Sunday, February 27, 2011

February jacket finished!

Sewing a jacket a month is ... well,  it might be ... hard.  I wonder if it will get easier?  oops, am I complaining?
I do love my new jacket.  If you ever find wool denim, grab it!  It is just an unlined jacket, but between the tight weave and the wool, it is warm.  The pleat in the back makes it very comfortable to wear, too. 
There are shoulder pads inside- covered in a rayon lining.  I serged the seams with gray thread I had on hand.  It crossed my mind that others would have finished the edges with snazzy Hong-Kong seams, but I have not yet mastered that technique.  I was mighty happy that the gray thread blended so nicely.  Perhaps there will be a Hong-Kong seam before the year is out.
Now see that?  Within the space of a paragraph, I went from a little weary to a little curious about what's next.  I wonder what I will sew in March?

updated to add:  there is more of this wool denim in stock at Gorgeous Fabrics.
The pattern is Vogue 7764

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

February Jacket progress

The blue jacket is coming along.  The fabric is a wool denim - unusual, eh?  It was my very first online fabric purchase.  I bought it from Gorgeous Fabrics when Ann first opened shop.  She blogged about sewing a jacket from this fabric, too.
I am very glad I waited until my skills were up to the task.  Wool is very easy to work with, on one hand, but this one is as stiff as canvas - so it has been a little challenging.  But I am surely loving the results thus far.

I loved every version of Cinderella I ever saw, starting with the Rodgers & Hammerstein movie that starred Julie Andrews.

Fascinating little tidbit for you - I played the violin and majored in music.  My dream career would have been to play in a pit orchestra on Broadway.  But when I graduated in 1981, string sections were way out of style.  So I moved on and got my CPA and became an accountant.  And yes, that puzzled a lot of people!  LOL.  Works for me, though.....

Friends, I had a rough week, what with a couple painful dental appointments and a doctor's apppointment from hell, but it's all behind me now.

Things are good.

I hope things are good with you, too!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Vogue 7764 rises from the ashes

From the trashcan back to the head of the line, comes the military style jacket I started yesterday morning.
Thanks to input from vtMartha, I now have another version - this time with a princess shoulder seam:

I removed the darts (on the right side only) and replace them with a princess seam that runs from shoulder down to the peplum dart.  
Now I am excited to sew this jacket again.  Thanks!

another day, another observation

By noon yesterday, here's what I had to show for my efforts:

I sure have gotten pickier about how things fit and how clothes feel.  The shoulder & neck alterations were successful.  The bust, waistline and hips were in the right place with just the amount of ease I like.
But there was so much extra fabric in the back, above the waistline.

I could have pinched out inches - but where to put it?  What alteration would work?  I didn't want to change the dart into a princess seam because the darts seem important to the design.
 As I sat and pondered, I came to the conclusion that no further alterations would improve the appearance.  No matter what I did to this, it would interfere with the design or create a new fitting issue.  The fashion fabric has a very stiff hand, so it would look fine.  I just had to decide if that's what I wanted.  I figured - no, I don't.  Maybe a different sort of design would please me better - something like this Butterick jacket:

Spending time on pattern alterations and sewing a muslin can be discouraging.  So I had to change the mood in the sewing nook.

Diagnosis: tired brain
Prescription: mindless sewing

I cut out six shirts, all using my TNT shirt pattern:
The pile in the upper left hand corner is actually 2 shirts.  One fabric is striped and the other is windowpane.   Everything is marked, fusing is done and the the bobbins are wound.

This morning, with a fresh attitude, Vogue 7764 jacket was yanked from death row.  I've pulled it from the trash can.  And because Butterick 5568 is on sale this week, I ordered it, too.  

Harmony has been restored.   All is well in sewing land.

