Friday, 30 August 2013

A quick re-fashion and capes

I have been rather slack lately.  I didn’t realise that it had been almost 2 months since my last post!   

Not that I haven’t been sewing – I’ve been doing HEAPS.

Not that I haven’t had time – I was made redundant at the end of July so I’ve had HEAPS of time 

Part of the problem has been a lack of photographs.  I’ve been making stuff, but spending most of my days in Jeans and sweatshirts, so I have quite a collection of new stuff that I’ve not worn yet.

As I said, I have sewn quite a bit, and even done a bit of re-fashioning, which is not normally my thing.  I had a plain wool sort of aqua skirt which I made ages ago.  Trouble is, I made it too small.  At my slimmest I could just squeeze into it, so long as I didn’t have to sit down. 

So it sat in the back of my wardrobe for about seven years! 

Logic would have had me throw it out, but I love the colour, and it’s a really soft, warm wool.  Every time I come to do a wardrobe cull I look at it, am reminded how much I love the fabric and kid myself I will one day fit into it again.

Finally I decided to deal with it.  I spotted a skirt in Fashion Quarterly in navy and aqua panels and decided that I would add a navy blue panel down the sides of the skirt to give it the extra width that my butt requires.

I’m oddly happy with this botch up.  The panel actually looks like it’s supposed to be there and does slim the lines of the skirt down slightly.

Instead of the waistband I faced the waist with the navy blue, so I ended up with a waistband and the strips from where I had cut off the sides of the skirt.   These apparently insignificant scraps came in use later...

Anyway, enough of re-fashioning; A few of the Wellington bloggers have come up with a brilliant idea.  They’re managing a collective group of sewers into “The Monthly Stitch”.  The idea is that the group sets a monthly sewing challenge, which is broad enough for anyone to adapt, then everyone posts their creations.  The first challenge is capes.

This was easy for me, I love capes.  The very first garment I ever made (about 30 years ago) was a cape, and I still wear it now.  I made it just after “The French Lieutenant’s Woman” was released.  Meryl Streep did some great dramatic moments in a full length cape with a hood.

I’m not sure that mine looks quite as dramatic...

...but it’s long, warm and a bit dramatic.  It keeps the rain off and can be slipped on over the top of anything; an evening dress or even a business suit, and it keeps me warm and dry.

On the down side, the plain black is... well... plain, and there are no holes to slip my arms through, so driving is a problem.  Since I didn’t have a pattern I didn’t give myself enough fabric in the front so I have to clutch it to chest in the wind.


I’ve made a Burda cape from an old magazine since then, which solved a couple of those problems, but didn’t have a hood, which I do miss in Auckland, ‘cos it rains a lot and I straighten my hair, and if it gets wet it goes really frizzy and horrible. 

Like the first cape, it also has no pockets, which can be a nuisance.  Still, I wear that one too, although again, it’s a bit plain.

 I was contemplating the cape I wanted to make when I arranged to meet my daughter for lunch one Saturday. 
Look what turned up!

She straightens her hair too - so she has a hood!

That was it for me, if she can wear capes, then I can.   

She has been known to suggest that some of my choices are a little dated, but she approved of the cape idea, although I can’t imagine looking a wonderful in one as she does!

I had plenty of navy wool left from my re-fashioning project so I took the Burda pattern and drafted a hood to replace the collar.  I also drafted pockets to fit next to the arm holes.

At this point I was not inspired.  The navy is very dark and I could see this being another yawn-fest.

Remember the scraps that I had from the re-fashioning project? 

I cut the waistband in half and used pieces of it to trim the armholes, used the side pieces to make piping for the edge of the hood.   I found some printed satin to use as lining that contained the navy and aqua...

... and the whole thing now looks a lot more dramatic.  

And it has pockets!!
I’m really pleased with this.  It is not as dramatic as my daughter’s red one (but I’m not 19 either), but it is warm, keeps me mostly dry in the rain, and looks good with the re-fashioned skirt too.