Category Archives: patterns

Lady Grey Inspired Coat

I am a coat girl. I probably have more coats/jackets than dresses in my closet. So now the weather is going to get colder, I had been pushing to make a new coat for this year. I really wanted to make a coat that would go with my 50s inspired dresses, which means it would flare out to accommodate the large skirt. Also, I really wanted to follow Gertie’s lady grey sew-along, as the lady grey is so cute, special, and feminine. However, I wanted a longer length coat, and the pattern was a little too pricy for me for one that I cannot print to adjust for my height, and one that I still have to alter. So I took a pattern in my stash, basic McCall M5525, altered it quite a bit, experimented with the collar, and made this perfectly fitted coat:

It was finally turning cold today and I wore this to my parents. Mom wanted some photos with me and her new dress:

Isnt she a stylish mom? She also gave me two brooches to wear on the lapel:

I think I copied the lapels and collar pretty well. Don’t you think? I just had to enlarge the lapels by a lot, and experimented with a piece of felt to get the collar look right:

I also wanted to go for a grand minimalist feel for this coat, if you know what I mean. I did not use any buttons (gasp!) and just went for belts. The pockets are very subtle and just look like a seam from the outside:

This is how the collar looks from the back. I love the look so much! I used a pretty light weight wool for the outside. the drape was pretty beautiful, especially before I top stitched all the seams and hemmed the coat. With the top stitch, the coat falls a little awkwardly, but I have this OCD that all my coats needs to have its seams top stitched (I LOVE top stitching, I can do it ALL day), so I did it anyway, but only 1 top stitch instead of my usual two! I think it still looks quite nice.

I also found a perfect silky polyester with a vintage feel to it, dark luxurious thin satin with purple (with exact color matching!) flowers. I also proudly announce that after making 6 lined coats, I got my method of lining coats down (I cheat on the sleeves, but oh wells!). It is perfectly lined, with the bottom on the lining sewn to the bottom of the shell:

All in all, I think I captured the elements I loved about lady grey with my alterations, which was quite straightforward given that it also had a princess seam (but not as pronounced and statement-al as lady grey), and all I needed to do is to add volume on the bottoms of the pieces, enlarge the lapel, come up with a lapel, and shorten the sleeves to a 3/4 sleeve (btw, as usual, all my coat sleeves are made with sleeves from Talea coat). I am slightly torn about making a tutorial on how to alter this. On one hand, I want to share with my readers on how I made this coat. But on the other hand, I dont want to rob Collete Patterns of any potential customers, as this IS sort of a copy of their pattern and I am sure they worked hard on the design! What do you think is the right thing to do, readers? Should I make a tutorial? For your reference, this is the technical drawing of the pattern I used, vs Lady Grey:

Anyway, front of the coat with a beret that I knitted from the softest organic cotton yarn, I didnt know I was going to make this purple coat at the time, but the color is kind of perfect for it:

So what do you think? Do you like this coat? I really really love it, there’s just something elegant, and loud about it!

Son of a Monkey…

I was looking for a pattern in Burda magazine to decide what dress to make next. Given that the petite fit for my last dress was so on the dot, I decided to go ahead and highlight all the petite patterns in my magazine. On my last magazine, guess what I find:

Does this look familiar? Doesnt this look my Dart Dress Fail Dress I tried to make just a few weeks back?

Same low back,  a lot less dart, easier to fit, and PETITE!!! I can’t believe I used the more complicated pattern for this! For all you other petite ladies out there, this is dress 116 from 2009/10 issue.

Draft me a Bodice

Last last Friday my fiancé went to a magic tournament with his friends (read: geek gathering), and some of the wifes decided to get together and sew at the host’s house. I had hosted three sewing parties (aka. juebejue-forces-friends-to-sew-party) at my place, and it was nice going to someone else for a change!

Sadly, all my sewing stuff was packed away in my bathroom, so I only had the sewing machine that i packed into the trunk of my car “just in case I really need to sew” before the remodel started. I was able to dig out my pattern book, and with lots of materials “borrowed” from my friend Andi, I got started with drafting myself a bodice pattern!

Drafting the bodice pattern was considerably harder than the skirt. For starters, I think the woman they used in the book has a very different back shape than I do. Hers bulges out, while mine caves in. I might have also measured my shoulder width from a wrong point (I think the right points to use is the joint you feel when you put your hand on top of your shoulder and move the arm around, where you normally want your sleeves to begin). After much measuring, drawing, confusing, swearing, re-measuring, erasing, drawing, and then sewing and fitting, I think I have a decent bodice.

Advice to people using this book for bodice — if the book doesnt make sense, double check your measurements and calculations! I got cocky and thought their instructions didnt make sense at one point, so I went off and followed my own instruction — turned out that I forgot to divide something by two! Silly me 🙂

Anyone finished drafting a bodice for themselves? How did you like it?

The Making of a Perfect Pair (of Jeans)

I had been wearing my awesome jeans everyday, and now im going to share how I altered the Anita Pattern to make a pair of butt hugging and slightly flared jeans.

(note that all the pictures can be clicked on for full size)

Butt hugging

On the two leg pattern pieces, there is a line across the hip area: “shorten or lengthen here”. I folded along that line and took off a total of 2 inches (the fold was 1 inch tall). Note that I am only 4’11 tall while this pattern was made for someone 5’6&1/4 , so for the taller petite girls, you might want to take off LESS than that. Continue reading