Jacket and Shorts continued

It’s been a while since I’ve written up my sewing…so this is the start of a catch up. Both quantity of sewing and blogging has been low – I think it’s the Covid effect.

I have finally completed the jacket and shorts started for my son’s fiancé back in February . At the last stage I had just posted off the wearable toile of the shorts and a sheet toile of the jacket. Report back on the sizing was that the jacket was perfect ( well it was a boxy one so I hoped required fitting would be minimal) , and the shorts were wearable, but a little bit big round the waist , and ideally a higher waist band would be preferred. The shorts were tried on over zoom to give an idea of the fit

The green wearable toile was worn almost immediately .

So it was on to the actual make. As the fabric was a loose knit it needed to be stabilised and lined .


The jacket actually went together fairly quickly and easily.




Of course the shorts, with a side zip, took longer. I tried to make them similar to the original cotton sheet toile, but slightly smaller on the waist and higher. In the end I decided to treat the side seams as one piece of fabric rather than an outer and lining – just in case I needed to alter the sizing.


Both items were posted off to Manchester. The initial response was that the jacket fitted , but that the shorts were a bit big ! I don’t think 5 months of running training for a half marathon had helped my attempts to fit at a distance!!!! Whilst the claim was they would be wearable, I decided immediately that alterations sounded necessary if they were to be worn.

Revised fitting was helped by a visit to Manchester – a visit planned for when lockdown restrictions were lifted. Seeing the shorts on made life so much easier – and confirmed my suspicion that they needed altering . I was also asked to put some darts into the back of the jacket to create a more fitted waist, and to add a button to the top to hold the jacket closed.

The alterations were turned around in a day once I got home. The jacket again was the easiest – unpick lining side seam, add fisheye darts and resew lining back together. And chose a button from the button tin.


Fdart


The shorts were not much fun. I was really glad I had just sewn up the side seams , but there was still much unpicking, including taking out the side spoil and setting it back in – and much muttering under the breath before the resizing was completed.

And this is when I realise I forgot to take any pictures of the remade shorts before sending them back to Manchester……. Well to be honest, they didn’t look much different from the original ones- and a photo probably wouldn’t show the size difference anyway!

I haven’t seen a picture of Nat in the outfit yet – but I am told the fit is now good.

Jacket and Shorts Stage 1



My next project is going to be a lengthy one, so I’m doing more than one post as it develops.

It’s also going to be a challenge as the make isn’t for me – it’s for my son’s fiancé who’s is about 250 miles away, which would present fitting problems even without the current U.K. lockdown!
The request was for a spring / summer shorts and jacket suit, with the RTW pictures below supplied for inspiration.

Nat is particularly interested in having a pair of shorts that fit her – she has a lovely hourglass figure which is very unlike my straight rectangular frame. I am used to my issue in RTW / pattern alterations which is if the hips fit, the waist is too small, and of course if the waist fits the hips stick out bizarrely! ( if anyone is interested I find that the Japanese Uniqlo RTW trousers are generally good for this shape!)

For Nat I need to do the exact opposite – reduce the waist size. As I am afraid the whole process may be a disaster, my one requirement is to make sure the cost ( fabric, patterns etc) is minimal so that it’s not a. Expensive mistake if it all ends up in the bin…..

So stage 1 – choosing patterns

Luckily I have a lot of patterns ! After a extensive review I found the following:

Seamwork Iris shorts. These have a nice shaped waistband , fitted hips and the looser leg Nat wants.

For the jacket I found a pattern in one of my Burdastyle magazines ( March 2017)

So 2 patterns with no additional cash outlay.

Stage 2 – fabric hunting

Nat lives within walking distance of an Abakhans and found a piece of fabric there which she likes. At £6 it seemed worth the risk, although it is not boucle ( as the RTW suits) and with the level of stretch plus a very loose weave it will require lining.

Nat also had a small amount of fabric left over from a dress she had made. It’s a pale green medium weight poly of some sort which she also posted down to me as I had said I would try making a wearable toile of the shorts first. So zero cost on that fabric.

