corecouture

Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane


8 Comments

Do Ya like Dawgs?

There’s sewing for yourself, which is the best: there’s sewing for others, which is nice: then there’s sewing for dogs!

ss3611855_-_photograph_of_brad_pitt_as_mickey_oneil_from_snatch_available_in_4_sizes_framed_or_unframed_buy_now_at_starstills__56703__62940.1394506183.450.659

Brad Pitt in Snatch: “Do ya like dawgs?”

Now, I’m not a dog-person; I like the things well enough but having never owned one, I suppose I don’t truly appreciate the two-way love, affection, friendship and inter-dependability that goes along with ownership. However, I do understand the bond between owner and animal.

 

 

A few lengths of polar poly fleece (machine washable!) and some fat quarters of Kaffe Fassett quilting cotton and  you too can make the dog-lover in your life very happy – not to mention the dog!

Four dogs and a cat…..

DSCN7460

A dog lover recently told me that dog blankets should coordinate with the colour of the dog so that cast hairs are not so obvious. And that they get dirty easily, so that machine washable requirement is a necessity.

These are really useful items to protect your sofa, other people’s sofas if you’re visiting, car seats and a soft, comfy base for any basket, carpet or fireside mat.

Here’s Luna’s –

DSCN7461

Luna is not actually blue and magenta but her’s was the prototype and made with fleece that was already in the house.

Then Pedro – a golden labrador and while only a pup right now will grow much larger, so this is the biggest at about 75cm X 100cm.

DSCN7465

Then a double dog blanket for Bella and Lulu, in natural colours.

DSCN7467

And because I have a cat – one for Eddie

DSCN7463

Take some quilting cotton, cut into 5″ squares and draw the letters for the dog’s name. Cut around the letters with pinking shears; place upon one layer of fleece about 3″ from the edges and zig-zag in place. Personally I like my random mix of capital and small letters and the somewhat wonky placement. You could always take more care if you wish.

Cut another layer of fleece same size as the first; right sides together, stitch around three sides. Turn right side out, fold in the raw edges of the fourth edge and sew closed. Job done!

You could always add some large hand made blanket stitches around the edges for that extra finishing touch. Even add a layer of batting for extra comfort but be sure to catch the batting in the side seams to hold it in place.

DSCN7469And don’t ever forget your label because although the dog may have a personalised, couture and unique blanket – you made it!

Orders taken…………..name and make of dog, size and colour. POA.

 

Advertisements


10 Comments

BOGOF

I’m always far behind with the fashion trends – this particular one by 4,000 years!

The Japanese have kimono, the Americans have poncho and the Northern Europeans have Bog Coats – all of them are the simplest of shapes, straight line cut, easy sewing and minimal waste. I suppose in the days when you had to weave your own fabric you certainly weren’t going to cut it up and throw most of it away like we do today.

aw15libe1041000bI picked up a few metres of vintage Varuna Liberty at a craft fair recently – a fine woven wool in a long ago colourway. The design is still available but not in wool although in new and now up-to-date colours: called Deborah.

My particular colours are  maybe not something that I would necessarily choose right now but at a very cheap price and with the Liberty pedigree I couldn’t resist.  I didn’t want to use it all in one go, so some went on the bog coat, some went to a sewing friend and 1/2m leftovers went to stash box.

I could go into detail here about how to make a bog coat but quite honestly loads of other people have done it before me and probably much better than I could. Here’s a few links to what I picked out as the easiest and best –

Threads PDF with clear instructions, tips and ideas –

Video with construction technique –

How to weave your own (if you have a loom) –

Mine turned out to be more dressing gown than coat so that’s what it became – a lightweight gown for early autumn mornings.

DSCN5851

I added two ties at the side for a wrap-around and cut off 2″ from the hem for a binding at the open edges.

DSCN5853

Front seam that is the extension of the sleeves and edge binding – sewn with the overlocker.

V8888And the Buy one get one free? – Two nightdresses, one to match the bog coat and one to match the other one.

