Sunday, 5 November 2017

The Irish Coat - Vogue 8940

Julia Bobbin - The Irish Coat - Vogue 8940
Julia Bobbin - The Irish Coat - Vogue 8940
Julia Bobbin - The Irish Coat - Vogue 8940

Hello handsome!

A while back I made this coat for my husband Robin using  Vogue 8940 . Like many wonderful things in life however, there is a story behind the creation and this coat's story begins over 40 years ago. Intrigued? READ ON!


Julia Bobbin - The Irish Coat - Vogue 8940
Julia Bobbin - The Irish Coat - Vogue 8940
Julia Bobbin - The Irish Coat - Vogue 8940
Julia Bobbin - The Irish Coat - Vogue 8940


ONCE UPON A TIME ...

It was 1974 in a small country town in Ireland, just one year before my husband was born.

My Irish father-in-law, having migrated to Australia in 1967 as a 24 year old, now ventured back to Ireland with his young wife and first born son to visit his homeland.

My father-in-law Geoffrey comes from Newry, a city of Northern Ireland which is 55km from Belfast, 108km from Dublin and one of Ireland's oldest towns.

My in-laws Geoffrey and Verra on their wedding day and yes, they are actually that good looking.

Down a long country road in the back hills of Warren Point was an old Mill with a craft store attached. It was here that Geoffrey and Verra decided to visit.

In a nice little twist of fete they were served by the son of Geoffrey's old neighbour.
Here my mother-in-law purchased four metres of the most beautiful, hand-loomed donegal tweed which would make the journey all the way back with them to Australia.

DONEGAL TWEED is a hand-woven fabric that has been made for centuries in County Donegal.

Donegal produces its tweed using local materials. The wool is sourced from the many sheep in the hills and bogs of Donegal, and the dyes which give the tweed it's distinctive bright flecks of colour are made using indigenous plants such as blackberries, fuchsia and moss.

Isn't that just wonderful?!! In a time when we barely know what's in our fabric, let alone where it came from this fabric is so authentic and resourceful and a little slice of Ireland itself.

Julia Bobbin - The Irish Coat - Vogue 8940
Julia Bobbin - The Irish Coat - Vogue 8940
Julia Bobbin - The Irish Coat - Vogue 8940
Julia Bobbin - The Irish Coat - Vogue 8940


FAST FORWARD FORTY YEARS, a few more babies, some grand babies and a daughter in law (me!!).

I had decided I would make a winter coat for Robin. Dutiful and patient, my photographer has suffered through all of my photo shoots and yet never asked me to make him anything!

Armed with a pattern, I told my mother in law about my idea of making Robin a coat. Struck by sudden inspiration, my generous mother in law retrieved from her stash that beautiful donegal tweed purchased all that time ago in Ireland. Once I had seen the fabric and heard the history, nothing else would do.

THE PATTERN Vogue 8940 is a lined pea-coat with double-breasted fastening, a notched collar, forward shoulder seams and no side seams.

It features two piece sleeves, inside welt pockets and button fastenings on the outer pockets. I love the semi-hidden button fastenings; gives the jacket a subtle sophistication.

I top stitched all the seams which helped flatten bulky seam allowances and give a nicer finish.


Julia Bobbin - The Irish Coat - Vogue 8940
Julia Bobbin - The Irish Coat - Vogue 8940
Julia Bobbin - The Irish Coat - Vogue 8940


We have just been relieved of Winter here in Australia; a season that witnessed this coat in constant rotation.

SEEING ROBIN WEARING IT, and hearing the compliments he gets around town fills me with a satisfied happiness that reminds me that sewing for others is actually pleasurable after all #lessonlearned.

Thanks to Robin for being such a good support and an excellent model. I like to imagine I can hear a slight Irish melody to your voice when you wear this lovely coat.

And lastly, a very special thank you to Geoff and Verra for letting me cut into their little slice of Ireland.

Julia Bobbin - The Irish Coat - Vogue 8940
Julia Bobbin - The Irish Coat - Vogue 8940
Julia Bobbin - The Irish Coat - Vogue 8940
Julia Bobbin - The Irish Coat - Vogue 8940

Friday, 16 June 2017

Old is New - Butterick 5710

Julia Bobbin - Pippa Dress
Julia Bobbin - Pippa Dress
Julia Bobbin - Pippa Dress
Julia Bobbin - Pippa Dress

For those of you who have been following my blog for a while (hi mum!) you may be feeling a case of dejavu!

That's right, this little number was made by me just a short five years ago!

2012 saw William and Kate get married and we were treated to some fashion inspiration. At the time I was pregnant with my first born and so I made this dress and got my sister Angeline to model it for me.

Flash to five years later, and I decided to try it on; it fits!

In honour of Pippa Middleton's recent wedding I thought I would share the NEW pics with ME wearing the dress and give a quick recap for those who are interested. You can find the original review here.

Julia Bobbin - Pippa Dress
Julia Bobbin - Pippa DressJulia Bobbin - Pippa Dress

DETAILS

The Pattern
A Butterick Pattern #5710 that comes with two skirt variations; full length and knee length.
I cut this dress in a straight size 8 and it is form fitting but not tight.

Julia Bobbin - Pippa Dress
Julia Bobbin - Pippa Dress

Fabric
3 metres of the most stunning ivory wool crepe; seriously this fabric is just heaven!
The dress is fully lined and has hand-dyed lace trim along the neck and sleeve hems.

Features
This dress is free of darts and is cut on the bias for a close fitting, flattering silhouette. Wool crepe has just such a lovely weight and when cut on the bias it drapes so beautifully.

The dress is shaped at the waist and has a self-faced cowl for an elegant, romantic neckline.

