corecouture

Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane


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Designin’ Miyake

Here’s a new thing for me although I have watched from afar for a few years: choose a designer garment and shamelessly copy it. Very well organised and the brain child of Linda, nicedressthanksimadeit, there’s still time for you to join in too – and this year there are prizes!

img_6128-e1495776761968“Why buy when you can make it yourself – better and for less money?”
We have all seen something we LOVE either in the stores, online or on the runways, but don’t actually want to buy for some reason.  So I propose that we sew that garment that we see/want.  Now if you are lucky and you already have an exact pattern, either an indie pattern, your own self-drafted, or a “Big 4” pattern, that you can use – then go for it!  If you have to alter a pattern that you already have, or draft your own pattern, you can do that too.  Whatever works for you.  Let’s make what we see and want!
Show us your Designer Original photo and how you put together your Designer me-made COPY.

Here’s my designer originals. Trying to keep in line with the aesthetic of with my A/W “17 O Collection, I went internetting for Issey Miyake and found these.

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If I went shopping, like proper shopping – one top, a pair of trousers and a coat from Issey’s Pleats Please collection would cost me £1,480 (without P&P) or thereabouts. All fabrics are plisse polyester and RTW.

The Oska variations and inspiration are these:

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Hopefully this will be a combination Miyake/Oska outfit: east meets west in my sewing room in Belfast!

So I went ‘our’ kind of shopping and found : green plisse poly on eBay; 3m for £10, along with a crinkle poly at Croftmill for £7 p/m and bought 3. Grand total spent on fabric = £31.

Patterns are already in stash, although some might need a bit of hacking; total spent on patterns = £0

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Thread = £3.48

All other notions/threads/interfacing in stash =£0

Can I get a designer outfit for £34.50  instead of £ 1,500?

Considering that I don’t regard sewing as a chore but rather a pleasure, this should be fun and I’m really keen to see what inspires other people and what they sew.

Deadline for photos is 31 Dec 2017 – it’s a perfect opportunity (excuse) to sew up a new Christmas or New Year’s outfit. As I’ve been wearing the same dress on Christmas Day for years now, I think it’s about time I change it up a bit.

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A/W ’17 O4

Not everything I make is successful or wearable or makes me happy: outfit number 4 of the O Collection falls into this category.

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Tops – Hemlock T . Underneath is brown poly jersey and top one is dark green, knitted jersey.

Scarf – see here. Scroll down

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Trousers – Vogue 9035. Marcy Tilton design.

Fabric is from Fabworks, but is no longer listed so it must have sold out. It is a fairly stiff wool in a brownish/olive/beige Prince of Wales check – and this, I believe, is the culprit. There’s no drape, I didn’t line them hence every time I sit down I manage to ‘bum’ and ‘knee’ the trousers, so that within 30 mins of putting on they’ve changed shape and not in a good way.

Ironically with many items that don’t make me happy, I actually do some nice sewing along the way which makes it even more frustrating.

Instead of making pleats at the hems I sewed up five pintucks of graduating lengths. The trousers finish just above ankle length.

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I added almost perfect welt pockets – they are sewn to perfection.

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But they are only almost perfect because they slant the wrong way! I have to practically dislocate my arm just to put my hands in. Duh!

Anyway – here’s the head to toe: dislocated arms and all……

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Good pattern matching across the legs though.

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I really do like this trouser pattern and I like the fabric, just not together. I like the overall shape which is fitted with a yoke around the upper hips, a neat waistband and fly front opening and then those ovoid shaped legs. The fabric would be much better used as a tailored jacket with a tonne of interfacing or as an unfitted cape/poncho.

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And here’s the principal issue – the baggy bum…..

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On the other hand, maybe it’s my bum that’s the problem and not the trousers!

The trousers will be harvested for the notions and fabric will be stuffed in the obligatory plastic bag until such times that I get round to rethinking a use for it, if ever.

I took great pleasure in making the trousers though; the hemline tucks, the welt pockets, the flat fly front, finished seams and so on, but I won’t wear them. So it got me thinking

  1. Do you sew because you enjoy finding pattern and fabric that are ideal together?
  2. Do you sew because you simply like the sewing process – the challenge and finish?
  3. Do you sew because you want unique clothes?
  4. Do you sew because……….?
  5. What’s your favourite part of sewing?


