Tuesday 22 February 2022

A 'vintage' 1959 car coat, BurdaStyle October 2021, with some Chanel-look camellia buttons from Zaza of Canada

I don't keep much of a 'stash' but since getting hooked on buying three-metre remnants from Les Coupons de Saint Pierre in Paris (https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/lescouponsdesaintpierre/?hl=en), I've found I can't resist certain bargains. 

So I found myself with some inexpensive poly black bouclé. Because I already have a very loved and sturdy black bouclé Chanel-type jacket of better quality material, I decided to 'have a go' at beefing up this bouclé for a Chanel-feel retro coat. (The last black coat I sewed was the Burda Easy 'waterfall' style that shoots all the way to my ankles and feels like wearing a cozy cashmere blend blanket. But it lacks definition or chic for evening wear.)

For variety, I went for the knee-length October Burda Style vintage car coat which they showed in both iterations in 1959 and in 2021 in teddybear fleece. That's not my favourite fabric, to be frank, though it's in fashion right now. I think it risks looking like a bathroom rug if not kept in very good nick and well-accessorized. 

I underlined my whole coat with lightweight interfacing to add body to the slight 'boule' shape and collar. Notice how I'm styling it with a classic scarf around the neck to enhance the fifties' feel? I also ordered a very sturdy poly satin lining. The pockets are fully interfaced, lined, and hand stitched to the body. There's a nifty 50's style belt draped at the back from the side seams.

The fabric didn't seem like it would take well to cutting in buttonholes, so I decided to order black coat snaps for the interior and to try an Etsy supplier, Zaza of Canada
for a set of Chanel-style 'camellia' buttons in black and white for the exterior.

Zaza of Canada's service was prompt, the order beautifully packaged, and Isabelle's communication excellent, but only one little hitch occurred—probably my fault—one of the buttons' flowers detached from its base. I had to re-glue it together with Cement It, my heart in my throat fearing I might damage the button before stitching it on again.
The buttons are the main event of this coat, so perhaps I should have ordered a backup button or two for the future. I may order other buttons again from Isabelle at Zaza of Canada but with the caveat that these are not workhorse features but handmade luxuries.
Thanks anyway, Isabelle! Great service!

Monday 21 February 2022

Two Burda Easy blue sweater dresses saw me through another semi-confined winter Covid season

So, it's time at long last to put my two winter sweater dresses to bed and get ready for some spring sewing. But for friends Down Under just approaching their autumn/winter season, I recommend these two Burda Easy models that satisfy the need to be cozy during the simpler life many of us are leading these days (and I can hardly believe it, but I'm actually writing about two COVID winters, not one, that's how strange my concept of time during confinement has become.)

As part of my 'capsule wardrobe' which features a lot of French or navy blue, I purchased two different knits from Coupons de St Pierre, (both synthetic mixes, but not toooooo bad in terms of comfort and quality.) 

The first, actually cut out during the Christmas season of 2020-2021 (maybe the worst Christmas for our family ever, as the London-based daughter was trapped in London by Swiss flight cancellations) was this dolman-sleeved, cowl-neck 06/20 #3C in a navy 'chiné' poly-rayon knit with a lot of warmth and loft. You can see below a close-up of the slightly tweedy knit. I accidentally cut double the length needed for the self belt and ended up liking it worn that way as a kind of feature.

The second, sewed last spring was this turtle-neck with a standard sleeve, done in a slightly dressier, looser navy blue knit with a bit of silver lurex woven through. Again, because these pictures can't do the different knits justice, I've done a closeup of the sleeve.

This second dress is actually a Frankenpattern using the Burda Easy turtleneck top pattern and extending it by overlaying to lengthen in another Burda knit dress to get the silhouette right. I think it could still use some pulling in with a belt.

Burda's website no longer shows these last two patterns as Burda Easy downloads. They seem to have morphed into Burda Catalogue paper patterns...but for the record, these are what I overlaid to get a pattern for a pretty standard turtleneck knit dress.

Both were as promised, quite quick and easy sews. In fact, I think I spent as much time tracing and prepping the patterns as cutting out and sewing up the dresses! And frankly, life right now is still Covid-limited and all my more beautiful or formal clothes for concerts or dinners out are languishing in the back of the closet. The lurex number was just right for a family New Year's Eve dinner at home with a son and girlfriend. I've found myself regularly pulling out the dolman number for any day I'm just damned sick of my denim jumpsuits and stretch leggings.