Friday, 26 April 2019

Closet Case Patterns Kelly Anorak

Pattern: Closet Case Patterns -  Kelly Anorak
Fabric: Primrose Yellow Ripstop from the fabric bin at Abakhan Fabrics
Size made: 16
Modifications: used the lining expansion pack

I badly needed to replace my raincoat. I made myself a parka style raincoat from an issue of Ottobre Design about 5 years ago and while my stitching has held firm (hurrah!), my zip broke about 8 months ago and a pen leaked in the pocket leaving a stain. Fair to say, it needed to go!

As you will gather from my original post, I had a hell of a time sewing it. Ottobre aren't known for their in-depth, crystal clear instructions and while the designs are good, the execution can be stressful. I love the style of the Kelly Anorak and having recently sewn up the Clare Coat, I knew there would be much better hand-holding along the way.

I chose to line this coat. One thing I wished I had done on my last one was line the sleeves because Spring sunshine can be pretty weak over here and I always felt a little bit chilly.
The lining expansion pack is purchased separately and comes with a fresh set of instructions for making the coat with lining. Not all the pieces from original list are required so you have to use the new list for the whole coat.

I made sure that I was fully prepped for sewing this up. I used my pressing cloth because I didn't want the ripstop fabric to melt. I also spent a morning making my own tailors ham and tailors sausage so that I would be able to press those seams out properly. (To be fair, I should have done this several projects ago, I found myself with enough time to do it for this one!)

I found the free patterns for the tailors ham/sausage on the Tilly and the Buttons website. Here if you are interested. They didn't take long to make up. Instructions state to stuff with sawdust but I used a huge bag of scrap baby yarn that my mum had given me and packed it in really tightly.

The pockets are really big and roomy thanks to the bellow style gusseted pocket. The flap is entirely for decoration but adds a nice touch. I spent way too long trying to fit those snaps on. They are good quality Prym snaps but I butchered a handful in my attempts to bang them in. I got the pocket ones in, also the two on the hood facing, but one of those won't snap. I didn't want to go to the effort of making a new coat only to ruin it by botching my fastenings. So I ordered some brass looking plastic ones from the KAM UK website because I have one of their snap setting tools and it has always worked in the past.

So the ones you see running down the front of the coat are the plastic ones. They all went on in a matter of minutes and saved my sanity. (I had to wait until I came back off holiday to apply those so in some photos, they are missing)

I wanted a navy lining to the coat as I see a lot of yellow and navy coats around at the moment and love the colour combo. I wasn't sure I would pull off yellow, but I have ended up really loving it. There is no missing me in a crowd now!

The sleeves are long enough to roll back the cuffs and I find that I like the look of the lining showing at the wrist so have been wearing it like that.

I added a hanging loop using grosgrain ribbon.

Overall it is a good length and the hood is roomy. The pleated seam on the back is a nice detail and looks good with the drawstring casing. I like that the back view wasn't forgotten and has some interesting details to balance nicely with the front.

Apart from the initial tracing out of a zillion pieces, I have grown to love making coats. There is something very satisfying about the finished article. Also, every coat I have ever sewn has been worn to death. Whether it was for myself or the girls, they have always been worth making.

To summarize, I would definitely make this coat again. I would like to have the other view (minus the hood) in a kahki green twill with a bit more thermal lining for cooler days. Consider it on my sewing list!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, 8 April 2019

Liesl & Co Neighbourhood Sweatshirt and Hoodie

Views Made: Both! Sweatshirt and Hoodie versions
Size Made: Small
Fabric: (View A) Pale Blue fleece backed jersey (View B) Cat print fleece backed jersey and black boucle jersey (reversed) 

Sweatshirt fabrics from Higgs and Higgs.

I made the hoodie version first because my daughter was keenest on a new hooded top. I let her choose both fabrics when we went to a craft show and she selected some lovely soft sweatshirt fabric for the hoodie, and a fun cat print for the other. I was a bit surprised at her colour choice. She doesn't like anything in the pink spectrum, but this apparently is purple. I wasn't going to argue!

I loved sewing both of these up. The sweatshirt was understandably a much quicker sew. The patterned fabric actually gave me a slight moment of worry because I didn't have anything to pair it up with. Boo fancied a black contrast shoulder and sorting through my stash, I found that I didn't have any plain black of the same weight as the sweatshirting.

What I did have however was this grey stretch left over from my Grainline Moss Jacket. If I used it with the wrong side out, I had my black. So that is what I did. 

The contrast panel on the shoulder looks really good. It makes the top stand out to me. When the pattern was released I really liked the look of the sleeve. It took me a while to add this project to my list but I am glad I did. Boo is now fitting nicely into women's sized patterns, which means I really get my money's worth out of them. I shall make one for me soon I think!

I used the small size to fit her at the chest, the hip size didn't match her measurements, but I didn't think that would matter much. It saves me having to re-stitch a popped out hem when she decides to tuck it over her knees as she sits on the sofa. So a little extra wiggle room is a good thing.

Isn't the curve of the hem lovely?

On to View A, a hooded zip up top with kangaroo pockets. 

I'm trying to remember if I have made a zip up hoodie before. I can't for the life of me think of one from the girls wardrobes that was home sewn. 
I have made over-the-head hoodies with a kangaroo pocket before though. Those pockets take a lot of wear in children's clothes. My girls think they are indestructible, and that pockets have no sense of gravity when filled with stones, pine cones, leaves and other treasures. 

So imagine my delight to find that this pocket has all the edges incorporated into the panels. There is no patch style pocket to pull off (no matter how well stitched down). Also the pocket bags are nice and full. 

And there's that lovely sweeping hem again...

The length is perfect on her. Long enough to cover her bottom, but not TOO long.

I lined the hood with some regular cotton jersey leftover from a t-shirt project. The hood is nice and deep. It stays up and feels snuggly.

Thanks to well written instructions, my zip went in perfectly. I didn't have to unpick anything!

Lastly, it occurred to me that the tee she had on underneath everything was one that I made for her in September. It is also a Liesl and Co pattern, this time the Metro Tee. I have altered it slightly as suits her shape. Close fitting and straight styles don't look as good on Boo as a flared hem. 

I cut the pattern piece from the hem to the middle of the shoulder (to create a hinge) and swung it apart by about 1"-1.5" at the hem. It creates a more fluid shape as you can see in the second photo.

I used my Van Ikke transfer to jazz up the front. These iron on transfers are brilliant. Such good quality and so far this has washed really well. I just avoid putting it in the tumble dryer because I don't want it to crack or fade.

Thanks for reading!