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A/W ’17 O Collection Add-ons

It’s all very well having a few well sewn and well fitting trousers as part of my O collection (check out the last few blog posts for an update) but they are quite useless without tops. I am in Hemlock T-shirt overload…..

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Enough…….. Blue, grey, mustard, brown, forest green, dark green and I have some burgundy jersey in the waiting room but I don’t think I can face another one just yet.

I can sew up one of these tops in under one hour so please don’t think I’m mega prolific – it’s much quicker than going to the shops or trawling the Internet for a long sleeve T-shirt –  but I got a little bored and sometimes I added a centre front seam, sleeve cuffs, hem band, added little seam details etc etc etc. anything to ring the changes.

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Each one has a complementary scarf (a signature look of Oska) made from leftovers. Some are dip-dyed and some are bleached and some are as they are. Keeping the scarves relatively narrow ( 8-9″) means I can twist two together to create different look.

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Sometimes I cut the Hemlocks large and sometimes I cut them close to get different drapes, fit and looks. It also means I can wear one over another so that the neckline, hem and sleeves show below the top layer. Fabric properties also contributed to the finished look and fit. I’ve used organic cotton jersey, poly knits, poly jersey and practically any other fibre that has been transformed into a knit fabric.

I made a little cropped cardigan (middle pic) with more leftovers just in case I need another top over a top.

However, I do have to say that while I have made a plethora of Hemlocks and ennui is setting, these are the best ever, easiest and most versatile tops I’ve ever sewn.

Out the other side of sewing – I have really and truly completed another knitting job and this time it’s for me.

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Using Knitting Without Tears ; an Elizabeth Zimmerman yoke jumper in moss green with bright green highlights and the blame lies fairly and squarely at the feet of Kate. Drops Angora yarn which is soft and stable.

The sleeves are unshaped because I started with the recommended finished number of stitches and hence I avoided having to think about increasing every 4th row and all that stuff: they sort of resemble a gentle bell-shaped sleeve and one, I personally like.

I couldn’t decide whether I wanted a cowl/high neck or a low/round one so somehow I managed to get both!

The jumper is finished with a simple round neck in the bright green wool. Afterwards, I fired up the round needles again with twin yarns of the dark and bright green and knitted a 2 X 2 rib cowly sort of thing. I started with the number of stitches that the neckline finished with (top view), ribbed a few inches, increased a few stitches to create a flare (bottom view), ribbed a few more inches and cast off.

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I can wear the jumper in its natural state

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I can fold the addition in half and add a Polo neck

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I can add a cowl neck, wearing the looser edge on the outside.

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And when every other bit of my body is warm enough except my ears I can have a head band

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With a little bit of green wool leftover (sorry, I can’t help it) I’m now attempting socks! Honestly though, there are times when buying RTW makes a lot of sense……

In other news, please check out my long distance sewing friend’s brand new website – http://wendykarnish.com/

Wendy takes custom orders for outfits and clothes, makes all her own, of course and develops her own designs. She is now ready to sell some of these unique creations to a very select few lucky people.

I met Wendy in real life last September when she visited her sister who lives in Donegal. We had a very enjoyable afternoon wandering around L’Derry. We had the same lipstick, both shade and make, we ordered the same thing for lunch and we liked the same clothes, styles, colours and everything else. How wonderful to meet someone so like me!


30 Comments

A/W O3

Just bear with me here for a wee minute……….look at these images…….nice?

Used as inspiration for colour matching, co-ordination options, pairings, etc. the Oska website displays images (mostly from nature but not always) that perfectly capture the tones, tints, looks and outfit options for each season. Below – some of the Oska inspiration images.

Normally I would never even consider wearing yellow and green together, although it does occur in nature quite liberally – mind you, it might be better in nature than on me, you can be the judge!

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This is the outfit for A/W O collection, number 3.

While I waxed lyrical about a good hairstyle on my last post, I am only going to the hairdresser tomorrow and it is well overdue. Look beyond please. Additionally, it is half-term here – hooray! These photos were taken at a very empty college by a very obliging colleague. Yeah, us poor lecturers have to work at some time over the holidays.

Patterns and Fabrics

Jacket: Vogue 8430 Marcy Tilton. Made ages ago for SWAP “14 but hardly ever worn so I modified the rather loose neckline on the original to form a collar and provide a little bit of structure.

slide1Fabric is a yellow boiled wool and if I remember rightly was bought in real life from Craftswoman, Carrickfergus. I felted the red/burgundy lines.

