Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Using the Colette Sewing Book (and Jackie's Cakes !)

Hello people

Well, we are well and truly into 2012 now- can you believe how quickly time flies ?

I have just been having a gander at the new folks up on the Sew Weekly site  (you can too here), and although I will miss seeing DebiVeronica DarlingOona and co, I am excited to get to know and see what the new gang are going to be making  :-)  I always feel so inspired seeing other people's makes, and I love the format of the Sew Weekly where we can see LOTS of makes, every week, from different people.

Exciting !

I have been working on the Jasmine, and although I cant share the finished garment yet (as it's not finished ! I have cut and interfaced the fabric, sewed the darts, but am yet to stitch it together) I hope to 'show and tell' soon.

I thought I would share my first experience of using the Colette Sewing Book as an actual reference book. Whilst sewing ! Wooop wooop ! Which actually is very easy with this book due to the way its spiral bound !

I referenced page 84, to be exact, as I needed to make the waist larger on the pattern and so I traced the pattern and then slashed and pivoted as shown in the book.

I must admit I found making these changes much easier using a cardboard table. Actually I have wanted one of these tables after watching Fit for Real People -The Basics DVD, and have spent many a happy hour browsing for one, without any luck (thank god otherwise I would have spent money on one !). Then, this weekend I thought what a waste of money buying one when I can use a large old box. For FREE. And that people, is exactly what I did !

It was amazing ! I laid an old piece of thin decorating vinyl material over it, which thoughtfully of the fabric was gridded, and I used my new table (well actually a flat piece of thick card covered in vinyl to be exact)  to anchor the pattern while I made my adjustments.

Here are the changes that I made to the pattern in practice (and although I did change both the length and  width by 1.5 inches, I later reduced the extra width after making a muslin - it was too much ! Eventually I widened by 6/8 of an inch.

Slashing to make a 'hinge'

Slashing and using my new cardboard 'table' to anchor the pattern pieces, LOVE IT !

Birds eye view

The book advises to mark the seam line on the pattern, and slash at the place where the side seam and underarm seam meet - however - you cant do that on the Jasmine pattern because as you can see above, due to the shapes of the seams, a slash would not be possible at this point. As such I slashed it as near as I could to that point, whilst making sure I had some tissue either side of my slash.

Make sure you add width at the stitching line

Using a pin to drag tissue paper under the pattern - STILL loving the cardboard !

Tissue added - now to tape down and trim off the excess.

Hmm - now the dart needs fixing !

Easy peasy !!   :-) Just match up the ends to the point !
I made a muslin and it seemed to fit pretty well, but I made it a little too wide ! Doh !

I took a gamble and did not make another muslin, I reduced the width on the pattern and just cut the fabric as I am certain that it will fit. Especially because the fabric is drapey, and I plan to wear it tucked in, so a little extra around the midriff is not going to hurt. I draped the pieces over Dolly, and it looks good so far. I made a hybrid of the 2 versions, using the collar from version 1, and the sleeves from version 2. I am using a silk/cotton blend and cutting on the bias, both firsts for me, and I no likey cutting on the bias. I especially no likey trying to mark the darts etc.

Anyone got any good marking tips, especially when cutting on the bias ? Chalk just dragged and I didn't have much luck with tailor tacks.

Hopefully I can finish it at the weekend - it will be nice to start the year with a freshly made garment. I especially love thinking about what I can wear with a new garment to make an outfit !

I other news - I took a picture of a cake, but not just any cake. My colleague makes them every Monday - and they are so beautiful ! I think I may start a little feature called 'Jackies Cakes' so I can share her amazingness with the world !

And - to be fair - after this gigantic post if you made it this far - you deserve a treat !!

YUM !! And soooo pretty !

I hope 2012 has been kind to you so far. And that you have a lovely person in your life who makes you beautiful cakes !

K xxx


  1. I know ! Darling aren't they ? :-)

  2. Hi, after the crepe sewalong with Gertie, I now use dress maker's carbon and a tracing wheel, if that's any help! The cake looks amazing..wish I had colleagues like yours!!!

  3. I am lucky eh ? Jackie's cakes are totally fabulous. Thanks for the tip Gaylene ! I would love to see your finished crepe - I gave up on mine due to hideous back fitting issues. Boo ! I did try that type of marking but because my fabric is so patterned I couldn't see the marks ! Doh !

  4. That adorable little cake looks absolutely delish!
    thank you so much for your comment!

  5. Thanks Carolyn ! Your welcome, I thought the skill you displayed making that shirt was astounding ! I don't know where you find the time, honestly I don't ! xx

  6. Hi Kirsty, have to confess that with the crepe I used my long suffering husband to pinch out the extra at the back, but my FBA wa not all it might be...still I did finish it, then managed to rip it at the armhole the first time out!! It was not meant to be! Looking forward to seeing your Jasmine.

  7. Hi Gaylene, thank you for taking the time to comment :-)
    I tried that - Mr P was doing the pinching, and it looked OK, but then I did not know how to transfer the changes onto my pattern ! I feel a little more confident now, and have the help of my beautiful assistant 'Dolly' and as such feel almost ready to try the crepe again ! There are some real beauty versions which I have seen online, which fill me with hope. I would love to see your version ! Can you share ? xx
    I am hopeful to sew up the Jasmine tonight :-) Maybe work on the crepe again later in the year ! (If I ever get the time) Kxx