Tag Archive | silk

Sew Small Contest- Part 2

Back to the last of my Sew Small Contest entry.

First up is the top from Simplicity 1086.  I originally planned not to use any patterns I had previously used.  But after I got the grey wool flannel picked for the coat and the burgundy cotton for the skirt; this grey and blue floral quilting cotton just seemed to say it wanted to be the top for the outfit.  I decided the top had to be simple because I really wanted the coat to be the feature item of the outfit.  So a simple blouse was the perfect complement for the outfit; Simplicity 1086 top from view F fit perfect.


Since I had made this before in August, I knew that there didn’t need to be any pattern alterations.

I used this contest to sew one of the Liberty Jane coat patterns I have, the Piccadilly pea coat from the Euro Libby line.  If I could, I would probably wear this coat also as I adore the pleated detail in the back.

I didn’t do any pattern alterations.  I used a grey wool flannel for the outside and a silk crepe for the lining.  I will admit, the silk may not have been the best choice for lining.  It was very temperamental to cut.  It was picked mainly because I had it at home and needed to use it up.


The only part of the instructions I didn’t care for was the attaching the back facing to the back lining.  They have you stay stitch then iron that under so that you create a lap seam.  I did this but didn’t like the results I got.  There is just too much of a curve on the seam to be able to make a nice lap seam like that.  Instead I recut my back neck facing and put the two pieces together and stitched.  Then I clipped my curve and pressed it.  Finally I top-stitched the seam.  I think it came out more consistent.


My sewing machine didn’t care much for where the buttons were located. So I moved them in from the edge some and moved the buttons toward the edge some to make up for the difference. The quarter-inch buttons are just too small for my machine.  For Molly’s suit https://sewbeading.wordpress.com/2014/09/09/molly-waves-goodbye-lee-pearl-1943/, I used 3/8th inch buttons and didn’t have any problems with my machine making the buttonholes.


While on the topic of buttons, I thought the quarter-inch buttons were very hard for me to button.  I honestly think a child would get very frustrated at trying to button up the coat.  I understand that the quarter-inch buttons were picked because of scale.  The main buttons won’t look too large or the sleeve buttons too small.  However, in future makes, I will be using 3/8th inch buttons for the main coat buttons.


One thing I wish was clearer in the pattern pieces would have been to have a separate button/ buttonhole template piece.  In fact before I make this again, I will go ahead and make me a separate template for that.  As I was getting towards the end of the project, I did not pull the instructions up on my computer. I went ahead and pulled out the front pattern piece and marked the button and buttonhole placement. My pattern piece had x’s and blocks marking the buttons and buttonholes. I didn’t realize the mark are combined for the two different sides.  So a separate pattern piece with just one mark style on it would helped me realize that just buttons or just buttonholes are on that side.  I do not own a double-breasted front button coat; if I did I may have avoided my big mistake. I put three buttons and three buttonholes on each side.

This coat took a lot of time.  I probably spent about 24 hours working on this doll coat.  There is a little bit of everything in this coat such as hand sewing the lining, buttons, buttonholes, and top stitching.  What makes this coat special is all the detail work that goes into it.  This isn’t a coat to pick out of the pile for a simple fast easy project.

Just for a simple ready to wear doll clothing comparison,  a double-breasted trench coat is $28 at the American Girl store.  All in total for supplies, I spent about $10.75.


A Cranberry Zinger- Simplicity 5822

This pattern should have been my entry for the “Inspired by the Movies” contest at Pattern Review. But instead I will just join A Stitching Oddessy’s Vintage Pattern Pledge. So it is official, I, Char at Sewbeading, promise to make at least 5 items from vintage patterns in 2014. Here is entry one for the Vintage Pattern Pledge.


I have more friends getting married next spring. I swear I am going to wear this dress to both weddings. One is in Colorado and the other is in Kansas. No one except for my blog readers, the bride of the second wedding, and maybe the groom from the first wedding (if he remembers I mentioned it) will know. A must for this new dress was that it needed to have that late 1950’s/ early 1960’s feel and full skirt.  I decided that a special occasion dress should be made out of silk.  In fact the color I picked was called cranberry zinger.

My pattern was a size 36 bust. I made a cotton muslin to check the pattern size. My first inclination was that the waist is going to be too small. After making the muslin, I decided it needed at least a couple of inches in the waist and needed to be lengthened an inch also. I tried a new pattern alteration the seam hinge method. I had seen this sort of explained at the sewing expo in November. I lengthened the bodice 1 ¼ inches. I then added my width adjustments. Afterwards the first adjustments seem to be fine; it looks like a better fit. But with the fashion fabric being silk, I went ahead and made a bodice muslin. The muslin seemed to be fine. After the navy dress, I went back and took a half an inch out of length on my bodice pieces. Even though the muslin looked fine, the skirt of the dress did weigh down the bodice enough that it was too long.

Since I made the dress out of silk, I thought the dress should be lined. On my previous silk dress (Vogue 8789), the waist was a little chunky with the dress seam and the lining seam. I decided to line the bodice of the dress only to hopefully avoid this problem. The silk duiponi feels like it should be alright without a lining in the skirt. Otherwise, if not, I have my half slip (Simplicity 4218) from the stretch silk charmeuse which was recently completed.

I used the front and back neck facings but not the armhole facings. Since I did this, I was able to baste my lining to my fashion fabric then sew on my facings and collar. I just used the sewing machine and tacked down the facings instead of hand sewing them like I normally do.   It worked out well.


I was disappointed with the fullness of the navy dress skirt. I envisioned something more which is what the pattern envelope made me believe. So I did change that a little on the cranberry silk one. I kept with the two panels but I cut the whole width of my fabric instead. I probably added about 20 more inches of fullness to the skirt. I like this better.

One interesting item to note, during this project I learned that Lala loves the feeling of silk under his bottom. I repeatedly had to move him off my fabric as I was working with it. But the funny thing is that one night there was the rose knit fabric on the floor next to the cutting mat and Lala never put a paw on that. But he sat on the silk I was gathering for the skirt instead.


Next major project will be my entry into Pattern Review’s vintage contest. I have Butterick 3513, a blouse from mid-1960’s with a scallop collar in orchid handkerchief linen.

A side note, I have joined Bloglovin for anyone who wants to follow me on that.

A Perfect Silk Slip- Simplicity 4218

It took a while to find the perfect fabric for this 1960s pattern. The original pattern is designed for woven fabric so it was cut on the bias. My fabric is a stretch silk charmuese fabric. Instead of bias, I went with the straight grain for my half slip.

Simplicity 4218

The original length of the slip was 25 inches. That was just too long for what I needed. I needed somewhere around 15 inches in length. I had the size 14 (bust 34- waist 26). Plus I needed about 4 inches added to the waist and hips. So I went ahead chopped about 6 inches off the top of the pattern. That added about 1 inch to the waist on each piece. Then I took an additional 2 inches out from the shorten on lengthen line area to get the length I wanted. Then I went back and split the pattern pieces down the center to add another inch to the waist.

The half-slip was much easier to alter than I had expected. I didn’t make a muslin of this after I made all my pattern changes. Everything worked out well.

A side note, I adore being able to adjust my zig-zag width. I was able to use the 7 mm width for applying the elastic at the waistband. For the lace, it was the narrow zig-zag probably somewhere around 1.5 mm. So far, my new Pfaff Ambition Essentials has not let me down at all.

I cannot say if this is true for the slip and the panties of this pattern. For the half-slip only, it would be a good starter pattern for sewing on the bias. It was only two pattern pieces a front and back. There were no darts on the half-slip. This also made it very easy to switch the pattern for a stretch fabric instead.