Pattern Mash-Up: Taffy Jasmine

This top has an uncertain pedigree.  Part Colette Sewing Handbook, part Colette Patterns and part Farbenfreude.

Taffy Jasmine

The sleeves are from the Taffy blouse in the Colette Sewing Handbook.  I wasn’t keen on the bodice of the top as it stood and ties on the back plus a mischievous two year old do not make a happy combination!

I’d already sorted the fit of the Jasmine and liked the bodice which is cut on the bias like the Taffy.  I also like the open shape of the neckline.

Finally there is Farbenfreude’s sewing plans post which put the whole mishmash into my head!  As you can see though I have omitted the collar detail on my version and stuck with the sheer fabric and french seams of the taffy along with the bias bound finish on the neck and sleeves.

I traced my altered Jasmine bodice and the sleeve and armscye of Taffy and then spliced the two together.  I started trying to work the maths out and draft the armscye myself and then had the realisation that splicing the two patterns together would be about a billion times easier!

I love the colours in this!

The fabric is an ombre dyed sari my Mum brought back from India years and years ago on one of her journeys out there to help inoculate street children and children in the slums (she’s a nurse and quite incredible in a lot of ways).  I think she told me it was silk, but a burn test proved that she may have been had…  It’s synthetic and burns extremely well.  It also hurts like you wouldn’t believe if a blob of said burning fabric lands on your skin.  I’m gonna have a scar to commemorate this top!

The sari has the ombre effect along both edges and then the hand done block printing starts along one edge before being added to the second edge.  Finally there’s a solid panel of printing at the other end of the sari.  The front was cut from the area with no printing and the back where only one edge was printed.  The sleeves were cut from the solid block of printing.

It was a complete nightmare to work with as it shifted about as soon as you looked at it!  Once I remembered the tip about spray starch though everything became somewhat more manageable (I can’t remember if that came from a Colette Snippets email or the Sewing Handbook).  In effect you spray the fabric with the starch and then press it which crisps the hand up making it much easier to work with.  I used Dylon Spray Starch as that’s what I could lay my hands on here in the UK!

Hand Printed pattern on the back of the bodice

Once that was done the construction was straightforward (apart from the usual mind meld effect that french seams always have on me).  I was going to use self bias to finish the edges but even with liberal amounts of starch, it wasn’t going to happen so I used purchased purple bias instead.  I also used bias at the hem instead of turning and stitching it as per the instructions for Taffy and Jasmine!

I'm really pleased with how neat the bias binding is at the V of the neckline!

This is definitely an evening top with a cami or vest style t underneath as its soooo sheer!  White (the only colour I have in the above mentioned garments) does not work!  It needs to be dark blue or black – something that closely matches the colour of whatever you’re wearing on your bottom half otherwise there’s a sudden change of tone and it just looks weird.  Hence no photos of it being modelled!  This will also be hand washed rather than chucked in the machine as I don’t think the printing would survive and the fabric is so delicate it would snag very easily.

Adjustments for this version:
Same as my Jasmine

Adjustments for future versions:
Maybe reduce the length a little?

Make again?
Maybe.  It would have to be an opaque fabric so I could get the wear out of it as unfortunately I have little occasion to wear such a flirty number these days!

A Rather Revealing Post!

Sorry, I couldn’t help myself there – you’ve got to love Carry on double entendre humour!

First, up apologies for the absence around these parts lately.  I’m quite relieved though that it’s not just me (lladybird, Ginger, Farbenfreude…)

Anyway, you may remember that I mentioned that I’d actually managed to complete a few garments before I dropped off the face of the earth.  All I had to do was take some photographs and then it rained.  For three days.  Then it was freezing – I had to defrost the car to get to work!  Day five was Friday but it was the end of the working week and I couldn’t face organising (read as making myself look vaguely presentable) photos that evening.  Yesterday was a lovely day but involved another Husband drama – now it’s too much work and not enough hours in the day!  (Yep, I know…)

So, today is one of those perfect spring days, warm and sunny.  So whilst Boy and Husband played with duplo downstairs, the camera and I reacquainted ourselves to photograph 4, yes FOUR! finished items.  Wanna see?

All three are new additions to my wardrobe and the Meringue of Wisdom is something you didn’t even know I’d finished!  I’ve got some more in-depth posts already written on each item as when I wrote it all out it was one loooooong post and I didn’t want to bore you all to tears…

Here’s a quick summary though:  Shall we start from the outside?

The jacket is, of course, The Minoru Jacket by Sewaholic Patterns.  The jacket I have been planning and withering on about since the pattern was released last year.

The top is The Jasmine Blouse by Colette Patterns.  Lets just say for now that I love it, wear it to death and the futzing with the fit was seriously worth it.

