Archive | October 2012

Paper Dolls – Starting the Increases

I haven’t had time to work on my coat today, so I thought I would give an update on the progress of the paper dolls jumper.

This is what it is currently looking like:


I have now done two sets of increases, five more to go and then knitting straight to the underarms.

Capsule Wardrobe – The Coat Lining

Yesterday I worked on the coat exterior so today I made up the lining. The lining was put together in the same way at the exterior:


Then I attached the lining to the coat exterior (please forgive these photos the shiny fabric of the lining does not photograph too well):


I inserted a section of the wool fabric into the lining for the placement of buttons, I thought the wool fabric would be able to take the button holes better and having it on both sides keeps it matching.

I have also managed to add the collar onto the coat today:


All that is left now are the finishing touches. The cuffs, the pocket, the belt and the buttons. I then will hem the coat. I will be busy with work tomorrow so will have to wait for the weekend to finish it off.


Capsule Wardrobe – The Coat Exterior

Yesterday I cut out the lining for my coat so today I have worked on the coat exterior with the aim that tomorrow I can make the lining. As I have said before the pattern is French but comes with some very good pictures so I could follow the pictures to make up the coat.

To start off, the top of the coat is constructed, there are three sections; two fronts and a back. Firstly I sew together the two pattern pictures for the front, this was a nice curved seam so should look good over the bust.


I then repeated this for the second front section. Next was sewing darts into the back section, these were on the middle of the sholder each side. Then I sew the two back sections together:


Next was attaching the front and back sections together:

This meant that the top section was all done. I then attached the bottom sections together, before attaching them to the top:


I took the above picture as a view just under the arm because I am ridiculously pleased with how the four seams come together.

Finally I attached the arms:


The pattern includes adding a collar and cuffs at this stage but I am going to add them whilst attaching the lining because this should then give a nice finish. Hopefully studying will go well tomorrow so I can get plenty of sewing done.


Capsule Wardrobe – The Problem of the Coat Lining

Last week I cut out the exterior fabric for my coat which is part of my capsule wardrobe challenge. Today I wanted to tackle the lining but alas….there were no pattern pieces for the lining included (in all honestly the instruction may have given me a hint as to what to do but they are all in french and I am following the pictures.

Initially I thought that I would just use the exterior pattern pieces, fortunately however I decided to google “coat lining tutorial” and stumbled across Tilly and the Buttons blog which clearly gave instructions for making pattern pieces for a jacket lining. I read through this tutorial and am so pleased that I did because I found out that I needed to extend certain parts of the pattern and make a pleat in the back, it was such a relief that I hadn’t just marched ahead and cut out the lining fabric.

Here are all of my lining pieces cut out:


Tomorrow evening I aim to sew up the exterior of the coat. Then on Thursday I will hopefully get a chance to finish it all off, checking out how successful the lining pattern making has been. Thanks again to Tilly and the Buttons, I did try to comment on your blog but I’m not sure if it worked so if it didn’t please know that I am massively grateful for your post.

Capsule Wardrobe – Cutting the Coat

Today I made a start on my capsule wardrobe challenge. Of the clothing that I have chosen to make the most essential is the winter coat, therefore this is the first item I have started on. I am currently at my parents so I brought along the pattern and fabric with the aim that I would cut out the fabric on their kitchen table.

One of the first problems I came across is that the pattern is in French, fortunately there are a fair few illustrations so getting the cutting layout was okay:


I have cut out all of the pattern pieces from the exterior fabric:


I extended the sleeve by three inches because the pattern has sleeves at just above wrist length, I would like regular length sleeves. I am not going to sew the pattern pieces together until I have got home and pinned them on the talior’s dummy to check the size. I’m home tomorrow though so not too long to wait….all I have to hope is that the pictures are clear enough for me to follow because the only french I know is Parlez-vous anglais?

The Play Mat Bag

A couple of weeks ago a friend asked me if I had any patterns for a bag for a child to keep their toys in, we had a little chat and decided that having a bag that was also a play mat would be really useful. I said I would have a go at making one and then write up the pattern, so here it is.


Main fabric – I used home deco weight for both but I would use a lighter fabric if I made this again for the interior.

Fusible stabiliser

Sew-in fleece

Length of ribbon

Set of gromitts

I started of by cutting out circles, two of the main fabric (although if I was doing a cotton lining I would cut one from the cotton lining and one from the main fabric), two from the stabiliser and one from the fleece:

I made the circles by measuring the smallest width of fabric (which was the stabiliser), it measured 82 cm so Iaimed to draw circles of 80cm diameter so that I could fit the circle onto the fabric. I then tied a pencil to a length of 40cm (half the diameter) string, pinned the string and then drew all around holding the string taut.

Next I attached the two fusible stabiliser circles to the back of the main fabric using the iron.

