V1440 and Baltimore....

V1440 and Baltimore....

Its almost finished...there are still inside seams to bias bind, and the hem to mess around with, but its close enough to show now, rather than in a couple of weeks...as this feels like it is dragging on and on.

and I apologise, the photos are not great as it was getting dark and we were rushing...

Overall, I am honestly surprised how much I like this.  Its very comfortable and will add a great pop of colour to the endless black I wear most days...its also nice and casual which means it will get a lot of wear.

It took forever though, longer than a French Jacket in the end, as I ended up having to hand sew the entire jacket which was never my intention.

But, I did know going in that I would have to match seams which I love but it also turned out that sewing piping and matching while using a sewing machine is completely impossible (at least for me!)

The walking foot was great for keeping the two seams matched and even, and the piping foot was great for keeping the cording tight and neat....but neither could do both well.

and I really really wanted both...so I hand basted the piping onto the seam line and then hand sewed the two seams to the piping feeling my way along stitch by stitch, before steaming both edges flat.

It was a long long process, one slow seam at a time using heavily bees waxed double thread and a lot of the Walking Dead - Seasons 3 and most of 4 to keep me company :-(

(The back hem looks like it could do with another 2" added and a nice curve from the look of this picture - i'm on it!)

but it's pretty good I think.  There are areas where I could not line things up enough, the curves and angle of the design made things difficult to keep in orderly neat lines in places, , so I just picked the most obvious match lines and left it at that....... 

and the piping and intersecting seams make areas of the jacket very thick and stiff, regardless of just how much I trimmed down...

I'm also assuming the fabric was end of roll or similar, as the selvedge and wool was wavy and stretched in places.

Part of this could have been the metallic thread woven through but it also looks like it could have been stored badly.   I tried everything to line it all up before cutting but ultimately found it was better to cut as close to grain as possible and then almost block the individual pieces to re-align them.

The fabric itself was on a half yard repeat which was such a absolute pain, talk about wasting fabric - but this was my eventual line up for the bodice...  (I cut the sleeves once the bodice was sewn as its hard to line them up before hand)

The center front piece is almost a yard square..

In total I cut into 3 yards... and even ended up having to add a small triangle to the under sleeve on the left side so I could line the fronts up because there was just not enough left to cut a full sleeve...

 and making the fringing was fun and something I had not done before...

I found some small leather strips in my stash and sewed (by machine yey!) the suede underside an inch from the end of the front and top hem before shredding the very stable fabric..

Maybe I will try that for my next LFJ rather than buying trim, it works really well.

and after all that thankfully, because of all the pre-fitting, it was a straighforward make, I only had to reduce the bodice neck area by an inch just below the collar as there was a bump in final fitting, and take another inch and a half at the very front vertical hem line so that it hung a little more neatly and overall it's now pretty much where I wanted it.

I'm going to keep the pattern and all the notes, because while I am not certain I will make this again, I think it would be simply fabulous in a plain white boucle with black piping or with plain black boucle and leather/suede piping.

So overall, its a success but I do wish that Vogue had shown a little more of the actual garment on the pattern envelope, I would love to have seen more of the details like where the upper front seam lays on the model but it's hidden behind the collar.

I did not adjust that area much and if I wear the collar as they suggest you can actually see the inside seaming even if I turn both edges towards the sleeve... I'm hoping once I bind the seams it might not be noticeable if worn that way, but I like it the way I'm wearing it regardless.

So over the next couple of weeks,  I will work on extending the hem and adding bias binding to all the insides seams.   I can't quite face that right now, as its feels like a whole lot more hand sewing...

and as soon as Spring actually arrives, I will get some decent pics of everything that's been made recently..


I'm in Baltimore this week, and have finally bought a spectacular and long hoarded piece of lace out of storage.  I've never sewn with anything like this before and really don't have any idea where to start, so I am really looking forward to learning a whole new set of skills.

I can't say for sure what I am doing with it but am thinking along the lines of a statement jacket. Tailored with a maderin collar and some kind of waist detail - with a dark McQueen vibe.

It's super heavy, very beaded and sequined, so I imagine some kind of waist stay will be needed as well as a couple of layers of support.

I've packed two different kinds of cotton's for the jacket shell,  one heavy and one a medium weight, as well as my organza...I am not sure how many layers will be needed for the foundation so it will hold the lace properly...but we shall see what Susan says!!

I'll be putting pics up all week on Instagram as there are always loads of great projects going on :-)

and talking of Baltimore, Susan has started a blog on her site....you can read it here and follow through bloglovin here

I had the absolute pleasure of doing a Q & A for a new series she has started (scroll down) and it really made me think for the first time in a long time about what I am doing and why... 

Kind of love that stuff I admit, it's fired me up!!



Also,  Ashlynn emailed me recently asking if she could post one of my skirt tutorials to a wonderful new site she has created.

The Threadfull Truth is gathering and organizing lots of tutorials and techniques from a vast number of blogs for all levels of sewing... a kind of one stop shop if you will!

Its a huge amazing concept for sure, and will be a valuable resource.  Love that's she's doing it!


So that's it, an early post....as I'm getting ready to head out..

Have a wonderful week everyone :-)


Baltimore with a slight nod to McQueen - Part 1

Baltimore with a slight nod to McQueen - Part 1

Vogue V1440 - The muslins...

Vogue V1440 - The muslins...