Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Misty Cami by 'Sew Altered Style' - The HACK-A-THON Blog Tour

Misty Cami - Julia Bobbin
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NEW indie pattern company ALERT!

The talented Mac and Katie are the creatives behind the new pattern company 'Sew Altered Style' and they are kicking off their first pattern release with a 'Hack-A-Thon' blogger tour!
The concept is to take their new pattern, make a change (hack) big or small and have a bit of fun!

Misty Cami - Julia Bobbin

The Pattern

It's the Misty Cami and the first pattern released by Sew Altered Style.

This cami comes with four different views, which is made up of two different strap versions, two different back heights and the option of camisole or dress length.

The pattern ranges from sizes 0-30 and in addition, you also select between two cup size options, A/B or C/D. If you fall outside those sizes don't worry, the pattern comes with instructions on how to do a 'full bust adjustment'.

Misty Cami - Julia Bobbin
Misty Cami - Julia Bobbin

Sizing and View

I MADE View A (low back camisole) in a size 10 with the A/B cup(!) option.

For reference, my bra size varies from anywhere between D-EE depending on the brand and, like, how much cheese I've eaten.

The instructions get you to measure the width of your breasts at the widest point, and then the width of the upper breast. The variation in length determines what cup size you need, and I'm not sure why but the difference between the two measurements for me was small.

With the size 10 cut on the bias, the smaller bust option fit well, and I love a loose drape in a camisole. The bust darts sit a little low (which doesn't bother me), but this was a tester pattern and it has since been corrected on the official pattern.

Misty Cami - Julia Bobbin
Misty Cami - Julia Bobbin
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Fabric

I used a stunning, saturated, chocolate silk satin that almost literally looks like melted chocolate.
This beautiful fabric was purchased from the wonderful people of The Cloth Shop in Ivanhoe

IMG_4434 (1)
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Details + Changes

This flattering, loose fitting pattern calls for light weight, drapey woven fabrics with the direction of the grain line following the selvage of the fabric.  Because I was making my cami out of silk, I decided to go a little extra and CUT ALL MY PIECES ON THE BIAS.
The neckline and the straps sit so well when cut on this angle, and I love how it makes the silk drape.

Instead of the regular hem and to accomodate the bias cut of the silk, I decided to finish the cami with a NARROW HEM.

I eliminated the FRONT CENTRE SEAM. The pattern gives you the option of a centre seam in the front, or to cut the front piece on the fold.

I also chose not to interface the facing pieces. When it comes to camisoles made of silk, I like both pieces of fabric to behave and drape the same, and I find the under-stitching on the neckline is enough to give structure and shape in a bias cut.

In addition to cutting my pieces on the bias, my PATTERN HACK was to change the shoulder straps to thin, BIAS CUT TIE STRAPS.
Not only does it look great, but it means you can adjust the length of your straps as you wear it, rather than in the construction stages of the garment.

Misty Cami - Julia Bobbin
Misty Cami - Julia Bobbin
Misty Cami - Julia Bobbin

Final Thoughts

It's incredibly satisfying to make something beautiful and clean and to be able to finish it in one sitting.
A camisole is such a classic wardrobe staple that can be paired with almost anything and for any occasion.

I love the fit and cut of this beautiful pattern, (which is 20% off with code MISTY20 until August 4)  and I'm very excited to see what else Sew Altered Style has for us in the future!

Misty Cami - Julia Bobbin
Misty Cami - Julia Bobbin
Misty Cami - Julia Bobbin
Misty Cami - Julia Bobbin


Saturday, 13 July 2019

DIY Copy Cat - BALMAIN Sequinned JACKET and Faux Wrap SKIRT

I don't know when, I don't know how, but somehow I've become obsessed with making jackets. And what could bring home that realisation more, than a SEQUINNED jacket. I ask you.

Introducing my latest make, a Balmain inspired, Versace buttoned sequinned blazer dress:

DIY Olivia Palermo/Balmain Look
DIY Olivia Palermo/Balmain Look
DIY Olivia Palermo/Balmain Look

The Pattern

JACKET:

To make this look I used Burda 6380, View B in a size 12.

