheer paper (these patterns do not include seam allowances, as I prefer).

Second, I true the pattern over my dress form. It seemed OK, so I proceeded to (third) arrange the pieces over the folded fabric, secure them with pins and cut them.

Fourth, I marked all my fabric pieces with tailor tucks, including marks, and everything. 

This seems the reincarnation of boredom, but it is totally worth it, since you have your pieces exactly marked, and you can made slight or important variations (provided you leave generous seam allowances in dangerous places like waist, hips, bust, length).

Fifth, I started minor items constructions, since it is better to do them with the pieces not attached together. I made the buttonholes (following Shaeffer's steps) and pockets.

Sixth, a applied thermofusible interfacing to the whole bodice and sleeves (a thinner one for them).
Seventh, I basted all the beast together and ready myself for the crucial moment of the first fitting. I always sew faster and faster as the moment approaches, and hand-basting is thus more bearable with anticipation. In this case I saw it was too big and the waist, and sleeves were also to big oven the shoulders, but I decided to machine stitch it and press it before making it definitely smaller at those places.

I also finished the neck piece and the frontal facing before trying it on again and confirming I had to take one cm off each side and also at the side back panel seams, at the waist. I also reduced the sleeves over the shoulders, and it was then almost perfect.

I carefully pressed on the wrong side with a cotton cloth over it. I played The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (gosh, what wonderful dresses!!!!), and pressed and pressed, since it was crucial to make it patiently and well.

I cut the lining and put it together with pins. I machine-stitched it and pressed it well too. I made the buttonhole openings and pressed them too.

Then, I secured by hand all the seams well open, and hand-sewed the bottom and sleeve hems.
I put the coat on the dress from, on the wrong side, put the finished and pressed lining over it, secure it with pins and hand-stitched it to the coat.

Finally, the night before I applied the buttons and done!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Coco Stripped Top

This is one of those simple, fast makes, necessary and very wearable in everyday life.

Wonderful organic cotton from The Village Haberdashery and my own pattern, inspired in Tilly's Coco. The perfect combination. Done in a couple of afternoon sewings.
I totally recommend organic cotton. My skin is so happy wearing it!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Borgen Suit (Three Pieces Insipired by great TV)

 Often I am inspired by television. Serials are good in constructing characters, they grown into you, and you end up wanting to dress like them. Betty Draper, Alicia Florick have had that effect on me, and now it is Birgitte Nyborg, from the wonderful Danish serial Borgen.

She and Katrine wear a very similar type of suit jacket in the first episodes, and it was love at first sight. I love suit jackets, but pencil skirts are not for me, so I think this a more modern and flattering to the figure alternative. 

 I made the jacket first. I worked in a hurry for one week, because I was going to a wedding and I thought it was a totally necessary complement for my red jersey dress

Then it was the hottest night EVER and I did not wear it that day.But I've been wearing it quite a lot in the last year.
I bought the black cotton twill in Lisboa. It is just gorgeous, thick but soft and sweet to the touch, easy to sew. I bought it with Birgitte in my mind, haha! I also bought the white shirting there, in the same shop. The trip to Lisboa is worth it just for fabric. And food.

I used my "Chanel Jacket" pattern again. This is the fourth time I used it. Totally worth the effort of making it, because it fits me like a glove. I followed Alsdrich's book to alter the front panel and add a lapel. The result is perfect, modest opinion.

I used some red calico to line it, but I do not like the feel of it. I even made some pockets in it, but I plan to change it for some natural and slippery fabric as soon as I find one. Maybe some rayon, we will see...
I added a couple of bound buttonholes at front center, practising them first. They look great.
Now for the skirt.

Birgitte Nyborg in the first season of Borgen is again the inspiration for this skirt. 

As the series progresses, her wardrobe progresses to more well-tailored, serious office suits in dark blue, grey, black and white. Pencil skirts, white or black fitted shirts and tailored jackets. She is the PM, after all. But when the series stars and Birgitte is still an amateur politician, she fashions this flared, darted at the waist skirts with her cheap tailored jackets. 

 The stylist in the series must have loved them, because the other woman lead character, Katrine Fonsmark, is wearing the same skirt pattern in her TV program.
This is the same fabric I used for the jacket.

For the pattern I used and old Burda pattern, but instead of starting the inverted pleats at the waist as in previous projects, I used a 10 cm band at the waist, I designed myself.
The result is a formal skirt to wear at the office, but more becoming than a pencil skirt, more modern and lively. I love it!

The third piece of the ensemble is the shirt. It has passed more than a year since I made the jacket, then the skirt, and finally the shirt. I used a Burda Magazine pattern, one of those I will repeat in time, because with its princess seams and bow at the front is just perfect.

 I can wear it with the skirt and jacket, playing to be president of Denmark, or with jeans and sneakers, to play it down. It's gorgeous, becoming and comfortable. 

Perfect for president, haha!