Thursday, January 10, 2019

Winter Handmade Capsule 2019: Outer Layers

I struggle with what to call this category but I've settled on Outer Layers as it comprises pieces that go over your main layers and complete an outfit. I have selected 6 outer layers for my Winter Handmade Capsule: 3 cardigans, 1 vest, and 2 jackets-but-really-more-cardigans (i'll explain below).

Other posts in the series:
Dresses + Shoes



Dark Green Cabled Cardigan: This was a self-designed cardigan that I knit last year. I love the color so much and it's very warm. I've worn it a decent number of times but I think it will get a lot more use now that winter has finally arrived in western New York.


Navy Hooded Cardigan: I sewed this wool cardigan last fall and it's a nice light layer. I do wish that it were a little heavier and sturdier for winter but it should work well for slightly warmer days.


Grey Cardigan: This is the Emerson cardigan knit out of Woolfolk Far that I knit in 2017. I don't think I ever blogged this one. The sad thing about this cardigan is that the yarn is fluffy-clouds-made-of-kittens-soft and it's so warm as to be borderline unbearable but it pills like crazy. As you can see in the photos it kind of looks like the dog's breakfast and it's only a little over a year old. I actually haven't worn it much because it pilled so quickly that I worry it looks too shabby to wear in public. I bought some cashmere combs to try to de-pill it and I should really get on that task over the weekend since the challenge starts next Tuesday. If I'm not successful I may just wear this around the house and that would be ok because it's like wearing the softest warmest bathrobe EVER.



Grey Faux Fur Vest: My second make from Butterick 6388 was actually the first one I finished. It was on my Make Nine. I thought that a vest would be a nice layering piece for my capsule and it gives me something fun to complete an outfit. It's also quite warm. I bought this wubby fleece from Joann Fabrics. it's a little difficult to work with due to the thickness of the fabric. I could not get 2 layers of it to go through my serger so I had to sew this on my regular sewing machine. The interior seams don't look super neat but I wasn't up for a hong kong finish and honestly it's so textured you can barely tell. I also left the front edges raw, though I did a single turned hem on the armholes and bottom. The patch pockets were a last minute addition. The pattern doesn't call for them but after I tried on the vest I felt like something was missing. I cut rectangles using the selvage edge of the fabric as the top and just turned and stitched them down. I really like this silly little vest and I think it will pair nicely with a lot of my other pieces.


So truth bomb: right now my skills are not up to the task of sewing a tailored jacket. I hope to get there eventually but in 2018 I did not have the time or energy to really do it right. I had wanted to sew a corduroy blazer as part of my winter plans but I just didn't get around to it. It's unfortunate because I wear a variety of jacket styles all the time, whether it's blazers or moto jackets or utility jackets. Instead I chose 2 cardigans that have a bit more structure which gives them more of a formal, work-appropriate feel.


Black Sweater Blazer: I don't think I got around to blogging this one. I sewed it in early fall out of some leftover poly sweater knit that had been in my stash for an age. The pattern is McCalls 7254. I made one fatal mistake with this cardigan. You're supposed to interface the collar and I did not have quite enough tricot interfacing on hand as the pieces are pretty long. So instead of waiting patiently until I could make a run to Joanns I skipped it. And of course the collar is very floppy and doesn't hold its shape at all like the modeled photo. Because of that and the fact that the fabric is a not-that-nice poly that collects lint like CRAZY I haven't worn this very much. I do quite like the pattern so one day I will make a do-over in some nice ponte or something similar. but for now this will do since I didn't have many more professional-looking options available (see above) and basic black is handy.


Cream Sweater Blazer: I really wanted to sew the Fulton Sweater Blazer (another Make Nine goal). I used boiled wool/viscose from Blackbird Fabrics that I bought during their Black Friday sale. I know a lot of people had problems understanding the collar instructions but by looking at the diagrams and watching the video on her blog I didn't have issues following it. I did however have problems executing the instructions due to the thickness of my fabric. I used tailor's tacks and stay-stitched the stitching line but my fabric was so thick that it just didn't want to stay put no matter what I did. I must have re-stitched the collar notch at least 6 times. Eventually I just left it because I was worried about ruining the integrity of the fabric in that spot. I also had issues trying to get sharp points b/c of the fabric thickness.

The only other details I can remember is that I handstitched the hem and really wish I would've handstitched the sleeve cuffs because I think they would've looked better. I also shortened the jacket to cropped length and did a broad back adjustment. I like the cropped length but I think I would've liked it at hip length too so I'd someday like to sew another version that's just a bit longer. Also, my broad back adjustment might have been too much for a thin layer like a t-shirt, but it's really nice to wear with multiple layers underneath like a button-up shirt over a turtleneck. So I haven't decided if I would change that next time or not--it probably depends on which season i'm making the jacket for.

It's silly but I'm a little afraid to wear this because it's white and I'm worried it will get dirty. but that's life.

Tomorrow should be a short post. I just have to talk about the dress I made and give a brief overview of the shoes I've chosen for the capsule.



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