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I don't know when, I don't know how, but somehow I've become obsessed with making jackets. And what could bring home that realisation more, than a SEQUINNED jacket. I ask you.

Introducing my latest make, a Balmain inspired, Versace buttoned sequinned blazer dress:


The Pattern

JACKET:

To make this look I used Burda 6380, View B in a size 12.

This double-breasted vest pattern comes in two length variations, with the option to add a welt pocket and contrasting lapel.

This pattern doesn't come with sleeves, so I used the sleeve pattern from Burda 6845, which I recently used to make my long suit style winter coat.

The sleeve pattern pieces paired perfectly and had matching notches and markings.

SKIRT:

Self drafted, with a waistband, faux button closure and pocket flaps.




The Fabric

JACKET:

I found a beautiful sequinned fabric from an Etsy store called Lots of Fabrics . This is the second time I have purchased from this store and the quality is excellent.
The fabric has a slight stretch to it and the sequins are all sewn on, rather than glued.

I using a black sateen on the lapel for a contrast, and lined the jacket in a black poly satin.

SKIRT:

A beautiful, soft Japanese cotton sateen from Tessuti Fabrics.




Copy Cat Challenge

Together with the talented superstar Faith and wedding dress extraordinaire Kelly , we decided to do a celebrity copy cat look.

For this inspiration we decided to choose one of our favourite Olivia Palermo looks. Olivia has a great personal style, so choosing one was hard!

I decided on her Balmain jacket and skirt that she wore in January 2019 to the Balmain Haute Couture show in Paris during Haute Couture Fashion Week.

You can see the full look in my instagram post below:


The Details + Changes

THE JACKET:

I love THIN LAPELS on this pattern, which I made in a cotton sateen to contrast, as I thought the doubled up sequin lapel could end up looking lumpy, and would likely get lost.

I also eliminated the WELT for the same reasons.

I added SLEEVES from Burda 6845 and fitted the sleeve heads with SHOULDER PADS




To avoid drag lines around my hips and butt, I added a SEPARATING ZIPPER to close the jacket.

I was nervous about adding buttonholes on a sequinned fabric (could get messy real quick) but more importantly, the zipper balanced the stress of a fitted skirt evenly over my curvy lower body, where buttons would have gaped and caused drag lines.

The black zipper blends with the sequins, and it makes wearing the blazer as a dress more comfortable. The buttons were then sewn on top, with a SNAP BUTTON added just underneath the top closing button to hold in place.

I also REMOVED THE BACK WALKING VENT as I planned to wear this as a blazer dress.

THE SKIRT:

I made a MOCK WRAP at the front to mimic the original Balmain skirt, which I held in place with vintage versace buttons.
The skirt is closed with an INVISIBLE ZIPPER down the centre back seam.

I added POCKET FLAPS on the skirt front and lined them with a contrasting silk fabric.




Notions + Tools

NOTIONS:

6 x 22mm Versace Medusa Head Buttons in matte gold and matte silver from Vintage Buttons N Beads
1 x Separating zipper
1 x Invisible zipper (skirt)
1 x Snap button
1 pair of shoulder pads

TOOLS:

Janome DC2101
Walking Foot/Even Feed Foot
Stretch Needle
Clapper


Final Thoughts

Well that was fun!
I'm a sucker for all things shiny and fancy, and this outfit ticked all those boxes!
The original Balmain jacket retailed for $4500USD and the skirt for $785USD. Just another reminder of how wonderful it is to be able to sew your own clothes!

I'm also pleased to report that I have already worn this outfit out and it was an instant mood booster. I love how a good outfit can do that!

Thanks to Faith and Kelly for a fun challenge!


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There's something about making coats, isn't there?

They are such a labour of love, get so much use, and make you feel like you've really made something clever!

Introducing my latest make, my 2019 winter coat.



The Pattern

I used Burda 6845 in View A which is a slim-lined coat with a flap pockets, a lapel and a rear walking slit.

The Fabric

The outside of my coat is a beautiful fabric from Tessuti Fabrics made up of 50% wool and 50% mohair, with a weight of 570gsm. It is so soft and such a lovely pink and has such incredible warmth; a must for a winter coat!

I lined the coat with a silk dupion that I've had in my stash since the beginning of time. I love how it features different blocks of colour which compliment nicely with the coat fabric.

