Monday, March 30, 2015

Out of Alberta - My Tina Givens Style

I mentioned in a couple of previous posts (here and here), that I was exploring Lagenlook and in particular, the patterns by Tina Givens who describes her style as 'Out of Africa with a 1920's twist.  I am paraphrasing here and there is more involved, but this is what I am drawn to!  Would you like to see what I have been up to?!

I have made six pieces so far, one pair of cropped trousers, three slips, one dress and a jacket/coat . . . . but first, a couple of apologies.  I can only take photos after work (I could take them at weekends, but I am too busy sewing, c'mon!) and our deck is west facing so it gets very sunny, so I am wearing sunglasses in these photos - it was that or a squinted up face.  I know which one that I prefer!  Secondly, I have been a bit boring with accessories and shoes . . . . I used the same throughout.  OK, photos:

Tan rayon trousers with the first white rayon top.  This was the first top and the armscye is too big, however, with a jacket or top on, it is perfect.   Jaqueline pattern:

And with the Peplone Jacket in a lovely, soft cotton.  I need to add some buttons to the front of this:

Tan trousers and tan slip.  This slip was supposed to be a different dress, but I cut the neckline too big so used the Jaqueline pattern as much as I can.  This top has a typical 'Tina Givens' feature - a scrap of fabric stitched to the front.  I also used my TNT Sorbetto top so this fits me better on the shoulder, bust, neckline and armscye.  I was also running short of fabric so had to add a centre front seam:

It looks great with the jacket as well!

The coral slip is made out of linen, and was mentioned with the white slip and tan trousers here:

And finally, I made the Briare Dress.  It is actually a free pattern, but I have linked to the version that you pay for as you need to sign into the website to get the freebies.  The top is a loose fitting vest top with two layers pleated and attached for the skirt.  Both fabrics are cotton - the pink has a slub finish and the white is almost a 'pulled thread' type of fabric.  Both are very light and airy:

It was really sunny outside - gorgeous!

The dress can be worn both with or without the trousers, and I was lazy here and kept them on!  I may be moving a little into milkmaid territory here, but I love it!!!

So there you go.  These are the first six pieces for the 2015 SWAP and I am rather liking how it is turning out.  I have lots of close up details and other info, but this post is getting rather long, so that will follow in the next couple of days.

As ever, my faithful boys were watching the 'shoot', checking that all was well!  My tripod was balanced on the iron table, in case you are wondering what the contraption is!

Have you started your Spring sewing yet?  Could you be tempted by loose, cool layers straight Out of Africa?!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Vogue 8048 - The Mullet Version

Ah yes, mullets.  Before we go any further, I am not a fan of mullets as such, however the 'business up front, party in the back' does rather make me snigger.  And that takes me onto another waistcoat (vest) for the Old Folk (my father) - do you like the 'translate as you go' feature?!  You may remember that I made him a waistcoat at the end of 2014 - and he was thrilled with it.  My mother was a fabulously talented dressmaker, and I used some of her fabrics in the waistcoats and so that made it extra special.

For this version, I wanted something even more special, as this Friday the 'Old Folk' will become a Canadian Citizen.  Dad moved out here in 2010 after my Mum passed away unexpectedly and the time has now come for him to have his Citizenship ceremony.  It is a very exciting time and as you can imagine - quite moving.  Here you are, having chosen a different country to live in, and that country then deems you suitable to be a citizen.

But then, who couldn't love this country?

Anyhow, it seems appropriate that he has something special to wear. . . . . !  I quite forgotten about promising this, but Dad mentioned it a few days ago so I thought that I ought to jump to it, so this weekend I made him another waistcoat:

The outer fabric is a houndstooth from Mum's collection.  She would have bought it to make a pencil skirt.

Single welt pockets in the front. 

Fabric covered buttons.  The buttons are 5/8" and the buttonholes 13/16".  That extra space should make them easier to open and close.

With cream top stitching and edge-stitching.  All pretty staid right?  Until you take a look around the back and whoa!!!

Yes, you are quite right - Canadian flag fabric!

It is quilting fabric and has a great dense weave.  It is perfect!

Above is the inside, with the flag fabric on the inside fronts.

And lining (from Mum's collection again) on the back on the inside.  It should make it easier for Dad to take it on and off.

My label needed a bit of extra treatment to look appropriate on this special waistcoat - it looks a bit wonly here, but it was quite straight.  Honest!!

Last photo - this just shows you what it looks like if you open up the front.

I'm dropping this off tomorrow so Dad can plan the rest of his outfit, and I'll get some photos from the 'Canadian' on Friday after the ceremony!

I'm pleased with this - moreover, I know Dad will love it.  Having used some of Mum's fabrics, including 'Liverpool' red.  Not to mention that he gets quite tickled when something is made for him.

Hope you all have a great week!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

TG - 1, 2, 3

So far, so good - I've made three pieces for my Lagenlook/Tina Givens SWAP.  And I am really please with how the pieces have turned out so far.  Unfortunately I've not had chance to model the pieces myself - so 'hangar shots' will have to suffice.

