Made by Me!

Monday, 27 January 2014

The peplum progresses!

It has been pretty busy at work and at weekends recently so my sewing has been restricted to evenings – which at least in January means as I don’t go out much during the week if I’m not too tired I can cram in an hour or two before bedtime. Plus it helps that my boyfriend is currently addicted to Borderlands 2 so I can sit uninterrupted sewing my heart out. I don’t know about you but because my sewing space really is so small it over flows into the lounge and it’s sometimes hard to get going on things when you feel you are taking up space in a communal area. He never complains (apart from when I leave the odd pin on the floor for him to find...) but sewing can be a bit of a messy business – especially when I really get into it. Anyway I digress. Essentially this week has been my week of progress on my peplum top because basically I can't afford to go out! I have sewn the top together and done the peplum. I have fiddled slightly with the front of the peplum because it wasn’t falling in a way that looked flattering when I tried it on but now having sewn it to the top I am not sure I made it better or worse! I spent ages with it on my dummy fiddling and moving it around… we will see when it’s finally finished! I am now at the point where I need to insert the zip and then sew in the sleeves.  I don’t like the sleeves in the pattern so I decided to change them to a tulip sleeve. Excuse the awful drawing but I thought I should show how easy it is to do. And this is the first time I did it so it cant be that difficult!

Firstly using your favourite sleeve pattern - or the one from the pattern you are sewing - select a point half way down the sleeve cap on one side and then draw a slightly sloped line to the bottom opposite corner of the side sleeve seam. I used a french curve to get a mildly sloped line. You can mess about with the position of the point on the sleeve cap to create a full or not so full sleeve cap. My version is slightly fuller and will result in a gathered, slightly puffier sleeve cap.

Repeat the same procedure on the other side of the pattern piece as per the illustration - making sure the marks are at equal points on both sides of the sleeve cap - and then using tracing paper trace both of the pieces separately so that when you cut them out you have two separate pattern pieces.

Pin the pieces on the fabric with the grain line as per the original pattern piece - generally vertically pointing up towards the sleeve cap. Cut the fabric out - depending on how large you want the sleeves you can add seam allowances. Sew the seams together on the short sides, right sides together, and open the seam allowance and press, then hem the bottom of each piece with a small hem.You then need to assemble the two flaps together at the sleeve cap. I just hand basted the pieces together at this point to keep them together and then hand basted some stitches across the cap of the sleeve, pulled them to gather the sleeve and tested it on my top on the dummy. Do a mock up first.... this is something I didn't do but it did work pretty much first time.

I started off drafting it large but thought it looked a little weird with too much of a sleeve – a little bit like a retro throwback to the eighties and I don’t channel that decade well - so I chopped some of the fabric off and re-drafted the pattern pieces. This is a mock-up of the smaller size on the dummy. You can have the overlapped section going backwards or forwards just make sure its the same both sides!!

I think these sleeves look cute, aren't as restrictive as the ones in the pattern and just suit the pattern and fabric much better.They definitely suit thinner fabrics rather than sturdy ones I think.

On to other things I have decided that to concentrate my sewing and the blog that I want to fully get to grips with coats and take on a few challenges before I move on to another item of clothing. So in order to do this I have chosen three coat patterns to complete, all of which I think are very different in style and have new elements I haven’t sewn before; thereby increasing my sewing knowledge ever so slightly. I also want to sew them in various different fabrics to stretch myself. And the one good thing is you can’t use tana lawn for a coat so I really have to find something else to use!
The first pattern is obviously the starlet which I hope to start this week as my muslin fabric arrived today! Yippee! Then I want to try the Rigel Bomber from Papercut Patterns as its super cute! I think this would be lovely in a soft patterned silk. The other pattern is a Burda magazine pattern from 2010 called the Illusion jacket. It’s currently on the front page of their website and I just keep staring at it every time I log in.
So in the end I will have made something fitted and hand tailored, something with delicate fabrics, ribbed sleeve openings and welt pockets which are new to me and a mixed fabric coat which I think probably looks easier than it is. I would like to use thick jersey on the arms – a new fabric to me and a thicker wool fabric. I am hoping by sewing all of these that it will really help me to master jackets before I move on to another piece of clothing.
See you soon!

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