And did I carefully match up those squares of colour? Why yes, yes I did. Thanks for asking.


Notions

Buttons from Spotlight
Whisper-weft interfacing
Guterman thread no. 473
Uncovered shoulder pads doubled up.

The Details

I love how the LINING HAS A PLEAT at the centre back waist as well as at the base of the neck. It allows for extra movement when you're wearing your coat so that the lining doesn't rip or pull.

THE DRAFTING of BurdaStyle patterns is always so beautiful. Where they might lack in pattern instructions, they make up for in pattern details.
The princess seams flatter and shape the body, and the two piece sleeves naturally curve at the elbow and shape the arm.

I love the FLAP POCKETS which sit just at the right height, which I lined with liberty of london fabric for a little extra something.

I'm in love with the LENGTH OF THIS COAT. I had been day-dreaming for a while about a long coat, and this one hits the ankle at just the right point on my 5'4" frame.

I added thick, uncovered SHOULDER PADS to the coat and I love the balance and proportion it gives the finished look. Because of the structure and length of this coat, it absolutely needed a strong shoulder to balance the look.

The centre back of the coat features a WALKING VENT which is practical and polished.

The width and shaping of the COLLAR AND LAPELS is just right; not too bulky and with lovely sharp angles. I also added liberty fabric to the collar band for a little secret contrast.



The Buttonholes

One of the nicest techniques to do add to a jacket is bound buttonholes. It's what elevates a look from off the shelf to couture, and it's something you hardly see on a jacket anymore.

A bound buttonhole is the process of adding two 'lips' to make a place for your button to go through, rather than a slit wrapped tightly in thread. It definitely takes more time and requires a fair bit of concentration, but the end result is lovely and incredibly satisfying!  It's such a lovely way to treat yourself and your coat!

You can click here to follow my tutorial on how to make and face a bound buttonhole.


Changes

Before I even looked at patterns, I knew I wanted to make a midi length, oversized suit style coat that could be both formal, or dressed down with jeans and a tee.

This pattern comes with three centrefront front buttonholes as closures. I wanted to mimic more of a suit jacket, where the buttons started lower down. So I REMOVED THE TOP BUTTONHOLE, and slightly modified the angle of the lapel so that it sloped towards the new top buttonhole (originally the middle buttonhole).

I also removed the PLACKET ON THE SLEEVES as I felt the coat had enough detail already. The coating fabric is quite thick, and I didn't want to add extra bulk at the cuffs, or run the risk of it looking messy.

I interfaced the hems of the bodice and sleeves for extra structure and support.

I lined the pockets and pocket flaps with liberty fabric for a little extra detail, and hand tacked the pocket bags to the coat so that they wouldn't fold or move around.






Look Out For

I found step 30, which instructs you to attach the lining to the back vent quite confusing. In the end I pinned it in place and hand stitched it so I had more control and to ensure the lining didn't pull and distort the drape of the vent.

I also hand stitched the vent hems along the centre back to keep them in place before attaching the lining.

The instructions for adding the welt pocket and flap is also a little confusing.
I highly recommend you cut out one muslin pocket and practise on that before trying it in your proper fabric.
The pockets are time consuming and the success relies on precision and patience, so it is worth taking that extra time to establish the techniques if you haven't done one of these pockets before.

Tips For Bulky Seams

Tailors Clapper, where have you been all my LIFE?!!!

I love top stitching, and it's a great way to keep seams flat and neat. But for this coat I really wanted a crisp look without top stitching and I so I asked the internet Gods how to achieve this; they came through.

If you are wanting to get the cleanest, flattest seams then you absolutely have to invest in a tailors clapper.
It honestly made a huge difference to just steam ironing and when you're using thick fabric like this 570gsm coating it's a must.

When steam ironing your seams, you replace the iron immediately with the clapper and press it there for around 5 seconds. The wood absorbs the moisture from the steam and traps the heat into the fabric, rather than releasing the steam and heat into the air.


Final Thoughts

I'm not going to lie, thanks to this lining I've had 'Joseph and his amazing technicolour dream coat' stuck in my head on repeat. I may never be able to squash that ear worm and that's ok, because this coat makes it worth it.

I wanted a long coat, I wanted a warm coat, and I wanted one that would mimic a suit jacket. This coat has ticked all those boxes and I am thrilled that it was successful considering all the time I put into it.
It's another reminder that you never regret taking the time with techniques and fit.