The skirt is The Meringue Skirt from The Colette Sewing Handbook.  This is the quick make I wanted after completing my Minoru.  Due to my own stupidity it wasn’t quite so quick and easy as I had to complicate it…

Finally there’s my yet to be modelled Taffy Jasmine (inspired by Alessa’s post here) which is a mash up of the above Jasmine pattern and the Taffy Blouse from The Colette Sewing Handbook.  I need a cami to go under this and all my vest tops didn’t work with the neck line or were the wrong colour (white does NOT work under this!).

So, it looks like I’ll be going from a week of near silence to a week of back to back posts! Next up on my sewing table will be a Renfrew and I’ll photograph the dartless FBA that I’ve worked out for it, just in case its useful for anyone else…

PS – don’t forget to enter my give away for an Adele P Margolis book here…

Of Clouds and Silver Linings

Source

In some ways this week has been a success, but in others an epic fail!

The not so great stuff:

Husband has been suffering a bit from depression due to lack of work, which affected me causing me to lose the plot at my place of employment on Wednesday.  Tears and sniffling in the middle of the office is not the normal me!  Husband is a plumber and heating engineer and the early part of every year is always slow work wise, not just for him but for the whole sector.  However he is not good at doing nothing and when given too much time to think he gets tunnel vision and starts to spiral and its very hard to pull him out of it.  I try and support him but its quite tough sometimes, particularly when I’m dealing with the effects of…

My medication being doubled.  Hello insomnia, nausea and generally feeling rubbish until I become accustomed to the higher dose!

Then to top it all I managed to infect my work laptop with such an evil virus (and I have no idea where it came from) that it had to be wiped and re-built.  So I didn’t manage to do anything productive until about 2pm yesterday.  I feel so guilty about it even though I can’t think where I’d been online that would have had such a nasty file.  Ack.

But on the flip side there’s the good stuff!

I’ve found a way to give Husband some control over the work situation.  One of which is to finally sort a website out for him so I’ve made an appointment to go and see a hosting and design company next week to see about getting a site made.  He’s also been contacted to do some short notice work and to quote for some jobs so I hope his mood is lifting…

Reese Witherspoon as Elle Woods

Thursday night I went to the theatre to see the touring production of Legally Blonde: The Musical.  I enjoyed it, although for me the characters of Paulette and Kyle stole the show – probably because they provide the comedy and I was in need of some laughter!  The portrayal of Elle Woods was more annoying to me than Reese Witherspoon’s in the film although I warmed to it much more in the second half.  And no, I hadn’t been drinking!

I also wore a me made outfit – my Beignet and Sencha.  Both now need altering though as I’ve lost over 9lb since the start of the year.  The Sencha should be quite straight forward but the Beignet is going to take some thinking about and will probably involve removing the facing at the waistband and then nipping in at each seam…

And finally I finished two items this week!  My Taffy Jasmine and my Minoru!  I’m really pleased with both and will try and get some pictures to bore you all silly with next week if the sun ever appears today…

Colette Sewing Handbook Pattern: Meringue

So all I have to do now is decide what to make next…  I think a work appropriate Meringue is a strong contender as is a Renfrew.  If anyone has any tips for cleaning and caring for wool garments I’d love to hear them!

Wool Plaid from Annabelle

I also plan to get out my Renfrew pattern and do a FBA so that I can make one or two of those as well!  Would you like me to photograph the steps I’ve worked out for a dart less FBA on this top for a tutorial?  Lauren uses the technique of grading from one size to another, but as I start at the top end of the size chart that’s not an option for me.  Let me know in the comments…

PS – don’t forget to enter my give away here

In Progress…

This is what I’m working on at the moment (in between finishing my Minoru, trying to get photos of my finished Starry Jasmine…). It’s a mash up of the Colette Handbook Taffy and the Colette Jasmine pattern.

I used the pattern pieces from Jasmin for the bodice and spliced the armscye from Taffy onto it.  This saved me a lot of maths in trying to make the stitching lines on the armscye and sleeves the same.  I started it and then thought, why not just add the armscye that fits the sleeve!

I’ve used french seams throughout including the darts using this tutorial.  It’s made from a sari that my Mum brought back from India.  It’s sheer but I love the handprinted pattern on the edges and the ombre dye effect where it tones from blue grey to deep purple.

I was going to use self bias tape but it was a nightmare.  I just couldn’t cut it straight as the fabric is so fluid!  I had to spray-starch the fabric to make it workable (thanks Colette Snippets for that tip!) and gave up on the bias tape.  So it’s bought tape and it’s pinned round the neck and sleeve edges, I just need to sew it on and also do the hem, which I’m going to bind with bias tape as well, rather than turn and stitch it.