I am rather excited. Firstly, because I finished my Spring DCF Challenge* garment with a
month and a half few weeks to spare (it seems that when I wrote this post I forgot that Summer starts in December!). Secondly, because I sewed a top and a skirt to go with it – both from remnants. And thirdly, because I am SO happy with the finished outfit!
It took Emma and I a little while to choose our Spring Challenge fabric this time around. Photos and web page links went back and forth, but when this woven viscose appeared on the Darn Cheap Fabrics Instagram feed, we both quickly said yes! When I felt the fabric in person I was very pleased with our choice – it has a lovely handle with a slight slub throughout, and drapes beautifully. And the colours – all those colours!
Simplicity 1318 is a kimono-style jacket pattern that has been around for quite a while. There are loads of reviews on Pattern Review, and a quick google image search brought up lots of lovely examples. This is a case where reading the reviews before cutting was extra helpful – despite my measurements fitting in the size Medium for this pattern, I cut size Small and am pleased with the resulting amount of ease. I sewed view C, using one fabric as per the envelope cover photo.
This is a very easy pattern to sew, as there is not a great deal of fitting adjustment to make. It’s worth considering how long you want the finished jacket to be – I was happy to go with the pattern length as drafted – as you would need to fold this out of the front, back and band pattern pieces before cutting.
Rather than hand-sewing down the sleeve bands or the neckband facing, I chose to topstitch in coordinating thread. The lazy way out, yet adding another nice detail. This was a relatively fast sew. The only thing that took a little time was attaching the neck and front bands and facings. The band is interfaced, and sits nice and close at the back neck. The shaping and the support of the interfacing means that the jacket sits nicely and doesn’t feel as though it is slipping around on my relatively sloped shoulders.
The fabric pressed and sewed beautifully, and has just the right amount of drape. It doesn’t billow and float too much, but swishes instead.
While I was at Darn Cheap I spotted a couple of remnants in the remnant bin. I always find it hard to resist a remnant – both from a cost and a challenge perspective. And the two remnants that I picked up coordinated perfectly with the challenge fabric! So much so that even Helen who was helping me exert no-unnecessary-fabric-buying-willpower permitted me to buy them.
The skirt pattern is the Colette Mabel skirt. This is the longer version of the pattern with side front panels and a kick pleat sewn into the centre back seam. This is such a straightforward, fast sew. The fabric is a very soft and stretchy yet substantial double-knit, very like a ponte yet feeling much nicer. I used every scrap.
I did topstitch down the side front panel and the centre back seams, but you really can’t see that stitching in these photos. And I simply fused the hem with one inch wide Vliesofix tape.
The top is the Tessuti Kate top. This is the third time I’ve sewn it. This is view A, but I bound the armholes and neckline with wide self-made bias, rather than turning the bias to the inside like a facing as per the instructions. This kept the armholes and neckline the same size as originally cut out. The last time that I sewed view A I felt that the armholes were a little too deep and the neckline a little too scooped. This time they were perfect.
I sewed the size Large, and think that the fit is pretty spot on for me. Someone taller might want to consider lengthening this pattern a little, depending on where you want the top hemline to finish. I really like those mitred facing edges and the side splits.
I applied the binding to the wrong side of the fabric first, then folding it over the seam allowances to the right side and topstitching close to the edge. This gives a nice even row of stitching and ensures that the binding is all attached nicely. I don’t like doing it the other way around then stitching in the ditch. Either the stitches wander a little on the right side, or part of the binding doesn’t get caught and stitched down on the wrong side. When I want to sew the binding to the right side first I have already made the decision that I will hand-sew it down on the inside.
The top fabric is viscose crepe, in that colour that I see as rich purple but others will see as cobalt blue. There is the teensiest hole in the front near the neckline, but I hope that it isn’t obvious to others. The perils of bargain remnants. I think I pulled the bias binding a fraction tight at the upper back neck, as in these photos there appears to be some teensy wrinkles. Otherwise, I think this top is a great fit.
When I put this outfit on I had one of those YES! moments. It was comfortable, everything fitted, and I felt great. And fortunately, I had the perfect shoes to go with it (thanks again eBay Django & Juliette sample size seller).
Fortunately I still have some of the fabric left over; not enough for a dress but possibly for a top. I’ll go pattern stash diving. I’ll definitely be using this jacket pattern again as well. It’s a perfect topper for in between weather and for when you need an extra light layer.
So, I wonder what Emma sewed? Actually, I think that I already know! I’m going to run over to her blog and take a look.
* Emma and I started the DCF Seasonal Challenge a year or two ago – we buy a couple of metres of the same fabric from Darn Cheap Fabrics each season, and each make a garment. We then reveal it on our blogs on the same day. It’s just a fun thing that we started when we realised how often we buy and sew the same fabrics (often from Darn Cheap).