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Topics - Francesca

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Today... / MOVED: Varifocals - is this normal?
« on: Yesterday at 12:01:06 »

Fun with Fabric / Alternative name for broadcloth?
« on: January 16, 2019, 11:42:00 AM »
I was reading a Threads article on underlining and it suggests cotton broadcloth as a good underlining for loose weave wool.

I've been searching for it on eBay and my usual fabric shop sites but not coming up with much.

I understand it's essentially a poplin weave but with a slightly thicker thread, giving a medium weight. Is this correct? Does it have an alternative name in the UK?

I do have some old cotton in stash that is more what I would call "quilting weight". I wonder if that would work. I was saving it for a dress but as it's slightly thicker I'm not so sure I would want a quilting-weight dress in it as cotton dresses only really work for me in summer and I'd rather a lighter weight poplin.

Still... ramblings. Does broadcloth have an alternative name?

In the wardrobe / Another coat... Simplicity 8451
« on: January 15, 2019, 15:43:16 PM »
Forgive me, getting ahead of myself. I still have my shirt needing hemming and another cut out but I'm desperate to get on with this coat before it starts to get too warm or I tire of the fabric...


Fabric is this wonderful wool from 1stForFabrics. It's a slightly loose weave but not much.

I need to find something to underline it all over. I liked using calico but I prefer it unwashed as it retains some stiffness, however it's obviously light coloured and I would want dark. I plan to add horsehair canvas at important points (collar, shoulders, sleeve cuffs, tops of sleeves).

I've got a nice navy blue lining fabric for the inside


This is the Simplicity pattern from Mimi G's range (with gorgeous matching dress).

Comparison of Mimi sample vs Pattern Review submissions

One complaint I've seen with this pattern is that the collar is not as big as in the image. You can see some people's versions seem to have a smaller collar. So I am going to try and extend it at toile stage to make it bigger. I think this should be fairly easy as long as I keep all the markings and edges on the lower edge of the collar intact so I can construct it properly, I'll draw out the "wings" of the collar wider. Possibly though this might be too much as I wonder if it relates to the wearers shoulder width.

Mimi G version:

Other versions:

Other Ideas

I'll make a toile for any fit problems.

I am thinking of adding bound buttonholes as I've always wanted to try them. My concern is that the weave is too loose to get them neat as I envision lots and lots of fraying... I did have an idea of making the bound parts of the buttonholes out of canvas/mid-weight quilting cotton to match the primary colours of the check. Four buttonholes, three different colours (probably double the red). Do you think this would make it look clown-like? I can't decide if it's a good idea. If not I might just try a stable fabric in the matching background colour (dark navy/black).

Pockets; I want two internal zip pockets. Both on the same side. One small one for my purse and a bigger one for phone. I might go for some mad lining fabric (if you've got anything let me know...)

I will definitely shorten the sleeves as I hate sleeves that go past my wristbone and prefer to just wear gloves than have them dangling over my hand. Don't ask me why, pet-hate!

Now that I have finally finished my fur coat I have a large chunk of fabric left!

It's a piece 145cm x 75cm long with a little bit of an extension on one edge. There are also two medium sized offcuts. Probably not quite enough to cut a full length collar, but enough for facings or lapels or similar (they're more chunky than they are long so better for round pieces than long thin ones).

I definitely think there is enough here to make a girls jacket, which would be lovely. I don't really have any young people to sew for though. And you could make plenty of teddies, hats, gloves, stoles etc.

The fabric is 10mm luxury black plush - it's absolutely gorgeous and I've been really impressed with the quality of it. Now my jacket is complete I'm happy I stuck it out because it's much nicer quality than the ones I saw in the shops.

I tried taking a picture of it but it doesn't really show up in my house so here is the image from when I bought it, which also does not do it justice. It's like a nice black thick-furred bunny rabbit.

  [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]  

Looking for £10 + p&p

Patterns Discussion / Twisty headband pattern for woven and knit?
« on: January 09, 2019, 12:23:40 PM »
I've recently fallen in love with the trend of these twisty headbands. Problem is my head is too gigantic to wear shop-bought ones as they squeeze my head, give me a headache, and cause my hair to puff up like a mushroom cloud.