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Before I started sewing, the number of leather garments that I owned was a big fat ZERO.

Now I own two leather skirts, have plans for a pair of leather pants and have just finished making my THIRD leather jacket.

The Pattern

It's my second time around, with BurdaStyle - Biker Style Peplum Jacket #108B

This pattern is so well drafted, has the perfect proportions for my body and is a wonderful pattern for sewing with leather as it has no darts and just princess seams.

This is a downloadable pattern from Burdastyle's website, so take note this pattern DOES NOT include seam allowances and the instructions that accompany the PDF download are very minimal.

 


The Fabric

A stunning brown from Leffler's Leather. It's a sheep skin nappa, with a weight of 0.6-0.8 which gives such great shape to this jacket.

I've made this jacket before in a black leather which was slightly finer so the black jacket drapes a little differently.



The Lining

I kept looking for the 'right' lining for this jacket, and everything I found seemed to be missing the mark somehow.
Then one day, while sorting through my silk scraps from previous projects I was struck with a sudden idea!
I could use the left over silks and combine them together to make a beautiful lining, that was both resourceful and a lovely nod to my past projects!



JACKET BACK - I used a green silk satin from Tessuti that was left over from my Evie Bias Skirt pattern also by Tessuti Fabrics.

JACKET FRONT is lined with orange silk satin from The Cloth Shop, which I used for my Sadi Slip dress (pattern by Tessuti Fabrics).

SLEEVES are lined with a blue silk remnant that I've had in my cupboard from the beginning of time.

I love how these patch together and add a feature to the jacket! It's economical, minimises waste, and looks so luscious!


Details

The zippers on this jacket give it an edgy look, with one at each of the sleeve hems and a separating zipper at the side front of the bodice.

I had to shorten the centre zipper to fit the jacket but couldn't reattach the nickel zipper stops. After a lot of thought, I ended up sewing small little loops of leather onto the zipper tape to act as the stops and I love how clean it makes it look!


The peplum hem gives this piece great proportion and shape, without too much flounce.

I love the short collar along the neckline, which really completes the look.

The style of this jacket means you can change up the look by having the jacket done all the way up, half up with the lapels folded back, or completely unzipped for a relaxed look.


Changes

The pattern recommends woven fabrics for version B with leather detailing on the shoulders and yoke. I omitted the extra shoulder pieces, which are appliquéd and made the whole jacket in leather.

As with my other leather jackets, I added shoulder pads to give balance and proportion and I love how strong the shoulders look with it.

I didn't add any press studs because I like the sleekness of the finished look with just the zippers.

I added bias strips to the inside hems of the bodice and sleeves so that I had something to hand stitch the lining onto. Hand stitching directly onto leather is hard work and even with a thimble is very slow going. The little gold bias strips that were added to make hand stitching easier, also give the finished project that little bit of 'extra'.


Tips for sewing with Leather

If you've decided to give leather a go and are unsure about how much to buy, MY ADVICE is to take your pattern pieces with you to the store and lay them out on the leather hides.
This way you can see exactly how many you need to buy.
Leather is expensive and each hide is different, so this really helps you get exactly what you need for your project.

CHECK OUT this post on my second leather jacket which has a very detailed list (about half way down blog post) of SEWING TIPS for working with leather.

You can also check out my other leather garments below:








A post shared by Julia Bobbin (@juliabobbin) on Sep 5, 2018 at 10:12pm PDT


Final Thoughts

I am stoked with how this jacket turned out and I have already gotten so much wear out of it!

The colour is versatile with the contents of my wardrobe, the shape is timeless and flattering, and every time I open my jacket I get a thrill of satisfaction when I see the colourful lining.

This is my second successful leather jacket with this pattern and I get a feeling it won't be my last :)



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Nothing says 'fashion' like a pair of home-made pyjamas. amiright.

BUT these ones are comfy, easy to make and cute as hell in a Harry Potter(!) print, so they're basically my uniform now.


The Pattern

The Carolyn pyjamas are a wonderful, detailed pattern from Closet Case Patterns that features a shirt with two sleeve length options and bottoms that can be either pants or shorts.

I chose to make just the pants of this pattern as I rarely wear a whole pyjama set.

