Vintage Butterick clutch cape

butterick 2556 clutch cape

Until I found the pattern for this I didn’t even realise there was such a thing let alone that I wanted one so much! On Googling ‘clutch cape’ one is presented with all manner of cape styles accessorised with a clutch bag but only one or two images of a vintage pattern oh and one fox fur version for a snip at $1,285.00! I can only assume it came into being and then disappeared from the world of fashion in a puff of smoke through lack of demand.

Well of course, that makes me love it even more!

butterick 2556 clutch cape pattern

The idea is that you can rest your hands in the naturally forming pockets where the shawl collar meets the hem. It is also the only way of holding it on in gusty weather as there is no other system of closure. But even without such gusts it does sit in place quite nicely due to the shaping of the shoulders.

There’s not much choice to be had in the Goldhawk Road faux fur range at the moment. I am assured that it arrives in October. But I don’t have patience of saints and I settled on this textured black fur fabric at £14.99/m. It only takes 1.25 yds but I bought 1.25m to be on the safe side and it was plenty enough. I like the pattern of the texture and it is actually quite silky for being faux.

butterick 2556 clutch cape

There’s some dart shaping on the fronts and back piece which you wont be able to see of course. And there is interfacing sewn into the collar to give a little structure. And so that if I want to look like a wicked stepmother it will stand up and stay up!

Youngest daughter tried to halt plans by saying it was plain weird and even Mr O made noises about me looking like Basil Brush. But they know full well that those kind of comments just roll off my feathered back!

butterick 2556 clutch cape back view

There is very little to construct and therefore it was very simple to make up, however I had to re-read the instructions to make sure I hadn’t missed anything re the lining insertion. The lining consists of the front and back pieces sewn in the same way; sewn together at the hemline, with right sides facing and then, having pressed the seam allowance all round, hand-stitched to the cape. Of course the problem that caused was that the lining was visible at the hemline. It needs to be shorter.

So, given my ever growing annoyance for things I’ve not done properly, I dutifully unpicked it (which is no mean feat if you’ve ever stitched lining to fur with small stitches!) and chopped off the seam allowance from the hemline and reattached. I could have gone half an inch more to be on the safe side but that seems to have done the trick.

It’s perfect for days like today, deceivingly sunny with a sneaky chill in the air. I haven’t begun any autumnal sewing yet and my polka dot Flora dress most certainly would not have got an outing today with bare shoulders. And it wouldn’t look out of place with an evening gown or ‘casualled’ down with a pair of jeans if that’s what takes your fancy.

butterick 2556 clutch cape front

In an effort to find a location with no gawping passers-by, these photos were taken down the side of Shepherds Bush Empire. I knew this building was quite old, built in 1903 in fact, but didn’t know that of all the acts performed there, Charlie Chaplin was one of them!

I was just saying to Mr O how sewing and blogging and photography has changed how we have taken notice of our surroundings. There is so much history to be had, right on our very doorstep!

Make your own Zhivago-inspired fur hat: FREE pattern download

make your own fur hat free patternquick sewing projectHappy new year lovely followers!

I’m so delighted to share this pattern with you as my first post of 2015. It’s a timeless, vintage-style fur hat that will keep you warm and toasty in the most stylish way possible! And it’s a real quick project to sew up for that quick sewing fix when time isn’t on your side!

It really is so super easy to make. Just download and print out the FREE_fur_hat_pattern and follow these few simple instructions. The hardest thing about this hat will be to get your hands on some quality fur of the faux kind!

The pattern corresponds to my head size which is 22.5 inches or 57 cm.
You may need to adjust the pattern to personalise the fit.

You will need:

  • 1/4 m of faux fur (retailers will only usually sell you 1/2m at a time but its often worth an ask!)
  • 1/4 m of lining fabric (or find some scraps in your stash)
  • coordinating thread
  • a vacuum cleaner to hoover up all the fluff!

