Vintage-Y Jacket

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Sometimes it’s fun to do a nice tailoring project. I’ve been fairly busy for the past few weeks with Thanksgiving, but this week I got to work on some sewing! I love this fabric. I bought it at Elliott Berman Textiles in NYC during the Patternreview party a month or so ago.

The pattern is from the new Burdastyle Vintage magazine. I really like this magazine and I’m glad I ordered it. If you think you would like this magazine, you definitely would. There are a lot of really interesting patterns, and, if this jacket pattern is any indication, they are very well-drafted. Also, the pattern sheet is easier to trace than a typical Burdastyle magazine.

the pattern calls for a facing, but since the fabric is very bulky, I thought it would be better to line to the edge.

the pattern calls for a facing, but since the fabric is very bulky, I thought it would be better to line to the edge.

button detail

button detail

I added pockets.  They're sort of welt pockets, but more minimal.

I added pockets. They’re sort of welt pockets, but more minimal.

back view

back view

back view.  You can see the pleat at the shoulder that gives the jacket an interesting shape.

back view. You can see the pleat at the shoulder that gives the jacket an interesting shape.

side view

side view

burdastyle vintage magazine

burdastyle vintage magazine

And the Winner Is….

random number selector

Comment #31, Candy! I’ve sent an email to the address attached to the comment, so please, if it’s you, check your email and your spam folder and reply to verify the email address.

Thanks everyone!

Selvedge Magazine

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Please allow me to introduce you to my very favorite magazine of all time. First, let me tell you how we met.

When I first moved to London in 2007, and, you know, took care of some of those pesky details like where to send the kids to school, I made sure to check out the newsstands. Being a magazine junkie and all, how could I not? They’re kind of like the internet, except the content stays where you remember it being. And what did I find there, you ask? In addition to British Vogue, in addition to Burdastyle, well, I found Selvedge. Which I had never heard of. Which was made, quite improbably, by people who are into exactly the same things I am into. Travel. Exoticism. And textiles. Maybe these are the same things you’re into? I proceeded to acquire every issue published during my stay there.

I keep all of my back issues

I keep all of my back issues

When I moved back to the US in 2009 (I am American, don’cha know), I was a little disappointed to find that Selvedge is a bit expensive in the US. I still always get the Christmas issue. My heart races just thinking about the Selvedge Christmas issue. And a couple of other issues throughout the year. I even did at least one project, or three based directly on a photo in Selvedge. I’m sure I’ve done many more projects based not-so-directly on what I’ve seen there.

sheep!

sheep!

And to reveal just how much of a textile geek I actually am, I will share with you my favorite feature in any magazine ever. It is from, you guessed it, Selvedge (issue 25). It is a pictorial featuring different photos of sheep (no, stay with me), with a brief description of the quality of wool that each sheep produces. It’s like they looked into my brain and saw my deepest fantasy that I may one day own and operate a fiber-based farm, and they thought they would give me a little encouragement.

rainwear

rainwear

For me, Selvedge fills a niche that no other publication does. It’s so easy to get caught up in Western ideas of fashion and textiles, and forget that there’s a whole world of dress out there that’s not dependent on cookie cutter factory-produced goods for the western market. Perhaps I will never make a waterproof parka out of seal intestine (like the one pictured on page 59 of issue 61), but I am happy to know that such a useful garment exists.

a stunning take on the round-yoke Nordic sweater

a stunning take on the round-yoke Nordic sweater

One of the editors of Selvedge contacted me a couple of weeks ago, asking if I would like a copy to review. I jumped at the chance. For me, the item is something that I might well have bought anyway, and the product is so amazing that I am happy to try to boost their sales if I can. They sent me Issue 61, themed North. It outlines textile traditions in various northern locales, like Iceland, Scandinavia, and Alaska. The front cover features the world’s most luxurious dogsled. At least one of the features reminds me quite a bit of one of my favorite fashion spreads of all time, a 1966 photo spread in Vogue featuring Veruschka in furs in the snow.

If you find yourself wanting a treat, pick up a copy. If you’re in the US it may be a little pricey for it to be a regular thing. Then again, it’s not much more expensive than a lot of indie patterns out there, which lots of people buy and never use. So if it’s in your budget, go for it! In New Jersey, where I live (don’t laugh at me! It’s nice here!) they sell it at Barnes and Noble. You can also order it from selvedge.org. Seriously. Check it out.

