Battle of the stitches: going grey

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For our second instalment of Battle of the Stitches Olu of Needle and Ted and I are joined by Nina from Fliegfederfrei. This battle’s challenge? To make something grey. If you’ve seen many of the projects on this blog (or inside my fabric cupboard) you’d know that this doesn’t pose much of a challenge in itself, so to make it harder the second stipulation was that, as we tend to sew mainly for our children, our grey creation had to be for ourselves. The third and biggest challenge of all was that we must photograph the garment being worn (shudder).

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There are many reasons why I’ve avoided any photos of myself appearing on the blog (even if it is the only way of showing fit issues) but in order to rise to the challenge, and because I so often point the camera at my children, it seemed only fair to hand H the camera and let her take her revenge (the pictures I’ve used were pretty good, but as she couldn’t work out how to see through the viewfinder there were a lot more featuring only the ceiling or my feet!).

I chose to make a bomber jacket in grey silk crepe de chine with contrasting cuffs,  neck and waistband in black cotton ribbing. Initially I looked around for a pattern but didn’t find any I liked. The Rigel Bomber seems to be getting good reviews but I didn’t like the low neckline or the $30 price tag so in the end I resorted to drafting my own. I have always struggled to get a raglan sleeve to sit well in a woven fabric so I decided to use an ordinary sleeve head but move the shoulder seam forward on the bodice to create a similar effect. The pattern worked out pretty well but it is still a long way from being a great jacket. The difficulty of working with this kind of silk shows, with wobbles in every seam. These problems made me decide against adding welt pockets and when it came to inserting the zip, after 2 attempts on the machine, I gave up and sewed it in by hand to give myself greater control.

silk bomber jacket from self drafted patternDespite the wobbly seams (and my irritation with them) they don’t show up so much when worn and the difficulty of sewing with silk is far outweighed by how lovely it feels to wear.

IMG_0136When the grey challenge was set it reminded me of a Twix advert circa 1996. Infamous lines included:

grey quoteI’m fairly sure another line from the advert was ‘grey goes with everything’ – hopefully that includes large abstract/floral prints. On the reverse of the jacket I used a bright print for the front panel only. I couldn’t pattern match the panels as I was using up scraps so there wasn’t much fabric to choose from.silk bomber jacket from self drafted patternFor more creations in grey that are certain to be anything but dull, head over to Needle and Ted and Fliegfederfrei to see what Olu and Nina came up with.

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14 thoughts on “Battle of the stitches: going grey

    1. It is totally reversible -except that I couldn’t find a two way zip the right size so technically speaking the side with the print is the right side and the plain grey is the lining. The zip doesn’t matter too much though as i mainly imagined wearing it open.

  1. Just another one of your makes that I want for myself. I actually prefer the colourful side. But the grey side will go with more things.

    Gosh, I’m so impressed that you made the pattern yourself. Who needs to spend $30? I am actually shocked that patterns come so highly priced, but I really like the Watson Jacket.

    Thanks for making your blog appearance debut along with me. I’s comforting that you did yours on the same day.

    1. Yes the colourful side is my favourite too. As to the appearance debut I’d never have done it without you, but I wonder what you may have unleashed – I may yet turn into a selfie addict.

  2. hi toya, i just wanted to say again that i just love your jacket! i just realized that it is reversible. such a nice feature! and how patient to sew in a zipper by hand. where did you find this amazing silk? this print is gorgeouse! thank you so much for the help with my post. xxx

    1. You’re welcome. The fabric (as always) is from my local fabric shop in Brixton – you can’t beat silk for £5 per metre, so I am very lucky to have it on my doorstep!

    1. Thank you! I have to say that despite all the wobbles I have been wearing all the time – which is always the sign of a successful project.

  3. I really like the colourful side, but I often revert to grey in real life. I find it very calming in the mad, over stimulated world that I inhabit. Its like carrying a bit of dawn or dusk around all day long.

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