OK, here we go!  First of all we have Jaqueline, and this is the photo from the website:

All these garments are from woven fabric, and I have made a pair of the trousers and two of the slips.  The first was in a white rayon and drapes beautifully.  Gosh, my photos look rather drab in comparison - I will need to learn to photograph like she does!

As you can see - pretty plain, nothing really to report.  I used my serger to complete a rolled hem and bound the neckline and armholes.  Those armholes are HUGE!  It is a good job that I will be layering this top as it verges on the indecent as far as the armholes are concerned!  I had to add two little darts to take in some of the excess fabric around the armhole - you can probably just see one in the photo above.

I sewed a small linen bias square on the centre back which will fray when washed - a little bit of whimsy!  And if I don't like it . . . . I'll just unpick it!

I then made another slip - after all, when I have been known to make just one iteration of a pattern?!  This time I used a gorgeous coral coloured linen.  I made a number of changes to the armhole and neckline (no armhole darts this time!) - I actually used my Sorbetto pattern which I had fitted many moons ago.  I did not include the bust dart or the centre pleat, and the fit is fabulous.  Really!

I have quite sloped shoulders, and as all the best sewing/fitting teachers will tell you - get the shoulders right and everything else will fall in place.  Well mostly.  But you get my drift!

And lastly - some trousers.  Ms. Givens appears to favour dropped crotch trousers, and I am not quite ready to embrace that as yet, so I used my TNT trousers pattern.  That dealt with the waist/crotch and I used the Jaqueline leg pattern for the pleats, binding etc.  I did shorten them a few inches so that they sit mid calf, rather than the designer ankle length, but will probably make a longer pair next time.  I used some tan ramie for these, and I am pleased with these as well.

I know, I know, hanger shots are not that inspiring, but I wanted to have a complete 'outfit' before taking 'person' shots, but also wanted to record my progress!  Next up with be the cropped top which is likely going to be based upon the jersey cardis that I have been making recently - Simplicity 2154.  I will shorten the top and then add a frill/peplum to get the 'feel' of the TG pattern.

I have to say that I am loving these garments.  They are pretty quick and easy to make, they fit well (when I sandwich them with my TNT's for shoulders, crotch curves etc) and the fabrics are gorgeous.

The next pattern on my list is the Phoebe:

Closely followed by the Peplone:

And the Briare, which incidentally is a freebee pattern!

I am having to be very careful with fabrics - I don't want to look like someone from Little House on the Prairie, so I have a lot of plain fabrics planned so far, and have swapped out a couple of the patterned fabrics I had as I think that they will look a bit too cutesy . . . . but that means I can use some of my more brighter and bolder fabrics.  Watch this space!

A word or two on these patterns, there is not much in the way of line art.  if you are interested, it is worth downloading the instructions (from the website, and free of charge) to get an idea of pattern pieces and style lines.  I think that they are are great starting point if you have some TNT's that will assist you with fit, like I have done.

Finally, I was pleased to see that Beverly Johnson, the Fairy Bra Mother, has a new Craftsy class - Sewing Bras Designer Techniques.  I managed to pick up my class for half price, and will be making some designer bras over the next few weeks.  Details to follow!

I think that I am getting a handle on my Spring sewing, and the SWAP - are you sewing into the new season?

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Thinking Lagen Look

I am sure that you have all heard of Lagen Look - a style of layering clothes, quite often involving layers of trousers, dresses and tops, asymmetric or hankerchief hems, loose fitting garments that work together and with others - a kind of smart/casual look.  Now I am not at all an expert on this style, but there is something about it that rather intrigues me. I couldn't quite put my finger on it until I realised that some of the clothes that I wear, and enjoy wearing actually fall into this area.

These are some of my favourite work combinations -  and will be a great starting point for my next adventure (and as an aside, I rather like the slightly longer hair . . . . ).  Now I want to move more towards the casual look - shorter jackets with longer shirts/dresses, cropped trousers, Oooh!  I can't wait!

I have been prompted to investigate this look/style further as I will be working from home more often from now on.  Although I get to dress quite casually at work - jeans is the norm for most of my colleagues, I do like to dress more smartly - I've got to wear my lovely clothes somewhere!  However, I now have the opportunity of doing my job from home, so will be spending more days in my home office and as much as I like my PJ's, I was looking for something that was just as comfy but still work appropriate.  Sort of!

Now there are quite a few mainstream patterns that I think would give me this aesthetic such as these:

Source: Vogue 8793

And these lovely patterns that were gifted to me from the lovely GMarie - thank-you so much!  So many patterns . . . . . !  I think that she knows me better than do myself!

I downloaded a few patterns designed by Tina Givens, in particular the Jaqueline suit and the Phoebe top and trousers.  So I am busy cutting and taping right now - these pattern pieces are HUGE in comparison to the jeans and cropped cardis that I have been making of late (I think that the shorter cardis will look great with a longer top hanging under).  I've also sorted out some fabrics to play with:

There is a lovely mix of cotton, linen, ramie and bamboo.  Oooh, purdy!

Well, I am off to play now - I should have some photos by the end of the weekend . . . . . but in the meantime, how well do your sewn clothes match your life?