This double-breasted vest pattern comes in two length variations, with the option to add a welt pocket and contrasting lapel.

This pattern doesn't come with sleeves, so I used the sleeve pattern from Burda 6845, which I recently used to make my long suit style winter coat.

The sleeve pattern pieces paired perfectly and had matching notches and markings.

SKIRT:

Self drafted, with a waistband, faux button closure and pocket flaps.

DIY Olivia Palermo/Balmain Look
DIY Olivia Palermo/Balmain Look
DIY Olivia Palermo/Balmain Look
DIY Olivia Palermo/Balmain Look

The Fabric

JACKET:

I found a beautiful sequinned fabric from an Etsy store called Lots of Fabrics . This is the second time I have purchased from this store and the quality is excellent.
The fabric has a slight stretch to it and the sequins are all sewn on, rather than glued.

I using a black sateen on the lapel for a contrast, and lined the jacket in a black poly satin.

SKIRT:

A beautiful, soft Japanese cotton sateen from Tessuti Fabrics.

DIY Olivia Palermo/Balmain Look
DIY Olivia Palermo/Balmain Look
DIY Olivia Palermo/Balmain Look
DIY Olivia Palermo/Balmain Look

Copy Cat Challenge

Together with the talented superstar Faith and wedding dress extraordinaire Kelly , we decided to do a celebrity copy cat look.

For this inspiration we decided to choose one of our favourite Olivia Palermo looks. Olivia has a great personal style, so choosing one was hard!

I decided on her Balmain jacket and skirt that she wore in January 2019 to the Balmain Haute Couture show in Paris during Haute Couture Fashion Week.

You can see the full look in my instagram post below:


The Details + Changes

THE JACKET:

I love THIN LAPELS on this pattern, which I made in a cotton sateen to contrast, as I thought the doubled up sequin lapel could end up looking lumpy, and would likely get lost.

I also eliminated the WELT for the same reasons.

I added SLEEVES from Burda 6845 and fitted the sleeve heads with SHOULDER PADS

DIY Olivia Palermo/Balmain Look

DIY Olivia Palermo/Balmain Look

To avoid drag lines around my hips and butt, I added a SEPARATING ZIPPER to close the jacket.

I was nervous about adding buttonholes on a sequinned fabric (could get messy real quick) but more importantly, the zipper balanced the stress of a fitted skirt evenly over my curvy lower body, where buttons would have gaped and caused drag lines.

The black zipper blends with the sequins, and it makes wearing the blazer as a dress more comfortable. The buttons were then sewn on top, with a SNAP BUTTON added just underneath the top closing button to hold in place.

I also REMOVED THE BACK WALKING VENT as I planned to wear this as a blazer dress.

THE SKIRT:

I made a MOCK WRAP at the front to mimic the original Balmain skirt, which I held in place with vintage versace buttons.
The skirt is closed with an INVISIBLE ZIPPER down the centre back seam.

I added POCKET FLAPS on the skirt front and lined them with a contrasting silk fabric.

DIY Olivia Palermo/Balmain Look
DIY Olivia Palermo/Balmain Look
DIY Olivia Palermo/Balmain Look

Notions + Tools

NOTIONS:

6 x 22mm Versace Medusa Head Buttons in matte gold and matte silver from Vintage Buttons N Beads
1 x Separating zipper
1 x Invisible zipper (skirt)
1 x Snap button
1 pair of shoulder pads

TOOLS:

Janome DC2101
Walking Foot/Even Feed Foot
Stretch Needle
Clapper

DIY Olivia Palermo/Balmain Look
DIY Olivia Palermo/Balmain Look
DIY Olivia Palermo/Balmain Look

Final Thoughts

Well that was fun!
I'm a sucker for all things shiny and fancy, and this outfit ticked all those boxes!
The original Balmain jacket retailed for $4500USD and the skirt for $785USD. Just another reminder of how wonderful it is to be able to sew your own clothes!

