Kelly Waxed Field Jacket

Kelly Anorak closet case patterns waxed jacketKelly Anorak closet case patterns waxed jacket

I love Barbour-style jackets, but who wants to pay over $300 for a coat that can only be “sponged clean”? I. Just. Can’t.

I found this unique, water resistant fabric at Pacific Blue Denims. It is made in the UK at the Dinsmore fabric mill, and is listed as a wax/acrylic coated cotton canvas It is 7 oz and 100% cotton. This fabric is so different from anything I have ever sewn with. It feels dry to the touch, unlike some waxed fabrics that feel slightly sticky, especially when warm. The finish does not rub off when ironed and didn’t leave a residue on my sewing machine either. It has a matte finish, but a beautiful slight sheen (similar to traditional waxed canvas) develops after some use. This wound be a great choice for a dressier raincoat because it doesn’t necessarily look like it would shed water, but it does so wonderfully while also being breathable. Also, the fabric wont have to be re-waxed later. However, there are some drawbacks. The wax/acrylic canvas also has a very stiff drape that makes gathering and easing tremendously difficult. While I was setting in the sleeves, I kept thinking the fabric behaved more like brown craft paper rather than canvas. Oh, and perhaps the biggest challenge working with this fabric is that needle marks are hard to remove. Much like working with leather, all topstitching much be perfect on the first try. No do-overs!Kelly Anorak closet case patterns waxed jacketKelly Anorak closet case patterns waxed jacket

Drawbacks aside, I think this is a wonderfully made, hard-wearing fabric if you are looking for a new kind of challenging material to sew with.

I used a brown faux suede at the front yoke that I quilted to the coated canvas with some matching machine quilting thread. I used this same brown thread for all the topstitching elsewhere on the jacket. The interlining fame from Five Eighth Seams, a local fabric store in Charleston. The zipper is an M6 Riri zipper from pacific trimming that I had to dye darker with synthetic dye. Snaps and other hardware were from the Closet Case Patterns Kelly Hardware kit.

Kelly Anorak closet case patterns waxed jacket

I used the Kelly Anorak Pattern by Closet Case Patterns (size 4). Modifications are as follows: Lowered the drawstring by 3/4″,  moved the drawstring to the inside, changed pockets to have a flap closure, added an interlining, quilted the front yolk pieces, lengthened the sleeves by 1/4″, and made a broad shoulder adjustment. I am thinking about making a detachable, snap-on hood by modifying the Kelly Anorak hood pattern pieces. I don’t use hoods on jackets, but it would be good to have on a rainy day.

What do you think? Would you ever sew with traditional waxed canvas or wax/acrylic coated canvas?

Kelly Anorak closet case patterns waxed jacketKelly Anorak closet case patterns waxed jacket

Advertisements

Chambray Dress from The Tunic Bible

Tunic bible chambray dress cording trim sewing Megan Francine
The pattern for this dress came from the book The Tunic Bible by authors Sarah Gunn and Julie Starr. I purchased the book shortly after it was released, but I had such a hard time deciding what tunic to make. I was really stumped as to which neckline to pick as there are 12! That being said, there are an infinite number of tunics that can be made with this pattern as the authors included different bodices, sleeves, lengths, and necklines. The possibilities are endless with this pattern, and not all combinations look like a variation of a tunic, so it is a real wardrobe builder. And there is only one bodice to fit! You should checkout @julie_starr on instagram to see her “Tunic a Day” posts to see all the different tunics that have been made with this pattern. You can use a wide variety of fashion fabrics with this pattern, even knits with some modifications as shown in the book. I also love how Julie and Sarah reference popular designers such as Tory Burch in the book for inspiration as it shows how to make such a classic sillouette trendy at the same time.

The Tunic bible review chambray dress cording trim sewing Megan Francine
The Tunic bible review chambray dress cording trim sewing Megan Francine
I made an extra small, and made zero pattern adjustments! I can’t believe I didn’t need an FBA or swayback adjustment! There are some drag lines around the bust, which occurred after adding the back darts. I might do some minor tweaking to darts before my next tunic, or I might leave it because they aren’t too bad. And just ignore the edge stitching on the inside of the neckline! It was a result of changing my mind about the neckline placket at the last minute.

The Tunic bible review chambray dress cording trim sewing Megan Francine
The Tunic bible review chambray dress cording trim sewing Megan Francine
I used a gray, 100% cotton chambray from fabric.com that wrinkles almost as bad as linen. The trim was inspired by this tutorial about surface cording by the Colette Patterns blog. I basically covered cotton cord with a long tube of white broadcloth then slip stitched it onto my dress in a decorative shape.