Vogue 8888 made with some ‘beige’ cotton jersey that never got dyed or made into an Alabama Chanin masterpiece. There comes a time in a woman’s life when only natural fibres will suffice for sleep – and when you have to throw the duvet off in the middle of the night you at least want to keep some decorum while tossing and turning all sweaty and hot.

One nightdress has some spare Liberty fabric, cut on bias, for bodice and straps, the other has some brown lace left over from my foray into bra making.

DSCN5852

DSCN5861

All the seams are machine sewed and semi-flat felled, in that I just pressed the seam to one side and top-stitched it in place.

DSCN5859

I finished both with picot edging around the armholes and back. And both have extensions on the hem to lengthen them and continue the colour trim theme – Liberty edge on one and brown lace on the other.

The thing about the bog coat is that not only being easy-peasy to cut and sew, and leaving no detritus in its wake, it’s as versatile as it is old. You can make it in any fabric, add trims, embellishments, fastenings, pockets; you can make it any length depending on your fabric availability and the sleeves can be as wide as you want. It is generally made on the lengthwise grain of the fabric so try to use one that is 60″ wide to give yourself the full width to play with, this should be enough for full length sleeves.

h2_1996.134.1

Balenciaga

kellycoatdiagram

Kelly

Balenciaga dipped his toes into bog coat philosophy in the 1960s with his one seam coat and this Patrick Kelly pattern for download (thanks to Pattern Vault)  for a 1980s version.

Issy Miyake also developed the one seam, straight cut coat into his famous cocoon coat 1976.

images

Miyake

If this idea takes your interest I would also encourage you to take at look at Well-Suited and the Erte take on the kimono.
DSCN5854

Just goes to show you – there’s really nothing new….


30 Comments

Pattern Whisperers Wanted and a Bag

Our kid wants a bomber jacket to match his Big Bang quilt. Must be navy, in quilted fabric and look like this –

cover_2814224k

Apparently, no other variations are tolerable.

I have 3m of navy, quilted poly (yuk) with a % of spandex, a very long zip and matching thread – all I need is the pattern.

81_5090_008_ZB01

So off you go….a men’s jacket pattern please that doesn’t cost the earth and your recommendations and advice if you’ve already made it. Teenage son is 6’6″ (1.96cm), very broad shoulders and extremely fussy!  Much appreciated in advance.

Now something for us girls……

For my recent trip away which was only for four days and i carried only cabin luggage my packing and luggage had to meet the restrictions of security and EasyJet.

Cabin luggage must not exceed
Maximum size of 56 x 45 x 25cm including handles and wheels or else they’ll charge you an extra ££ for hold. Imagine having to pay £30 because of a couple of extra inches!

All cosmetics and liquids etc must be under 100 ml and stuffed into a plastic freezer bag.

Plastic-Bag-Freezer-Bag-Food-Bag-JFZB-1-

You can bring liquids in your cabin baggage as long as:

  • they are stored in containers no bigger than 100ml and;
  • carried in a clear, re-sealable plastic bag with maximum dimensions of 20 x 20cms.

Each passenger can carry a maximum of 1000ml (e.g. 10 x 100ml). You’ll need to present your bag at security and you may be asked to dispose of liquids that do not meet these requirements.

Does anyone else see the futility of this rule? I mean, a beautiful hand sewn quilted, double walled cosmetics bag with a zip is obviously much more secure and pretty than a flimsy plastic bag which can be ripped as easily as, well, a plastic bag.

a1a01dd63503ffc5ec125ee88f6791b5

Who would want to destroy such a thing of beauty, that someone (maybe your mother) took the time to choose the right fabrics and then sew them all together? A plastic bag – who cares? Anyway, I needed to fly, so I complied with the plastic bag aesthetic, but rest assured, with intense indignation.