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Trousers: Vogue 1550 Paco Peralta.

V1550If you didn’t buy this first time around – get it now! These trousers are brilliant. You will also get the tunic too, so it’s a bargain pattern. Wide-legged in two lengths but you can always change length to suit, with the simplest of constructions; facing instead of waistband, a centre back invisible zip. I did add two in-seam side pockets and changed the front darts to pleats. Firstly, I cut the long length but then cut off the difference for the cropped version and used the cut-offs to make turn-ups. I think cropped trousers always look more finished with a turn-up – like this is the length they are supposed to be and just not ‘too short’.

Fabric: Wool tweed from Fabworks in a lemonish/brownish sort of colour. Possibly too heavy and robust for this pattern as I’m getting knees and bum after wearing for a day – or maybe they should be lined!

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Under top: Hemlock (yes, again!)

Fabric: Green jersey from EmmaOneSock. Delight to sew and is a soy/organic cotton/spandex 4-way stretch lightweight jersey. This is my first time purchasing from EOS and believe me, it will definitely not be the last. The personal touch is part and parcel of your order, immediate dispatch, fabulous choice of fabrics and generally an all round very pleasant shopping experience for even those of you who live beyond the north American border. I bought way more fabric than this green jersey of course just to justify the shipping costs, so stay tuned……

Over top: Vogue 1526 Paco Peralta. Really, really modified:

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I used the jacket pattern mainly for the over sleeves but made this top double layered with all edges and seams enclosed; closed up the centre opening and added cross grain panels for interest and included a very wide neck band that becomes a cowl. Very similar to the blue over-top. Some seams were kept as raw edges. This was inspired by this Oska top

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Fabric: From Minerva. A ribbed knit in dark forest green but is a very loose weave and slightly transparent, which explains the double layer.

 

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Behind me taped on the cupboard doors are my weekly timetables and more importantly – my days off! No wonder I’m smiling!

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I just can’t leave those leftovers alone…..I got a drapey scarf with all raw edges to match the Hemlock.

I’m like one of those flower images except I’m upside down –

Regardless of the colours, I do feel really comfortable in the shapes and style of this outfit. Worn today with Clark’s lace-up tan ankle boots and bad hair (access badge is optional).

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Hallowe’en is getting out of hand in my opinion. Just saying…….


31 Comments

A/W ’17 O2

Sewing like a demon for the last few weeks has produced another outfit for my intended A/W ’17 O collection. This one focuses on navy and mustard but, of course, not limited to these two colours.

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Reversible jacket can be found here.

45wTrousers and Top: Fabric is from Fabworks – a fine checked wool predominantly navy and biege. The pattern is Vogue 9193, Marcy Tilton. The matching top is made from leftovers and is the free Sorbetto. 

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The T-shirt is yet another Grainline Hemlock in mustard/straw coloured viscose jersey from Minerva Crafts.  Honestly, this pattern is perfect with lots of room for versatility and adaption, place any original touches you like and is so easy to wear and sew.

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The scarf is leftover jersey, trimmed and sewn together – all raw edges. Boots are Clark’s, as usual – I hardly wear any other make.

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Hardly any alterations or modifications are involved in this outfit. The only thing is a few belt loops added to the trousers and a thread-through belt for when I want to tuck a top in, provide a little bit of visual interest and disguise the elasticated waist.

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When viewed from afar, the navy check has the appearance of grey, so the reversible jacket can be worn one way or another and still work. I do like the combination of grey and mustard, so I’m thinking this top will go with loads of other items already in my wardrobe.

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You will forgiven if you fail to notice much difference between outfits O1 and O2, apart from colour. This is becoming something of a nagging issue with me in choosing these designs – will my A/W wardrobe just be lots of the same thing? More like a uniform rather than the original and slightly offbeat clothes I thought they’d be.

Anyway, I’ll carry on for a bit longer and see what transpires. Greens next

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Better get stuff cut out and keep sewing then…

Would you prefer to see a complete head to toe outfit or individual pieces, bearing in mind that a lot of the tops are just T-shirts and the trousers are repeats of the same patterns?

Thanks so much for all your encouragement and comments and a big welcome to new followers : I hope you find some little bit of inspiration for your own sewing.