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Topics - Francesca

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Patterns Discussion / Still on the hunt for the right coat pattern :(
« on: October 17, 2019, 23:03:40 PM »
I've been really struggling to find a coat pattern with the right detailing I want. I have some gorgeous fabric, a dark navy check with primary yellow and red through it (sounds uglier than it is!) and want to make a boxy coat from it but I really want a huge spankin' collar and it's been really hard to find.

Originally the pattern I had in mind was this gorgeous MimiG coat:

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But looking at a lot of the reviews and actual completed projects, the collar just looks so... small? Especially on a larger size. SewManju made it up and she is an 18 I think, and the collar is a lot smaller on her:

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This is another reviewer in a much smaller size and still the collar is so small!

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Has anyone seen a boxy type coat with a BIG notched lapel collar?

In the wardrobe / Would you interline?
« on: September 30, 2019, 22:36:06 PM »
I am making this dress again in drapey velvet for a wedding. I am going to line it with silk habotai because I don't want to get too sweaty in the velvet.

I was planning to draft front facings attached to a full lining so the neckline looks good. I was also planning to interline it with sew-in interfacing (don't want to heat-fix anything to either velvet or silk) so I bought some fairly cheap but fine lightweight sew-in.

I'm just not sure if it'll end up too... crunchy? I don't know. I've sewn a dress in a similar weight with sew-in before (one of the first dresses I ever made actually! Still have it somewhere. Was instructed by my ex-wedding-dress maker teacher to use sew-in!) and I feel like the weight of these fabrics is similar but there's just something stopping me.

Thoughts? It's princess-seamed so I guess I'll just construct a full bodice in the sew-in and affix it to the outer fabric with long tacking stitches and then treat the fabrics as one?

For Sale, Wanted & Free to a good home / [For sale] Lots and lots of wool!!
« on: September 27, 2019, 21:56:33 PM »
I'll be adding to this all evening and over three next few days as I'm doing a big clearout.

Postage £3.60 up to the first 900g, then 50p each 900g after.

Cygnet Cotton DK- 21 balls - 1.05kg - 2140m approx.


Fun with Fabric / Washing velvet?
« on: September 07, 2019, 16:33:29 PM »
I bought some velvet to make a floor length gown for a wedding I'm going to in October.

Only other experience sewing with velvet was the cotton stuff I used for the flower girl dress. That was a lot more stiff and easy to sew with. This one is definitely going to be a bit more tough!

My query was about washing. It's polyester woven, so probably won't shrink that much, but I'm a bit concerned that if i do wash it it'll ruin the beautiful pile.

Do you reckon it's worth prewashing it, or should I just sew the dress up and treat it as dry-clean only?

Adding Zing & Bling / 🦞Bet you never thought you'd see this 🦞
« on: September 04, 2019, 14:09:08 PM »
Some will remember in the mists of time I asked Iminei if she would be willing to embroider some lobsters, using her fantastic whizzy embroidery machine, onto some fabric for me to make espadrilles.

Today I received an unexpected fabricky parcel. Upon opening, I'm afraid to say I recognised the fabric and initially assumed that Imi had sent back the fabric to me, along with a card of apology (which I would have been equally happy to receive!) BUT there I unfolded the fabrics to reveal the most BEAUTIFUL lobster embroideries on the fabric I've ever seen!

How amazing are these!

Thanks so much Imi, even though summer is over I'm still excited to make the shoes and they'll be ready and waiting for me Summer 2020 (or unless Kris decides to take me anywhere sunny and warm this winter... hmm no... 2020 it is then).

I'm ecstatic! Thank you so much @Iminei

For Sale, Wanted & Free to a good home / ISO Sherpa or fleece scrap?
« on: August 27, 2019, 11:38:39 AM »
Just bought a new "window hammock" for the cat that is made out of a plastic mesh base. Want to make a small bedding cushion for him to sleep on. Something that I can chuck in the washing machine easily.

Does anyone have a piece of something soft and squidgy like sherpa fabric, decent quality faux fur (don't want anything that will moult like crazy), thick fleece etc? I need a piece at least 70cm x 40cm.

Fun with Fabric / Polka dot viscose?
« on: August 21, 2019, 15:56:51 PM »
Anyone fancy hunting these down on any of the sites they use? I've found a lot but nothing quite right  :(

I'm looking for viscose/rayon challis in black with white polka dots. The dots need to be big, like slightly larger than 50p, and they need to be scattered not in straight line formation.

I'd found one on eBay but they are short and I need 4m of it :(

Your Favourite Suppliers / Frocks & Stock Canterbury
« on: August 20, 2019, 20:24:58 PM »
Whilst visiting Canterbury at the weekend I stopped in at Frocks & Stock which is a charity shop with a very large haberdashery department. The entire downstairs room is fabrics (some on rolls, most on hangers), plus patterns, yarns, accessories, buttons, and sewing machines.

I saw lots I liked but was sensible and came away with 2.5m of a really lovely burgundy jersey. Has very strong recovery so I suspect a decent spandex and cotton. It was £6. They had loads!

Fun with Fabric / Textile 9 on eBay (quite cheap dress fabrics)
« on: August 20, 2019, 16:36:45 PM »
Recently discovered Textile 9 on eBay. They sell loads of different fabrics but all specifically in 4m cuts for very cheap. 4m of jerseys, fleeces, scubas etc for as little as £8 (for the full 4m piece that is, not per metre).

I ordered some snake print fabric from them. It isn't the highest quality but for £2pm it's exactly what I wanted to make a wearable toile for a skirt pattern and I'll probably still have some leftover.

