Winter Sports Wear

In a few weeks time it’ll be the 10th anniversary of getting together with my lovely, long-suffering, husband. We first met on a ski-ing holiday in glamorous Courmayeur, back in 2006, when we were both holidaying as part of a large group of skiers. On the first day we were all asked to segregate ourselves into smaller units for the week and somehow we both ended up ski-ing in the “fast” group.  Him, because he is an excellent skier who likes to push himself and me because I really don’t know my limits.  He quite literally picked me up the whole holiday. Either I’d fallen down on the mountain, or I’d taken the free limoncello being offered at the restaurant way too seriously. Either way, there was no avoiding bumping into him the whole week. I did try. It snowballed from there.

I’ve continued to hit ski the slopes each year with him, accompanied by my 2 daughters mostly, but this year the girls have other plans so there’s just the 2 of us this time. Bliss.

Fitting in with School holidays has usually forced us to go around Easter time each year, so now we have the choice we’ve decided to go earlier in the Season, when the snow is still good at 3pm, and the limoncellos prices are more reasonable. It is, however, a good few degrees colder and as I suffer from bad circulation I thought I’d better think about preparing for the cooler conditions.

And that, dear readers, is the excuse as to why I NEED massive, Bridget Jones style, merino wool knickers!

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But not just one pair!

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The pattern is the Ohhh Lulu Ava, available from Etsy hereil_570xN.793453451_dyga

After the first pair, the others only too half an hour from cutting to finishing so were a lovely satisfying project.

The fabric is a merino knit I got from Ebay last year after Fehr trade’s Melissa pointed me in the right direction. Merino knits are always difficult to source so I got plenty and then couldn’t bear to cut into it for ages

You really cannot beat wool for warmth. Nothing else comes near. None of the fancy man made technical fibres are really up to the job quite like merino. It doesn’t smell, it stays dry, is super warm and I therefore will be wearing it top to toe when I hit the slopes.

So, I made myself this too. It’s the Fraser sweatshirt pattern from Sewaholic and I’ve had my eye on their whole activewear range since it was launched recently.DSC02348

I’ve sewn Sewaholic’s Hollyburn skirt, Granville shirt and Minoru jackets and find their drafting and instructions always excellent however this time I did struggle.  I really wanted to sew this up purely on my overlocker/serger but because it was drafted with 5/8″seam allowances it wasn’t really possible. I can see why they did that, for those of you without an overlocker, however it did mean it took a lot longer than I would have liked. A small criticism, but now that I’m used to Style Arc and Burdastyle patterns I really hate those large seam allowances.

My alterations were to shorten the arms by a WHOLE 5 inches. I also lengthened it by 2 inches, which is not an alteration I usually make, but it does look short on everyone I’ve seen wear it. I  did my usual forward shoulder adjustment and graded it down a size at the hip, not up, like I normally do as they are drafted for pear shapes.

I like the design lines and they also have a great tutorial on their website to show you how you can get lovely sharp corners.

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I also should have made a small swayback adjustment when I lengthened it. Next time I might redraft the back to follow the design lines from the arms and front.

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If you’re up for more Merino loveliness, I made another from some gorgeous sweatshirt fabric brought back by a friend who happened to be on holiday in New Zealand exactly when I read this post. This lovely lady is a fantastic source for all things outdoor, amongst others and pointed me in the right direction to get even MORE merino.

This one wasn’t lengthened, sadly, and I used a rib knit I already had to finish off the cuffs and collar and to provide some contrast. I kept the rest of it simple.

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I will definitely have to tweak the fit on the back for the next one.

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See you, hopefully in one piece, when I get back!

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Spoolettes and Suits

Friday last was the day the Yorkshire Spoolettes met up, organised by the wonderful Thimberlina. I have never been to a meet-up before so was naturally a little nervous of spending a day with people I had either never met before or only conversed with over the internet.

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Ali and Hila. And yes, Wetherspoons do throw in a free pint with every meal! 

I’m pleased to say my fears were totally unfounded. Everyone was friendly, chatty and the only downside was that I didn’t get the time to chat with everyone, as a total of 19 of us had turned up on the day.

I only took a couple of photos, sorry, but it did mean I could properly relax and enjoy the day.  Some people had come over 100 miles to be there, others were from closer by, with one lady living literally just around the corner from me. We talked about our favourite patterns, the lack of decent fabric shops, blogging and how cheap the shopping in Dewsbury was. We also swapped some fabrics and patterns.  More details are on Ali’s blog here.

Ali was a fantastic host and had everything well and truly organised. Also, I hope she didn’t mind me poking my nose into her choice of fabric colour either!

