V1419: Blue his house with the blue little window …


There are many reasons to sew rather than buy. Sometimes, for me, it’s because I have a body that doesn’t fit into any single RTW size. Sometimes it’s things I could buy, but where I have concerns about ethical production. And sometimes it’s because, mysteriously, nobody will sell me things that make me look like a (roguishly dishevelled/ironing-phobic) retro-futuristic space pilot. Forgive me. I crewed for Rockets, Rayguns & Really Nice Tea in September and I haven’t entirely got it out of my system. 

The jacket is, of course, Vogue 1419 as discussed here. Basically, I planned to do a snazzy black-and-grey wool version (and still do!) for the #V1419sewalong, but upon trying on my second toile – which I’d cut off below the waist to save fabric, as I wasn’t altering the skirt – was seized with the urge, nay, compulsion to do a cropped version in royal blue and see what happened.


Shown here with my red and black Vogue 8772.


  • Size 20/22 with alterations (see below)
  • Shell is royal blue cotton drill, interfaced with medium-weight fusible and interlined with sky-blue probably-acetate, all from Samuel Taylor’s.
  • The continuous bias is navy blue mostly-poly twill left over from a costume project for the Elf. The twill weave means that the bias strips have a widthways stripe – completely unintentional, but I do like how it looks.
  • Fabric requirements: a metre or so of contrast for binding; two metres of shell fabric. It is possible to get all the pieces of this cropped version on-grain into a 2m x 90cm piece of fabric, if and only if you add a CB seam. (I got my fabric home from the shop and belatedly – after I’d cut the shell fabric belatedly – realised that the interfacing I’d bought was only 90cm wide rather than the regular 115. I hadn’t checked. Determined it could be done, I embarked on a brain-breaking round of Pattern Tetris that concluded, triumphant, after an hour and a half.)



  • All the alterations listed in my post about toile #1:
    • Raised armscye 3cm
    • Widened upper sleeve ~2cm (you can see above that the strip down the outer sleeve is way wider than on the tech drawing)
    • Went down from a 22 to a 20 between bust and waist only
  • Toile #2 was much better, but still tight around the bicep; because of the way the fabric goes together, widening the upper sleeve piece hadn’t solved the problem – I needed to widen that segment of the front & back sleeves as well, but (crucially) without lengthening the bodice above the armscye (and thus undoing my first and most needed alteration).
  • Cut short – about 7cm below waistline.
  • Added a CB seam for layout and swayback reasons. In the end I changed my mind and didn’t curve the back seam – although looking at these photos I really should have done. You live and learn.


  • No pockets.
  • No belt.
  • Underlined. I interfaced my self fabric to make it stiff enough, then underlined as the interfacing is a bit scratchy and, well, looks like interfacing.

I’d got most of the way through before admitting to myself that I didn’t actually like the way the topstitched seams looked, ripping out all the topstitching and opting to reattach the binding by hand-stitching it to the lining … all thirty feet of it. Despite this, and despite pressing the seams to within an inch of their lives, there is still waviness around the curves.

I couldn’t figure out what to do about this at the time (ripping and re-sewing the relevant seams didn’t help; pressing can get them flat, but the wrinkles creep back every time) so eventually gave up and carried on. Having read this post by Jenny at Cashmerette, I’m now wondering if that’s because I had interfacing in the seam allowances (I did notice that it made easing the curves trickier, though not impossible). I’m still not going to go back to it now all the binding’s on, but it’s something to bear in mind for when I make this again …


This is going to live in the costume box for deployment if I ever need to cosplay a Tracy brother; in sewing terms it gets filed under ‘misfire’, I think. The fit is fine and I’m very glad to have had a full run-through of the construction process, even if the finishing isn’t perfect and the final product is unlikely to get its day in the sun. Although I have been wearing it round the house.


The hat is from the free Garrison Cap pattern by an Australian indie designer called Don Urban. He has a bunch of simple free patterns available for menswear and accessories (and an Etsy shop, tho closed at time of writing); if you’re interested in unusual men’s styles with lots of texture and a definite sci-fi edge, check out his stuff. The hat pattern is one size which, happily, fits me – though it’s very snug and I’d narrow the seam allowances if I did it again. I knocked this out in a couple of hours because I was desperate for a break from hand-applying approximately 9000 yards of bias binding; the construction is amazingly half-baked. It was curiously freeing to just bimble along and merrily ignore raw edges, eyeball seam allowances, that sort of thing …


Smoke me a kipper, I’ll be back for breakfast!


About Craft (Alchemy)

I make things and make things up.
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3 Responses to V1419: Blue his house with the blue little window …

  1. carly927 says:

    You are also ready to dress as Javert: http://i.ytimg.com/vi/I8WSysB5vKM/0.jpg

  2. I’d completely forgotten that hat! Hmm. I’m more a tenor than a baritone though …

  3. Pingback: Top 5s for 2014: Misses | Craft (Alchemy)

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