Tuesday, December 12, 2017

A pair of Tremont Jackets

This is a fairly easy pattern from Linda Lee and The Sewing Workshop: The Tremont Jacket.. I usually find that I need to do too many pattern modifications to get a good fit for me for this type of garment.  However, I gave this one a go for a day long class at Sewcial 2017 winter workshops in Michigan and I ended up really liking it!


I needed to make a item for the ASG Chicago Chapter sewing challenge. The theme this year was all about sewing Green. I had this fun knit from Emma OneSock that fit the bill for the color and decided to sew it up for the challenge. My original plan was to make it reversible but i really did not like the look of it! To me it just looked like one side was the right and one side was the wrong... I have seen many garments made this way and worn reversible and I honestly never like how they look. 

At the same time as this was happening, my daughter asked if I could make her one as well. Due to her stature, I had to take some length out, as well as take it in in some areas. The longest part about sewing up her version was deciding how to place the plaid design. As you can see in the photo below I alternated the direction of the black and white stripes for the front.



Here are some additional details on the version I made for me. The front band is cut on and just turned and sewn. There is a side split and all the corners are mitered, making the inside nice and tidy and eliminating bulk.
I added a little bit of shaping at the side seams just to make it fit me better. I did not overdue it, otherwise I would have needed a bust dart and then the entire silhouette would have changed. 
Here it is on me... I have since changed the button to a black one- see the very first photo.  This green one just bothered me a bit, stuck out a bit too much on this side of the fabric. I also lowered the button a little bit. For this type of garment I really dont like the button to be right smack between my boobs! And that single green button was like a beacon...LOL!

In this last photo you can see the differences between the one I am wearing and the one for my daughter. The overlap is in the other direction and it is overall an inch and a half shorter.

I am thinking of futzing with the sleeves a bit. The folded back and tacked cuff is nice but in my textured knit is feels a little bulky. I will have to wear it a couple more times and maybe pick out the stitches tacking it up and seeing if I like less bulk. and the 3/4 length sleeve versus this half length.

The Princess and I spending time together! I took her to get a Christmas dress and shoes and we a great adventure together :) However... no Santa pictures! She wont touch that with a 10 foot pole!!

I am off on Holiday to London and The Netherlands so check my Instagram feed for holiday photos! You can find me on Instagram as Siouxzeegirl. 
Happy Sewing!!


Friday, December 8, 2017

A tale of 2 tee's! Islander Easy V and Cashmerette Concord

Late this past summer I played around with 2 different tee shirt designs. I have my all time favorite tee shirt pattern, which is my highly modified Jen Stern Designs- The Tee. I love this tee I have endless variations that I can make and it fits and looks great. The only downside is that it has a bunch of pieces to it. (which is why it fits so well!)

I was and continue to be on the quest to find and fit a Tee that is a super breeze to put together and has only 3 pattern pieces; front, back and sleeves.
Modified Easy V on left and Modified Concord on the right.
This fabric is very thin and clingy.
The back of the modified V is just not good. lots of drag lines.

Enter in 2 new patterns:
1. Islanders Sewing Systems- Easy V express. This has an interesting neckline AND my main reason for using it was that we had a summer challenge (which sort of fizzled out) for the Haute Couture Club of Chicago to make the Easy V express. I'm always up for a challenge and the pattern was for sale at the HCCC June banquet. I always try to be a good group participant so I decided to play along.
Close up of the neckline of the Easy V.
Has a pleat that starts in back neckline and comes around to the front.

2. Cashmerette- Concord T-Shirt I purchased this pattern when it first came out. Mainly because I really wanted to be supportive of this Indie pattern company who designs for woman with curves! I liked the options for different lengths, sleeves and necklines.
Easy V on left Concord on right

Round 1: bad, so bad. So bad that I didn't even take pictures...
Let me start off by saying that I took my measurements and cut the corresponding size per the patterns charts and made my first mock-ups and they were both just awful. (Hence why I draft my own patterns from my master patterns.) The Easy V was way too big and boxy and the Concord strangely enough was too tight around the middle and weird across the upper chest.