Instructions:

  • Make sure you print out your FREE_fur_hat_pattern at actual size, and check with the test square (on page 4 of the pdf) that it has printed correctly. Cut out and paste the sheets together to match the layout on page 1 of the pdf. Complete the hat band and crown sections as full pieces as instructed on the pattern then cut out.

NOTE: Before you pin the pattern to your fur fabric, think about what direction you prefer the fur to lie. On this particular hat I made, the pile strokes downwards on the band, from the top of the crown, down towards my eyebrows! On the top circular piece, it strokes from front to back. Incidentally, the centre back of the hat is where the band is seamed.

TIP: When cutting your fur pieces, cut on the reverse and just snip carefully through the backing fabric so as not to cut through to the actual fur on the right side. You will achieve a much better finish on the seams.

  • Pin the pattern to your fur pieces and cut out, paying heed to the tip above.
  • Pin and cut out your lining pieces. It doesn’t matter for the circular lining piece but make sure the band is cut on a straight grain to avoid stretching.
  • Take your fur band piece and fold in half, right sides together. Pin the short ends together, making sure the fur is tucked inside, and stitch using a 1.5 cm seam allowance following the direction of the fur.

seam fur band

TIP: When sewing fur fabric, Increase your stitch length a little so prevent thread tangling.

  • Finger-press the seam open and hold in place with a couple of tacking stitches top and bottom of seam.
  • Pin the fur circular crown piece to the hat band, making sure the fur is tucked in and checking the direction of the fur is correct. See note above. Sew the seam using a 1.5 cm seam allowance.
pin and stitch crown to band
Pin and stitch crown to band
  • Turn right side out. Using a long craft pin (a normal pin or needle will do) drag it along the seam allowance to free the fur that has got caught in the seam.
picked trapped fur from seam with pin
Pick trapped fur from seam with pin
  • Now take your lining piece for the band, pin the short edges together as above and stitch with a regular stitch length and a 1.5 cm seam allowance. Press seam open.
  • Stay stitch the circular lining piece within the seam allowance, to prevent stretching.
Stay-stitch circular lining piece
Stay-stitch circular lining piece
  • Pin the lining piece for the crown along one edge of the band and seam together, leaving a about 4 inches / 10cm open for turning.
leave opening in lining
Leave opening in lining
  • With right sides together pin the rims of the lining and the fur hat together. Effectively the fur hat will be sitting inside the lining. Pin together, matching the two centre back seams and stitch along the entire edge, securing the stitching, beginning and end.
Sew lining to outer fabric
Pin and sew lining to outer fabric
  • Turn the hat to the right side through the opening left in the lining, and you’re almost done!
Turn hat to the right side through this opening
Turn hat to the right side through this opening
  • Pin the lining opening together, tucking in the seam allowance, and slip-stitch closed. With matching thread, obvs!
Slip stitch the to close the opening in the lining
Slip stitch to close the opening in the lining. With matching thread obvs!

Now all that is left to do is to don your new fancy fur hat, step out in the snow and hum the theme tune to Doctor Zhivago!

Please shout if anything is unclear. I’d be delighted to hear how you get on.

Faux Zhivago: handmade retro-style fur hat

handmade fur hat

I watched the film, Doctor Zhivago lots of years ago, snuggled up on the sofa with my mum. Can’t say I remember much about the plot but the music and the coats and the hats stayed with me for sure!

So when I found a crazy retro-style furry black hat in Oxfam, I knew I could and should shamelessly copy and create one of my own even if I didn’t have the lips to pull of a sultry pout, Julie Christie style.

So here is the Ooobop faux fur, Zhivagoesque, vintage-style hat that will laugh in the face of any Russian-style snowfall that threatens over the next few days.

handmade vintage style fur hat

I care not if my children walk ten paces behind me.

I care not if Mr O likens me to Rab C Nesbitt’s Wife.

And I care even less for all those sideways glances in the high street. They are just jealous eyes!