But I thought they'd make good patterns for scraps - especially nice when I have a favourite fabric design that I'd like to get more wear out of.

I've been able to find lots of knitting patterns for them, and several for knit fabrics, but I ideally want one for woven (with an elasticated back portion that ruches so it can fit my head). Has anyone seen one?

I have 2m of this pretty fabric I've decided just isn't my colour, shame as it's so lovely. Peachy coral background with pale blue abstract floral design.

The fabric is smooth, lightweight polyester but of good quality rather than cheap and nasty. It is ever so slightly sheer but only just. 150cm width.

Looking for £10 + p&p

Patterns Discussion / Grown-on sleeve shirt?
« on: January 02, 2019, 16:04:46 PM »
I'm on the hunt for a grown-on sleeve shirt. A cap sleeve length that extends from the armhole... though I am considering just drafting one myself I thought maybe I could find one and save myself the hassle.

I want a proper collar and button placket, I also want it to be tie-waist (I don't ask for much) but I think I can draft an extension for that fairly easily.

Also needs to be woven. Scouring the pattern books now but does anyone know of one?

For Sale, Wanted & Free to a good home / [FOR SALE] Purple printed jersey
« on: January 02, 2019, 09:43:09 AM »
3.3m of this cotton single jersey with a purple leafy abstract print. Bright purple in the middle then darker purple leaves.

Nice quality, not too thick, decent drape. Would make a nice wrap dress or long cardigan.

Asking £12 for the lot plus postage.

In the wardrobe / The fur jacket begins...
« on: December 30, 2018, 20:03:34 PM »
Just cut out the faux fur for my jacket - fluff everywhere! It looked like I murdered my cat and I think I'll be dealing with piles of fluff hiding everywhere for months...

Anyway the pattern is Lekala 5712 which means made to measure but with crap instructions. I put together a quick toile and am happy with the fit (it's not exactly close fitting so just wanted to check the sleeve width was comfortable and the length was OK). It's slightly cropped which is what I wanted.

For the lining I'll be using a black crepe-back satin I have in stash. I was a little reluctant to use it thinking it'd be better saved for a dress or something (as there's 3m of it) but this is why I have so much stash fabric! And maybe I'll still have enough of it left for a skirt lining which is what I want it for.

So here goes. Have been reading tips on sewing faux fur but luckily I think because the pile is quite short on this I should get away with just passing a pin down the seamlines to pull out any trapped hairs but I think mostly they'll be OK.

In the wardrobe / How much fabric for a jacket?
« on: December 21, 2018, 11:44:53 AM »
I really want to order my faux fur so I can get on with my project over Christmas break, but I've not yet put the Lekala pattern together so I don't know how much I'll need.

Is 3m overkill? At £15 per metre it's pretty high budget stuff so if I can reduce that'd be good, but I'll also have to think about nap so maybe it's better to just go for it?

Pattern is this but possibly a little more cropped:

House Beautiful / Simple bedroom curtain
« on: December 18, 2018, 11:14:13 AM »
Only one curtain because the window is small and I'm lazy. It's our guest room and the curtain is more for decoration plus me getting dressed in the morning so I am not going to line it and will keep it really simple with just turned over sides and deep hem, pencil pleat tape on top. I have some string weights so I will catchstitch them in to help them hang.

The fabric is Prestigious Textiles Langden in Hydrangea, I got 3.5m for £16!

I'm just going through the stash and I have this lovely striped suiting material.

It's dark navy, with white gradient threads running through it. It's part cotton part poly so easy care. It is a light-to-medium weight with a bit of drape.

Would make a lovely blazer, suit dress or work trousers.

I have quite a lot of it so I can cut any length you like.

£2.50pm plus postage

I saw this & I thought you may be interested! / 40% off IWantFabric
« on: December 13, 2018, 10:08:58 AM »
I haven't purchased for them so can't vouch but they're doing 40% off their clearance range:


Fun with Fabric / Short pile faux fur?
« on: December 12, 2018, 19:06:07 PM »
I have been hunting around the shops for a short coat in my size that is similar to this New Look one, but in black (and also cropped). Can't find one... so considering making one.

I can't find this type of fabric online though. Not sure what to call it, I've been searching "plush" and "short faux fur" and just plain faux fur but not finding anything that is this super soft type.

Any ideas?

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