In our house we have suitcases –  a giant sized one that holds enough for a family of three for a fortnight, a weekend sized one adequate for two, even my mother’s 1960s honeymoon blue Antler;

$_86We have carry-all bags that are great for weekends away when you drive to the destination;

523ce8381f35266423b62f75bb609675We have one night only sized bags – enough for a toothbrush and pair of knickers. But did we have a bag that is big enough but not big enough, for a few days away? No.

Best solution then was to make one.

DSCN5579

The pattern is designed by my quilting class teacher – Yvonne. It’s called the Aomori Bag which is a city in Japan. On the Quilter’s Quest website the patterns are not listed but if you really want this then just contact Yvonne and I’m sure she’ll be more than pleased to post it to you.

Measuring a perfect 15″ X 21″ X 6″ it is within an inch of the current limits and because it’s fabric and soft, can be squeezed and moulded to fit the cabin luggage requirements.

This is genuinely the first ‘real’ bag I’ve ever made. I have sewn a few others  here and here – but this one had to withstand the rigors of travel along with the so-called traditional female efforts of over-stuffing and so-called traditional male efforts of airport security. It has metal feet, a reinforced bottom with gussets and straps, a zip and loads of pockets.

DSCN5584

DSCN5426

I was surprised by the number of pieces: most of which are lined and so doubles the cutting and fabric and sewing. I choose LIme Twist fabrics from Henley Studio Collection simply because I wear so much grey that I hoped this would travel well with me anytime and anywhere.

As I was intending to walk through any international airport in the world with this bag and I would no doubt probably be distracted by duty-free shiny things  (me being female and all) I included a zip for personal security (not in the pattern) so I had to make a gusset. I just used the bottom pattern piece as a template, added some seam allowances for the zip and voila, a zip closure. Best advice I can give is to not overthink this – it’s not complicated, unless you make it so. Same size as template plus 5/8″ for the zip in the centre and the L and R seam allowances on the edges.

DSCN5585

As usual, I hate to not use leftovers, so there was a bit of editing involved with the original pattern. I added pockets inside and out and even used the cutouts from the bottom corners to make a zip pull.

DSCN5580 DSCN5582

One side has elasticated pockets to hold bottled water etc and the other has plain, straight versions to hold folded over Burda magazines.

I also added two lengths of straps – a short and a long for variation, primarily to use up the scraps and secondly to make me look stylish, no matter what the fashion – low slung or under arm – I’m ready!

DSCN5591 DSCN5593

The result is that my bag made it through security although I was subjected to one degree less than full body cavity searching.

Really? I look like an international terrorist to you? I actually want to carry hand-made quilted cosmetic bags instead of plastic ones – doesn’t that tell you enough?

HOUSE OF CARDS

Whoops! that’s not actually me….but I dress really well.

BTW –  Just finished summer reading of The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood – so might just be feeling a little bit trod upon and need to re-assert myself.

thehandmaids-tale

Edited to add: I forgot to mention what I managed to pack into the bag – mostly from the Merchant and Mills Workbook:

2 pair trousers (Strides and grey linen pair)

2 jumpers

1 cardigan

4 sleeveless T-shirts (Bantams)

1 long sleeved T-shirt (Curlew)

1 pair shoes

1 jacket (Haremere)

1 shawl and 1 scarf

6 pairs of knickers (in case of emergencies), 2 bras

2 pair of socks

Plastic bag of makeup and cosmetics


46 Comments

Fabulous Fabric Comes with High Expectations!

This is a quote taken from Sewing Elle and how right she is. Elle took a fabulous Oscar de la Renta fabric and made an even more fabulous coat with it.

I took a fabulous patterned silk and made an OK dress with it.

DSCN5242

There were challenges – only 1.8m and 55″ wide: had to have sleeves, no zips or heavy closures, and try to use every last scrap of fabric.

You all came to the rescue with suggestions galore – from kimonos and kaftans to hankies and cushion covers! We ran the whole gamut of clothing and everything inbetween.

In the end I settled on Vogue 8870 mainly because I have it and made it before – a mock wrap bodice with little fluttery sleeves and a swishy gathered skirt. I had no intention of doing the mullet hem BTW.