My ears are warm. My bad hair day is irrelevant. And Lara’s Theme tune is on loop!

handmade fur hat Doctor Zhivago style

The faux fox fur – I keep having to state faux because it actually feels too real to be faux! – was a bit pricey but it was a justified birthday spend up gifted by my lovely mum. I got it in A-One Fabrics in the Goldhawk Road and it is such good silky quality. Only needed half a metre and that was enough for a trial one that went wrong, this one which didn’t, and perhaps a matching fur muff to come! Do people even wear those nowadays?

I probably don’t need to declare that it was Mr O that took these fab photos – late last night, with next to no light but one of those god-awful energy saving bulbs and a few fairy twinkles. I certainly wouldn’t have had the patience. Very happy to sit with a glass of bubbly under the Christmas tree while he worked it though!

I was hoping to have a little tute prepared for you to accompany this post but that was serious wishful thinking on my behalf! Working on it nonetheless. And for anyone who fancies a furry head warmer like mine I’ll be posting a pattern and a tute next post, post-haste!

Till then lovely followers, I wish you all the loveliest of wishes; Wrap up warm, keep safe and beware the nutters on the road!  x

handmade fur hat

 

Wild Thing for World Book Day

Where_The_Wild_Things_Are_costumeI think I may be subject to mass mum-hate if I proclaim a love for World Book Day. But I do. (Eek!) Don’t get me wrong, I get my knickers in a knot as much as anyone else but I secretly relish the challenge. After all, it involves a must-do sewing project. And that’s always a good thing.

My daughter was very clear about what she wanted to be this year. I’ve come to realise recently, how very grateful I am for people who think for me. I constantly have head soup! Someone thinking on my behalf is better than doing the dishes for me or hoovering the stairs. I’d even go as far as saying that it was better than someone cleaning the bathroom for me. Not that I know what that’s like but you catch my drift?

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Anyhows, youngest dort was dead set on Max from Where The Wild Things Are. Easy I thought. A white onesie and we are sorted! Not. Not when youngest dort has other plans, like a white onesie in a faux fur of the furriest kind. I kid you not, this stuff is horrid and has left serious evidence throughout the whole house!

Where The Wild Things Are costume

I’ve never attempted one of these before and certainly didn’t have a go-to pattern but this is where I can justify my 3 year collection of Burdastyle magazines.

Low and behold in January 2013’s edition…. a wookie jumpsuit! Thank you Burdastyle. Really. Thank you!!

wookie costume

The only problem I had was that the size only went up to age 8. My daughter is 9 but a good 4 inches taller than a regular 9 year old! And so I cut and spread and taped and so properly graded the jumpsuit pieces. But then I looked and shook my head in disbelief at the sheer size of the pattern and took out an inch and a half.

Well you can guess the rest. The first test garment was too small. But no biggie because it was only a tester and better still made the basis of a Thing One costume for her bestie! Bestie’s clever mum did a very fine job of sewing on the the all-important detail as well as taking care of  the gorgeous Hermione Granger!

Thing One costume

So once I added those inches back in I just cut and sewed… and got fluff everywhere!
The good thing about this stuff is there is no necessity for neatening of seams, no hems and no need for careful catch-stitching. I actually did double interface the ears with sew in canvas to make them stand up but not be too stiff. The zip was surprisingly ok to sew in, by hand but trimming the fluff so as not to catch on the teeth was really annoying!

Where The Wild Things Are costume

I can’t take all the credit for this one. LMO made and hand painted her own fabulous crown and check out that wonderfully fluffy tail. A tail that Max himself would have been soooo proud to wear. Mr Ooobop himself took on this task while I was at work. He chose the fur and shaped it perfectly before stitching it with his own fair hands. I am so uber impressed.

Where the Wild Things are CostumeI think we can safely say that Little Miss Ooobop was suitably impressed too! And what better place to hang out after school than the local park, in the trees, being photographed by her multi-talented dad!

Where The Wild Things Are costume

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Where The Wild Things Are costume

Hope your tales of World Book Day were as fun!
And wishing you all a lovely sunny weekend wherever you are.

(One can dream!)