And then sew the fleece onto the back of one of the main circles (on top of the stabiliser). To ensure that the seams would not end up too bulky I trimmed the fleece from the edge to the stitching:

I then placed the two circles, right sides together and stitched them together around the edges, leaving a gap to turn them the right way out. I trimmed the seam to ensure that it would lay flat:

Then I turned the circles, right side out:

And top stitched around the edge, closing the opening as I went:

Next I added the gromitts, following the instructions on the pack. I placed them by seeing the circle as a clock and placing a gromitt for each number:

Finally I threaded the ribbon through the gromitts:

The above picture is the bag in the play mat position, the child can play with lego or other toys on the play mat and then by gathering up the ribbons, the lego or toys are placed on the inside of a little bag:

Capsule Wardrobe – Matching Fabric to the Patterns

I now have brought all of my fabric for the making of the clothes for the capsule wardrobe challenge, so I thought it would be useful to document which fabrics are for which sewing pattern….especially because by the time I get round to making the last item I may have forgotten which is for which.

So firstly, the staple for a winter wardrobe (and most definitely my first make),

A Vintage winter coat:


I already had the purple wool blend fabric so in Paris I brought the lining which is lemon yellow and the cute floral fabric that I will use to make some fabric covered buttons.

McCall’s Hat and Gloves:


The hat will be made in the same purple fabric as the coat and lined with the lilac fabric that was brought in Paris, the gloves will be made with the lilac fabric too.

Sewaholic Thurlow Trousers:

I have a lightweight grey denim for these that I brought in Paris.

Colette Ginger Skirt:

The fabric for this is a purple cotton type that I brought in Paris.

Colette Peony Dress:


I already had this fabric in my stash, it is one of my favourites so I will look forward to using it.

Vogue V8280 Dress:


This dress will be made in a lilac cotton that I brought in Paris.

Newlook 6674 Dress:

This dress was not in my original plan but when I saw this fabric in Paris I thought it was perfect for the wrap dress.

Colette Sencha Top:

This beautiful lemon patterned cotton was brought in Paris for an unbelievable 10 euros for three meters.

Colette Jasmine Top:


This purple and grey floral cotton was also just 10 euros for three meter.

McCall’s M6284 Top:

Lastly is this McCall’s top, which I am going to make in this purple knit. We went around for ages looking for some knit fabric in Paris but could not find any so looking through my stash I found this…shocking really that I have fabric I have completely forgotten about.


My Weekend in Paris

So I am now back from Paris and thought I would fill you in on the delights of my trip. As previously mentioned last year we went to Paris to watch the racing and whilst there I accidentally stumbled into the fabric district, this lead to me begging to extend the trip this year by one extra night so that I could go fabric shopping. Lucky last year I won 120 euros on the races so I put this to one side for a whole year as my fabric budget.

On Friday we caught the Eurostar, this is me enjoying the Jockey gingerbread man I made along with a glass of wine:


I also took the time to add to the paperdolls jumper, which you can just see behind the foil.

We arrived to a beautiful apartment handily situated about a fifteen minute walk from the fabric shops, so on Saturday I took a stroll up there to uncover some fabric delights, and oh! what delights there were!

I am so pleased that I took the time to plan what clothes I wanted to make and what my colour scheme was, because the sheer vastness of fabric could have overwhelmed me. I’m sure I would have still come home with some beautiful fabric but it would have been random and then leading me to decide what to make.

Anyway here are my spoils from the weekend:

I am very pleased with the fabric and feel everything goes together well. I will take some more photos shortly along and let you know which items of clothing they will become.

On Sunday we then went to the races at Longchamp. I only bet when we go racing and I am not exactly a big spender, I bet a total of 24 euros on the nine races, but very nicely I backed the winner of the main race and won 137 euros, I then had another go in the last race and picked the winner and won another 27 euros! I really had a lucky day, which has lead to S stating that the Arc is my race seems as I picked the 33/1 winner last year and the 40/1 winner this year…I now have a fabric budget all lined up for next year.


Preparing for Paris

Tomorrow I go to Paris (think I may have mentioned that I few times already). I am ridiculously excited about going fabric shopping and have been photographing the back on my patterns so that I can carry the information with me on my phone. Although my focus had been taken by the prospect of fabric shopping, this trip has been arranged to go to the horse racing on Sunday.

Last year I did very well on the horses in Paris and backed the winner of the big race meaning that I very nicely went home with more money than I arrived with…after paying for my holiday bits. Being very sensible I put the Euros to one side and this is now my fabric budget. So in thanks to the horses and jockeys and because I am sure S will enjoy these too…I have made some horse racing inspired biscuits:


The jockeys are meant to sit on the horses, but by the time I had added on their icing jackets they don’t fit…hopefully they’ll still taste nice and give us something to enjoy on the Eurostar tomorrow.