Tag Archives: Lady Grey

How do you say…

Kimono-inspired Lady Grey

Lady Grey in Japanese?

The kimono-styled Lady Grey is finished (for a given value of finished, anyway). And it is warm and cozy, for a given value of cozy.

I was up half the night with a vomiting Syo, followed by home with the same recovering child today, which does not make for a glamorous day. Therefore you will have to deal with headless, as well as grainy and dark, photos. Sorry.

This was overall a fairly quick ‘n dirty effort. There are no facings, no lining, I narrow-hemmed the front opening and bottom, did a wider but not particularly tidy hem on the sleeves (I’m not convinced they’re perfectly the same length, either >_< ), and one shoulder is stubbornly pleating despite my redoing it. However, there are a couple of features that are worthy of mention:

I drafted a shawl collar!

I am particularly proud of how this worked out. Probably it would not work in a neater, less slouchy fabric, but the result is exactly what I was going for. I measured the length from my back neck to the bottom of the collar, and drafted out the following pattern piece:

Shawl collar pattern piece; cut two on fold

The long straight side is the collar length; the short straight side is the fold at the back of the neck. I sewed the two layers together, turned right side out and pressed, and stitched it to the collar, then graded the seam-allowance and top-stitched it down so that it wouldn’t flip out, since there’s no facing. This seems to be working better than I would have thought.

The collar, waiting to be turned right-side in and sewn on

I also topstitched both sleeve seams.

Yes, look at that (if you can see it):

Sleeve, showing both topstitched seams

This required a little bit of sneaky sewing I’d read about but never attempted before. I don’t think I’d want to do it on anything much longer or narrower than these rather wide, short sleeves, however it actually wasn’t too tricky and worked out fine.

Topstitching inside the tube

You turn the sleeve inside out, and basically sew down the inside of the tube. Yes, everything ends up bunched around the needle, and you can only sew about two inches at a time before you need to re-arrange your bunches.

Finally, there was the “obi”

This is lifted generally from the Kimono-Style Bunnyhug, although hers was

actually attached to one side of the front. Mine is not, because I have fantasies of making other, coloured versions to spice up the plain black. In some of my fantasies about this sweater, I actually sewed the buttons on to the front of the sweater (so it could close without the sash, too), but then the buttons would have had to go through not only the coat front, but two layers of “obi”. And I would’ve had to sew twelve buttonholes instead of four. So I didn’t. We’ll see if I come to regret that or not. Also I was worried that the front of the coat wouldn’t be stable enough—the sash itself is double-layered and I put a bit of knit interfacing at each end, beneath the buttons and the buttonholes, whereas the coat fronts are a single layer with a narrow hem along the edge. And yes, as in the photo above, the buttons are very slightly green. This may have compromised my attempt to make a neutral sweater I can wear with anything. We’ll see.

Back view

Here’s the back view, highlighting the unevenness of the peplum (this is the part where the S-curve of the swayback actually takes up more fabric length than my comparatively straight front, shortening the back). There’s some funkiness in the upper back, I think having to do with my seams stretching somewhat as I sewed, but again I’m not overly broken up about it, and it may even smooth out in the wash.

The sash nicely takes care of all that pesky lower-back fitting, too. 🙂

Front view

And here’s the front version. Unglamorous, as most straight-on shots of my front are. I don’t do cinching well, but I’m theorizing that if I cinch from right below my bust down to my natural waist (as here) it may actually work. What do you think?

The shoulders are a tiny bit wide, but that’s probably just because there are no shoulder pads in this version.

Did I mention how much I love that collar?

And just so you can trace the evolution from concept to reality, here’s the line drawing again:

Fantasy jacket, side view

front view

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Haphazard progress

Lady Grey---side view

So, I have now stitched up the bodice of my mutant Lady Grey. In a way, it’s good, as it works something like another iteration of muslin for the pattern. In particular, it’s highlighting how my severe swayback alteration is playing havoc with the peplum (and still needs tweaking), but anyway.

Lady Grey---Back

I opted for topstitching. Lots of topstitching. This adds a bit more structure to the sweatshirt material, and will also (theoretically) make the inside a little neater since I’m not planning on lining it at the moment and my serger is still MIA. Lining would probably have been a good  idea, but I don’t have any fabric suitable for a stretch lining in the stash.