I'm also pleased to report that I have already worn this outfit out and it was an instant mood booster. I love how a good outfit can do that!

Thanks to Faith and Kelly for a fun challenge!

DIY Olivia Palermo/Balmain Look
DIY Olivia Palermo/Balmain Look
DIY Olivia Palermo/Balmain Look
DIY Olivia Palermo/Balmain Look

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Pink Winter Coat - Burda 6845

Wool + Mohair Winter Coat by Julia Bobbin
Wool + Mohair Winter Coat by Julia Bobbin
Wool + Mohair Winter Coat by Julia Bobbin
Wool + Mohair Winter Coat by Julia Bobbin
Wool + Mohair Winter Coat by Julia Bobbin

There's something about making coats, isn't there?

They are such a labour of love, get so much use, and make you feel like you've really made something clever!

Introducing my latest make, my 2019 winter coat.

Wool + Mohair Winter Coat by Julia Bobbin
Wool + Mohair Winter Coat by Julia Bobbin
Wool + Mohair Winter Coat by Julia Bobbin


The Pattern

I used Burda 6845 in View A which is a slim-lined coat with a flap pockets, a lapel and a rear walking slit.

The Fabric

The outside of my coat is a beautiful fabric from Tessuti Fabrics made up of 50% wool and 50% mohair, with a weight of 570gsm. It is so soft and such a lovely pink and has such incredible warmth; a must for a winter coat!

I lined the coat with a silk dupion that I've had in my stash since the beginning of time. I love how it features different blocks of colour which compliment nicely with the coat fabric.

And did I carefully match up those squares of colour? Why yes, yes I did. Thanks for asking.

Wool + Mohair Winter Coat by Julia Bobbin
Wool + Mohair Winter Coat by Julia Bobbin
Wool + Mohair Winter Coat by Julia Bobbin

Notions

Buttons from Spotlight
Whisper-weft interfacing
Guterman thread no. 473
Uncovered shoulder pads doubled up.

The Details

I love how the LINING HAS A PLEAT at the centre back waist as well as at the base of the neck. It allows for extra movement when you're wearing your coat so that the lining doesn't rip or pull.

THE DRAFTING of BurdaStyle patterns is always so beautiful. Where they might lack in pattern instructions, they make up for in pattern details.
The princess seams flatter and shape the body, and the two piece sleeves naturally curve at the elbow and shape the arm.

I love the FLAP POCKETS which sit just at the right height, which I lined with liberty of london fabric for a little extra something.

I'm in love with the LENGTH OF THIS COAT. I had been day-dreaming for a while about a long coat, and this one hits the ankle at just the right point on my 5'4" frame.

I added thick, uncovered SHOULDER PADS to the coat and I love the balance and proportion it gives the finished look. Because of the structure and length of this coat, it absolutely needed a strong shoulder to balance the look.

The centre back of the coat features a WALKING VENT which is practical and polished.

The width and shaping of the COLLAR AND LAPELS is just right; not too bulky and with lovely sharp angles. I also added liberty fabric to the collar band for a little secret contrast.

Wool + Mohair Winter Coat by Julia Bobbin
Wool + Mohair Winter Coat by Julia Bobbin
Wool + Mohair Winter Coat by Julia Bobbin
Wool + Mohair Winter Coat by Julia Bobbin
Wool + Mohair Winter Coat by Julia Bobbin


The Buttonholes

One of the nicest techniques to do add to a jacket is bound buttonholes. It's what elevates a look from off the shelf to couture, and it's something you hardly see on a jacket anymore.

A bound buttonhole is the process of adding two 'lips' to make a place for your button to go through, rather than a slit wrapped tightly in thread. It definitely takes more time and requires a fair bit of concentration, but the end result is lovely and incredibly satisfying!  It's such a lovely way to treat yourself and your coat!

You can click here to follow my tutorial on how to make and face a bound buttonhole.

