Friday, November 19, 2010

Femme Capelet

I have been having a few sewing failures this week with patterns so I have decided to go back to sewing my own designs.  That is really how I how got interested in sewing - I wanted to design and sew my own clothes.  I was not impressed of how clothes were fitting me and how cheap some of the material was - even the so called "designer clothes" lacked design and fit.  I also could never find a dress that fit me properly on the bodice  and skirt.  It was always too big or too small.   So I poured over every "teach your self how to sew" books and I was hooked.  I designed and sewed my first few dresses and skirts without a pattern and had fun creating something from a few meters of fabric.  I also read some great tutorials from other blogs by some really great seamstresses.  I was amazed at what these women could sew and seemed to make it look so easy.  Also when I emailed these wonderful women with a newbie question on how they used a certain technique they were very generous with their time to email me back with an answer!  I never new this wonderful sewing world existed and I was encouraged to be part of it and this was 6 months before I started my blog.  No one in my group of friends sews so books and blog tutorials have been my sewing education.  Here I am babbling - back to my pattern failures, I have learned quite alot from patterns, one being patience (which I don't have) and proper cuttings and I guess sometimes fit.  My last few projects I have measured properly, cut properly and sewn with the correct needles and after all that - disaster - the red skirt, purple dress, merlot cardi-wrap does not fit!  I have not posted these projects, that will be for another post.  For the merlot cardi-wrap I even took apart the stitches to see where my mistakes might be - with no luck.  I used the correct fabric, thread and it was still too big and hung on me funny.  I put those 3 garments away (flung them in the closet) and went to watch Top Gear on BBC.   The next day after work I went to the fabric store (they pretty much know me now) and purchased some gorgeous wool fabric and designed this capelet (since the cardi-wrap was a no go).

I love capelets and had made a simple one this summer with a matching skirt.  For this one I added a hood, the same hood design as my Volturi Dress and wool was a fabric that I have not yet sewed with so might as well try something new and not give up!  I also wanted this capelet to be warm so wool was the choice.  The armhole was something new to learn and went smoothly.  I used my own measurements and height for this design.  I also put in a hook & eye closure at the bottom and a button & buttonhole at the top (another new technique that I read from my Singer manual and practised on scrap fabric until I got it). 

I sewed this on my other Singer 1960's machine because I thought the wool was quite thick and this machine is my workhorse for thicker fabric.  I also usually keep it threaded black for quick sewing.

I hemmed all the edges of this capelet and made it so the darker brown selvages are draping in the front of it.

When I finished this I sewed up a another top in my favorite Metropolitan design fabric(this is my 2nd top with this great fabric), this time I sew it with a contrasting long black jersey sleeves and then finally a  black duiponi silk skirt, both my own designs.  I made the skirt in a asymmetrical design and I have no problems cutting or sewing with duiponi silk! 

All these photos were taken by my Model (middle child) and all it cost me was a Baconator at Wendy's!!  I like this one with the sun setting.
This skirt is 3 pieces with a yoke and gathers.  By accident I found a simple way to add gathers to the silk, I just layered or scrunched up the fabric and pushed it through as I was sewing- it gathered!  Real seamstresses are cringing right about now and I don't know if this will hold up but I will wear it and hand wash and see what happens.  I was doing the gathering before the correct way by sewing 2 lines and then pulling together but I always seem to break the thread!  I like the way silk drapes and it is one of my favorite fabrics.  I am so happy that I finished this outfit as we are going out for our anniversary dinner tonight.  I have not completely given up on patterns, just taking a break and to see what I can design next!



Rosy said...

Stunning! You designed and sewed all those clothes and they look so good on you! You are taking career with sewing and I really enjoy seeing your creations. I love, love the capelet!!!

Denise said...

Thank you Rosy!

Cennetta said...

Love, love your capelet.

junespoon said...

Hi! Thanks for joining my blog! I love seeing other home-sewers' projects! This capelet is beautiful...i would love one. It's very chic - you should be so proud of your pattern-making skills! I'm too scared to try something so complicated!

I'll be following!

june xxxx

Andrea @ said...

I chose this for the Make It Wear It Competition! Voting is open until Wednesday!

maryanne @ mama smiles said...

I love your capelet! I've gathered by scrunching the fabric that way before, it works pretty well!

Your daughter makes a fantastic model - and why use patterns when you can make up clothing like this?!


very nice...