Archive | December, 2011

Mrs Stylebook (Autumn) 2011 Review Part 3

31 Dec

Hope everybody had a good holiday.

Finally the end of my review!  I chose a couple of pattern drafts that I liked throughout this issue.  There were a lot of shapeless dresses in this issue so I didn’t cover any of those dresses.

(Left) Another blanket coat, but has a more relax feel than the one I previously posted, with the longer length, the shawl collar and the looser fit.  (Right) Asymmetrical buttoned up coat with a funnel neck. I love the idea of wearing a bright red coat to take away the winter blues away.

(Left) I am past the age of wearing velour jackets, but I adore the color blocking on this jacket.  The pattern uses three different colors.  I am not fond of the color choices used for the finished project.  But if I were to make this jacket, I would do it in black, grey, and white or if I were feeling colourful, I would use the Gucci 2011 palette of aquamarine, teal and violet.   (Right) Duffle coats always evoke memories of Paddington the Bear.  A classic piece that keeps you all warm and cozy especially with the wet snow and wind chills we have been getting in Toronto these last couple of days.

I always like to review the non-drafting projects featured near the end of the magazine.  I find them fun to view even though they are unwearable for me.  Remember the recycling projects in the 2011 early summer issue.  They are back again!

Made from old scarfs, the one on the left is a shorter top with a v-neck and the one on the right is a tunic with a funnel collar.  They both employ the fringes from the scarf as a design detail, wasting as little as possible.

(Left) Apron to a pinafore.  (Right)  A long dress into a tunic.

I thought this was a great section on how to employ design details with strip fabric.  Through fabric layout and/or pocket placements, you can create different design elements.  All four shirts use the same pattern and through the above techniques, they become four different shirts.

A section on how to make a tote bag using upholstery fabric.

For those who like to knit, knitting instructions on how to knit three pairs of socks and a snood scarf.


Mrs. Stylebook (Autumn) 2011 Review Part 2 – Crash Course in Autumn Textiles

6 Dec

Sorry for breaking up this review in to several parts and the late posting, I have been busy attending parties and various events with the approaching holiday so I have had less time for myself to sew and to post.

Continuing with the autumn 2011 edition of Mrs. Stylebook review there is a section on using different types of fabric for the autumn with a description of the fabric and its use.  I must confess that I wasn’t familiar with most of the fabrics featured and I had to Google them.

Here we have ‘beaver’ fabric, a fabric that I haven’t encountered and through the internet, this is the definition that I found:

‘Beaver cloth sounds like a material made from beaver pelts. It was not. It was in fact a wool fabric, although cotton was sometimes used. It was a fabric developed in Britain and woven so as to reassemble beaver pelts. It was double faced, napped on both sides. The nap is the long fuzzy end of fibers on the surface of cloth. The weave was a twill and heavily napped, although the length of the nap varied, depending on the grade of cloth and uses. Beaver cloth has the longest nap of all the different napped fabrics. Beaver cloth had a luxurious, almost silky look. Light colored fibers were sometimes added to the nap which increased the shine derived from this weave. Beaver cloth was very effective cold weather fabric. It was thus primarily worn for making heavy winter coats. Beaver cloth or cotton beaver was less expensive and employed in a variety of garments. The cotton weave might be used capes and even shoe linings. It was the cotton weave that was used for work garments and maritime garments where warmth was especially important. An example of a child’s garment is a beaver cloth cape overcoat offered by Sears in 1902. Presumably this is wool beaver. ‘

There are two patterns given for the use of beaver wool: (Left) Mock neck princess seam coat with tucks at the waistline.  (Middle) An academy jacket with notch collar, patch pockets and braided trim along the edges.

The next fabric, I couldn’t find any information on it.   The fabric is called ‘mosser’ and from what I gather is wool in origin and the name ‘mosser’ maybe referring to a weave or to a production method to make the wool.  It might exclusively be a Japanese terminology used to describe winter jacket wool.  If anybody knows about this fabric, I would like to know what it is exactly.

One pattern is given for the use of ‘mosser’ wool: (Right) Mock neck, double-breasted coat with side  panels.

(Left) Next, we have a dress made out of voile.  The color and pattern of this fabric is atrocious for a dress.  This fabric is more suited for home decor than for dressmaking.  I would also change the fit of this dress because it’s pretty frumpy looking.

(Middle) An open jacket made out of Saxony fabric – another fabric that I am unfamiliar with.  The definition of Saxony:

“midweight woollen fabric which is soft to the touch. Has a fine, short pile on its face which to an extent conceals the weave, which is in four-end, reversible crepe. Woven from fine carded yarns, and is typically patterned. Used for men’s sports-type jackets and suits, and for ladies’ suits. The name is given by the state in which this cloth was first produced.”

(Right) Last fabric that I am unfamiliar with is Viyella.  It’s an interesting fabric with lots of information on it.  It even has its own section in Wikipedia detailing its history.  Viyella is made out of 55 percent merino wool and 45 percent cotton in a twill weave.  Created in 1893 in England, it was first used to make nightgowns and shirts and eventually into more fashionable attires. Laura Ashley and Liberty of London are a few that used the fabric. I even found a cool link of Schiaparelli’s vintage ads advertising the use of Viyella fabric.   Fabric production for Viyella stopped in the late 90s, making it unavailable for purchase in the current market.  Which leads me to my next question?  Can another textile mill make Viyella fabrics using the same ratio of wool and cotton in a twill weave and call it Viyella or is this an infringement on trademark?  Since I can’t read the text, I don’t know if Mrs Stylebook used authentic Viyella fabric or an imitation version to create the shirt.  It would be nice to know.

Next there are four tweed garments to make: (Left) tailor trousers, (Middle)a tailor jacket with a matching skirt, and (Right) a collarless jacket.

Lastly three garments to make using knit fabric: (Left) a skirt with ugly ruffles cascading down, (Middle) a kimono sleeve crop jacket, and (Right) a oversize raglan sleeve coat with a shawl collar.  The silhouette and the cut of this coat are reminiscent of coats from the 50s.