|This is my composite review for the 2013 Mini Wardrobe contest. I’m presenting a paper to a group of women this November and decided I’d use this contest to get me motivated. I needed a new suit, but I had several options:|
A. Stick with the summer "program" and keep things simple, (I had broken my wrist this summer and "simple” was certainly on my mind!) using
Option No. 2 or Option No. 3
B. Press on in spite of my injury and go a little further Option No. 1 . I chose the latter.
I started with a wool gabardine from Fabric Mart. I went through a buying spree and bought a bunch of this stuff; some of it turned out with great disdain as I made a skirt that made me look...well, you know the story.
But I kept the sage green wool, thinking I’d use Silhouette Patterns #1600, which I bought from a fellow PR member (gotta love those classifieds!) to make a jacket. But alas, I was short on fabric, so I had to come up with something. And to what did my wandering mind appear? The vision of my SureFit designs jacket I drafted and recently made and reviewed. And the idea developed from there.
To coordinate, I sewed:
1. Surefit Jacket from SureFit Designs Dress kit. I’d made a jacket recently and liked it so much, I thought I’d do it again. And of course, I HAD to line this one, because I can’t wear wool (makes me itch). Realizing I wanted to make the same welt pocket, but only deeper, I did so. And I added a "pocket square" that is interchangeable with the pants I wear as part of my collection. Click Here
Then came the fun stuff. I didn’t like the bust dart that was in my original block so I rotated it to the armhole, and made a princess seam. Voila! A new design was born. Then looking at those bland princess seams, I thought I’d reduce my notions stash (Oh please don’t ask me how much I have of that!!), and use some soutache braid I picked up when Trimtex was closing. I originally bought it for quilts, to use as “leading” on stained glass quilts, but never-got-around-to making it. Does this sound familiar??
Then I had just had to do something with that neckline! Taking cues from a pattern making class here on PR several years ago, I got out my books and found how to add a graceful flowing curve. Funny, I never thought of this before, but I did know how to do it.... Then I had to remind myself that because this jacket was lined, I needed to make main fabric facings to make the lining behave. Another thing my old dinosaur brain had to remember! Gosh, try knocking some dust off those “connectors” and you can really get somewhere. So I made a front facing, and a back neck facing, but cut them smaller on the outside edge to allow for some of the lining to be attached.
Then came the real fun. I wanted a decent “for reals” hidden button placket! Oh yes, I was bound and determined not to make the same mistake I did with my other jacket, and did some digging. I came up with a Threads Magazine article, # 112, page 34, which showed you how to make a hidden placket after, yes after, the front piece was cut. So very easy!!!
And I lined it all with a Clark Kent lining (the pattern reminds me of the logo for the Daily Planet). It's the white and green circle fabric in the photo.
Review for the jacket is HERE
2. Next up was the pants. A Burda trouser pattern, taken from a mid-1990's magazine, and redrafted back into trousers from a jeans pattern I drafted from the original, which was trousers (are you still with me?). To explain, the original Burda pattern was so outdated, but I wanted to try my hand at this company. So I traced off their trousers--with the wide legs, belt loops, wide waist band; and redrafted that into into jeans with a yoke, and then redrafted that back into trousers and a knit pullon pant (which is also part of this review) . Try reinventing the wheel backwards!
Then of course, I had more wool to deal with, but wool acrylic. A cute small check pattern, in sage, grey and brown. Very classy trousers! When lined, they look great. I used a tip from Sandra Betzina’s Craftsy class on Pant Construction Techniques on what to do with lining and a zipper. And not just ANY zipper; an invisible one that I’ve avoided since dinosaurs roamed the earth. Review is HERE
3. Silhouette patterns Sweater Set. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy working with this pattern. I truly love the French darts and the quick way everything comes together. Made in a lemon poly knit, similar in stretch to slinky, I really love this top. Thanks to a fellow PR member who had this fabric for sale, I am in heaven! I also “extended my comfort zone” on this one because I added picot trim around the neckline. Review is HERE
4. Lastly, and thankfully for that, is a pair of pullon pants I made using a re-draft from the original Burda pattern (No. 2 above). I left the darts open, and added a little to the side seams, so they could go over my hips, and raised the waist to allow for elastic. Made from a black knit, these pants are heavenly. I’d go into great detail on how I did this, but that would be more of a tutorial rather than a review, let alone a contest review. So to keep this on topic, I must say there are many tutorials, classes, etc., out there to change a trouser pattern into a pullon pant. I extended my comfort zone on these as I learned how to attach elastic to a waistline, using my serger. Review is HERE
As far as I can calculate, my Mini Wardrobe not only makes 4 outfits, but I can also stretch it to 6:
1) Top+ black pants
2) Top + wool pants
3) Top + wool pants + jacket
4) Top + black pants + jacket
5) Black pants + jacket by itself
6) Wool pants + jacket by itself.
New techniques learned:
1) Rotating a bust dart to an armhole to get a princess line (hadn’t done this one, but I knew how. Mostly I’d rotate it to the shoulder to get a shoulder princess line.
2) Stitching trim to a curved seam
3) Welt pocket (well, this has been done before, but I had to rethink it)
4) Drafting a curved neckline on a jacket
5) Drafting a “true” hidden placket
6) Inserting an invisible zipper without special tools or feet
7) Making a picot edge on my neckline
8) Reinforcing the neck edge with stay tape, per Sandra Betzina’s trick in Power Sewing (I used cotton fabric selveges)
9) Reinventing the wheel backwards to draft jeans into trousers, into pull on pants
10) Stitching elastic onto a garment using a serger.
So there you have it. I think I’m through; and all completed with a broken wrist! Which came off the week after I finished these. Read about that HERE