Friday, 14 November 2014

Pattern hack: The Afternoon Bolero

What do you wear to a wedding? The age old question for us sewists is do I make a dress? We were invited to a wedding at the end of July and I didn't have time to create a new dress. Thankfully I had a few lovely RTW ones that I could pull out. Still, I wanted to have something handmade and I was missing a suitable jacket. 

Afternoon Bolero

I had come across a beautiful 1950s bolero on Pinterest. It had kimono sleeves and buttoned up at the front with a round neckline. Sound familiar? Of course, it is exactly like the rounded neckline Afternoon Blouse.

I pulled out the pattern and began a very simple hack. To fix the gapping neckline I had on my previous versions (here and here) I went down a size at the shoulders. To get the desired shape of the bolero, I drew a straight line from the end of the curve on the neckline to the lengthen/shorten line. For the back, I used the lengthen/shorten line as the hemline. I then trued the side seams to ensure they were the same length. 

Afternoon Bolero

The fabric is white crepe which was part of a large fabric stash I was given a few months ago. It was great to work with, and is stable although there were a few indentations from the iron when I pressed it with a too hot an iron. These were covered fully with silver bias binding. I really wanted to get robin egg blue or mint binding but couldn't find them in a satin finish locally. It had to be satin to smarten it up! 

Afternoon Bolero

The bolero is self-lined, meaning I cut two sets of the front pieces and the back. This allows the pattern to be reversible, providing your happy to restitch the button or find another way to close it. The button is wooden button with a pink flower. The whole project took a few hours to finish and was very satisfying to make. 

Afternoon Bolero

The photos were taken recently as unfortunately I didn't get any photos at the wedding where I matched the bolero with a peach 50s style dress with a full skirt. It was overcast with a little rain in the morning and by the time it brightened up, we were having so much fun I completely forgot to get the camera out. It was definitely one of the best weddings I have been to! 

14 comments:

  1. Beautifully executed sewing Claire - that curved edge! I think you must have looked stunning and it sounds like you had a wonderful time.

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    1. Thanks, Teresa. It was a very good day!

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  2. really lovely. the binding finishes it off perfectly!

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    1. Thank you. It's a lot of binding but worth it!

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  3. Beautiful! Your stitching is so neat! BTW I didn't know you had a dressform. Is it the Lady Valet? I am considering getting one...

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    1. Thanks! I'm not fully certain of the model - it was a present from my brother last Christmas and comes in very handy!

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  4. This is lovely, and what a great idea!

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  5. Lovely blazer Claire. It look really neat with the bias binding. I have seen a similar blazer (worn by a bride) in the Brides magazine yesterday and had to think immediately about yours :)

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    1. Haha! Amazing that you saw a similar one.

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  6. Awesome hack! I love boleros but I'm yet to make one that I love. Ooh I like the idea of a lined bolero that would be 'flippable' :)

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    1. Thanks! "Flippable" would give you so many options to play with!

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