The Dog show Special!

A suit for Crufts...


A quick project for a lass in a hurry!  Sarah The Dog Lady needs a suit for Crufts on the 6th of March, where she is showing her lovely pooches.  She brought a couple of suits and her fabric over to show me what she likes yesterday morning, so I took a whole hap of measurements and got top work...  Today is February 26.  The clock is ticking on this one...

000001490308.jpg (50239 bytes)  000001490312.jpg (44549 bytes) I poked about the web and found this rather neat suit pattern from Burda: almost what we want.  The front is a tad boring but we loved the back detail.  Sarah thought that flare over the bum was really neat.
celtic_dreams.jpg (31092 bytes)  celtic_dreamsb.jpg (23274 bytes)  Sleeve slash.jpg (35080 bytes) We also loved this Celtic jacket from Wildly Wonderful Wearables, shown in hand dyed purple and denim.  This is a fab pattern and a very pretty design, but still wasn't quite what we wanted, and would take too long to get from the USA for this project...  It reminded me a lot of this red one I made from a Vogue pattern.  Unfortunately that pattern went off to the USA and never came home...
DSCF0145.JPG (55621 bytes)  DSCF0146.JPG (55289 bytes)  DSCF0147.JPG (57923 bytes) So I took inspiration from them all and set to work with Wild Ginger.  Well, at least it should FIT!  This is the first draft of the pattern on the dummy.  It doesn't look like it will meet up the front, but it will.  This is stiff paper rather than floppy fabric.  There are a couple of style refinements I want to make, but the basic shape is there.  It has two part sleeves, and will be faced and fully lined.
DSCF0148.JPG (101196 bytes)  DSCF0151.JPG (77129 bytes) I have now printed off the pattern with seam allowances and am about to make the toile...
DSCF0153.JPG (36561 bytes)  DSCF0154.JPG (45406 bytes)  DSCF0155.JPG (55003 bytes) Here's the toile for the jacket..  I made this from some navy polycotton sheeting, and it has no facings, so has more 'flop' than the final version will have.

The skirt section is longer than the final version will be, but I thought it best to keep it long so that we can play with the hem shape.  There was some discussion about it having a point at the back...

The front neck is also quite high to allow us to play with this and make it lower if required.

The next task the trousers.  Discussion fixed us on straight leg rather than bootleg cut as this is more flattering on smaller people when wearing flat shoes.  Bootleg cut with shorter legs in flatties can make the legs look even shorter, and we don't want out lass being remembered as 'the one with the short legs'!

These pictures tell me that a: the legs are probably too wide and we may want a tapered style rather than a full straight leg, and b: I need the Adjustoform Trouser dress stand!

DSCF0004.JPG (35366 bytes)  DSCF0005.JPG (41463 bytes)  DSCF0008.JPG (24870 bytes)
DSCF0009.JPG (52092 bytes)  DSCF0010.JPG (43518 bytes)  DSCF0012.JPG (41011 bytes) The fitting showed that there wasn't enough ease in the jacket for the amount of movement Sarah will need to do in the arena, so I've redrafted the pattern with more ease allowed...

We also played with the hem!  And the neckline...  The front neckline is to be lowered, the back neckline gets that neat little V shape from the Burda pattern, and the hem was chopped off into a nice big point!  I'll recreate this on the second toile and pattern, and then create the hem facing from that.

We are also going to try to echo the point on the sleeves, flaring them a bit and adding the point, to echo the hemline...

DSCF0148.JPG (101196 bytes)  DSCF0151.JPG (77129 bytes)


I was right about the trousers!  There were several fit issues as well as the huge amount of fabric in those straight legged trousers...  So a new tapered leg version has been drafted ready for Round Two on Friday.

And a new toile was made of the jacket.  There are  a lots of pieces in this jacket!


DSCF0153.JPG (36561 bytes)  DSCF0154.JPG (45406 bytes)  DSCF0155.JPG (55003 bytes) The new jacket toile was a great deal better.  From this I could see that no further fitting issues were involved, and it only remained to make the jacket up.  Shaping the hem comes later! 
A0010.JPG (61600 bytes)  A0017.JPG (61867 bytes) I trimmed the hem off while Sarah was here, so ensure we got it the right length.  It's a little longer than the first toile, to cover the trouser pocket openings...  The bit trimmer off made the pattern for cutting the facing, which, in turn, gave us the line for trimming the hem!
The new trouser toile was MUCH better!  Not perfect, but getting there!  This one allowed me to see where the fitting issues were and correct the pattern before cutting the real fabric.

As ever with trousers, there is a final adjustment to make before doing the zip, the lining, and the hem!  Linen is particularly prone to settling in a different way from a toile, but a minor waist adjustment will sort that out.  The pin in the trousers shows where I need to drop the waist to at the front.

A0018.JPG (43717 bytes)  A0019.JPG (47695 bytes)
A0025.JPG (59151 bytes)  A0023.JPG (53779 bytes) Here's the final suit!  It needs to have the waist on the trousers adjusted, the zip inserted, the lining made up and inserted, and the hems fixed.  Of course, a good press with some steam will help, too!

The jacket still needs to have that hem facing stitched in place and properly pressed.  I also need to complete the lining and insert that, and sew up the cuffs.  Those get faced like the hem.

A0029.JPG (100983 bytes) Just a little bit of showing off!  The facing edges all have a Hong Kong finish, and the bit at the point at the back came together very neatly, I thought.

Tomorrow evening the trousers will get their final fitting to fix the hem length, and it will be collected on Tuesday!

Well, we were glad we'd built in an extra day for possible 'fidget room'!  Final trying on of trousers showed that neither of us was happy with the fit at the front, so I took them apart at the waist, eliminated the front darts and moved the fullness round to the back, removing it at the centre back seam.  Let us hope that this will solve the problems.  I have redesigned the trousers for the next pair, and we'll see what that looks like when we come to them... B0042.JPG (56427 bytes) 
B0045.JPG (69223 bytes) Putting the lining in a jacket makes a lot of difference to the way it sits on the body, and showed that we needed to nip it in at the waist at the back.  The extra ease needed at the shoulders wasn't needed so much at the waist...  Sarah is small, and, like me, has a hollow back (part also of the trouser fitting issue), and her back half is a smaller size than her front half at the waist.  Because of the godets in the hem of the jacket, it made sense to curve the centre back seam rather than remove two godets, take in two seams and sew the godets back in!  I should have gone for a curved back seam all along!
B0039.JPG (45603 bytes)  DSCF0036.JPG (96004 bytes)  B0041.JPG (61901 bytes) Curving that back seam has given the pointy tail of the jacket an even more perky look.  And the Pointy hem is echoed by the pointed back neckline and the pointed cuff.


More will be added to this project when we decide on a skirt pattern (or make one!  But we have one in minds...) and do the second pair of trousers.  Watch this space, as they say!