The lumpiness in the upper back is mostly show-through from the layers underneath; there might still be a bit of extra fabric there, but I think it’ll be fine for this version. As you can see the upper part of the swayback is fitted very nicely, but it all kinda goes to hell below the waist. I suppose the peplum is designed that way, but I feel like a gentler flare at the back would work better for me. However, it won’t be happening in this version as I did all the topstitching before I sewed the side seams to try it on, and I’m not particularly inclined to pick it out at this point

Bust curve, with topstitching

Almost as an afterthought when I was mussing with the pattern, I flattened the bust curve a little bit (very unscientifically) and I’m quite happy with the result. I don’t have quite the cups Colette is drafted for.

(Also, doesn’t it look cute with a contrast puff and then a narrow sleeve? Kinda Shakespearian…)

Speaking of Colette’s draft, I was ogling my Ceylon pattern again the other night. I have a sinking feeling, however, that it’s going to require some serious muslining, as it will need both a major swayback and, I’m rather sure, a small-bust adjustment.  Again, I’m torn whether to make the size 0 (which matches my bust and hip sizes), or go up to a 2 and do an SBA. Which didn’t seem to work particularly well for this coat. Grumph. Maybe I won’t tackle that until after I have a duct-tape double to do fitting tweaks on. Also, I was planning to grade the waist panel from 0 (or 2) at the top up to my actual waist size (6) at the middle, but looking at the pattern pieces that would actually give me a convex waist! I’m rectangular, but I’m not literally apple-shaped (yet, anyway). The waist-curve on the pattern is definitely a bit extreme, but I don’t think I can go up more than one size. And then there’s the darts to think about (ugh) and whether to add a center-back seam (I’m told that’s the way to go when swaybacks are in the air). /sigh. Anyway, a lot to think about for that pattern.

Why, yes, I will cheerfully insert fly zippers ’til the cows come home, but double-ended darts send me running for the hills.

Next step: collar (I think I’m going to cheese out and do a straight band, like a traditional kimono collar), “obi” wrap, and how to finish the #%$# hems.

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Lady Grey Muslin

So last night I managed to get the sleeves on and make some preliminary adjustments to the fit. Namely, I took in the centre back about 2″  and each back princess seam about another 1″. I might let the CB out a tiny bit—it looks awesome as is, but it’s probably a little more snug than an overgarment should be. Though I’m not aiming for this to be my awesome-warm-all-winter garment. Just a nice spring/fall coat. I also lowered the armscye by just taking another seam 1/4″ below the existing one, which eased that area  a lot. I may experiment with taking it down a bit more. There’s still a bit of extra width in the upper back, but if I take that in I lose range of motion.

I think I really do have to fix that lapel. 😛 What do you think of the back? There is still some wrinkling around the sleeves, but everyone seems to have that.

What about the length?  I haven’t turned anything under yet (hopefully get to that tonight). It really looks pretty ok just how it is… does this mean I should be adding hem-allowances? 😉 But that’s probably getting ahead of ourselves. Anyhoo, further thoughts/comments would be very, very, very welcome.

In Self-Stitched September news, I’ve been kinda slack documenting the last couple of days. I’ve been wearing the ex-capri Jalie jeans, tuesday with the red JJ blouse, yesterday with one of the Lydia tops. You can see portions of those outfits in today and yesterday’s muslin pics, but I didn’t get proper outfit photos. Today, for the finale, I’m attempting to jazz it up a bit with my Kasia skirt.

Self-Stitched September Day 30

Trying to fix my hair while posing (windy!)

Top: black JJ, red Simplicity 2603 cardi-wrap
Bottom: Kasia skirt from burdastyle.com, lacey tights from Joe (AKA Superstore) and my cute-librarian heels. I’m nots ure the busy tights work with the outfit, but oh well.

Also, while running up the steps of the deck I ripped the back slit of the Kasia up about three inches. Have to decide what to do about that (shoulda done a vent! 😉 )

Self-Stitched September Day 30

This would've been a cut pose except that it looks like I'm doing the dandruff check :P. Again trying to fix my hair in the wind at the wrong moment.

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Lady Grey Muslin… on your mark, get set…

So, I have dryer-steamed my “muslin” fabric. I attempted a tissue-fit of the pattern, with limited success, but I did decide to shorten the waist slightly and do a small swayback adjustment before I begin. Probably I should’ve done an SBA to start, too, but we’ll see. May I just say that swayback adjustments do scary thing to pattern pieces?

