My Instagram is usually a much better way of seeing what I’ve been sewing, but I’m trying to keep my blog alive so here’s a bit of a round-up of recent projects that I have completed, or on the go.

The Week of Cycling Kit

During July, I challenged myself to ride 10% of each day’s Tour de France stage distance. Completing daily rides meant a lot more laundry would have to be done, and more padded cycling shorts were required. I pulled out some fabric stash that I’ve been holding on to for making “coordinated looks” and quickly came up with three sets of matching cycling kit. The photo below shows them all together. The top pattern is the Greenstyle Veltori Top and the shorts are the under-shorts from the Greenstyle Rally Skort.

  1. Sew Dynamics AK 265 – “Secret Forest” Print with coordinating blender print
  2. Sun Lite Jersey – “Wild Waves” print and white, with teal Yoga Stretch Plus shorts
  3. Breathe Tek Athletic – Maroon with “Mountains” Print

I added a lower band to the shorts after the first pair because they rode up while I was riding my bike. The band helps keep them in place. Aside from that modification, the shorts were a great success in terms of fit. I used power mesh as the inner waistband so they stay up on my waist.

Although the tops are cut in the same size, you can tell that the Sun Lite jersey is less compressive than the other two fabrics. It feels more like a casual shirt, although it also functions very well to wick away sweat and keep me cool. I have some more Sun Lite jersey and was planning to do more of these tops this summer, but I have moved on to other projects so it might end up sitting in stash over the winter.

Turquoise Blue Wool Suit

The last time I did tailoring was last summer for the Fair, and those projects didn’t really end up getting worn much so that begs the question of why would I embark on another tailoring project? Because it’s cool, that’s why. And it’s good to keep my skills fresh. And I had this turquoise wool-poly blend from Gala Fabrics which was $10/m so I figured I wouldn’t be losing much if the resulting garments proved unwearable. I used a Burda jacket pattern that was in my stash, which was last used for another Fair project back in 2015 when I had a raw silk noile in another gorgeous shade of blue. I didn’t handle the fitting changes very well in that rendition and the skirt was an ill-conceived notion (do not make a wrap skirt and line it with silk charmeuse, for it will not stay wrapped!).

When I pulled the pattern out again this time, I removed many of the pattern adjustments made to the tissue (I really must take up tracing) and re-did them properly (the FBA in particular, and some changes to the back). I had cut that pattern to a size 16/18 which fits snugly on me now, so my completed jacket this time round is going to be a good encouragement for me to do some more rowing and cycling.

I added welt pockets to the pattern for this, because what’s the point of a jacket without pockets, especially if your skirt isn’t so equipped. With the short length of this jacket however, the pockets got caught in the hem stitching so they aren’t as deep/functional as one would hope they’d be. I’m not sure if there’s a way to correct this so I’m just leaving it as is for now.

The lining in this one isn’t silk charmeuse like the last one, alas. Instead, I used a printed poly lining that came from AliExpress. It’s fun, but I found that the colour transferred to my press cloth when I was working with it, so I definitely won’t be wearing this jacket over a white blouse. The neckline is such that I probably would only put a basic tank top/chemise underneath it, since nothing else will show or look as good as the jacket neckline itself.

When it came to making a skirt, I didn’t really want to do yet another plain pencil skirt with one-piece front and two-piece back. I have found there isn’t enough shaping just with darts to be flattering, so I went looking for something a little different. I found that with Vogue 8750, another stash pattern last used at least 7-8 years ago. I added a lining to this pattern and changed the hem from a slit to a lined vent with the Sew Imani Youtube tutorial. (Honestly, bless that woman – I have watched her video four or five times now and followed along carefully. I get good results every time.)

The resulting combo outfit is really, really, really pleasing. And here’s a glimpse of the lining as well as some close-ups of the mitered sleeve hem and the lapel/set-in shoulder.

What’s Coming Next?

I’ve got a corset in the finishing stages of sewing on braid trim. I made a coordinating satin skirt (self-drafted like the corset) with pockets. The challenge there was how to have an invisible zipper in the side seam combined with in-seam pockets on the side. Thank god for the internet and lots of different tutorials!

I’m just about finished a cycling jacket for my partner that will be my Original Design entry for the Fair. It’s been a fun little project that I’ve designed on my computer (using Affinity Designer software) and used the projector for cutting out. I’ve been doing a lot of pausing and figuring out how to put things together – self-design means no handy instruction manual! I have been adding reflective tape in a lot of places and also dealing with frequent thread changes on the coverstitch machine, since the jacket has both charcoal grey and lime green.

After that is done, I’ll be making an evening dress (as one does) and maybe a mini version of my turqoise wool suit for my Sasha dolls. Why not?

By suelow

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