Friday, 18 August 2017

The marvellous Kalle shirt in merlot linen


After my mixed feelings on my green Closet Case Carolyn pyjamas, I already had the Kalle shirt pattern downloaded and stuck together. The merlot linen was purchased from Edinburgh Fabrics for about £14 a metre, prewashed and I was good to go. I absolutely love the finished shirt! This is a great pattern and produces a lovely garment with a high quality finish both on the outside and inside. 

Now, as I show you these photos of my tunic/shirt, keep in mind that I'm 5'9" tall (or 1.75m for metric folk) and remember, I didn't add any length to this. In fact, what you see is the size 14 sewn up without any alterations made to the pattern. At all. Heather's advice was choose the size based on the bust measurement, so that's what I did. Good advice.


I tried the burrito method of encasing the yoke and this time it worked out for me, although it was very strange and took some figuring out. Just do what the instructions tell you, look at the diagrams and put your trust in Heather's knowledge. The first time I tried it, on a muslin for the Kelly anorak which may or may not get sewn this year, it didn't work out and the shoulder seams were on the outside. Ah well, that's what a muslin's for, isn't it?


For the hem, I didn't want to make bias binding from this fabric. It would be too rigid and too bulky. I tried the baby hem, as suggested in the pattern but like Goldilocks, this just wasn't right either and didn't sit well at the hip curve. So I used the front and back pattern pieces to cut 3" wide facings. I overlocked the side seams together, then finished the top edge with the overlocker. I then joined the facing to the hem with the overlocker, turned the facing to the inside and topstitched about 2.5" from the finished edge. It's worked beautifully and adds some weight to the hem which gives it a certain movement that you can feel when walking. I think this treatment suits a heavier fabric like linen and I'd do it again.

I used black iron-on lightweight interfacing on the collar and button and buttonhole bands. I was swithering between lightweight and medium-weight but I reckoned I could do two layers of lightweight if it was too insignificant. I'm so glad I went with one layer of lightweight. It's beefy enough on the linen but isn't too rigid, thank goodness. I don't like seeing collars that 'fly' due to heavy interfacing.


I love the buttons. I finished the shirt and had a good investigation of my button tin but nothing grabbed me. So I took the shirt and went off to Edinburgh Fabrics where I found these little beauties. They're just right for this shirt! The collar is also the right size for me to wear it comfortably buttoned up, which is a new look for me. I like it!


Currently the shirt is on a wash and wear cycle, which says it all really. I could also be frantically trying to wear it as much as I can before summer ends which in Scotland will be in about two weeks time! Did I say I love this shirt?

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Short sleeved Melilot shirt...in some kind of animal print


And underneath the wonderful orangey-red raincoat from last week, I was wearing my new obsession, the short sleeved Deer and Doe Melilot shirt. The orangey-red blobs seem to match perfectly with the colour of the raincoat (unintentional!). 

I bought the fabric from Mandors in Glasgow earlier this year. It's a lovely cotton poplin pique with not too much, not too little, just the right amount of stretch to it. 


I've already made a pencil skirt (unblogged) from this fabric and had enough to experiment by making this too. Try something new, I say! I won't be wearing them together, that would just be too much and I suspect this shirt will be washed and worn to shreds long before the skirt. I used black buttons from my button tin so the shirt really cost me very little. 


I absolutely love it! And the bonus is that I can button the collar up too, if I want to. With my swimmer's shoulders/arms/neck that usually isn't possible without potentially damaging my health. This rounded collar is the perfect size to wear buttoned up all day, if I want to.


The kimono sleeves mean there's no setting in of the sleeves and no cuff placket to sew, although there is a sleeve cuff. Even with the intricacies of a collar to sew up, this was a fairly fast sew, all things considered. I have to say it helps if you've already got the adjustments perfected from a previous version. This is a 'new thing' for me to try, a new shape and with the buttoned up collar, something I never thought would suit me, but I think it does. I absolutely love it! There will be more...

Thursday, 3 August 2017

An orangey-red raincoat...perfect for the Scottish summer!

'Action shot' of the raincoat successfully keeping me dry
This year's been pretty quiet on my blog for a few reasons. I put my flat up for sale at the start of the year and just didn't have the time to do any sewing at all. It all ended well though, with the flat selling very quickly, as they usually do in Edinburgh. I also finally cut into some expensive (£35.99 a metre!!!) but lovely fabric I bought in London in Berwick Street, last October. I think it was from The Cloth Shop. It's a lovely orangey-red colour and is waterproof, although I didn't bother taping the seams during the jacket construction. The fabric is a lovely weight, very dense and pin/needle holes are definitely permanent!

It's not raining

Back view. Still not raining
 I used the Waffle Patterns Tosti jacket pattern that I've used before here and lengthened it considerably. I was going for 'sensible' and 'practical' with this jacket! I didn't add a drawstring to the waist just because this fabric is so dense and quite heavy and I didn't think that would work out at all.

Collar needing a snap or two
When it rains here it gets a bit cool. Even in summer. So I added a quilted lining using 2oz polyester batting and quilted it to the polyester lining fabric. Quilters, look away now! I'm not a quilter so I basically sewed straight-ish lines of sewing over the lining and batting. Don't look closely, the lines are very wavy!

In the construction I used horsehair iron on interfacing for the collar, facings and shoulder tabs. There are metal snaps on the shoulder tabs but I haven't added them to the front storm flaps yet and actually the more I wear it the less inclined I am to add them. The collar does look like it needs a snap or two so I'll probably add one or two. It's also very difficult to punch through two layers of this fabric plus interfacing to add the snaps.

Action shot of zip
I lined the pockets and also added some medium weight iron on interfacing. I changed the pocket design from bellows pockets to patch pockets. Bellows pockets would be too difficult to sew in this fabric. I also added a coat loop for hanging it up.


Quick repair on frayed lining at the right shoulder snap
Well, now you know what's been keeping me busy! This jacket was definitely a Big Project but I'm really happy with how it's turned out and I've been wearing it lots (unfortunately!) as some days we seem to have monsoon rain that just doesn't stop. Basically, weather in Scotland is very changeable and one day can be lovely and sunny, the next can have grey skies and rain.

I love the Waffle Tosti pattern. It fits and it's a good, modern style which is a great solid pattern that you could use with a wide range of fabrics. I can't recommend it highly enough. It's brilliant and the instructions are really detailed. And did I say I love the colour of my new jacket!