Technical Help / MOVED: Displaying photos
« on: August 19, 2019, 19:49:34 PM »

Technical Help / Sleeveless bodice lining construction
« on: August 12, 2019, 11:00:28 AM »
Please tell me there is a way to sew a lining to a sleeveless bodice that doesn't involve the side seams being open  :'( I am an idiot and wasn't thinking as I put together the lining and bodice of my dress separately, including sewing up the side seams and overlocking them. Doh. The linen is quite fraying and unstable so I'm really worried about unpicking the overlocked seams.

I'm so used to sewing things with sleeves where I attach the sleeves to the bodice and lining as one and then hand stitch the sleeve lining in (like with jackets) that I didn't even think.

But I think I'm going to have to unpick aren't I

Technical Help / Drag lines advice
« on: August 06, 2019, 21:31:44 PM »
I've just sewn up the toile for my Simplicity 2232 dress and I'm really pleased that it's so close to perfect on the first toile. This is a plus sized pattern with a DD cup option which I've used. It's so nice to not have a really bad fitting garment on first try!

There are still some issues though, and I'm struggling to identify them. Essentially you can see quite a few drag lines that I'd like to sort out.

Do you think I need a slightly bigger FBA? I wear a G cup normally. The DD made the most sense in regards to my inch difference but maybe I need to go slightly bigger. I could easily do a small FBA on this cup to increase it by 1" across the total front?

I'm aware I need to add a little to the side seams in order to give me more space across the waist. It feels snug, and I think that is what is causing the lower drag lines.

The drag lines around the shoulder... are they cause by my shoulder being squarer than the pattern allows for? I'm thinking I need to take the shoulder up slightly right at the edge but keep it the same at the neck edge as that front length seems perfect.

Any advice appreciated. I am wondering if the small FBA would fix all my problems at once.

In the wardrobe / Sewing a man's suit...
« on: August 06, 2019, 11:27:42 AM »
Help me, I may have just volunteered to sew a man's full suit  :S

I've got probably 18 months... at least. My best friend whom I have been friends with since I was 2 is getting married in 2021 (was meant to be next year but they are buying a house) and I was discussing with him what gift I could give. They aren't having any bridesmaids, so no dresses. They might have a flower girl and I'd be up for doing that again but I felt like I wanted to do more. Seeing as we have known each other for 26 years I felt like I wanted to give something bigger. Initially the grooms suggested I could do pocket squares and ties which I love the idea of but it somehow didn't feel enough. If this person were going to wear a wedding dress I would have offered it.

So I said, I wonder if I could sew a suit jacket. He said that would be so amazing. I said I'd never done it before and it would be hard but I think I can do it. I've done a notched collar jacket before. I've pad-stitched. I've sewn welt pockets. What could possibly go wrong?  :|

So I think I am going to confirm with him my offer to sew his wedding suit. How exciting! And I'll offer to pay for the fabrics too I think (hopefully he doesn't pick something ridiculous) as it'll be the entire of our gift for the wedding.

I'm thinking of making a test suit for Kris to practice any skills I need. Maybe a blazer for myself too. And I can work on samples of welt pockets and good pocket flaps beforehand.

I'm slightly hoping he may pick a wool or thick fabric to hide the stitches better. It's going to be a September wedding next to the sea so wool could definitely work. I don't know yet if he wants a waistcoat but I imagine so.

Eeek!  :o

In the wardrobe / The next summer dress
« on: August 05, 2019, 18:54:34 PM »
Straight onto the next dress project as I seem to be on a bit of a roll.

I've decided to sew Simplicity 2232 dress which is a princess-seamed button up dress with nice pockets in between the skirt panels.

I bought some gorgeous printed stripe linen last month because I loved the print so much but I decided I really wanted to make sure I got it sewn up quickly as it's a very summery print. I knew if I left it too long I'd end up putting it away until next summer and I wanted to enjoy it now!

I originally planned to sew the dress with short sleeves but have decided to make it sleeveless to wear with a t-shirt like in the pattern picture. The armholes are already scooped out for this purpose which is good.

I decided to chop the hem to just above the knee but add a bit of interest by having a bias ruffle around the hem. I used the base line of the pocket on the front as the higher hem and have then drafted a 10cm flare based on slashing and spreading the bottom chunk. The bottom ruffles won't be split by the princess seams but be continuous to the side seams. I hope it works how I envision!

I've also decided to fully line it as the linen is a little sheer and I think it'll give it better structure. I've drafted lining pieces (just realised I forgot the back though) by tracing the facings and then deducting them from the relevant bodice pieces so I have a fully faced lining without worrying about the white edge showing on the neckline. (I haven't done it for the armholes but now I'm feeling like I should stop being lazy and just do it).

Anyway I'm hoping to get it finished in the next 2 weeks as we're going to Canterbury for a friend's birthday and staying over and I think it'll be nice to wear then.


Technical Help / Drafting in seam allowances correctly
« on: July 27, 2019, 16:14:21 PM »
I'm pretty used to doing all sorts of flat pattern adjusting now but the one thing I don't really understand is how to correctly draw in seam allowances.

Of course it seems like you can just draw a stable 1.5cm around all the edges but it doesn't really work like that, I find. For example when sewing a princess seamed bodice, you want the seams to go together in order to create a continuous curving line round the armhole once they're sewn together but I find sometimes if I sew the two pieces together I end up with a little short lack of seam allowance there once I've done adjustments.

Is there a proper way to calculate the shape of seam allowances?

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