So I've decided to do an "Inspired By..." make on a semi-regular basis from now on. I'm thinking I'll wait till I notice the same kind of garment cropping up over and over in my likes/pins and go from there. I'm hoping that'll keep it manageable!
And here's the first one. I admit that "jacket/kimono/shruggy thing" doesn't sound all that alluring, but I have LOTS of pins like these below:
As we're moving into Spring weather already (I swear the weather has been watching the calendar here: 1st September and BANG! it was Spring) this seemed the perfect project to kick off with. Plus, I saw a friend the other day who was wearing a similar garment the other day, mentioned to her how I was wanting to make something just like that, and she immediately passed it over and told me to use it to draft a pattern. (she's a very good friend :) )
This is her jacket: (night time photo, I'm afraid). Believe me, it looks much nicer on, but this gives an idea of the actual shape. It was a bit tricky sketching out the pattern, because the pieces don't lie flat, and then the band (formed by two pieces) that extends right around the edges pulls the main pieces in still further.
I used a multi-coloured chiffon with an almost abstract feather print (about 2m in all), and as much as I genuinely loathe working with chiffon, it's perfect for this kind of floaty jacket.
We ended up with this:
I actually love it! It's exactly what I wanted it to be, and I think it's going to get a lot of wear this season, and right through into summer (great for early mornings or late evenings). In fact, it'll probably see me through into Autumn as well. Woo hoo!
For anyone who's curious, this is what the pattern pieces look like. The smaller piece is the front - this sits over the top of the larger back piece. The straight edge on the front is the opening; the small slightly jutting out sections on both pieces form the sleeve openings.
The top of the back piece folds down so that there's a straight horizontal seam at the front, just above the bust.
Below you can see the back folded over to meet the front piece, which is laid over the top. I guess you could eliminate this and just have a "normal" shoulder seam, but as is it seems to drape really nicely over the shoulders when worn. And I think it's quite a nice design detail. :)
When I cut the (9.5cm wide when folded, plus seam allowance....22cm width total) two edging bands - these sew together at the back centres at neck and hem - I broke the "rules" and cut them across the grain. This was because if I can avoid cutting chiffon (nasty, slippery stuff that it is) I will. Cutting across the grain meant I could make a small cut and then tear the rest, which gave me PERFECTLY straight pieces with almost no effort. Gotta love that!
You know my favourite part of this make? Apart from ending up with something I'm going to wear until it literally falls apart around me, that is. The whole project, even including drafting the pattern and doing french seams on all seams, took three hours. Total. It's the first thing I've ever whipped up after a full day at work. This has never happened before, so I think that's worth celebrating a little!
There's one other thing I'm going to trial with this post. Me Made May '13 showed me that a lot of the things I've made (and was planning to make at that stage) didn't really go with anything else I had. This is an issue for someone who's trying to gradually replace her existing wardrobe with a hand-sewn one! Since then, I've tried to only buy fabric if I can think of at least three other things I already have that it will go with. It's actually been extremely helpful! So I'm going to try from now on to show that in each post - see below. Plus, I'm hoping it will give me some much needed practice in styling - not my forte at all!
I think it'll also work really well as in the first photo at the top of this post with cut off denim shorts. I do have some, but it's far too early in the season to show any leg above the knee - the winter legs above are quite blindingly pale enough as it is!
What's inspiring you at the moment? Do tell!
Have a wonderful week :)