Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Zara's Choice

It is Zara's turn again.
(Zara and Elsa jumped quite a few turns at the end of last year and they have been waiting patiently for their 'go' on the rota).
Zara wanted a nice smart shirt and, quite by chance, chose a shirt pattern that I had sewed many many times for my self when she was a baby.
I remember the shoulders were a little wide for my liking, I think I may have added a shoulder pad? (It was the late 90's)
After fitting the side seams ( and tapering the waist quite a bit) it was looking the same on her.
I trimmed the shoulders, front 
and back.
I also pinched an inch from the width of the sleeve.
Zara picked some ombre woven cotton gingham from the stash.
MoP buttons, of course.
A double narrow hem looks neat when the shirt is left undone.
 We flipped the yoke and cut it on the bias.
Just a little bit Country.
Just a little bit snappy.
Perfect for work experience.
Miss Keller had a placement in a primary school.
We added some ease over her hips but may add a little more next time.
She loves it!
I totally love her!

Sunday, June 14, 2015


Elsa has wanted a red trench coat f o r e v e r!
Finally, it was her turn on the rota.
So I made her one.
After trawling through my vintage patterns she decided she really liked the look of this little number.
But with straight sleeves and epaulettes.
We used a beautiful heavy textured red wool and lined it with heavy de-lustered with the two-as-one method used in the instructions.
In retrospect, a bagged lining would have been so much easier and less bulk.
The collar was very well cut, a two piece bias under collar, interfaced on the bias with a straight grain section cut for the neck roll.
After sewing the collar facing in place and trimming, turning and pressing, the garment is tried on, the collar roll is established and safety pinned in position and then hand basted to keep it there!
It sits so nicely!  
At Elsa's request, I hand sewed all the facings in place.
It certainly kept me warm as I stitched it.
The centre back is cut in two pieces but I decided to cut the lining as one and added a generous vent.
I was completely won over by the back neck darts. Such an elegant detail.
The buttons are vintage, silver filagree. I didn't like them but I am very pleasantly surprised with how well they work.
I ran out of cloth and had to piece the tie in three. Elsa did not want a buckle and the joins don't bother her a jot.
They do bother me, exceedingly.
It also bothers me that I over pressed the hem creating a crease.
I want to steam that out but I need to pry the coat off of her.
Because she loves it.
The pockets are fully lined with the purple satin.
Elsa was away on work experience when I sewed this up.

Yes, that is a big a#se python and a cute monkey.
And I completely forgot to add the epaulettes in construction.
Elsa really wanted them so I made up four 'arrows' and hand sewed them in place.
I think we got away with it.
Thanks for popping by!

xx N