Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Kate's Suit

I'm going to harp on again about the lack of actual, real life fabric shops where I live..... but for some strange reason we have tonnes and tonnes of curtain fabric shops - I mean hundreds of them! My focus on sewing must be somewhat different from the general population of Northern Ireland who regard what hangs over their windows more important than what they hang on their backs. Anyway, I decided if that was my only choice of fabric shopping then I was going to use it..... the following outfit is made entirely from curtain fabric.
I've no idea of fabric content, as curtains wouldn't be washed as often as clothes and there is an assumption that they are dry-cleaned, there are rarely any care labels, but it looks like a linen: quite a coarse weave, slight sheen and in an light golden sand, lineny-type of colour. I stood in the shop and scrunched this fabric up as much as possible until a sales assistant came over to ask if she "Could help?". I explained that I was doing a wrinkle test. Her face told me I shouldn't ask for a flame test......
So I bought 2m at £9.99 - not the cheapest garment cloth but is actually, surprisingly, wrinkle resistant, and takes a good crease for a pair of trousers for Kate in SWAP '13.
The pattern is TNT Vogue 8751. Really, I can't believe this myself - I cut out a 14 and sew it! No messing about, no alterations, no muslin - and they're great trousers too.



Side pockets, wide legged, high waisted, deep waist-band - I think this might be my fifth pair. I love them. Isn't it great when you find a pattern that just works? As an added insurance against excess wrinkling I also lined this pair to calf length (that's all the lining fabric I had).
Here's another post I've made about this pattern - white linen.

But in this case it wasn't just the pattern that worked but the fabric too. It frays quite a lot - a hazard of using furnishing fabrics - but a few zig-zag stitches along the seams soon sorts that out. I was so enamoured with this cloth that I returned to buy more for a matching shirt - guess who was serving that day too?
I bought another few metres  to make Vogue 1246.

This is a shirt / jacket thing. 
The shirt has interesting details on the sleeve hems; a V held in place with a working button. 
The front can be worn open or closed over, and there is a little bit of interest at the back with a string tie - your choice to wear loose or fitted, even tied in front. The single fastening on the front is secure enough to hold the shirt closed and decent.

Single button closure


 The sleeve heads are bias bound with a bit of left over patterned silk which really helps as this is the queen of fraying fabrics. All the inside seams were finished too by pressing over the seam allowance and sewing flat - then, of course, another pressing.

So here's everything together......










 Just in case you thought spring had sprung and there was heat in the sunshine - we still have snow on the ground!

So back inside, 'cause it's freezing.......









I also like the outfit with a white shirt underneath - to break up the single head to toe colour and to add another layer in these freezing temperatures.

I had my reservations about this shirt - while I love the Laganlook style and I love wearing loose baggy shirts and jumpers, I am gradually realising that I look better (wee bit slimmer) in fitted (not tight) clothes. Opinions please... is this shirt a keeper?

So Katherine has now three items to wear in SWAP '13 - starting to catch up with Audrey but only one month to complete the rest!!!!


50 comments:

  1. Pretty impressive for curtain fabric! It's a long way from the von Trapp family, lol.
    I have this pants pattern but have hesitated to try it, worried that the crotch curve with Vogue wouldn't accommodate my rather generous back side. They do look nice on you though!

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    1. Try it Karin - The trousers are loose around the crotch so it shouldn't be a problem.

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  2. Totally jealous. I tried the 1246 as a jacket and I looked like a large bundle of laundry. You make it look like such a good idea!!!

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    1. Drapey fabric Anne, drapey fabric

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  3. Wow, that's the best set of curtains I've ever seen!!! You'll show them;)

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    1. Open during daylight hours only!

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  4. I love it, the colour is so rich, you amaze me everytime you make something, so envious

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    1. No Linda - come back to earth it's just necessity that makes me sew.

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  5. You look stunning in this outfit - drape fabric or not...J

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    1. Yes Judith - you got it! It's the drape (continental nouns and verbs notwithstanding)

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  6. Well, I think the shirt is a keeper. And go to the top of the class for resourcefulness with fabric shopping!

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    1. Needs must. I also got just shy of 2m for £1.70 of an end of roll for another project

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  7. Very, very nice! I wouldn't have guessed it was curtain fabric! I have the same dilemma where I live. You have adapted very nicely. I love them!

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    1. Su, go looking! To me the most important is the wrinkle-ness of the fabric: the fraying can be dealt with but the wrinkles cannot. It's amazing what can be found in the curtain section.

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  8. Oh my goodness - you ARE an inspiration. I was at a local fabricville last evening and noticed a couple of pieces of curtain "stuff" that I love enough to go back today to purchase. Did you wash the fabric first? Your attention to detail is apparent! Or if it's just luck that your details work out, way to go luck of the Irish. Awesome.
    Elaine

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    1. Elaine, thank you. No I didn't wash the fabric - I'm often in too much of a hurry to start sewing. I'll hand wash this in cool water when I need to and dry flat. There is also a great deal of luck and serendipity involved in my sewing!

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  9. this all looks wonderful and so beautifully made - you should invest in a cheap flight on Easy Jet to London SEN and I'll take to fabric shopping! We even have lots of curtain fabric shops too if that takes your fancy more lol

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    1. Pauline, there is nothing better I would love to do! Thank you so much but get off the computer and make your wedding dress!!!

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  10. It is very lovely on you. Well done!

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    1. Thanks Mary Beth that really nice of you.

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  11. This is absolutely gorgeous! You really picked perfect patterns to set off the lovely fabric you found. I think this is about the best rendtition of that Lynn Mizono jacket that I've seen. Makes me want to go pull that pattern out right now and get to making one for myself!

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    1. Go for it Marcy. This is one I can you in and you will make it your own too.