A few weeks ago, I attended an event at Five Eighth Seams, a local fabric store in Charleston, where I got to meet Sarah and Julie when they hosted a sip-and-see of all of their favorite makes. It was so cool to see the clothes from their instagram and blog posts IRL, and I learned some new sewing tips too! Sarah and Julie were both so warm and inviting, and I hope our sewing paths cross again soon. Julie even let me try on her Chanel-style French jacket she made to feel just how luxe the silk charmeuse lining feels! I can’t deny I thought about making everything out of silk charmeuse for the next couple of days.

Tunic bible Sarah gunn Julie Starr Megan Francine Five eighth seams

I am already thinking of sewing my next tunic in linen to help me beat the heat this summer! This is such a great pattern, I can see myself using it again and again!

Chambray Romper


This romper was almost a sewing fail. It took me nearly twice as long to finish as it should have because I mistakenly made two right pants legs and spent hours unpicking seams. The right and wrong sides of this fabric are identical, so I should have marked the wrong side with water-soluble pen. I used chalk on this light-colored fabric, but it wore off too soon.

The fabric came from Indie Sew, and it is a lightweight rayon chambray. It had a few imperfections scattered throughout the yardage (some of which I accidentally included in my romper). The fabric is very soft and drapey, which is typical of rayon fabrics, but this fabric is particularly shift-y. I had trouble matching some of the stripes because of this. I think this pattern design benefits from a fabric that drapes well to eliminate bulk around the gathered waist, but maybe I should have chosen a thicker rayon challis or tencel fabric.

I used Very Easy Vogue 9260 to make this romper, but I think I would rate this pattern’s difficulty as “easy” instead of “very easy”.  There was A LOT of narrow hemming required to make this, so don’t expect to complete this as quickly as other very easy vogue patterns. The neckline and the cold shoulder cut-outs in the sleeves are all finished with a narrow hem as opposed to facings which do require a little more patience, but they give a more professional appearance.

I made a size 8 even though I am usually a 10 in Vogue patterns. I read other reviews that this style ran big and they were right! The finished measurements listed on the pattern indicated the 10 would have been massive.


I chose to modify the front lace up closure and use grommets instead of fabric loops. I thought the grommets would take less time and look less handmade. I also topstitched the fabric to the facing to keep the facing from shifting, and used a thread chain for the back button loop.

It is still quite warm here in Charleston, and I have a few other summer projects lined up before I start making my fall wardrobe! What is on your fall “must sew” list?

Nettie Bodysuit and Burda Maxi Skirt

 

nettie off the shoulder bodysuit and burda maxi

Since it is currently Me Made May 2017, I have a brand new outfit to share! It’s made up of a Closet Case Nettie Bodysuit with a few hacks and a maxi skirt made with a Burda pattern.

nettie off the shoulder bodysuit and burda maxi

The skirt is made with the “Train Maxi Skirt 09/2014 #105” by Burda. The only modification was to cut the train off at the end. It was so beautiful, but not practical at all. This skirt pattern was drafted in a very interesting way, and it is unlike any skirt I’ve ever seen. There are two very long front darts that extend down to the knee, and there are no side seams. There are only the middle back and side back seams. From the front, the skirt looks like a maxi with a straight silhouette, but the back is very voluminous. I used a floral rayon challis from fabric.com that I purchased last year. It’s important to choose a lightweight drapey fabric for this skirt since there are no side seams, and the fabric has to flow over the hips.

nettie off the shoulder bodysuit and burda maxi

For the neckline of the bodysuit, I used this tutorial posted by Heather Lou on the Closet Case blog to hack the nettie into an off the shoulder bodysuit. Instead of using a knit band at the neckline like Heather Lou did, I stitched 1/4 inch elastic to the wrong side of the neckline edge with a zig-zag stitch without stretching the elastic or the fabric. Then, I folded the elastic under to the wrong side and used a wide cover stitch stitching through all thicknesses. If you don’t have a coverstitch machine, you can use a wide zig-zag stitch for that part too.

To make the ruffles for the sleeves,  I drafted ruffles that resemble 3/4 of a circle in two different lengths for each sleeve. The ruffles are sewn on with a zig-zag stitch just above the sleeve hem.

 

nettie off the shoulder bodysuit and burda maxi

The fabric for the bodysuit is the white kaufman laguna stretch jersey. It is a spandex cotton blend and has great recovery. I have used this jersey in many colorways, and it is my favorite jersey to work with. It is so soft yet substantial, and it is easy to sew with. The white was a tad sheer, but the other colors/ colorways I have used before have not been. To account for the sheerness, I made the nettie two sizes bigger, and this seemed to help.

 

Have you done any pattern hacks lately? I’d love to know!

 

Bridgetown Backless Dress

FullSizeRender

I’m a little late posting my #sewmystyle April creation. Earlier this month, I went to Las Vegas with nine other girls for a bachelorette weekend celebrating my friend and the bride-to-be, Brittney. I think it is safe to say we all had the time of our lives! I managed to take some pictures of my dress while lounging at one of the pools at the Venetian.

