Cream Lace Ensemble

Ensemble.

 

Wrenching myself forcefully away from historical costuming (who knew petticoats could be so riveting)…I do like cream, and I do like lace. As the whole blog theme may suggest.

I’m not quite sure what to say about my inspiration here. Bombers have been bouncing around the blogs for, well, awhile now, even if the cool kids are sewing the Papercut Patterns Rigel and not the boring old McCall’s 7100. And I totally missed Rigel Bomber January, anyway. I’m not a bomber girl, mind you. Boxy has never been one of my favourite looks. But, well, even I can be swayed by a trend… and I was curious about modifying the usual bomber into a cropped look, because I love me a cropped jacket. I made it as short as I thought I could get away with and still have (semi) functional pockets, but it’s still an inch or so longer than my “prime” cropped zone—but I actually think it may be pretty fun, and a practical throw-on-over-cute-whatever layer, which as an office-dweller I am often sorely in need of.

McCall's 7100

McCall’s 7100

As for nuts and bolts—the pattern is McCall’s 7100. The fabric is a beige scuba-knit bonded to a lace, which has the effect of nearly nullifying the stretch in both fabrics. For my bands, I picked an ivory Ponte di Roma which is stretchier than the base fabric, but also not really stretchy enough for what it is supposed to do (although the pattern calls for “moderate stretch knits” for the bands, not psychotically stretchy ribbing. I checked.) I made the size 10, since I wanted a fairly close-fitting jacket. I shortened all the bodice pieces by about 3.5″, mostly at the hem except for the side-front panel which has a wee bit more shaping than the other pieces, so I took a tuck from the lower part of it. I also lengthened the sleeves about 5″, though I did take 1″ off afterwards. Though I kinda wish I hadn’t.

 

Jacket.

Jacket.

I didn’t particularly like the way the McCall’s pattern has you construct the pocket welts—it’s simple but not the cleanest look. I wanted my welts inset into the seam, which I’ve done before… but not since I made Jalie 2795 for Tyo. Um, that was a while ago (like, it’s been handed down twice since). And I should really have re-read the instructions for that rather than just bumbling along. I feel like I’m doing a lot of bumbling along lately, mostly due to not having the time/energy/focus to actually think through, research, and practice a technique. Not the best for personal growth as a stitcher, /sigh. But I did manage it, give or take a bit of seam-ripping and  rippling and a few seams finished in the wrong order (or not at all).

Ugly inside band attachment. Closeup declined. ;)

Ugly inside band attachment. Closeup declined. 😉

Where i mostly fell apart was actually in attaching the bottom band. I love the little panel of the main fabric at the zipper, and they have a pretty neat method of attaching it, but I couldn’t quite wrap my head around how to mesh that with the stretch band around the rest of the bottom. I mean, it’s together, but the join is ugly as hell inside, and this is an unlined jacket. Blerg. Need to re-read/rethink that a bit. A lot. Before I try it again.

Pockets!

Pockets!

But otherwise, it went together quite easily and I’m quite happy with the fit. The pockets (after all my shortening) are pretty teeny but just barely large enough to put hands in, at least. It’s funny, I don’t really love the shape when I look at it in the mirror, but I feel like it’s better “in motion.” I think I like it.

Jalie Dress

 

Now, I’m pretty sure in actual wardrobe rotation the bomber will be pretty much a standalone piece, but I still had fabric left over, and a hankering for a matching little dress. Tis the season (or almost the season) for cute little dresses, after all. After wrangling bomber most of the day, I didn’t have much energy left, though—all I really wanted was a T-shirt type dress. (Speaking of which, I wonder where my lacy T-shirt-dress is…). After paging through my patterns, I really was feeling Jalie 3024, a cute pullover knit dress I haven’t gotten around to before.

Cute dress.

Cute dress.

The only problem? Jalie 3024 is designed for four-way stretch knits with rather more stretch than either of my fabrics.

After some thinking, though, I settled on some fairly simple alterations.

Tyo catches some good "transition" shots. ;)

Tyo catches some good “transition” shots. 😉

I cut the skirt and waistband pieces (out of the bonded lace) with about an inch extra ease both front and back, and added seam allowance for a seam at the CB skirt so I could add some swayback/butt shaping. I didn’t make any changes at all to the back bodice, but for the front bodice I lengthened about an inch and added a dip below the bust, basically a big fat FBA. (Muahahahah!) I used the ponte for the top as it has a bit more stretch than the bonded lace. I also gave it a scoop neckline because I like them so much better. All of these alterations played hell with the seam lines, but ponte is a forgiving knit and I was able to ease everything together quite nicely.

Back view. Centre seam added for butt shaping.

Back view. Centre seam added for butt shaping.

I’m not usually a big fan of the “dress that looks like skirt and top” but I’m kinda liking it in this case. It needed a bow, though. I’m not quite 100% sure on the location, but it definitely needed it.

As with most Jalie patterns, I’m now feeling the urge to make five more…

PS: First outdoor photo shoot of the year!!!! Hooray for crappy cell-phone-pics with actual good lighting. (I fully intended to use the “good” camera, and pulled the battery out to charge it… then couldn’t remember where I’d actually put the camera when the time came. /headdesk) Also, miraculously the beige colour of the skirt makes my legs look pink rather than fish-belly-white, so I’ll call that a major win. 🙂

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Cream Lace Ensemble

  1. Ann M

    These look great and they look great on you. I would have never thought to crop that jacket, but it works well. You should definitely make a few more.

  2. Bernadette

    So I read your lead in comment as “wenching myself away” considering the content of your last few posts-happily you were “wrenching” after a all and the result was a cool spring ensemble!

  3. Urgh, I’m totally with you on not having the wherewithal to properly research and execute new sewing techniques! I keep thinking I should make myself something new, but just end up mass-producing baby items because they’re mindless.

    I never would’ve thought a bomber with white instead of black “ribbing” could work so well, but it does! And that lace looks fabulous, even if it is nonstretchy. Regarding the bow, my first thought was was that its placement makes it look like you should draw in a little Hello Kitty face on the bodice…maybe it could go to the side of the empire waistline?

  4. Euphoria

    What’s a great idea! This dress is very cute 🙂

  5. Great ensemble! They look stunning together! I bet you were them loads separately as well though 😄

  6. Great ensemble, separately as well 😉

    From the picture, I can’t really tell what’s wrong with the waistband attachment but I always think it’s normal to just serge it on. Unlined jackets in knits don’t have to have perfect invisible finished seams…
    When I make a jersey jacket/cardigan/thing with a bottom band, I sew the band to the front edge and facing and then I just pin the rest together and serge it on, starting where the join is hidden by the facing.

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