Anyway, yesterday I managed to cut out the pieces for the muslin and get the bodice, at least, sewn together.

I won’t post them up to the group until I get the sleeves and collar sewn on, but I couldn’t resist a quick preview for you guys (and myself).

The biggest issue I see is need for further swayback work. There’s also a slight gaping/sagging of the lapels at the front, but the princess-seam curve works surprisingly well (the whole time I was cutting it out, I was thinking “this is a really intense princess curve. It’s totally not going to fit me.” Once I get done butchering the swayback, I think I will need to lengthen the back hem by a couple of inches.

Now, my bust and hip measurements correspond to a Colette size 0. My waist, by contrast, is a size 6. So I was really worried about this coat wrapping around enough to sit properly. Also, since my shoulders are fairly broad (or at least, since I definitely do not have a C cup), I decided to cut the size 2. I thought this *might* give me a better fit than the 0 which is presumably designed for someone with a larger bust hung on a smaller frame. Additionally, when I shortened the waist, I did my best to remove/widen the smallest part of the waist, although it didn’t amount to more than a few milimetres at any given seam, so I’m not sure if it’s noticeably affecting the fit. It seems like there might be a little too much width across the back now, but I don’t really want to mess with that until after I’ve got the sleeves attached.

Anyway, please share any thoughts you have. Hopefully I’ll have the sleeves attached, hems pressed up, etc. by the end of the day to post to the flickr group 🙂

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The north wind doth blow…

And we shall have snow. Apparently by tomorrow morning.

pause for a lengthy insertion of expletives.

Okies, moving on. Or, not really moving. The kids-in-school thing is definitely turning into a stranglehold. Tyo had homework, dictee (spelling in French… yes, my children are receiving their education in French), and a bunch of forms for me to fill out. Between that, running to the grocery store, and making supper, somehow the evening flew and I barely got anything resembling sewing done at all. Here is my progress:

What will be the interlining of my coat

I traced around the pattern pieces with marker because I was too lazy to pin them down. The plan is to cut them out (minus seam allowances) and butt the eges together and stitch with a 3-step zig-zag, possibly reinforced with twill tape. We’ll see how this goes.

But, in happier news, I opened my mail this morning and look what came!

Ceylon and Lady Grey!

Colette patterns! Are those not the cutest little pattern booklets you’ve ever seen? (ok I’m sure they’re old news to everyone else in blogland, deal) You open them up and there’s the instructions in a little booklet on the left, and a pocket with  the folded tissue on the right.

Inside: instructions (in booklet form) on the left, pattern on the right

I got to admit, for a $20 pattern I may prefer the Jalie way of printing it on real paper, but these are adorable anyway, and more compact.

Now Gertie’s officially starting the Lady Grey sewalong tomorrow (cutting muslins) and somehow I’m thinking I’m not going to make it. Especially since I don’t have my original winter coat done. Which I need, and soon, if it’s going to start freakin’ snowing on us.

Speaking of coats, I decided to photograph today’s ensemble with mine, since otherwise it’s an incredibly boring repeat (Lydia and Jalie jeans, OMFG). This is not a self-stitched piece, it’s thrifted, ages ago (but if I started counting thrifted and hand-me-down items for the challenge, well, that’s almost everything in my wardrobe except some of my jeans). I’m liking the cozy thrown over one shoulder under the coat… it works like a big red scarf, and keeps my belly warm since the coat itself doesn’t have any closure. It’s a lovely coat, though, as long as you’re wearing it for purely fashion-related purposes. Which I’m not.

Self-Stitched September, day 15

Speaking of which, it’s officially halfway through September. Crap. Well, I got SOME of what I needed to get done accomplished. Anyway, I have done it “all” Self-Stitched. Barring, y’know, socks and undies and sweaters and coats. But pretty much all self-stitched. Hurray! Thanks for the encouragement, you guys, because I would not have had the guts to step it up if you hadn’t.

And, y’know, it’s not so much that I’m bored of wearing the clothes, so much as I’m bored of recording the same ones over and over. Yet on some level I’ve bought in to a must-photograph-to-document-my-participation kind of mentality. Kinda weird. Anyway, what do you think? Continue with the daily outfit or let it slide? At least it gives me something to blog about on the days like today when I got almost nothing done. On the other hand, it’s pretty boring. Which is worse, no post or boring post? 😉

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