And I have a digital subscription to give away! If you would like to be in the drawing for it, please leave a comment. I’ll close comments on Sunday, and do the drawing on Monday, December 1.

I Knit A Sweater!

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Hey, look at me! I knit a sweater! I think I’m starting to get the hang of the whole knitting thing. I started with some lovely variegated wool yarn. I knit the whole thing in the round without a pattern. It was a little nerve-wracking, especially toward the end when it looked like the neckline / shoulder area would not wind up shaped like a human at all, but then it all worked out! It was almost unbelievable.

back

back

neckline detail

neckline detail

back neckline

back neckline

increases in the front.  They turned out mostly symmetrical!

increases in the front. They turned out mostly symmetrical!

I love a curved sleeve, so I shaped the elbows slightly.

I love a curved sleeve, so I shaped the elbows slightly.

Now, the real reason that I wanted to learn to knit is that I want a dress like the one below on Michelle Obama. I actually saw this dress in a store and IT HAS NO SEAMS! I think that, after one or 2 more projects, I will be able to tackle trying to make a dress like this for myself.

Melton fun

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This is a project that I have been planning for a while. It all started during a shopping trip to the Dover Street Market in NYC in the summertime. I had been to the DSM in London, but the New York outpost was new to me, and it has some covetable merchandise. And the staff is lovely. Really, just a great place to spend an hour. Anyway, they had a display of pea coat-style coats with flared skirts that just looked so cool that I felt I had to have one. If I recall correctly, one was in wool melton and the other was in shearling. I decided to go with melton.

Then, just as I was starting this project, the Milan Fashion shows were going on, and I saw that Prada was showing black with bright white topstitching for Spring 15. It seemed like just what my new coat needs, so I figured, “why not?”

Probably not coincidentally considering my new obsession with Instagram, this project lends itself well to quick snaps of my progress. See some photos of my process at Rollingincloth, or look under #woolmeltoncoat. So far, I am the only one using that hashtag.

I constructed the entire coat with lapped seams. I did not want to deal with the bulk of turn-of-cloth with such a bulky fabric. I can get away with this partly because this melton frays very little, so it should be fairly stable. The only problem with this construction method is that it was very, very difficult to set in the sleeves. If I do this again, I think I will use normal seams for the armscye.

I sewed each seam twice. First, I sewed from the right side using black thread. Then, I sewed from the wrong side using 4 strands of silk embroidery floss in the bobbin and white thread at the top. This method allowed me to achieve the look of very heavy topstitching using a regular home machine.

The project is based on a commercial pattern, Marfy 2572. Initially, I was not happy about paying $27 with shipping for a pattern, but I looked everywhere and this was the only pattern that was close enough to what I wanted. In retrospect, it was totally worth the money. It fits just the way I want it to. I followed the pattern from the waist up, and made some changes to the skirt part.

back view

back view

side view

side view

bound buttonholes, buttoned, unbuttoned, and wrong side.  I used silk satin for the buttonhole lips to reduce bulk.

bound buttonholes, buttoned, unbuttoned, and wrong side. I used silk satin for the buttonhole lips to reduce bulk.

welt pocket.  The welt itself in silk satin

welt pocket. The welt itself in silk satin

embroidered silk duchesse satin lining.

embroidered silk duchesse satin lining.

embroidery motif on the lining

embroidery motif on the lining

collar

collar

undercollar

undercollar

cuff button

cuff button

cuff buttonhole

cuff buttonhole

Prada coat from Spring 2015 collection.  I liked the topstitching, and wanted to do something similar.  Photo from style.com

Prada coat from Spring 2015 collection. I liked the topstitching, and wanted to do something similar. Photo from style.com

This is the embroidery floss I used for the light-colored stitching.  It is a variegated 12-strand silk embroidery floss in pale colors.  I used 4 strands in the bobbin.

This is the embroidery floss I used for the light-colored stitching. It is a variegated 12-strand silk embroidery floss in pale colors. I used 4 strands in the bobbin.

