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!
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?