So, since I’m already fairly local the only real purchase I made was to buy a couple of metres from the appropriately named, for me, Lucky Fashions, who threw in an extra half metre of fabric for free when I ordered the last of the bolt.   They’ve got a good selection of knits as well as wools, chiffons and cottons and the owner couldn’t have done more to welcome all of us. (By couldn’t have done more, I mean throw in free fabric, provide chocolate biscuits, cakes and drinks as well as give us a guided tour of her fabrics)

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Orange birds on a deep purple. Not quite as vibrant in real life, it’s a lightweight viscose knit and I’m planning on making it into a drapey Style Arc Issy when I get the chance.

One of the reasons I didn’t buy more is that I had already splurged earlier in the week and the fabric finally arrived today.

First off, some pure silk satin to line my Burda jacket, currently being cut out.

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I’m really pleased that the lining fabric will add a little extra zing to the plain wool/mohair suiting (which looks quite blue in the photos, but is actually more dark brown in real life)

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I also bought another silk lining to go with a Linton Tweed I bought last year for a “Chanel” style jacket, Vogue 8804.

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Green and purple. One of my most favourite colour combinations.

Both fabrics were from Joel and Son.  I’m usually quite good at finding fabric bargains but I wouldn’t say these were in this category (understatement!) even though I found them in the “remnant” section.  At least I didn’t pay the £61.90 per metre they wanted originally!

I looked at whether to us hand tailoring, machine tailoring or quick (fusible) tailoring techniques and have decided to use machine tailoring techniques on my jacket, as per the instructions from this book. I’ve used them before on an unblogged Sherlock coat I made for my youngest daughter last year and they came out really well.  The book contains step-by-step photos of each stage of construction, and in lieu of taking a class is a good way of learning the different techniques and how to apply them.

I just love making jackets!

 

 

 

 

The Atelier Coat

I’m sewing up a storm this year. No pun intended.  I’m already on item number 4, as I try to make 10 garments in 4 months which co-ordinate into 3 separate outfits. January is a great month for us sewists as there’s nothing nicer than switching on your iron, firing up your sewing machine and wrangling lots of lovely, warm fabric into complete submission. Or coat sewing, as it’s known.

Now,  most of the coats I own are either fitted and smart or fitted and casual and as I sometimes like to wear baggier shapes, and in the Winter warm, thick layers, I’ve been eyeing up the current trend for oversized coats.  I’ve had my eye on patterns from The Makers Atelier for a while. I love their clean, simple aesthetic and their choice of fabrics, but haven’t seem many items made up and when I saw their prices I realised why. However, this once I decided I’d just splurge. I already had the fabric, an eBay purchase from a year or so, which was starting to fester in my stash, so, really, it wasn’t going to cost me that much more to get, a warm, smart, comfortable cover up.

The Atelier Coat 936

The Atelier Coat

Firstly, this coat is VOLUMINOUS. I chose a size 12, and could have easily gone down a size. Probably no worse than the Big 4, but the design drowned me in fabric, and I almost didn’t finish it as a result.

It’s also described as an edge to edge design and the eagle eyed may have noticed it is modelled overlapped at the front. Since I also wanted to wear it that way I altered the pattern by adding a couple of inches at centre front, so I could add some snaps. I’m not sure who would wear a coat without fastenings, but that person is definitely not me. I ended up taking that extra back off as, VOLUMINOUS.

During cutting out I noticed I had used up rather more fabric than indicated and after checking it was obvious that the fabric requirements were incorrect, by over half a metre. Thank goodness I had extra lining and outer fabric or I would have been very upset.

Before I had chance to contact them to let them know this, a new updated pattern arrived in the post, explaining that that the fabric layouts were incorrect and had been updated accordingly. That was good of them to send me a new one.

It was very simple to make up and the instructions reasonably comprehensive, but no better than others I have seen and definitely not indicative of the price tag.

 

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I added welt pockets as that massive expanse of fabric needed breaking up, although the pattern has in-seam pockets already.

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I pattern matched the fabric across all seams

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I think I could get someone else in there with me too!

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So, I think this would be an ok project for a beginner although you would definitely need to use a fabric with a decent amount of body. Mine was rather wimpy, so it got fully fused.

I also made the trousers I’m modelling in preparation for my next project, a wool and mohair suit. The fit on them is almost there, just a few tweaks and they’ll be perfect. They’re this pattern, if you’re interested.

I just got the fabric from Ebay and it’s absolutely gorgeous. A wool and mohair blend suiting in a brown/blue mix.

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So, continuing my natural-toned theme, I’ll be making the trousers  to go with this jacket.

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February is looking to be another busy sewing month. Also, I’m meeting up with fellow sewers/bloggers this Saturday, organised by the wonderful Thimberlina. I’m really looking forward to it.