|The Wedding Outfit: Jacket (New Look 6911), skirt (McCall's 5431) and top (Ottobre 02-2013-02 hack)|
I made the skirt first. It's a pattern I've made and reviewed before and liked a lot the first time. Since the size 20 was a little bit big, this time I made the size 18 which fits much better. As before I made the skirt up straight out of the envelope with no pattern adjustments. However, this time, I upped the complexity quite a bit in terms of fabrics used and the number of layers.
|Skirt: Clockwise from upper left: front view, side view with ruching, textured taffeta layer, lace hem on taffeta layer with cotton interlining|
The taffeta was also polyester which is gross against the skin and also even the two top layers together weren't totally opaque, so I decided to underline the taffeta layer in inexpensive white polycotton (using my favourite underlining/bound seam method, which produced gorgeous results every single time). At the end I hemmed the taffeta layer with white lace on the inside. The overlay is loose over the top of the skirt (rather than sewn into the seams), so it has a bound slit where the zip is so you can take the skirt off, and I used french seams throughout. I used 48mm wide lace on the hem of the overlay and ruched the bottom 13cm (including the lace) up the side seams in order to create the frothiest skirt I could.
|Inside: white polycotton underlining with bound seams|
For a break, the next thing I made was the much easier top. This is just the same Ottobre Woman pattern I've made several times already but again with a little bit of a hack for wedding purposes.
|Wedding top, hacked Ottobre 02-2013-02 (front and back view)|
Fabric wise, I really wanted silk jersey for this top. Then I saw the actual price of silk jersey (£30/m, anyone?) and went with something a little less bank account breaking. The fabric is called "silk touch" and it's a very nice lycra jersey that does, indeed, feel like silk. On the back, I used a floral stretch lace in white, having learned from the previous attempt to do a yoke that it would work better with a stretch fabric. Both fabrics are from Tissu, easily my favourite online shop for knits.
The top went together really easily and quickly except for the neck binding. I am in despair over my neck binding problems. They always stretch out and I just don't know how to prevent it when I'm sewing. It drives me insane.
The very last thing I made was the jacket, mainly because I really had to work up my courage to make it. And yet, it was way easier than I ever expected and I looooove the outcome, even if it's not without problems. You can read my Pattern Review here, but here are some extra thoughts. Also, totally co-incidentally, I happened to make this while the Natural Fibre competition is on, and while I have exactly zero expectation of getting even 1 vote, I decided to put it into the competition
just for a laugh.
I am really pleased with the pattern I chose because, as mentioned previously, it allowed me to use a previous attempt at an armhole princess pattern as a starting point. It's also really really simple -- there's literally nothing to do except construction seams and seam binding. I am kind of amazed at how good my life decisions were as far as this jacket is concerned.
|Seam binding on the inside of the jacket.|
For instructions, I did use the New Look instructions, but I also used two PR courses for further assistance: Create a Jacket Muslin and Sew a Designer Unlined Jacket, both by Angela Wolf. I got them ages ago in the sale (and they are on sale right now as well!). I wouldn't pay full price for them, but I am happy with what I got for the lower price I paid back in January-ish.
Is it weird that I almost like the inside more than the outside? The seam binding is all done with a Liberty cotton print that I got from the factory shop in Lancaster. I am no fan of Liberty in the ordinary run of things -- I tend to find the prints fussy and old-fashioned -- but there's no denying that it makes some gorgeous bias tape for seam binding.
The main fabric is 100% linen from Fabrix, which is my actual local-ish fabric shop also in Lancaster. I have to admit I squealed when I found the perfect linen to match the georgette skirt, and not even too painfully expensive. The linen was GORGEOUS to work with, except for a slight tendency to shred that the seam binding happily covers up. The only problem is that oh my GOODNESS does it ever crease. It's going to look like a RAG by the end of the day at the actual wedding. The photos above were taken STRAIGHT after I ironed it, and it still looks creased like you wouldn't believe.
|Without buttons; the sleeve problem|
As far as problems go, I really only had one, and that was easing one of the sleeves in. One of he sleeves went in PERFECTLY, but the other kept getting tiny snags, which you can see above on the right. I unpicked the worst of it and managed to massage it down to just these two tiny pleats, but the fabric was starting to fray very badly so I couldn't risk unpicking it again. You really can't see it on the finished garment, but I know it's there and it annoys me. However, it's a HUGE boost to my confidence that I got the sleeves in as well as I did -- I had visions of being there for multiple hours just setting the sleeves, but it really wasn't anywhere near as time consuming or difficult as I thought.
Gosh, this has been a mammoth post. Overall, despite all the problems with the skirt and the nerves I had about making a jacket, I'm really genuinely thrilled with my wedding outfit. It's not perfect, but it's good enough that I won't have any qualms about wearing it. One last note: the cost. Definitely not cheap, is all I am going to say. For just the fabrics plus the lace for the skirt, it hit around £60, and that's without taking into account patterns, the muslin for my jacket, overheads, etc. I was kind of aghast at this until I started thinking about what I would have had to pay for an outfit if I had bought it. Bear in mind I can rarely get fitted jackets that actually FIT unless I go to Pepperberry. The closest thing they have to my jacket is this little lightweight blazer, which I guarantee would not be made with half the care that I put into mine, and oh, by the way, costs £65. So, I am calling my outfit a win, even at £60+. :D