Saturday, 1 March 2014

A fabric lovers nightmare sews like a dream!

Crimplene! I cannot confess to have any affection for this man made fabric. My experiences of it to date have been of button down dresses, typically full around the bust and with more than a whiff of old lady about them.

I fell into this project quite by accident really. I was browsing through some old curtains in a local charity shop and found this fabric folded up on a hanger. It is a dark brown and cream herringbone knit with specks of orange and ochre randomly running through it. The colours are what drew me to it, but also the fact that it was unused and didn't smell of old woman kept me interested. With a £5 ticket, I wasn't easily swayed, but eventually decided it was worth a go. My dad, who was with me at the time, very kindly paid for it, which meant that I was loyally bound into using it.

What exactly is Crimplene?
Mmm, nice!

Seeings as I only acquired the fabric last Saturday, this project has had a fast turnover. There was enough there to make a skirt suit! I have been thinking of Chanel jackets a lot lately, so decided to go down a cardigan jacket route, with matching A-line skirt

Below are some inspirational images of the kind of look I was aiming for. Look how effortlessly chic Chanel dressed! She looks smart, but also relaxed and the lines are soft and unstructured.

So I think I can replicate Chanel in Crimplene? I know, I know, who am I trying to kid!

Ok, so I look a bit robotic here, but you get the picture! I had to chop my head off, as I'm terribly photophobic. I'm trying to ease myself into appearing on my pages though, as it's always nice when looking at other sewing blogs to see clothes on people. 

I am neither blessed with Chanel's slim lines, nor is Crimplene blessed with a soft drape, but it's really easy to chuck on and does look quite smart. 

Here is the jacket in more detail. I used a boxy jacket pattern from Stylish dress book: clothing for everyday wear. It is unlined, but very neat. It was so easy to construct, as it was just machine sewn, overlocked, under stitched on the facings and machine top stitched for the hems and facings to keep everything firmly in place.

Check out my new woven labels!

One big mistake I made was in the pressing. I almost finished the jacket and left the iron on too long on one of the centre front panels, which slightly melted the fabric (see above picture). It probably doesn't notice that much, but I did eventually unpick and replace that whole under stitched and overlocked piece. Doh! If only I'd seen Scruffy Badgers tips on unpicking overlocked stitches in time!

The skirt is a self drafted a-line with a faced waist band and a lapped zip. Easy!

All in all I have really enjoyed sewing this suit. Sure the fabric is a bit crunchy and is liable to catch melt near an open flame, but it has a certain je ne sais quoi! 

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