IMG_6742
This month, the #sewmystyle pattern is the Bridgetown Backless Dress by Sew House Seven. The pattern is easy to sew, and I made this dress in only one full day. This would be a great dress for a beginner as there are no set-in sleeves, zippers or difficult closures on this dress.
I made a size 2. Looking at the photo on the pattern envelope, the dress appears to have plenty of wearing ease. However, I didn’t look at the finished hip circumference before cutting. While the bust is loose and drapey, the hip area is pretty fitted, and I would be more comfortable if I had graded the hip area to a size 4.

IMG_6741
I made this Bridgetown Backless Dress by Sew House Seven out of a polyester crepe de chine fabric I was hoarding with the intention of making a wearable muslin I could use as a swim cover-up. Crepe de chine is very thin, and works well for lining garments or light blouses. It works fine for a swim cover-up as the fabric is lightweight and not too hot in 90 degree weather, but I have to be careful to not sit on any rough surfaces that could pick the fabric. So, I would suggest picking a more substantial fabric if you make this pattern.

On a side note, I recently bought a coverstitch machine, and I’ve been learning how to use it. I bought a Bernina L220!! I hope to write a post about it soon, but I want to use it a little more before I write a full review.

IMG_6744

 

Self-Drafted Formal Dress

I originally planned for this dress to be my “night dress” entry for the Day and Night Dress Challenge hosted by Elizabeth of Elizabeth Made This back in January. The rules were pretty straightforward- make a casual day dress and a black evening dress.

Self drafted formal  evening dress

When I go to a formal event, I usually have a months notice if I’m lucky. I feel like I have to make my outfit to those events because evening wear is my favorite thing to make, and I don’t get the opportunity very often. Then, since I’m an overly ambitious sewist, I concoct some elaborate design that requires a few all-nighters to complete. Last time I went to a black-tie affair, I *literally* finished sewing a dress just in time to not be late to the event. That was miserable, and I made a promise to myself I would never let my hobby put me under pressure like that again. The Day and Night Dress Challenge gave me a chance to create an evening dress so I would have a dress to wear to a future occasion, and we technically had about 6 weeks to complete the dresses. Unfortunately, fate had other plans during the month of January. I got sick. My grandmother passed away. I ended up not sewing for a couple of weeks.

Fast forward a couple of months and I finally finished it!!

Drafted evening formal dress knit
I’ve been teaching myself pattern drafting, but this is my first project that involved drafting for knit fabric. The dress fits wonderfully, but I still have a lot to learn. I stared at that white drafting paper for many hours waiting for the bust darts to draw themselves in the right location! The bust area has negative six percent ease, and the bust darts had to be positioned to account for the fabric stretching across the body when worn. It is hard to see in the photos, but there is a French dart that extends to the lace inset.

I was inspired by a dress I saw on Pinterest, a bridal gown by Lela Rose called the Lounge, if you are wondering which one specifically. It had beautiful hourglass-shaped seams vertically along the bodice that caught my eye. I didn’t do an exact copy because I wanted to create something more modest and bra-friendly, but the front view is very similar to this dress.


All of the seams except the center back seam were sewn with french seams. I serged the center back seam since I was using an invisible zipper, and there were no sheer details on this seam. I hemmed the bottom of the dress with a blind hem stitch, and the sleeves were cut along the scalloped selvage edge of the lace instead of hemming them. The lace insets at the waist were underlined with two layers of beige light-weight powermesh. The extra support from the powermesh gives a little more compression in the waist area than the lace by itself.

Self drafted evening dress

Self drafted evening formal dress drafting lace
I used Telio Jockey ponte knit fabric, and it is a rayon/nylon/Lycra blend. It is very soft, has great recovery, and the fabric provides a little smoothing. So, no spanx needed. YAY! The lace fabric was from an Etsy shop called LaceFabric, and this specific one is the Black Beauty Colleen Lace. It is a 4-way stretch lace with 3D embroidery to mimic alençon lace. One of the selvages has a scalloped edge.
Just one more look…

Drafted dress evening formal
Have you tried drafting patterns for knit fabrics? How did it go? If you used a book, can you tell me which one you used?

Fabulous photography courtesy of Rheney Dearstyne.

I’m on bloglovin’ now, so click the button below to follow me!

 

I’m on Bloglovin’!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I’m a Bloglovin’ member now! Be sure to follow my blog on Bloglovin’, so you’ll never miss a post! Bloglovin’ allows you to read all of the blogs you follow in one place even if the blogger themselves hasn’t made an account. You can keep track of which blog posts you have not read, and you can like and save your favorite posts so you can refer to them at a later time. You don’t need to own a blog to be a member on Bloglovin’, and you can read any blog published on any platform.

I hope to see you following me on Bloglovin’ soon!

Megan Francine blog