Of course, having bought the cream fabric , what pops up on one of the fabric sellers I follow? …… very reasonably priced boucle. With some concern over the stretch in the cream fabric I decided 15. For 3 metres the peach boucle was a good buy.

Stage 3 – toiles and fitting

The first toile – shorts made in cotton sheeting – was completed at the very start of this year, and felt tip lines drawn for alterations


Marked waist adjustment

The changes have been transferred to the wearable toile and made up into pale green shorts.


Fingers are very firmly crossed that these might fit! I have left the hem of the shorts unfinished as I am unsure about length required.

A first sheeting toile has also been made of the jacket. Seam allowances have been added only where seams were required for toile purposes ( ie shoulder seams, armhole seams and side seams) for fitting purposes.



Stage 4

The green shorts and the jacket toile will now be posted to Nat. A zoom call will be set up to assess fit and I think I’m going to have to get my son involved with a felt tip pen to mark up alterations to the jacket! I can then hopefully use the toile to set about cutting out from the intended fabric. The next post will cover how well the items fitted and the next stages.


Woven tops

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I decided to keep it simple and concentrate on the two patterns I had already made – the Seamwork Akita and the Grainline Scout Tee.

The result is -lots of tops!

So the final make tally

Scout Tee : 4

Akita top : 4

Its a draw! ( though I do have 2 Scouts I can add from my wardrobe)

and here they are

Scout Tees

Blue and white flower viscose

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white cheese cloth

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Multi coloured paisley viscose

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Blue cheesecloth

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Akita tops

white bordraise anglais

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White cheesecloth

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Teal in something drapey from the stash

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Blue – poly?

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So  I’m pretty pleased with my output vs plans and ready to pack

Woven tops – what to make?

I have been looking  for inspiration for quick and easy lightweight woven tops.

Why  woven ? I want to make them in a lightweight cotton or viscose to be cool in a hot humid climate.

Why quick and easy? I need a few by early 2020 as I’m off to Sri Lanka for a holiday

This also means I want to follow the suggestion of a more modest style to be sympathetic to the local culture, so ideally with short or capped sleeves. This definitely rules out the numerous Ogden tees I made this year, and whilst the SOI camis which I also wear sightseeing in Europe may be suitable on occasion, they are not ideal.

The first pattern that sprung to mind was the Grainline Scout Tee.

I have already made a few of these , and it certainly fits the required criteria. I also found an option to ring the changes by adding petal sleeves.

Then I also found a number of blog posts praising the Seamwork Akita top. I subscribe to Seamwork but this was not a pattern I had previously decided to download. It did however look very straightforward – it is one pattern piece only!

My plans are to make tops primarily in a blue and white palette to go with the shorts, culottes and skirts I am packing . Hopefully easy mix and match wardrobe for travelling, and sightseeing which will include towns, temples, walking and safaris.

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All the fabrics above are ready and waiting in my house.

I have made a start and have completed 2 tops – one from each pattern. The Scout Tee has once again turned out well. The only modification I make to this is to shorten it slightly as I am only 5’ 2”.

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I decided to make the Akita out of the white broderaise anglais ( which is an off cut passed down to me by my mum. I have the suspicion the fabric is probably 50 years old!) . It did not have enough length for the single piece Akita pattern piece, but I saw that another blogger after making her first Akita modified her second by creating a shoulder seam. I am pleased with the finished Akita top. It gives some arm coverage, and with the front bust darts there is a bit of shaping.

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Other  modifications I needed to make to the pattern were

1. I shortened it slightly ( as for the Scout Tee)

2. I adjusted the position of the bust darts. The points were too low for me . This is not a standard adjustment I make ( if anything I would often need to lower the bust apex point in indie patterns)

You should also note if you consider making this top that whilst the one piece pattern makes it a really quick easy sew, it’s not particularly economical on fabric layout as you need length but not width of fabric .a result  Alos importantly – this means that any directional pattern is upside down on the back , so think carefully before cutting. This can of course be overcome by the simple addition of a shoulder seam as I have done.

So the fact that I already own both of these patterns at no cost has tipped me towards making up these, but if anyone has any suggestions for other patterns that fit the criteria – even slightly more complicated so they have a bit of added interest value, – please comment with your suggestions below