V8870

V8870

I cut the sleeves 3″ longer than the pattern and then didn’t have enough fabric for the skirt! I had considered making a skirtless dress but didn’t think that would work too well! So I evened out the top and bottom edges of the remaining fabric and sewed a tube. This was then attached to the bodice – flat at the back to match the design, but folded into a pleat at the front to match the mock wrap bodice.

I made a little casing for the back to hold a strip of elastic which just adds a gentle gathering and some shape for my waist.

DSCN5303

I added some hooks and eyes at the ‘wrap’ point and with only enough fabric left for one waist tie, sewed the single tie to the front and this then wraps around my waist and loops through on itself to stay in place.

Slide1

The dress has French seams throughout. Want to see it?

DSCN5290

DSCN5291

See, no real wrap. No fear of the front falling open in this dress.DSCN5289

DSCN5294

And you didn’t think I throw away the little scraps now did you?

DSCN5278

A pair of lacy thongs and a bangle wrapped in scraps.

DSCN5293Thank you for all the suggestions – you’re the best!


35 Comments

Patchwork Clothes

When you hear that phrase, what do you think of?

Tree huggers and hippies? Charlie Chaplin and the Kid?

images sjff_01_img0266

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maybe the 1970s –

9e600d96dcda99d5376991456366b9df c8c204cabfda34e2bfafbca779f9c7b3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Late ’90s flirt with bohemia –

vtg-90s-patchwork-silk-india-floral-hippie-dress-jacket_130477826690

YSL and Giorgio Sant’Angelo again 1970

d6b82a5d665ae9865d7e8ed9742c8143

6a01156f47abbe970c014e8be876b5970d-800wi1970spatchworkprinttietop1_grandeCertainly colourful, flowing, full skirted and wide bell-bottomed trousers – oh the things we wore!

Everything comes around and this year, patchwork is back! Albeit a little more refined perhaps and with a 2015 price tag.

d7-1024

Gucci patchwork S/S 2015

 

BGB2W9L_mx

Gucci silk patchwork joggers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

imgres

Gucci silk patchwork jacket $7,200

The late, great Koos van der Akker shared many of his design with us via Vogue but I have never been brave enough to try one.
10799957963_21848b1ede V1106267294634f591231def7b8b63edeccfa

And catwalk trends this year are harking back to the 1970 vibe – which ultimately means patchwork and colour.

54bbdaf810064_-_hbz-trends-ss2015-70s-suede-01-saint-laurent-rs15-0147-lg trend-70s-patchwork

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now to my quilting class and my idea to sew a patchwork scarf. Scarf made, and a skirt, and a bag!

DSCN5018

I believe this is called a French braid and the fabric selection is designed by Minnick & Simpson for Moda and called Lexington: the colours include whites, creams, tans, and blues.. Do you really want to know about strip sizes and patchwork techniques? Nah, we’ll just look at the pictures…….

DSCN5005 DSCN5006

I bought an extra 1.5m of the large flower design and made the best skirt in the world – V1247, lengthened, as always. I used up every scrap of my fabric: the skirt has a patchwork inset around the hem. It is lined with a heavy muslin and the patchwork bit is lightly quilted to it.

DSCN5007

And with all the bits left over, you sew these together and create another 1/2m of fabric and I got a matching bag – Japanese Knot, downloaded from here.

DSCN5009

DSCN5014DSCN5016

So far I’ve worn the skirt and scarf with a big tough Ziggi biker jacket and navy boots to make it seem a little less twee and because it is winter and cotton skirts in February are really not such a good idea. So while Lizzy is making winter clothes in summer, I’m making summer clothes in winter.

DSCN5013

Now, I know this isn’t actually possible…..but…..I buy little bitty bits of fabric, sew them together and end up with more yardage than I started with!?

DSCN5017

See, I knew those quilters had the dark forces on their side and now I have the proof.