I’ve decided to do the Colette Patterns Fall Palette Challenge 2011!
I tend to wear a lot of black clothing, as I discovered this summer when I was trying to find a black shirt and realized I had several black shirts in a pile by the bed. I only own one brown pair of capris and one brown t-shirt which I never wear. I think this season I’ll try to incorporate more brown into my wardrobe, as well as some blues and yellows balanced by grey. I’m usually not crazy about the brown/grey combination, but some ladies seem to be able to pull it off. I’m going to try it. Here’s my inspiration mood board; you can find the original board and sources on my Pinterest challenge board.
I’ll be sewing a mini-wardrobe from a bunch of Colette Patterns that I have at home, as well as a few new ones that I’ll be ordering from their fall collection.
I’d also like to throw some red and coral in there with the grey, but that won’t be part of the challenge. I’ve got enough on my plate!
Well, it’s been awhile since I’ve sewn anything, but I am just getting over a bad cold and I had a lot of time to discover some inspiring sewing blogs and break out the sewing machine. Earlier this week, I started the Ceylon dress by Colette Patterns. I finished it last night just in time for a lovely lunch out with some friends today and a short trip out of the city to take a look at a potential wedding venue, which is where the above photo was taken.
This dress seemed very intimidating to me at first. The last time I tried gathering fabric to create a ruffled look, it was very difficult (because I did it incorrectly). This dress has a lot of that, but it was a lot easier this time around (because I did it correctly). As well, I learned how to make buttonholes. I ended up making fourteen of them; the pattern calls for sixteen but I shortened the dress considerably so that it would be knee-length on me.
I bought the material so long ago that I unfortunately don’t know what it’s made out of. I’m going to venture that it’s a polyester blend. It’s quite a comfortable medium-weight, not too heavy but not too light either. I wanted red buttons to contrast the dress and I think it looks rather nice. I might try to find a thin white belt to finish off the outfit.
This was definitely a successful pattern. It wasn’t difficult and I managed to learn a few new skills too. I even did a few French seams thanks to a tutorial from Gertie’s Blog For Better Sewing, as this dress does not have a lining and I wanted some of my seams to be neater (such as the sleeves and the back skirt).
The wedding venue was, by the way, beautiful and affordable. We’ll continue thinking about it before we decide to put down a deposit since we’re also considering some other options, but I loved it.
I’ve finished the Lady Grey coat by Colette Patterns.
I’m very proud of it. It is definitely the most complex item I’ve ever sewn without my mom’s supervision! It actually wasn’t that difficult. I was nervous going into it, since I haven’t sewn anything complicated since I was a teenager. Luckily, all the skills that my mom taught me when I was younger stayed in my brain, and I was able to count on muscle memory to make this coat.
I didn’t make any modifications. When I tried on the muslin, it fit quite well, so I stuck with the size 8 and hoped for the best. The material was just purchased from Fabricland. The original plan was to order some fabric online from all the cute and amazing fabric shops that exist on the internet… but I had a hard time envisioning the look and feel of a fabric just from a description of the material.
The lining is so lovely and bright. I bought hot pink lining and this bright blue lining. I think the pink would have looked great too, but the blue is a little more suited to my preferred colour schemes. I’ll save the pink to line something else.
You may notice it’s missing a button. I haven’t sewn a buttonhole before so I want to practise using the same material and seeing how it looks. I find that learning new crafting skills is fun until it is necessary that you get it right, otherwise you could end up ruining the whole thing. When there’s crafting pressure, I tend to stop what I’m doing and start working on something else!
I’ve just been wearing this coat with the belt. It gapes a bit in the front collar but not enough to really bother me. And once the button goes on, it should tighten the fit.
I’ve taken up cross-stitching – an activity I haven’t done for well over ten years. Again, I have my muscle memory and my mother to thank.
The Lady Grey Sew-Along kicked off a few days ago with cutting out the pieces for the muslin.
The muslin in pieces.
I became overzealous and lazy – two qualities which don’t really seem to belong together. I ended up assembling most of my muslin this evening (overzealous) and I have decided I probably won’t make any changes (lazy).
The point of a muslin as I understand it is to create a tester version of your garment. The muslin is usually made out of inexpensive material ideally with the same weight and drape of your finished product material. During the muslin stage, you would measure and mark any appropriate changes to your pattern – taking it out in the waist, taking in the bust, etc. This is to ensure that the final garment will actually fit you the way it’s supposed to, because as we know, all bodies are different and there are countless combinations of bust/waist/hip measurements out there. As well, it will save you a lot of time, money, and frustration if you’ve discovered that you cut out and sewn a beautiful piece of clothing… that doesn’t fit you.
Anyway, my muslin seems to fit me like a glove, so I think I might just go ahead and make the size 8 as is without trying to tailor it. While this would be a great opportunity for me to learn some tailoring skills, I don’t have a lot of time on my hands right now and would prefer to get this coat done sooner rather than later, which I think I can do if I just stick to the pattern as it is.
Also, I have two other Colette Patterns to work on while fall is coming.
In celebration of my new sewing machine, Joan, I decided to try the Lady Grey Sew-Along.
See, there is this website that I found some time ago called Colette Patterns, which sells gorgeous, unique patterns. I am particularly in love with Beignet, Ceylon, and the much coveted Lady Grey. Gertie from Gertie’s New Blog For Better Sewing (click on the image for the link) will be leading a sew-along and providing some much-needed advice on fabrics and construction, so I figured I’d join in and try my hand at something advanced. I haven’t sewn clothing in a long time, but I’m hoping that between now and the start of the sew-along, I can try sewing the Beignet skirt and see how that turns out. I think I should be okay.
Fingers crossed! I’ll post some updates here on how the project goes.