So the final week is here, and after this I’ll be looking forward to a bit of sewing for myself for a change! Over on the Project Run and Play competition, the final week is always entitled ‘Signature Style’ which gives makers free rein, and is I suppose, a cue to make things you (and the small clients) will love.
With this in mind I made a striped long-sleeved jersey t-shirt with a ruffle collar in soft striped cotton jersey from Minerva crafts for my youngest. The basic pattern is the Rowan Tee from Titchy Threads graded from a size 3 in width to a 6 in height for a slim fit with an added gathered ruffle at the neckline. I finished the edge of the ruffle with a rolled hem on my overlocker(serger) and the neckline itself is bound with white cotton ribbing.
The skirt is upcycled from a grey cotton chambray shirt bought in a charity shop. In order to get as much volume in the skirt as possible from the salvaged fabric I had to sew quite a lot of panels together topstitching each of the sections to keep the finish neat.
The actual pattern for the skirt was just a series of rectangles of fabric, making a gathered skirt with flat front waistband, elasticated back waistband and straps that cross over at the back and fasten with buttons at the waist. I added the embroidered patches to give the skirt a more informal feel. They were embroidered with cotton embroidery thread onto black viscose felt (again from Minerva Crafts). The Bowie inspired lightning bolt is made using satin stitch and the rainbow is just a series of arches in chain stitch.
The military style jacket is self-drafted with a simple shape at the front and a fold detail at the back (inspired by a more complicated folded kimono jacket I made myself a couple of years ago). The main fabric is actually a shimmery metallic linen (Robert Kaufman Essex Yarn dyed metallic linen in oyster) that doesn’t show up so well in the photos, which I paired with some scraps of gold crepe left over from the dress I made in week 3.
The jacket is fully lined with blue grey cotton with gold crepe pieced in at the back where the lining shows at the bottom edge of the fold detail. It has a hook and eye closure and embellishments added in rouleau made from the main shimmer linen fabric.
Making the long lengths of rouleau in metallic linen turned out to be a frustrating process (it frayed like crazy and was stubborn to turn), even using my trusty hairpin method to turn them, but once there was enough I stitched them onto the jacket covering the edges of the applique crepe and adding some extra flourishes. The epaulets were made in gold crepe with a 5 plait detail of linen rouleau. I also added gold sections to the sleeves and for the collar. The sleeves are generous to allow for growing room, but not as generous as they look in the photos. It was a pretty cold, wet day so she was keeping her hands warm by tucking them firmly inside the sleeves!
It doesn’t get much more practical than a warm, waterproof, winter weather, parka coat. It also turns out to be something that seems hard to buy, with RTW coats often being warm or waterproof but rarely both. Sadly my daughter had outgrown the one I made her last year so I knew I needed to make her another, this time large enough to wear over her blazer on the way to and from school. A patchwork, quilted lining and large fur trimmed hood has been a feature in her last 3 coats and I knew she would appreciate the same again. The coat is self-drafted with an outer layer of double-faced cotton, bonded with PUL, so it is waterproof but breathable and a polyester wadding interlining that the silk patchwork lining is quilted to. The main fabric is from Merchant & Mills. There are three external pockets, two flap pockets on the front (one is lined with red silk, the other with blue grey silk) and a zipped patch pocket on the arm.
The patchwork lining was made with some silk scraps, a small amount of fine striped cotton lawn scrap and two second-hand silk shirts that had areas of damage so were no good as shirts anymore. I pieced them to create an interesting, but not too ordered design, keeping some of the original shirt pockets and placing them so as to create useful internal pockets for the coat. The patchwork was then quilted onto polyester wadding with a starburst pattern.
The coat is completed with a fair bit of hardware, triglide strap on the back of the hood, a fur trim (that my machine did not thank me for) and a hand embroidered lion patch for the sleeve.
The volume of the large coat is balanced by the slimline shape of the dungarees, made using Petit a Petit and Family’s Loveralls pattern. The only changes I made to the pattern were to alter the shape and height of the front and back bib to a more traditional design and to adapt the shape of the bib and back pockets. I graded between a size 8 in width and 12 in height. The fabric is a grey/black denim with stretch and it is lined with patchwork fabric I had left over from the lining of the coat. The back pocket design nods to the shapes I used in the patchwork lining in a more subdued way, piecing in triangle and striped sections using the reverse of the fabric. As there is a little extra length in the leg to allow for growing room, I finished the seams on the inside of the lower legs with Hong Kong binding in patchwork fabrics which only show on the turn-ups.
The blouse adds some understated drama with its tiered fluted sleeve. The pattern is self-drafted with a simple boxy shape and button back closure. The blue/grey cotton fabric from my local shop is complemented with pink bias binding on the inside hem finishes which can be glimpsed on the sleeves.
Please head on over to Project Run and Play and check out all the final looks, vote or join the sew along.