Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bluest of blue

It was a very productive weekend. I spent an inordinate amount of time with my needle and thread trying to get on track with my handsewing. Right to the point that I am almost complete on another of my projects, but more on that later. This is about my blue half robe. This project turned out to be one of those extra ones that I had not originally intended to do, but I got thinking about how JAFA is held in Canberra in April and it can get mightily cold. This turned my mind to the fact that I would be wearing my white muslin dress one of the days. And now while I love the dress, it was really made for wear in Brisbane come the height of spring and summer weather.

To push my thinking a little further, I was tracing off a few other patterns, and decided to flip through one of my fashion plate books. Low and behold is a picture of a woman with a lovely little half robe. My mind turned to the blue cashmere (fake cashmere) that I had sitting in my stash. I said to myself "self, that would make a fabulous half robe - both warm and quick to whip up. So, I drew up the pattern, mocked it up, tweaked it a bit more, cut it out and got set on the sewing. The pattern itself is very simple. I based it off the Sense and Sensibility spencer pattern. The main changes that I made was the length. I added a seam in the centre back of the jacket so that I could allow for a pleat which would add fullness enough to go over my body. The side seams are also flared out a bit to accommodate a bit more room and instead of extending the darts in the front (I did try it on the mock up), I decided to go for a couple of 1 inch deep pleats. The hem also differs a little - as in, it is shorter in the front, and curves slightly so that it is longer at the back. I hadn't originally intended to do this to the robe, but made a last minute decision when I was drafting. 

All I had left for the weekend gone, was sewing the lining in place, hemming the sleeves, stab stitching the front pleats and attaching the buckle. Please bear in mind that it is sitting a little oddly on my mannequin because of her modern (1940s) shape boobs, and not where my regency bodice will be holding everything. It went together very quickly which was nice. I also decided to add the collar at the last minute. I had it almost ready to go with the lining, but thought that it just needed a little extra at the neck. I'm very pleased at how it has come out and glad that I put the time in to draft the pattern and make it up. I definitely will not be getting cold wearing this one. 

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