The Fabric

The cutest 'Harry Potter' printed cotton in a quilting cotton. I purchased this from Spotlight in one of those 'I-don't-need-this-at-all-but-I-want-it' moments. It wasn't too long after that I realised they'd be perfect for a pair of PJ bottoms.


The Details

I made the pants which are a straight-leg cut and have the option of a cuff at the hem, which I chose to omit.

It comes with an elasticised waistband, pockets and a faux fly front.

This quilting fabric is pretty stiff, and so I ended up letting out the side seams by about a centimetre to make them more comfortable.

I didn't make a toile first, because I figured they'd be loungewear and a little loose so it wasn't so important. The pattern sewed up a dream and the pattern instructions were well thought out and explained, as everything is from Closet Case Patterns.

In hindsight, I SHOULD HAVE done a 'full-butt-adjustment' or gone up a size, as the back centre waistband dipped down into a 'V' shape in the way that pants do when you've got a little extra 'stuffing' in there. But they are still comfy and I love them!


Final Thoughts

It's actually sort of embarrassing just how often I've worn these pants, and not always at bed time; they are just so comfortable!

I was pleasantly surprised in the fit of this pattern, as I assumed they'd be boxy and unflattering; they're meant for sleeping in after all.
I'm happy to say I was wrong! I mean, it's a Closet Case Pattern so I should have known better :)

The classic -'Tear your pants' pose, but make it fashion.



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If there was a hierarchy of luxury fabrics, bias cut silk must sit somewhere at the top.

This new little dress ticks all the boxes:
  • comfy
  • glam
  • easy to make
The Pattern

It's the Sadie Slip Dress by Tessuti Patterns.

This classic dress is cut on the bias for a form flattering, loose fitting style that can be both dressed up or down.


The Fabric

This dress is made with a stunning silk satin from The Cloth Shop, Ivanhoe

It's glossy, moves like water and is such a vibrant orange.

The Details

I enclosed the seam allowance in delicate french seams and hemmed the dress with a narrow hem.

Thin silk spaghetti straps hold the dress together at the shoulders, with a scooped neck back, and a v-neck shaped front.

I shortened this dress from it's gorgeous midi length, as I was making it as part of a 'copy-cat' celebrity look - see Rihanna challenge below.


Rihanna Challenge

The most fabulous Faith St Juliette and I were chatting about how much we love Rihanna and her ever changing, fierce style. We decided it would be fun to try and recreate one of her looks.

I made this dress as part of that challenge and wore it with my Mimi G oversized jacket, Simplicity 8749 which I blogged about here.

You can check out the instagram post below to see the inspiration pic:


Final Thoughts

I'm so happy with how this dress turned out!

This style of dress is different to what I normally wear and throughout the making of this dress I had been full of doubts. I was convinced it wouldn't look any good on me; I pretty much never wear orange and I was worried bias cut silk might look unflattering on my curvy frame. But as it so happens with sewing, the moment the hem is done and the final stitch stitched, it all came together and I'm so pleased with the final look!

I love it dressed down with sneakers, or glammed up with heals and a coat. This dress is also super comfy and makes me feel fancy without going to too much effort; win!

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Wait, what is this??!! Julia Bobbin back in a vintage inspired dress? WHO'S THIS?!!!

I recently had the pleasure and honour of pattern testing a new dress for By Hand London and I'm so excited to finally share it with you in all it's emerald glory

The Pattern

'The Jenna Dress' from By Hand London, now available from their website!

This dress is an empire line dress with a bias cut skirt in two lengths. It features two different necklines; a low square neck or a jewel neck with optional peter-pan collar and also comes with two sleeve options: short sleeves or the prettiest little tie cuffs.

I chose Variation 1 with the square neck and tie cuffs, but all versions are interchangeable with each other.


The Fabric

Because of the bias cut of the skirt, this pattern works great with draped fabrics such as soft silks, lightweight cottons and rayon. However I decided to go rogue and use a structured silk organza because I am all about that transparent life and I thought it could look really striking in an unexpected textile.

I used the most stunning emerald silk organza from The Cloth Shop Ivanhoe and I just love how the different layers of organza create the most beautiful variations in colour.

Because of the transparency of this dress, I wore it with a purchased slip dress underneath.


The Details

This dress takes me back to one of my favourite eras for fashion, the 60's.

