Thursday, 27 August 2015

Sparkly bomber jacket

The reason why I don’t follow fashion trends is that quite often I feel that there is nothing in them for me, that they don’t suit my personality. To make a trend my own, it has to fit with my style and appeal to me. On several occasions, I have followed a trend, but most of the times post factum. This is what happened with this bomber jacket.

Since last year, my lifestyle has drastically changed: instead of going everywhere by public transport, I cycle. The only place I go by bus is the airport :) Before that, when I lived in Tokyo, I wore anything from mini to maxi skirts, from wide-legged trousers to skinny jeans, to shorts, to extravagant dresses, you name it! Living in a place with different climate and adopting a new lifestyle meant that I also needed to adapt my wardrobe to these changes, more precisely, to be more bike-friendly and weather appropriate. In Ireland, it may rain in the morning, be windy in the afternoon and sunny and mild in the evening. The order may change as well, so you need to layer. Many Dublin cyclists wear special cycling gear, or dress very sporty, but I decided to avoid it. I wanted to keep my wardrobe very practical yet feminine and fashionable. I have two perfect pieces for the late autumn/winter/early spring weather, my Andy coat and a ready-to-wear winter raincoat, but when it comes to warmer periods of the year, I have no choice, but to boast two sporty-looking coats. And so, when I saw the bomber jacket pattern from the Burda Style magazine, I knew I wanted to make one!

My all time favourite the Jamie Jeans by Named Patterns 

OK, I tried to make a picture Amanda style, and failed

Once I was sure about the pattern, coming up with the fabric was a piece of cake! I used the remnants of the Crinkled Copper metallic fabric, purchased from the Tessuti Fabrics online shop a while ago. Last year, I made a skirt from the same fabric, and now I have successfully added the jacket! Matchy-matchy! I cut the jacket in a size 38 without making any alterations. The ribbing was bought from a French online shop Ma Petite Mercerie, and for the lining I used the remaining silk voile.

My little creative crew recently came back from holidays, and last weekend we got together again for yet another photo session, this time in a studio. Personally, I prefer taking pictures outdoors, but with the Irish weather being a bit wild for the last couple of weeks, I was happy to be photographed inside. Our goal was to revive the crazy 90’s, and I think we succeeded! Although I am not 100% sure that this shape suits me, it’s super practical and I have already worn it a few times.

Now, back to trends! From the 2015 Autumn trends there are a few which interest me a lot: the Floor-Duster coat, the Eastern Influence and the Velvet Underground. I’ve been in love with the Ingrid Coat by Style Arc for a while, but never had time to make it, and since I completed  my tailoring course not so long ago, I am itching to try my new skills. As a fan of Wong Kar Wai movies, I’ve always wanted to wear a quipao and now I have all the necessary elements to succeed: a pattern and fabric. As for the Velvet Underground, I plan to sew a pair of the foldover-front velvet trousers from a KnipMode pattern, as well as a velvet top. These are my sewing plans for this autumn.

How do you feel about these fashion trends? Is there anything you would consider sewing for yourself?

Sunday, 2 August 2015

A KnipMode dress

Not so long ago, I decided to reduce my pattern collection. Whenever I move (houses or countries), I feel like my patterns are such a big financial burden: a big percentage of the relocation money usually goes towards moving my patterns. With this in mind, I re-opened my Etsy shop where I plan to sell some of my patterns, especially the vintage ones, because, as it turns out, I am not a fan of retro style at all. Even if you are not interested in vintage patterns, you can still check my out Etsy shop, because in a few days I’ll start selling some fabric too. My life needs destashing!  

At the time, when I started sewing ‘seriously’, the sewing blogosphere was heavily influenced by retro ladies, Gertie, Sarai, Tasha, just to name a few. Only at the beginning of 2000’s we saw the surge of variety of styles and shapes coming from independent pattern designers and sewing magazines.

KnipMode was and still is one of them. Unlike many sewing magazines, KnipMode offers not only contemporary, but also practical and wearable patterns to women who drive cars, ride bicycles, stay at home with children, live in the countryside or travel. This down-to-Earth style is very attractive and appealing to me. Additionally, KnipMode caters for Dutch (read, tall) girls, which is perfect for me! Whenever I work with the US patterns, I often have to enlarge the bodice and sleeves. Having said that, I only recently got a hold of a few issues of Knip Mode and this is my very first take on one of their patterns.

For a while, I was very curious to try a KnipMode pattern, but was busy with the tailoring class and other things in my life, until a few weeks ago, when I finally made myself sew a trial garment, using this dress pattern. From the many designs which caught my eye, I opted for a summer dress as it seemed perfect to test the KnipMode sizes, and in case something went wrong, it would be easy to adjust it to my measurements.

And what do you know? My KnipMode garment turned out nicely! I worked with a size 36, which happened to be big for me, so I slightly reduced the side seams and increased the bust darts. For this fairly simple design, I used another loud NaniIro fabric and added golden ribbon to the neckline, as a decorative touch. I haven’t worn many Empire-waisted garments in my time, but this one seems to be OK, since the waistline does not draw too much attention, due to the fabric pattern.

Oh, also remember that the KnipMode patterns do not include seam allowances.

So all in all, I’ve been keeping my word not to acquire any more new patterns. With the exceptions of a few BurdaStyle magazines and patterns that were offered to me, I have not spent money on purchasing more patterns. Now, if I buy a pattern, I’d like it to be more contemporary and fashionable, yet practical. What kind of patterns are you after? Did you also have a ‘retro’ period, like I did in the past? Do you usually stick to one style or do you like to experiment?