Thursday, 18 February 2016

Study in Striped Knits

Coco Chanel (pic credit)
Knit striped shirts are really in a class of it's own. It's such a classic. It has stood the test of time and have become quite iconic when it comes to casual wear.  The cross over of the striped shirt aka Breton from utilitarian wear to fashion, from men to women's wear is attributed to Coco Chanel.

Jean Paul Gaultier (pic credit)
However, in recent modern times Jean Paul Gaultier has been associated with popularising this nautical casual white and blue striped shirt.  The Breton shirt is so ingrained in French society that it was one of the official garment for the French Navy.  There were specific attentions to details.  A Breton is 3/4 sleeve length and has 21 stripes to denote as many victories of Napoleon Bonaparte.  So much history.  Read more in WikiFashion.

And here's my humble interpretation.  Not to specifications of course.  Maybe one day I will endeavour to research even more and come up with a Breton that's historically correct.

I've wanted to sew this bateau neckline version for some time.  I saw a similar shirt at a store around Christmas time last year.  So I studied how it was constructed and it wasn't too difficult.  That's the good thing about sewing our own garments, we can replicate most designer looks or style lines without robbing a bank!  Not to say the top I saw was very pricey, it was more 'hey ... I can do that!'

This is my OCD playing up! LOL!!  I took insurance by pinning every stripe so as to match up the side seams.

And of course the result ALWAYS justifies the extra work put in :)

I find myself gravitating to stripes lately what with the pink Breton in my previous post over a week ago.  I've also bought some shirts from the store.  I know ... I broke the cardinal sewers' rule!  I assure you they were pretty reasonably priced and I've classified them under R&D.  All in the name of improving my sewing and learning certain details and style lines.  My threshold of workmanship and quality is very low with these store bought items as evident in this raglan sleeved shirt below :p

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Pink The New Blue?

Seems like I'm having a pink phase at the moment.  I attribute this obsession temporary phenomenon to working on my Tilda House Tapestry blocks and those cutesy children's wear that I'm planning.  Not to worry ... boys will get that fair share in blues.  What can I say? ... I'm old fashioned.

Or maybe it's a stripe thing.  I don't know why but once in a while I like to kill myself matching striped side seams.  Therein lies the challenge.

Believe it or not, the pattern for this top is my all time favourite Scout Woven Tee.  A pattern that's meant for woven fabrics.  As I browse through the blogs I find there's been many successful versions of the Scout Tee sewn up in knit fabrics.  Needless to say I had to attempt it myself.  And I absolutely love it!

Ironically I did not need go down a size as the norm suggests when sewing with knit fabric using patterns meant for wovens.  That's a real bonus because I didn't need to trace up a smaller sized pattern.  I always cut and sew on separate days especially when cutting striped fabric and hoping to match them was rather tedious.

And here are some pink fabrics that I'll be working on for those Tilda blocks.  They sure look so pretty together.

So what's next on my sewing table?  Blues and whites ... do I hear a collective sigh of relief?!  LOL!!  I've got a Plaintain cut in a Breton like stripe and more thin striped knit in the horizon.

Friday, 5 February 2016

Moji Shorts & In-Seam Pocket Tutorial

I don't know about you, but I practically live in shorts at home.  It's so hot lately and shorts are so practical.  I've converted the Moji Pants by Seamwork to a shorts and swapped for an in-seam pocket instead of a patch pocket.   This was a quick and easy make.  It's a happy moment when you find leftover fabrics that play together so well.

Following is a step by step tutorial on how I do my in-seam pockets.  Of course there might be other better ways but this is how I do it.

Start with 4 pcs of pockets all cut and serge or zig-zag around the curvy edges of all the pieces

I get dyslexic sometimes so I have to lay it out carefully.  Lay it with right sides facing up

Turn the pocket to the side seam, right sides together and pin.  Ensure that the pocket is placed at the same distance from the waist for all 4 pockets.

Sew the pocket to the side seam using a 3/8" seam allowance, back stitch both the beginning and end.

 Serge or zig-zag the whole side seam

Press the pocket piece back out.  Repeat all the steps above for all 4 sides of the shorts.

Now place the pocket attached shorts pieces right side together ensuring the pockets and waist line matches.

Sew the side seam from the waist to the top of the pocket opening a 5/8" seam allowance, back-stitch at both ends.  Mark a point with chalk 5.5" - 6", below this backstitched point.  This will be the pocket opening and will not be stitched.  Then stitch again from the top of pocket bag, around the curve of the pocket bag and back onto the side seams.  Leave your needle in the down position, pivot at the mark that you made earlier and continue stitching the bottom portion of the pocket and side seam at 5/8" seam allowance.  End with a back stitch.  Repeat this for the other side of your shorts.

Press the seams and pocket bag to the front.  Sew your waistband as directed in the pattern and ensure that the top portion of the pocket is caught within the waistband stitching.

Turn your shorts right side out and press your pockets and side seams.  You will notice a 1/4" overhang of the front side of the seam.  This will give a nice flush and avoid any peekaboo of the pocket fabric if you are using a different fabric from the main.  That's it and you now have some pretty neat in-seam pockets!

If you have any questions please to do hesitate to leave me a comment.  

I will be conducting the Moji Pants class at Yee Button on 20th February 2016 (Saturday).  For more info please click my Facebook Event Moji.