Round 2: better but not perfect.
For the Easy V, I took my master knit pattern and grafted the neckline of the Easy V to it. Basically this meant it had a bust dart slightly different armhole and was narrower across the upper chest/shoulders. I basically kept the same back (due to the neckline construction) and just modified the back armhole slightly.
For the Concord, I basically just took my master sloper and used the neckline shape. SO a bust dart was added and armhole slightly changed. Plus I used my back master.

Modified Easy V on left and Modified Concord on right
Both now have a bust dart.
Round 3: hasn't happened yet! My plan was to add the 2 tees to my closet rotation and decide over time which I liked and which I dont. Then, pick one and make some final tweaks.
Somehow August has turned to December and I am now just thinking about this again. I just did not have enough interest at the time to push forward with it!

My final thoughts....

  • this knit fabric, while cute, is just too thin for my likes and would be best suited for a very loose fitting garment or underneath layering pieces. (I've had it for years in my collection and glad I have finally used it)
  • I like the scoop neck version with this fabric layered with a linen summer vest.
  • There are no perfect patterns
  • I have become a fitting snob
  • I doubt I will ever make the Easy V again. I just dont like the way the neckline looks on me.
  • I need to just go back to my master and play with necklines that I like.
  • I really like the scoop neckline that I took off the Concord.
Happy Sewing and Happy Holiday Season to All!

Celebrated my Son-in-Laws birthday with a lovely lunch
 and a performance of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra playing
 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. What a treat!!
Can't wait until the Princess is old enough to participate :)



Friday, December 1, 2017

In The Sketchbook- November 2017

Welcome to In the Sketchbook, a monthly look at fashion design sketches that we are working on for ourselves. Sketching garments on a personal croquis is a great way for the individual couture enthusiast to move beyond the use of commercial patterns and into a world of personalized design! It can be intimidating at first, but with a little bit of practice it becomes something you look forward to. Join us for a look of what we have going on In the Sketchbook! Brought to you by Wendy Grossman of Couture Counsellor and Steph King from Siouxzeegirl Designs.


Winter in Chicago means that the 2017/2018 Chicago Lyric Opera season is upon us. My dear friend Wendy and I are attending 4 Opera's this season as well as some other cultural events. We both had outfits for the first two performances and have two more coming up. Both are on Saturday evenings and we quite like dressing up!

The 4 sketches that I have here are my favorite of my group of sketches. One of them needs to include lace (sort of our own challenge to get us to work with some of the beautiful laces we have acquired!) 

The first 2 sketches incorporate lace into the designs. The first one pairs a beautiful multiple shades of blue floral guipere lace skirt with a Blue fancy tweed equestrian inspired jacket. 


The second one (which I have drawn several times in trying to convey my vision better) is more of a 1920's inspired empire style gown. The pink is a much more vibrant color than what I have shown. The idea is that the top and underskirt are in a brilliant pink silk dupioni and the over-skirt and sleeves are in a beautiful black mesh lace with pink and black embroidered roses. There is also the opportunity here to add some embellishment along the empire seam with beading or possibly appliques of the roses.


The last 2 are non-lace but made of some of my fancy fabric from my collection. The first of these really plays with lines and layers and sort of reminds of a flowering bud. There still seems to be a little bit of a disconnect between the lower half and the upper half of the design. I need to play with it a bit more to make it more cohesive... I have 2 gorgeous fabrics in mind for this. One on a black and red and another in a pink and green and both are reversible.


The second outfit is a pants set. These are intended to be wide legged and very soft with possibly an overlay in silk chiffon with the sleeves being the same overlay materials and an architectural asymmetric collar and neckline with the body of the jacket/top to be out of a black/red printed jacquard.

This month I will be spending some time in London and the Netherlands and am excited to bring along a travel sketchbook for inspiration!

Make sure to stop by Wendy Grossman of Couture Counsellor to see what lovely sketches and ideas she is working on. Please feel free to share your sketches and ideas!