Generally I tend to avoid empire cut dresses. They typically tend to hide my waistline and with my hour glass figure, hiding the smallest part of my body can sometimes make me look like a block.
However with this skirt being bias cut, it still shapes the waistline and flatters the figure, and would be even more exaggerated in a drapey fabric.

I love the tie details on the sleeves. It's such a pretty and delicate detail to add that elevates the dress from a pretty one to a gorgeous one.

The dress closes with an invisible zipper down the centre back and has a lined bodice which I lined with the same organza fabric.

Where possible, I finished the seams with french seams and overlocked the sleeve seams.



Final Thoughts

This is such a beautifully put together pattern with exceptional attention to detail in the instructions. This pattern is versatile and easily adaptable and I'm already imagining version 2 in a silk velvet!

The team at By Hand London have put a lot of love into this pattern and it shows.



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FACT: One can never have too many jackets.

We wear them for warmth and for comfort; to transition from inside to outside or to accommodate the fluctuation in temperatures in the one day (I'm looking at you, Melbourne).

Jackets also act as a style remedy. You could be wearing a basic look, you throw on a fancy jacket and TAH-DA! - instant style!

Here is my latest jacket and stylish addition to my wardrobe:

The Pattern

It's Simplicity 8749 by Mimi G Style Patterns in View C (the shorter length).

I love everything Mimi G wears and designs and it was only a matter of time before I tried out this pattern for myself.


The Fabric

I made this jacket with a heavyweight linen from The Fabric Store in a cream.
I lined my make with a beautiful floral rayon that I purchased from Spotlight many, many years ago.

I absolutely love to add a fun lining to a jacket, especially when the fabric on the outside of the jacket is a neutral. It's like a little burst of joy every time I open my jacket.




The Details

This fully lined jacket features lapels and flap pockets (pockets!) and is all my 90's oversized blazer dreams come true.

The pattern gives the option of two different jacket lengths, has two piece sleeves and closes with one button down the centre front.


Changes

I omitted the interfacing, which is a little unorthodox, but I figured the jacket had a more
'relaxed' look with the linen, and didn't need the extra structure.

I made no changes to the fit (what?!!) and made the whole jacket in a straight 14.

Rihanna Challenge

My friend Faith and I were chatting one night, bonding over our shared love of Rihanna and her ever changing style! We came up with the idea of setting ourselves a Rihanna fashion challenge where we would choose one of her looks and recreate it!

I originally made this jacket as part of my Rihanna 'copy-cat' look, which you can see below. Details about the silk slip dress will be up on the blog soon.

Click through on the instagram post to see the inspiration pic!


Final Thoughts

I love how this jacket turned out! This style can work so well dressed down with jeans and a tee, or dressed up with heals and a skirt.
Thanks Mimi G for another wonderful pattern!


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Friends, pockets are out.
Over-sized sleeves big enough to carry your whole family is where fashion is at at the moment.

And I'm not mad at it.


The Pattern

Meet Simplicity 8644 in View A.
A wrap around blouse, this pattern comes in four different sleeve options (view A being the most EXTRA) and two different bodice lengths.

The Fabric

I used a light-weight, gingham print cotton from Spotlight, and cut the waistband and ties on the bias for a subtle contrast.


Pattern Details

The hero of this pattern is clearly the sleeves.
These full sleeves are shaped with soft pleats to create structure and volume, and elastic at the wrist for a flouncy sleeve hem.

There are small gathers under the bust and at the centre back of the bodice to add shape.

Completing this blouse are dropped shoulders and a cross-over V shaped neck which closes at the front with ties.

Worn With

I paired this blouse with my me-made Ash Jeans by Megan Nielsen Patterns.
You can read check out all the details on how I made my first ever pair of jeans, over at this blog post.


Take Note

I was a bit cheeky and decided to skip the toile stage and get straight into making the real thing. I figured with dropped shoulders and a wrap closure, most fitting issues would be camouflaged.

That being said I didn't realise just how short this blouse would be; it basically sits just under the bust. This may sit longer on someone with a smaller bust, but in any case it's worth considering adding length to the bodice if you'd prefer it a little longer than under the bust.


Conclusion

Yes, these sleeves are about 80% 'extra', but I LOVE the drama it adds. It feels like a modern, edgy (and more fleshy) take on a romantic, Victorian style blouse.

I'll probably look at this in five years time and think 'oh that's so 2019', but that's what makes fashion fun and exciting and right now it's all I want to wear.

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