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ooobop! review: Burda Style December 2012

Burda december 2012

Was beginning to get a bit anxious about the late appearance of this issue on the shelves of Smiths! But was it worth the wait?…. In my humble opinion, if there is just one great pattern in there it’s worth the cover price. Two and I’m laughing. Three and it’s definitely Christmas. But more than three? Oh yes, yes yes!!

Party Fashions opens with  a great fitted jacket in black and gold. Sling it on over a pair of jeans and a T and you are so ready for the party. And check out the detail on the ‘Master Piece’ dress. Hurts my head a bit wondering how that is created. And it has 3.5 ‘difficulty blobs’ out of a possible 4  but as luck would have it, there is a step-by-step sewing course included, to help you on your way.

party fashions

I love this ‘Black Power’ dress. Shame it is obsured by the jacket in this shot but the line drawing highlights the simple lines. Would be gorgous in silk. In stark contrast, not really a fan of ruffled layered bottom halves. Only because my bottom half doesn’t need bigging up. But this little skirt is pretty with the metallic tulle lace overlay. And incredibly easy to make.

party fashions

Party Fashions wouldn’t be complete without an adornment of sequins but I can’t help but think how spiky they must be to wear. The skirt part on the black dress however is made from imitation leather scales. Now your’e talking! I don’t tend to do trousers anymore either but stretch nappa leather ones like these are luring me back!

sequins

More sequins and shine…

…. and then we are on to Christmas!!

Boy am I excited about this coat. I was given a decent length of a lime green/chocolate shot silk/wool mix fabric. Quite heavy. Probably intended for furnishing. Certainly not dressmaking. But I instantly had visions of classy and totally original coat. Have been looking for the perfect one. And now, as if by magic, I think I have found it! Just praying there is enough fabric!

burda 12 2012 coat

Not sure if I am suited to the following look, though I think the skirt is very interesting. Perhaps its the distraction of the 1D lookalike in the photo. I do however, reeeaaallly like that little girl’s shift dress. And love that it is actually in my daughter’s size. More often than not, the kids patterns are either too small or too large and I’m far too lazy busy for pattern grading!

girls shift dress

Again. I’m not feeling the puritan look but the jacket with the retro peplum and the little girls coat is totally up my street!

puritan look

The whole sweet angel and tweed look is maybe pushing the boundaries of sweet. Verging almost on sickly, I’d say! I can hear Mr  and Master Ooobop! roaring with laughter as LMO and myself prepare Christmas lunch in such puritanical stylee. The fact that LMO would howl with protest if every I tried to dress her like this is a sure thing too!

angel dress

A good teddy bear pattern always comes in handy as a gift for a small person. Or even a grown up! I do enjoy sewing toys just as much but so far haven’t strayed from the path of Tilda makes. Burda have even included the corochet pattern for the lovely shawl they are sitting on. Oh please don’t get me side-tracked!

teddy pic

I keep coming back to this dress. It’s not instantly my thing but I love how the seam joins have been highlighted in white. Definitely a conversation piece. I quite like the waiscoat too but they can keep their billowy sleeves!

waistcoat

There’s a Master Piece jacket and coat pattern for the smalls too. Very classy. I’m sure I could talk LMO into that jacket, if it meant she could keep her Doc Martens on too!

kids coats

There’s a fun Street Style section with some clever twists on casual using wool. Makes for a more quality look than with the usual jersey. But I have glossed over that because I don’t really do casual street!

