I made a version of the long sleeved blouse below about 20 years ago, before I really understood about altering a pattern correctly to fit:
Now I know better - I know how to grade a pattern up to the correct size, and then adjust it for my specific figure. And now I know it's wise to make a muslin/toile, something I never used to do. I was too impatient, and I just thought it was just a waste of fabric.
Out came the rulers and the tracing paper and I traced and slashed and adjusted until I had something that looked right. This was fairly involved, and I'll probably cover it in another blog post. I made a toile out of some old curtains that were in our house when we moved in:
It came out surprisingly well - the fit was pretty good, and just a few minor adjustments were needed, like a wider front facing allowance and so on.
Now for the fabric, which was this beauty below:
I picked this fabric up from Hamid's on Ridley Road Market in Dalston, for the lovely price of £1 per metre. You'll notice that the flamingos are at a right angle to the selvedge, which I thought was weird; surely you'd want them to run parallel to the selvedge? This meant I had to break all the sewing rules and lay the pattern out on the cross grain - I didn't want sideways flamingos!
I said earlier that I used to find toiles annoying because I'm really impatient - I just want to get to the sewing part and then the wearing part! But the toile was really helpful in that it made the sewing go really quickly - all the fiddly bits had been worked out in the practice run, as it were.
Here it is:
There are some really nice little details on the blouse, like pleats in the sleeve head and the tucks at the shoulder:
|Pleats on the sleeve head|
|Tucks running from the front shoulder to nearly the bust|
Once the blouse was done, I was left with a pretty sizable amount; I suppose cutting it crosswise didn't use as much up? I'm on a mission to reduce my pile of stash fabrics, and I had the perfect use for the rest of it: a jazzy lining for my replacement Burda bomber jacket.
|I made version A, but without the unnecessary shoulder/yoke section|
I made this jacket once before a couple of summers ago, as detailed here. I absolutely loved this jacket, and wore it non-stop in the milder months - it was the ideal weight for summer evenings. But in a moment of confusion, it was left on a train - the first time I've ever lost a piece of clothing! I did everything I could to get it back, which mostly involved filling out a Transport for London lost property form, but it was not to be. Someone out there has a custom made bomber jacket; I hope they appreciate it!
Anyway - I'd been meaning to replace it for a while. With the weather improving a little, now seemed the right time. And because I had the previous blog post to refer to, I didn't really have to think much this time round. Here's the finished item, made with fabric from the Textile Centre on Walthamstow Market:
I only deviated from my original version in a couple of places. First, I used exposed zips on the front pockets, rather than the welts I used before:
|Cheeky flamingos peeking out!|
I love exposed zips - so easy, and they look so impressive!
For the second moderation I added a little placket to the front of the jacket, to sit behind the zip. I noticed this piece is usually present on the classic MA-1 bomber jackets and Harrington's, but for some reason is often left off of domestic sewing patterns. I just guess-timated the size and length; I had it stop short of the zip top a few inches, for no reason other than I liked the look of it:
And here's the flamingo lining:
And together with the blouse in all it's flamingo glory:
Again, this has proven to be one of my favourite jackets and I've worn it almost every chance I get. I'm thinking I'll have to make more in other colours, or maybe tackle a satin embroidered version.
I'm off to ponder all of those possibilities - see you soon!