Monday, March 17, 2014

Pattern and Tutorials for the Ulyana Sergeenko Challenge!

I hope everyone is getting pumped about making some awesome clothes based on Ulyana Sergeenko!

If you're participating in the challenge, we have until the middle of April to knock out some clothing. If you're not sure where to start, then perfect! I'm posting some tutorials and patterns I found to help get you started. If you can think of any more, let me know in the comments and I'll add them to list.

If you're looking for simple sailor that doesn't scream costume, I found a few options for you! I'm sure you could draft the top yourself, but if you're not into that, I love Tilly's Coco top as an option. The skirt is from Burda and it's free! If pants or shorts are more your thing, I found another free pattern on Burdastyle for you.

Ulyana designs and wears a lot of circle skirts (right photos). Luckily, they're easy to make! Liz from Cotton and Curls (left) shows you how to easily draft a midi circle skirt. If you want a little more detail on circle skirts, check out this great post by Diary of a Renaissance Seamstress. The ladies over at By Hand London have even created a circle skirt calculator so you have to do less math.

Underneath some of her skirts, I'm sure she has crinoline slip or petticoat. If you don't have one handy, check out this tutorial for making your own.

Let's talk tulle! I wasn't really into these skirts when they started popping up, but now I think I want one for date night. Liz from Cotton and Curls (right) has a great tutorial for tulle skirts on her blog. Go check it out!

I'm madly in love with this cocoon coat. My main problem: do I make it a luxurious robe at home or do I make it to be worn outside the home? Pattern on the right from Ralph Pink.

This would require a bit more drafting, but if you want to go for something like this, I found a free pattern from PatternVault for you! I would add a tie, shorten the sleeves, and rotate the side detailing. If you look at Ulyana's design (left), it looks like she just cut open the back of a skirt and added a train. Very do-able!

She also designs a lot of modern and structured outfits that I'm having problems finding tutorials for. So let me know if you're familiar with a tutorial or pattern for her longer skirts, her shorts, or this amazing dress.

Also, I want to point out that I didn't link any patterns for her shirts or her pants (seen here and here) because I feel, pants especially, that those are more personal and harder to draft and fit. If you want me to change that because you know the perfect pattern, comment below and I'll update.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Finished: 1960s Cape

I am generally obsessed with capes. When a cape pattern was delivered to my house (surprise!) a few years ago, I knew I was going to make it. I had no idea it would take me several years to get started on it, and almost 5 months to finish it! To be fair, I was spending at most an hour a week on it, but still. It took forever.

I used Vogue 6032 from 1963. Look at that cover art - so gorgeous! But I had problems and self-doubt from the beginning. I had so many problems finding the right fabric. I wanted it to be wool and I was thinking some sort of pattern, like houndstooth. Or maybe a fun color like pink. I had problems finding any wool I liked though, so when Mood sent me an email with charcoal wool on sale I jumped on it. I loved the charcoal color, and it is a great color, but they had pink wool on sale the next week - boo.

So anyway, I started cutting it out and piecing it together with my trusty helpers and that's when I suddenly decided this was going to look awful on me. I was watching Harry Potter (for the first time) and being introduced to characters like Umbridge. Thank goodness I didn't get the pink patterned wool. I was also watching Call the Midwife, an amazing show, but I didn't really want to look like the nuns. It didn't help that the boyfriend was incredible excited that I was "making a nurse's outfit from WWII."

It also took quite a bit of time because the pattern from the 60s focused mostly on using a regular sewing machine with lots of hand sewing thrown in. I don't hand sew, and I really wanted to use my serger so there was a lot of plotting and converting to my equipment that took longer.

Not perfect, but as close as I'm getting.
It probably should have been easier, but I decided to take days figuring out how best to insert a lining rather than looking up tutorials. (Although I did use a LOT of tutorials for my serger - it took me quite awhile to get the hang of threading it, but I think it's all good now.)

So yeah! I'm pretty proud of this one because I finished something I've wanted for years and I did it mostly by myself.

I really loved working with wool. It's thicker than the fabrics I'm used to working with, it doesn't slide around, and you can hide your stitches in all the material. I used a lot of white thread for this, and you can't see it at all! Of course, that also means that if you mess something up, you can't unpick the stitches either.

I took my cape out for a stroll yesterday afternoon. I'm pretty pleased with the fact that I've finished just in time for the weather to warm up slightly. It's long and heavy and keeps me plenty warm in the 40-50 degree weather (that's 4-10 degrees for my non-American friends).

It's like wearing a fashionable blanket.

It is a little strange to walk at first because my arms don't hang at the side per normal, but they stick out the front. I found that if I slow down a bit, and especially if I lean on the arm of my handsome boyfriend, it works perfectly.

Of course, I could always open it up.

All in all, my cape is fabulous and perfect and I wish I had more places to wear it out.