Marfy 2572

Marfy 2572

3 Prints and a Texture

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This skirt is totally how I am feeling this fall. I may never take it off. The prints are linen, I think, and the texture is a lightweight cotton. I like the way they blend together. I drafted the pattern myself, and lined it in silk twill.

back view

back view

pocket because I don't always want to carry a purse

pocket because I don’t always want to carry a purse

diagonal zipper

diagonal zipper

lining

lining

string to hold the lining in place

string to hold the lining in place

Dries Van Noten did some cool spiral skirts for Fall 2014, which is where I got the idea. Photo from style.com

Now on Instagram

The very first project that I ever blogged about!

The very first project that I ever blogged about!

Way back in 2007, I started this blog as a diary of my sewing projects. I still love looking back at old posts and seeing clothes that I had completely forgotten about. Often, I’ll see something that makes it back into heavy wardrobe rotation after being on the back rack in my closet for years.

However, in the past 6 months or so, I have made several projects that I just could not muster up the energy to blog about. This makes me sad because I know that I will forget about the things I’ve made. I still love blogging when I feel like I have something interesting to say, but lately I’ve been working on a lot of projects that are just not that exciting. Writing a whole blog post about, say, a knit top that’s made with the same pattern I’ve used half a dozen times before just does not seem to be worth the effort.

So, I’m trying something new. I’m planning on Instagramming all of my projects, but only blogging about the more interesting ones.

So anyway, if you’re on Instagram, you can follow me at rollingincloth. Then I’ll follow you back. You can even see photos of the 3 pairs of shorts that I made for my husband over the weekend! #TotallyNotWorthABlogPost

The Great Unveiling

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Tadaa! My goal with this project was to make a coat that is as close as possible to the sample coat on which the pattern is based. I think I did all right. The pattern I used was Vogue 1419, and I saw the sample on a visit to Vogue’s offices for a blogger event.

There are a couple more blog posts about this project. Click here for some info on how I did the fabric; Click here for some info on how I did the buttonholes.

Now it just needs to get colder!

CRR-Coat-0991

CRR-Coat-1000

Front

Front

back.  I love the shape of the nipped-in waist and the flared skirt

back. I love the shape of the nipped-in waist and the flared skirt

button detail

button detail

Inside view of the buttonholes

Inside view of the buttonholes

Side view.  I love the curved seams.

Side view. I love the curved seams.

back belt detail

back belt detail

welt pocket

welt pocket

inside

inside

Round Shoulder Coat — Progress

It’s taking shape!

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Round Shoulder Coat — Fabric

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When I saw the sample garment for Vogue 1419, I thought it would be a fun challenge to make a coat as close as possible to the sample. It seemed like the original coat was made with a wool gabardine fused to another fabric. Perhaps the inside fabric was a fusible interfacing, but the hand was not like any fusible that I have access to. I decided, what the heck, I would try to fuse 2 fabrics together myself.

It was a lot of work, but the fabric turned out very close to what I wanted. There are plenty of bonded fabrics out there to choose from if you’re not into putting a ridiculous amount of work into a project even before you properly start. If I were to make this again, I might make it out of a midweight neoprene, which has a similar drape to my bonded fabric.

I chose a brown wool gabardine from Paron Fabrics in New York, and a silk gazar that I had in my stash. I chose the wool gabardine because it’s what the original coat was made from and the gazar because it’s thin but still stiff, so it would stay more or less on grain while fusing.

Initially, I tried fusing with the Stitch Witchery that comes on a roll. It’s dry and looks kind of web-y. It did not work at all. I could not seem to get the glue to melt over a large area. This may have been user error, but it was very disappointing.

Then I ordered Heat N Bond Lite Fusible Web, and tried that. It worked like a charm. Well, that is, if your charms tend to involve much backbreaking labor. Anyway, it worked just like they said it would in the instructions.

I waffled a bit about whether to buy the Lite or the regular Heat N Bond, and went with the Lite. I definitely made the right decision. The hold is firm, and the resulting fabric is quite stiff. I think the regular would have been too stiff.

I block fused the yardage before I cut out my pattern pieces. In order to get a larger ironing surface, I took several blankets and stacked them on the floor, then put my fabric over them to fuse it. It took a couple of hours on my hands and knees, all the while wondering if it was really going to turn out the way I wanted. But then it did! It was kind of amazing.

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