Wool + Mohair Winter Coat by Julia Bobbin
Wool + Mohair Winter Coat by Julia Bobbin

Changes

Before I even looked at patterns, I knew I wanted to make a midi length, oversized suit style coat that could be both formal, or dressed down with jeans and a tee.

This pattern comes with three centrefront front buttonholes as closures. I wanted to mimic more of a suit jacket, where the buttons started lower down. So I REMOVED THE TOP BUTTONHOLE, and slightly modified the angle of the lapel so that it sloped towards the new top buttonhole (originally the middle buttonhole).

I also removed the PLACKET ON THE SLEEVES as I felt the coat had enough detail already. The coating fabric is quite thick, and I didn't want to add extra bulk at the cuffs, or run the risk of it looking messy.

I interfaced the hems of the bodice and sleeves for extra structure and support.

I lined the pockets and pocket flaps with liberty fabric for a little extra detail, and hand tacked the pocket bags to the coat so that they wouldn't fold or move around.

Wool + Mohair Winter Coat by Julia Bobbin
Wool + Mohair Winter Coat by Julia BobbinWool + Mohair Winter Coat by Julia Bobbin
Wool + Mohair Winter Coat by Julia Bobbin


Look Out For

I found step 30, which instructs you to attach the lining to the back vent quite confusing. In the end I pinned it in place and hand stitched it so I had more control and to ensure the lining didn't pull and distort the drape of the vent.

I also hand stitched the vent hems along the centre back to keep them in place before attaching the lining.

The instructions for adding the welt pocket and flap is also a little confusing.
I highly recommend you cut out one muslin pocket and practise on that before trying it in your proper fabric.
The pockets are time consuming and the success relies on precision and patience, so it is worth taking that extra time to establish the techniques if you haven't done one of these pockets before.

Tips For Bulky Seams

Tailors Clapper, where have you been all my LIFE?!!!

I love top stitching, and it's a great way to keep seams flat and neat. But for this coat I really wanted a crisp look without top stitching and I so I asked the internet Gods how to achieve this; they came through.

If you are wanting to get the cleanest, flattest seams then you absolutely have to invest in a tailors clapper.
It honestly made a huge difference to just steam ironing and when you're using thick fabric like this 570gsm coating it's a must.

When steam ironing your seams, you replace the iron immediately with the clapper and press it there for around 5 seconds. The wood absorbs the moisture from the steam and traps the heat into the fabric, rather than releasing the steam and heat into the air.

Wool + Mohair Winter Coat by Julia Bobbin
Wool + Mohair Winter Coat by Julia Bobbin
Wool + Mohair Winter Coat by Julia Bobbin

Final Thoughts

I'm not going to lie, thanks to this lining I've had 'Joseph and his amazing technicolour dream coat' stuck in my head on repeat. I may never be able to squash that ear worm and that's ok, because this coat makes it worth it.

I wanted a long coat, I wanted a warm coat, and I wanted one that would mimic a suit jacket. This coat has ticked all those boxes and I am thrilled that it was successful considering all the time I put into it.
It's another reminder that you never regret taking the time with techniques and fit.

Wool + Mohair Winter Coat by Julia Bobbin
Wool + Mohair Winter Coat by Julia Bobbin
Wool + Mohair Winter Coat by Julia Bobbin
Wool + Mohair Winter Coat by Julia Bobbin
Wool + Mohair Winter Coat by Julia Bobbin
Wool + Mohair Winter Coat by Julia Bobbin
Wool + Mohair Winter Coat by Julia Bobbin
Wool + Mohair Winter Coat by Julia Bobbin
Wool + Mohair Winter Coat by Julia Bobbin
Wool + Mohair Winter Coat by Julia Bobbin
Wool + Mohair Winter Coat by Julia Bobbin
Wool + Mohair Winter Coat by Julia Bobbin
Wool + Mohair Winter Coat by Julia Bobbin
Wool + Mohair Winter Coat by Julia Bobbin
Wool + Mohair Winter Coat by Julia Bobbin