The subtle train on the full length skirt adds to the dreamy, sophistication of the garment. I styled the dress with a gold leaf crown, which gives off more of a grecian vibe than perhaps an English sophisticate but I think it works either way!

Julia Bobbin - Pippa Dress
Julia Bobbin - Pippa Dress
Julia Bobbin - Pippa Dress

Changes
Instead of closing the dress with an invisible zipper, I used elastic looping trim and 36 wool crepe covered buttons to close. This. Took. Forever. 
I'm glad I took the time to add the buttons as it is such a nice touch and is so visually pleasing.

Julia Bobbin - Pippa Dress
yes I know, the lining begs to be pulled down on the right #annoying
Julia Bobbin - Pippa Dress

I also added the lace trim to the edging before attaching the lining, exactly as you would with piping. The pattern has you add it after the lining is attached, which would mean a line of top stitching along the edge. I think it looks a lot cleaner without.

Julia Bobbin - Pippa Dress
Julia Bobbin - Pippa Dress
Julia Bobbin - Pippa Dress

Conclusion
The drafting of this dress is really fantastic and when paired with luscious fabric such as wool crepe, the effect is one of subtle elegance and luxury.

The dress took around 14 hours and a lot of love to make and not once had an outing. Off to my lil' etsy store it goes in the hopes that someone else might be able to get as much joy wearing it as I had making it.

Also a big congratulations to Pippa Middleton on her recent nuptials; she looked the perfect bride :)

Julia Bobbin - Pippa Dress
Julia Bobbin - Pippa Dress
Julia Bobbin - Pippa Dress
Julia Bobbin - Pippa Dress

Thursday, 1 June 2017

It's All In The Details - Vogue 1542


Julia Bobbin - Vogue 1542

I knew this was going to be a good one the moment I first saw the pattern.

Because shoulder detail.
Because self leaves.
Because bias trim.

Let's just jump straight in!


Julia Bobbin - Vogue 1542
Julia Bobbin - Vogue 1542


DETAILS

The Pattern
This newest make is Vogue #1542 by designer Patricia Jeanne Keay and it's a beauty.

The instructions are are clear and detailed and explain the detailing on the neckline well.

I did a little Internet sleuthing (stalking) to find out just who this new designer is and I found her on Pattern Review under trishapatk and she seems like a thoughtful and lovely lady who loves to sew and has a whole heck of talent!

Julia Bobbin - Vogue 1542

Fabric
As much as I fantasised about making this in red, I'd made somewhat of a promise to myself to use as much of the fabric in my stash as possible and only purchase new fabric if absolutely necessary (hello news years resolution for the past one zillion years)!

So this dress was made using a stunning powder blue 100% wool crepe that I purchased from Mood Fabrics a few years ago.
Seriously though, how decadent is wool crepe? So soft! So drape-y!

Julia Bobbin - Vogue 1542

Style and Features
Fully lined with facings attached on top of the lining for extra support around the neckline and underarms.

A fitted dress with princess seams that flatter and a lovely a-symmetrical flounce along the hem.

For those of you that follow me on instagram you may have seen my post where I um'd and ah'd over whether I should keep the flounce or ditch it for a straight skirt. I love a vintage silhouette and I worried that a flounce might over balance the pretty details along the neckline.

The overwhelming consensus was to keep the flounce and I'm so glad I did! It makes the dress proportioned and just looks pretty! Thanks to those who commented with your advice!

Julia Bobbin - Vogue 1542
Julia Bobbin - Vogue 1542

The indisputable standout of this dress is the stunning neckline!

The soft folds of the shoulder straps adds elegance and style.

Julia Bobbin - Vogue 1542
Julia Bobbin - Vogue 1542
Julia Bobbin - Vogue 1542
Julia Bobbin - Vogue 1542
Didn't realise till later - I forgot to remove the binding stitch on the sleeve ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The delicate leaves and vines hand stitched onto the bodice front make this an unforgettable feature! The individual pieces are machine sewn together and then shaped with hand stitching. Once created they were sewn by hand onto the dress.

I had a little bit of trouble with the loose weave of the wool crepe and had to repair some of the seams on the 'tubes' that split apart, but I really enjoyed the hand-stitching! I love playing with new sewing techniques and the result of this was so visually pleasing and inspiring.

Julia Bobbin - Vogue 1542

Sizing
I cut this dress in a size 12 and when I first sewed the pieces together it was swimming on me! Looking at the model on the pattern cover it's clear that it's not supposed to be super fitted; there looks to be a few cm's of positive ease.

I however wanted more of a fitted look and should have just cut a few sizes smaller.
#alwayssewamuslin

Thankfully princess seams make for easy adjustments! I ended up taking in each princess seam and side seam evenly, removing about 8cm in total but leaving the underarms the same size.

Julia Bobbin - Vogue 1542

Changes
As mentioned above, I did take the dress in a lot but the issue was more with picking the right size as the changes were quite even.

I shortened the skirt by a few extra cm's to suit my shorter frame.

LOOK OUT for the hem length of the lining. I kept looking through the pattern to see if I missed a pattern piece or a step but it appears the hem length is just super short, which I can only assume is an error. Like, it just covers my bum. I would advise adding about 10cm to the length for extra comfort. Before I wear this any where I will add to the hem of the lining for personal preference.

Julia Bobbin - Vogue 1542

Conclusion
I really love the design of the dress and how my version turned out! It has unique detailing that is really fun to play with and it is a lovely flattering dress. And when you've been sewing for a few years it's a real buzz to try something out that you've never done before! A great learning dress with lots of wow factor!

Anyone else ready to try this pattern out?

Julia Bobbin - Vogue 1542
Julia Bobbin - Vogue 1542