Miss Fisher goes to Hogwarts

Note: I’ve been paying attention to the current conversations happening on social media about cultural appropriation and violence towards Asian communities. Since making these garments my understanding of cultural appropriation has grown and I now see how the naming of this collection is problematic, and is a form of cultural appropriation. I’m also aware that a considerable number of people contacted Papercut Patterns some time ago in relation to this collection, and that it’s taken several years to be resolved. When the new pattern names are announced I will amend my posts relating to the collection, and I am also making a donation to a local charity to reflect the amount I have spent on these patterns. I’m considering other courses of action I can take, including removing these blog posts all together, I welcome any suggestions people might have regarding this. I’m very grateful to the people on social media who have done so much work to educate and inform me about these topics.

Happy New Year everyone! I’m writing this in a few stolen minutes between wedding prep and heading away to spend New Years Eve at the beach with some friends, so forgive any typos! I’m not on the cocktails yet, I promise…I’m also not parading around in silk velvet, but I really wanted to get this final post for 2018 up! This was my second garment made for the #sewfrosting challenge over on instagram, and I’ve finally got some halfway decent photos. Silk velvet isn’t so easy to photograph, it tends to look like a big navy black hole, so I’ve had to do some fiddling with the contrast etc. Hopefully you can still get the idea!

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This is one of the more ridiculously luxurious things I’ve ever made! When a 3 metre remnant of navy silk velvet popped up on the Drapers Fabrics Instagram page I bought it without much of a plan for it. I was initially thinking it would be a dress of some sort, but then I kept thinking it might be more practical as a piece of outerwear (I’m using practical in a relative sense here, obviously). When I made my first Nova Coat I thought it would be very lush as one of those…

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…and I was right! It’s so soft and heavy and slippery, it feels like sometimes if I move too fast I’ll leave it behind like a cartoon character, but it feels lovely to wear and I feel very dramatic and elegant in it. I thought cutting it out would be a major pain, but it was actually very well behaved throughout the cutting and sewing process! I wrapped my tailors ham in a big scrap of velvet and used that when I was pressing the seams so I didn’t crush the pile, but for the most part I managed to get away with blasting it with steam and finger pressing the seams open. The lining was almost more trouble to sew than the velvet, I used a heavy viscose satin twill from The Fabric Store and it kept trying to escape. It’s navy with violet threads streaked through it, which I utterly failed to capture in these photographs but which looks pretty in person!

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This version is obviously much less structured than my wool version, and I made a couple of changes to account for that. I hand sewed some tape along the diagonal seams on the fronts, which runs along the open edge of the pocket bags. They still drape open, which I quite like the look of in the velvet, but hopefully that’ll help them to keep their shape a bit more and not stretch out. I also substituted all iron on interfacing for sewn in silk organza, which was a bit of a faff but seems to have worked ok. I do wonder if I should have used more, or doubled it up in some places, as the collar and the front edges still collapse under the weight of that velvet draping. But then, I think any more structure might have looked strange with the velvet? I’m not sure, and I’m definitely not going back in to add more!

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I think it had a very art deco-ish cocoon coat vibe in the velvet, especially from the back! When I showed it to Hamish he said it was a bit Hogwarts-y, so not quite the Phryne Fisher look I was aiming for, but I think art deco witch works quite well! I also think Phryne Fisher and Minerva McGongall would have had excellent adventures together, I would definitely watch that show…

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Funnily enough, this isn’t my first silk velvet coat NYE post on this blog, I posted about my velvet Tessuti Tokyo jacket way back on my first blogging New Years Eve! I had hair! and I had only been sewing for a year or so, and had no idea what I was getting into with silk velvet. It turned out alright though, all things considered…

Marshmallow Coat

Note: I’ve been paying attention to the current conversations happening on social media about cultural appropriation and violence towards Asian communities. Since making these garments my understanding of cultural appropriation has grown and I now see how the naming of this collection is problematic, and is a form of cultural appropriation. I’m also aware that a considerable number of people contacted Papercut Patterns some time ago in relation to this collection, and that it’s taken several years to be resolved. When the new pattern names are announced I will amend my posts relating to the collection, and I am also making a donation to a local charity to reflect the amount I have spent on these patterns. I’m considering other courses of action I can take, including removing these blog posts all together, I welcome any suggestions people might have regarding this. I’m very grateful to the people on social media who have done so much work to educate and inform me about these topics.

Hi team! I’m having a bit of a sewing hiatus at the moment, aside from finishing a few bits off. I really need to put my head down and get some solid work done on my research project, I need to hand it in next month! I’ve finished the data collection phase, and I’ll hopefully be done with my data analysis this weekend…then I just need to finish writing the damn thing. I’m really looking forward to mid October! But in the meantime I have a few new things to post to keep things ticking over here.

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This is what I’m affectionately calling my marshmallow coat, which I’m sure doesn’t need explaining! It’s the Papercut Patterns Nova Coat, a pattern which I had admired on Instagram (where there are some amazing versions!), but had never really felt the need to make. I was sure it would look too oversized and daft on me, and the fact that it has no front closures made me think it would have limited wear-ability in Wellington. Then I got the opportunity to try on the beautiful grey wool version made by Gabrielle, and I flat out fell in love with it! It is huge and oversized, but in a dramatic and elegant way, and I had bought the pattern and was cutting it out before I knew it.

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Look at those beautiful swooshing seams! I had a lot of fun sewing this coat up. It’s a big but pretty simple project, as far as coats go. The sewing is all simple, with it’s dropped sleeves and grown-on facings and pocket bags, but each seam seems to go on forever! I made a couple of simple alterations, based on what Gabrielle had done with hers. I made the smallest size, and took an inch off the top of the sleeve and from the armscye, to shorten the sleeve by 2 inches total. I wanted the bracelet length sleeves from the sample photo, and they would have covered my wrists as drafted. I also opted to line the sleeves with my lining fabric rather than the wool I used for the outer, which cut down on bulk and made the coat feel lighter overall. Finally, I ran some seam tape along the diagonal front seam, which will hopefully help the pockets retain their shape.

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I used a blush pink wool/cashmere blend which I’ve had in my stash for over a year, it originally came from The Fabric Warehouse. I really love the colour, but I struggled a bit to match it to a pattern. I was seriously planning to use it to make a Gerard Coat from Republique du Chiffon, but in the end I’m glad I went with Sapporo! The wool behaved beautifully, of course, it sews and presses like a dream. It does crease a bit, as you can see in these pictures after a day of wear, but I can live with that!

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I lined it with another stash fabric, a Liberty Tana Lawn from The Fabric Store. It’s so smooth and lovely! I’m glad I finally used it for something, and I think it looks really pretty with this pink. And how nice are those mitered corners? This really is a lovely pattern to sew. Because I was having such a nice time sewing this I decided to pull out all of the stops and use one of the beautiful “HANDMADE” labels that I bought from Arrow Mountain to finish it off. It’s subtle, but I love it!

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I’m not going to lie, when I finished it and put it on for the first time I was worried that I just looked like a big pink lump. But after wearing it for a day (and getting a few complements from strangers on it!) I decided I really loved it. Funny how that happens sometimes! I’ve only managed to wear it out a few times since I finished it a couple of weeks age, the weather has been less than ideal recently, but I think it’ll be perfect for Spring and for Summer mornings. I’m looking forward to getting out and about in it!

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