This dress certainly makes a ‘Grand Entrance’ when you turn to this spread. Works great as a short dress but soooo elegant as a full length evening dress. It’s made in silk crepe here. Imagine how luxurious it would feel too!

grand entrance dress

In stark contrast I fear the blue shiny combo on the left is a bit wrong! Luckily there is a pleasant distraction opposite! I really like the simple cut of this dress. A variation of the black dress at the beginning. But with the addition of long sleeves and an overlay of floaty chiffon it is transformed into  and enchanting swoosh of loveliness! I do have a little issue with how the neckline seems to be pulling though. Anyone know why this might be happening?

chiffon dress

Here’s a couple of real simple to put together outfits. Well, Im sure the jacket is a little trickier but I do  think it would be worth any amount of hassle to be snuggled in wool velour. The gathered collar and three-quarter sleeves are gorgeous features. Rose and gold is quite a sophisticated colour combo too.

easy patterns

Oh and here we are. My favourite bit! The Vintage pattern. A very stylish French couture look. Though I like a nice bouclé fabric, especially one with a metallic thread, I think that gorgeous design feature at the front bodice is lost. If or rather when I get round to making this beauty I will definitely be employing a plainer wool fabric and keep it closer to the original.

vintage pattern

There’s  a few treats in the plus section. Not least of all this hot LBD. Flattering sweetheart neckline and some glamourous gathering at the hip. Oh to have those curves!

plus section

Well that just about wraps it up for the clothes section but there are lots of extra crafty projects too, just to get you in the spirit of the season!

Thanks for swinging by. Hope you get some sewing in over this busy time. Till next time, toodlepip! xxx

ooobop! review: Burda Style November 2012

Burdastyle magazine november 2012

A little later than usual but I do hope that November 2012’s Burda Style magazine serves to whet your appetite and make your sewing list longer all the same!

I’m going to jump straight to the Vintage pattern because that is exactly what I did in the shop and it is so totally my favourite and my best! I do like it in black but I also like its original floral form. Such style in the fifties! Bring it back, I say!

burda november 12 vintage

Lots of lovely misty neutrals in the first section this month. I am quite surprised to see a floaty batiste dress (top left, below) considering the chill factor but I like it all the same, especially styled with boots and the faux fur waistcoat. I am also tempted by the blouse, centre bottom row. Batiste with a metallic print…. not sure I will stumble across that fabric choice in the Goldhawk Road, but always worth an ask! It’s got 3/4 raglan sleeves and bust darts so its simple but not completely shapeless.

The trousers (bottom right) are nagging me to attempt my first pair of trousers. These ones have hip yoke pockets and are ankle length to display some fabulous show-off shoes!

art of fashionNext up is the Gem Colours section. You may have already have seen some of these patterns on the Burda web site. They were quick to go up this month.

This jacket or ‘blouson’ as its called here, would present such a rewarding project. Having just completed my first proper jacket I’m itching to employ some more tailoring techniques and this one looks like it could present a few more. Its got some beautiful hand stitching going on which gives it such a professional finish.

Gem colours

Undertones of the 70s with oranges, purples and browns are the order of the day for Gem Colours. I’ve not worked with crèpe de Chine before but I think the first dress (below, top left) would be a great place to start. It’s semi-fitted and has a wide neckline, with broad sleeves that taper into slip on cuffs. Perfect for those bloaty days or when you just want to throw something over a pair of leggings or sturdy coloured tights before flying out the door.

gem coloursTwo Sides of Me is an interesting section this month. I like the dress!

Two sides of meNot too sure about the boyish looks. Bit boyish for me to be honest! But I’m quite drawn to the blouse on the left. Not my usual style but I like the idea that this could be whipped up a couple of hours before a theatre date! It is made of stretch silk satin here. Much like my pin up pants, so I bet it feels gorgeous on!

Two sides of me

I kind of flicked past the Knits section to get to the Kids. Nothing against knits, honest, and I feel bad now for not including them. But they just seemed like staple loungewear. And I need to avoid making stuff that everyone is going to think is from ‘Primani’!

But… there is some totally cool kid stuff as usual. Keeping the neutral theme and mixing up metallics and matte. Lovely textures and fun, chic designs that will even fit Little Miss Ooobop!… hoorah!!

Burda Kids november 12And a Burda mag would never be complete without some hot plus-size gorgeousness. My picks this month are very vintagesque. Creature of habit, moi?! Very elegant and sexy and perfect for a hot wintry date!

plus sectionAny faves? Any dislikes? Feel free to share your thoughts!