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  12. Perfectly wonderful! I am a fiend for finding odd fabrics and congratulate you on your resourcefulness. Stay tuned for my home decorator linen duster/vest.

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  13. Love all of these pieces, and love the look on you. Sometimes it's nice to change it up a bit. While I prefer fitted, sometimes it's nice to have that more flowing and looser look and feel. Fabulous outfit!

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    1. Thanks Andrea. I appreciate your point of view.

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  14. I really like the trousers! That style is very much like one of the few store bought slacks that I own that I like - so I'll have to add that pattern to my 'wish list'.

    And curtain fabric - hmmmm My 'go-to' fabric shop has a very large household fabric section - I may have to wonder in there on my next visit and see what I can see.

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    1. Go Shawn, just test for wrinkliness but the patterns are staggering. Aim for Vogue's sale days when you can buy the pattern for $3.99.

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  15. No matter if it's curtain fabric or what ever, the outfit is stunning definitely! You know what design is suited to the fabric. Good job!

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    1. Yep, it's just fabric after all - make it suit the purpose. Thank you.

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  16. Love the blouse, love the pants. Love the suit together. Think maybe a pop of color might be better if you're going to wear the blouse with it. How about aqua or red? I'd hang you on my windows any day! ROFLOL

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    1. Now there's an idea! I need more red in my wardrobe and aqua would be super in the summer.
      BTW - had to get teenage son to translate ROF - but now I know!

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  17. I like both pieces but wouldn't wear them together. The top would look better over a more fitted bottom (pants or skirt) and the pants look great with the tucked in shirt. I think you are correct that two loosely fitted garments tend to make us all look larger.

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    1. I have tucked the white shirt in but nice idea about slim trousers for the shirt. Will try. Thanks Nancy I always appreciate an independent eye.

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  18. You have made magic out of your curtain fabric. Score!

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    1. Oh thank you Bunny. If only the temperatures would rise even just a little, so I could wear this properly instead of just a photo shoot.

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  19. You have been so busy and look a stunner in these garments! what beautiful fabric. The pants are fab. The loose overshirt...it's very interesting, looks good on you, and you carry it very well - but I can understand your ambivalence. You are such a knockout in more fitted garments. I like Valerie's reference to Marci Tilton's styles as 'wearable art' - a lot of interesting garments are like that, and often they draw my attention. I have several Issey Miyake and Ralph Chado Rucci tops, pants, and skirts that I haven't sewn yet, but bought for their design and detail. And I will sew them, even if I only wear them occasionally! Keep the shirt :-)

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    1. Thanks Coco, we think alike. I have Issey patterns too that I purchased for their atheistic value rather than 'I'll look good in that". But they are tempting to try.

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  20. You go girl! Scarlett O'Hara made a dress from her momma's portiers so you are in good company with your curtain creation! It is a totally fab look! Super fitting pants and the jacket sets off the whole look. Great job!

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  21. Such a stunning outfit! I really really really love the shirt and pants together (on you, anyway!) I have that jacket pattern, but you've made me want the pants pattern as well! Perhaps I need to check out the curtain fabrics....will that make my pieces look as good as yours? ;-D

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  22. If you only have curtain fabric at your disposal, you've done a top job making it work for you.
    I think you have the nirvana pants pattern.

    And it's great that you know your style and can use lagen pieces when you feel like your need a clothing hug.

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  23. Love love all your curtain outfits. I feel for your lack of fabric stores but there's always the internet - and all the fabric stores in Montmarte in Paris.

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  24. Lovely outfit! The pants are awesome, they fit you wonderfully, I just added that pattern to my wishlist, thanks for pointing them out. And I love the "jacket"'s quirky details. I think you are among the few people who look great in both fitted and these looser, geometric (what I think of as Japanese) silhouettes. You can then wear what suits your mood that particular day. Enjoy! I often admire homedec fabrics too, but in my experience they are even more expensive than good garment fabric, so I only have a few homedec fabrics in my stash. Should try to bump them up in the priority list...

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  25. My fingers are itching to buy the trouser pattern ,but I am telling them it is just fitting envy. They are a lovely cut and the wide waistband is such a nice detail. The outfit looks fabulous on you, and from curtain fabric!!!!

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  26. Hi there Ruth,

    Interesting, here in Lincolnshire, we have plenty of high end curtain fabric stores, but not one decent store for clothing fabrics. I am going to head off to York over the weekend, as I have spotted mention of a good dressmaking store.
    How clever of you to utilize the curtain fabrics; you would never guess. The clothes you have made are a triumph and testament to thinking outside the box!!
    Good health in wearing them all and thanks for inspiring us over and over.
    Happy Easter.

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  27. Great looking pants !! I have that jacket/shirt pattern out to make out of denim. So glad to see yours. beautiful!

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  28. You've done it again Ruth. The outfit is totally WOW - nearly had me drawing my breath as much as for the Chanel jacket ( and matching dress). Your Chanel outfit is still your absolute pinnacle ( so far ! ) - but this is a very stylish casual outfit- it totally WORKS !

    Janice.

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  29. Remember last year Ruth you gave my blog an award? Well I've finally managed to pass the accolade onwards! So here's another "Thank you" - and an invitation to pop over to have a peek and see who I nominated: http://sallysewssometing.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/thanks-to-sewruth-blogger-awards.html

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  30. Ruth this is such a chic outfit! Fantastic choice of patterns and fabric. Lovely workmanship !

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  31. Ruth,yes it is very elegant! We have the same problem in France to find fabrics for clothes.Very often it's for curtains or"home desing", the others are very commun and the same in all shops.
    So i buy all that i find during holidays...and sometimes i have not enough when i have the pattern...brainstorming!
    Good luck for next work!

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