The thing I am coming to love most about the By Hand London patterns is they have these amazing cuts, great drafting and the patterns lend themselves to so many interpretations. I fear I may be a junkie for these patterns. I really adore their design aesthetic… as they describe themselves: By Hand London is an independent sewing pattern label for women who love to dress up, stand out and customise their own wardrobe. The designs themselves are an up-to-date take on classic silhouettes and so act as a canvas for your unique look. Creating patterns inspired by and named after the stylish ladies we know and admire, By Hand London is all about championing individual style and celebrating strong femininity.
What’s not to love about that! And they have just celebrated their first birthday. Happy birthday girls – looking forward to your second year!
I made the cropped version in the smallest size – it’s slightly shorter than it should be as I didn’t realise how badly silk dupioni can fray!!! I picked up the black silk from The Fabric Store in Sydney the morning after the Sydney June Meet-up High Tea. It was in the remanents bin – score!
The lining is a vintage silk sari that I found on ebay. The collar and cuffs are cut from the gilded edge of the sari. I pieced the collar and cuffs so the reverse is a matching pink linen (leftovers from my Tessuti jacket) to provide a little more body to the pieces as the sari is old and oh so soft & fine. The sari is gorgeous – if you are thinking about experimenting with these, the vintage ones can be a little stained and worn in places – however they are 5m long so you can cut around the ‘issue’ areas. Damage to mine was minor and for the princely sum of $20 (including delivery) I think it’s good value for 5 metres of silk!
You might notice that I have only attached the collar band and not the lower lapels. I did attach the lower lapels but because the gild edges are prone to curling a little, they didn’t sit perfectly and looked a little wonky – that sort of thing bothers me tremendously. I knew that when I wore it I would be forever fiddling with them – and there is nothing worse than a girl tugging at her clothes – if you want to look effortless and stylish, constantly tugging and pulling at your clothes is not going to achieve that. So I took the lower lapels off. I’m much happier with the jacket with just the collar band.
I took three lots of pictures trying to get some nice ones… it’s tricky in winter, it is dark early and photographing black was not easy! So I ended up trying it with jeans, a black singlet, a white singlet and a black dress! At least it is versatile!
I hear there is another pattern just around the corner from the By Hand London girls – I can’t wait to try it!!! So far it’s been three out of three for these girls. A trifecta of sewing joy!
It’s an easy make. Really easy. I did have to gather the sleeve heads ever so slightly as the silk dupioni was not very forgiving going into the armhole, just a tiny bit of gathering pulled it in perfectly. I might have been having a Doh! moment (which I am prone to) but the instructions did not seem to mention how to finish the lining armhole edges. I just turned them under and slipstitched them to the seam allowance of the armholes, like I did with the Elisalotte.
Next time around I would also line the sleeves. It would be easy to modify the pattern ever so slightly to accommodate the lining going over the armhole without pulling – plus the cuffs is a nice neat French seam so I think it will work beautifully.
It’s quite a boxy shape in the silk dupioni but I like it as an evening jacket, it’s got great structure. I can’t wait to make this in a fabric with some more drape, perhaps a ponti or wool…
Woo hoo – I’ve squeezed THREE Indie Patterns into The Curious Kiwi & Modern Modern Vintage Upcake’s Indie Pattern Month, my Tofinos, my Cambie and my Victoria Blazer! And four if you count my Icecream Marion cardigan – ok it’s knitting… but you know I think I can claim it