Copying a fashion mag pic!

I know, I can hardly believe I’ve learned enough about how clothes are constructed in these past two years that I can now manage to copy something from a picture. Granted, it’s as simple as pie. But still … facings, closures, darts!

Here’s the magazine picture.imag0418

Notice that there are some lumps up by the front button? I’m wondering if that happened as they arranged the fold to hang a little diagonally. I wanted the diagonal fold, but not the lumps.

I had a small piece of fabric (less than 1 and a half metres, I’d say) that I’ve lain countless pattern pieces on, hoping that they would fit. No go. This time I took the piece, held in crossways around my lower torso, and by golly, it seemed just the right size to take a fold and work as the skirt I wanted.

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You can see that in order to get the fold hanging a little bit at a tilt, I dropped the front fold at the waistline a bit. I had to do a little finetuning where I sewed the facing to the skirt, to create a little dip. I aimed for a slight “v” shape. You can still see a white chalk mark that assisted my calculations.

This skirt is a bit of a cheat. I’m not sure whether the original is actually held together with the front button or not. I was figuring out where to place the seam of the tube so it would be hidden in the fold when I suddenly had the bright idea to put the seam at the back. Once that idea came, I realized I could put in a back zip and use the button as a simple design feature. It’s sewed on, through all the layers of fabric. I also sewed a short line of zigzag stitches at the other end of the fold so the whole folded part wouldn’t slide down.

For the back of the skirt I used a wrap skirt I made here as a model. It had four back darts and two side darts. So that’s what I did. Once I had sewn up the darts, I laid the back part of the tube down on some paper, and traced the curve from the CB seam around the side. From there I just continued straight.

The fabric is a really drapey wool blend of some sort. It has subtle stripes woven into it, which you can see if you look really really closely. The colour is hard to capture exactly. It’s actually a grey with a slight greenish tinge to it. It’s going to work with most tops that I’ve made in the last year.

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I like to have a maxi skirt to wear around the house as an alternative to loose trousers. That’s my plan for this one. I’ve been kind of unable to drive anywhere because of snow and icy streets for the better part of two weeks, so I resorted to a nearby dollar store for a zipper. It’s a pretty darned cheap zipper. But I figure that’s okay because this will primarily be a “leisure skirt” for home wear.

Finally, for the first time ever, my plans coincided with a competition! I’m always a month behind or a month ahead of the monthly stitch challenges, but this copy of a design original has been made during Linda’s  (“Nice dress, thanks I made it”) Designin’ December contest. I’m not out to win anything, believe me, but just to participate in something for a change.

Pink hack

In my last blog post, I said I was working slowly on a severe pattern hack. I’m done! It’s Vogue 9193, a Marcy Tilton, top. I made it fairly recently and you can see it here, in case you missed it. It caused me some grief because the batwing sleeve, as drafted, didn’t suit me and I had to make an alteration. I’m pretty happy with the top, but thought it might be interesting to make it longer and use normal sleeves.

That’s what I did. I added 3 inches to the top front and back pieces, which both lowered the waist-with-pocket seam, and made the whole thing longer. I used the sleeveless version of the top and went rummaging through my patterns looking for a sleeve that might work (I don’t know how to draft a sleeve to fit an arm scye). As it turned out, I found an exact match for the arm scye in a jacket pattern. So I simply used the sleeve piece that went with that jacket. It worked perfectly (although I did pinch in the top of the sleeve because I was making this in a knit fabric rather than woven and so didn’t want all the ease). In fact, to be totally honest, I made a toile sleeve and machine basted it in to check the fit before I cut out the sleeves in the “real” fabric.

I had been looking at a turtleneck t-shirt pattern before I did this project, and decided to also make this version a turtleneck. The pattern I was looking at had a turtleneck attached  to the front and back, rather than a separate piece for the neck. Following that pattern, I drew two lines from the neck/shoulder points to create a tube long enough to fold over once.

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The fabric is a piece I picked up at Our Social Fabric for a few bucks. I thought it was wool, but turned out not to be. I expect it’s acrylic. It’s very lightweight and floaty, and has a nice design in the knit (well, I think it’s nice). It reminds me of some kind of old-fashioned knit fabric.

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It has a really cosy look to it, which means I’ll think it’s warm and cosy and wear it a lot. I love the colour. In fact, expect to see a lot of pink in the coming posts, as Our Social Fabric had a lot of it the last couple of months and I snapped up a bunch.

Now on to a skirt I’m sort of copying from a mag picture. Not quite close enough for Designin’ December, I think, but maybe…

Hats and cats

I just noticed it’s been a month since I posted here, and that has largely been because I’ve pretty much hit a wall with regards to sewing. I’ve had to slow down, take it easy,  give myself a break, and whatever other cliche applies! When I really, really couldn’t bring myself to start a new project, I gave myself over to “fixing” some previous makes that, for one reason or another, I wasn’t wearing. That was good!

I’m working on two projects now, but slowly and without pressure. One is a serious pattern hack and the other is an attempt to copy something from a magazine picture. Both allow me a bit more creativity than simply cutting and sewing up patterns, which I’ve done madly over the last few months, having realized I needed a wardrobe, and fast!

In the meantime, I thought I’d share some hat ideas. A few months ago I bought an old hat pattern and have been quite joyfully anticipating making some large berets to match the coats I made last year.

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Pretty cool hats, don’t you think? I have two store-bought berets that I wear. It’s a style I like. I haven’t even opened up the package yet.

Then yesterday I found another hat pattern at a thrift shop. They charged me double what the pattern originally cost, which somehow doesn’t seem quite right, does it?

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I’m interested in the helmet, version 1. I opened the package, checked out all the pieces and read the instructions. There are too many instructions, some of which get complicated. The hat is composed of outer fabric, interfacing for all pieces, lining, and then an inner band which is somehow attached around the edge on the inside and at that point I couldn’t follow. I’m thinking of trying it in a stable knit. It might also look smashing in leather, don’t you think?

Some readers might remember that I sometimes sew head-covers for cancer patients who’ve lost their hair. I started with a padded scarf, which I don’t like at all. Then I tried a snood in two lengths. They did sell (in the hospital gift shop that I volunteer with), though very slowly. As Kate pointed out, snoods drape down and might not look as good on a bald head as on a head with hair. The helmet might work, I thought.

Also, last winter I stopped a woman strolling along the False Creek seawall, to ask her about the headcover she was wearing. It sort of looks like a toque, but is actually a twisted tube. I finally decided, in this fallow period, to give it a shot with a piece of leftover jersey from a top. I made a long tube, then folded it in half, wrong sides together, then twisted the inner layer half-way around and pinned it. I finished it off with a band. It’s interesting, but definitely not my style I think (I don’t look good in toques, or toque-like styles).

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Here’s what the back looks like, and bear in mind it’s open, rather than sewn shut.

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I might bring this in to the shop as a sample and see if there’s any interest.

There’s a really funny commercial on television here, for a website hosting company. It features a fictional entrepreneur who makes hats for cats. It’s really hilarious. I wonder if I should try to make some for my sweetie pie?

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She’s been a holy terror lately. The last thing she did was bring in a live mouse to play with. That mouse is still, two weeks later, in the house! I spotted its little turds behind my fridge and stove as I did a kitchen cleaning. Holy Smoke sleeps part of every night in the kitchen and I know she’s preventing the mouse from moving around much, but what to do???