*happy sewing*

Friday, February 11, 2011

another versatile skirt

I have the day off from work and it will be spent - you guessed it! *sewing*

Here is another versatile skirt.  I came across this on Colette Patterns blog in a post written by Lisa, aka lsaspacey (her blog is AS I SAID)
I must try the little pleats on my next skirt.  And isn't the trim on the pocket nice?  One of my jackets this year will be this sort of thing - nice soft tailoring for a woman.  While I'd rarely wear a skirt suit, it would be a good idea to own one.  Both pieces work well on their own.  And hey, if you need something a little more dressed up, a neutral suit can be festive (for a wedding) or somber (for a funeral) depending on accessories.  

As I was looking at Steph's most recent post, it struck me how important it is to get just the right fit when wearing vintage styles.  Just look at her!

From reading her blog, I know she has worked hard to achieve this fabulous fit.  But to look at her - would you think she'd had trouble?  Heck no!  All you see is goodness!  She makes it look easy.

Fit makes or breaks the look.  Maybe that's what really appeals to us when we are transfixed by the clothing on Mad Men?  Bodies look beautiful in clothes that fit well.  And the bodies don't have to be standard size.  The fit and the style over-ride everything else. 

Those are my humble 2 cents today.  Happy Friday.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

a versatile skirt is what I wore today

wiwt 2-10-2011, originally uploaded by alittlesewing.
This jacket is Jalie 2680 City Coat pattern, fabric from Emmaonesock.

The scarf is silk charmeuse from A Fabric Place in Baltimore.

Skirt is my "versatile skirt" pattern, fabric a tropical weight wool suiting from Michael's Fabrics and lining is rayon lining from Atlanta Supply and Thread.

V neck sweater from Lord & Taylor.

So far, so good!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

woman ISO versatile skirt

A versatile skirt, in my world, is a fast & easy sew.  It's a skirt that is comfortable to wear and flattering.  A skirt that I could sew in many versions.  A necessary skirt to wear with the jackets I hope to sew this year.

I was inspired by a skirt from the Italian pattern drafting book "Il Modellismo Sartoriale":

What I like is the slimming effect of the vertical lines of the panels.  You could also use those seam lines to introduce a flare for an A-line skirt.  Pretty versatile, eh?  

I wanted mine to be pegged (narrow at the knees) so a vent is necessary for walking.  I decided on a box pleat in the back instead of the expected vent.  I thought it would make the lining easier.  

And for the waistband, I chose neither facings nor a waistband, opting instead for a self lined finish.  A narrow twill tape sewn at the waist seam stabilizes it.

And here is the muslin:

I sewed a version in black tropical weight wool, and it needs to be hemmed.

I have so many options nowadays, to draft a pattern. 

  • Paper and pencil work surprisingly well!  That method is not as difficult as I'd have guessed a few years ago.  
  • Bernina My Label - I'll get back into my beloved BML as soon as I measure myself again.  When I lost everything on my hard drive to a virus, I lost all my measurements (and the measurements of DD & DSD)
  • Wild Ginger Pattern Master Boutique (PMB)- this is what I used to create this pattern.  
    • It doesn't need very many measurements.
    • The print preview is useful to overlay the pattern pieces before printing.  The reduces the number of pages printed.
    • I cut the all the right & bottom edges first, then use tiny bits of tape to attach the pages to the cutting mat.  The grid lines on the cutting mat make it quick to line up the paper.
    • Roll out the tracing paper.  I am using doctor's exam table paper.  The vellum is just about the same weight and transparency of commercial pattern paper.
    • It is easier than tracing from a pattern magazine (eg BWOF) because there is only one pattern on the paper.
The first muslin was way too loose, so I went back into the program to reduced the amount of ease, increase the number of darts and move them closer to the side seam.  While tracing, I just added the vertical seams through the front darts to create the panel look.

So, how about that?  When I was finished, I realized I had designed a skirt.  I know it is nothing ground-breaking, but isn't this what it means to design?   I think so ... I just put together a few features and ended up with the skirt I wanted.

Yes, I am going on and on, here.  If you have read this far, I am almost finished :D
The vertical lines are straight, which I think helps for a flattering line.  And the box pleat in the back allowed for a very simple lining and, yep, it was faster & easier than a vent.

Maybe I'll get that thing hemmed and worn soon, so I can post a pic.

Happy Exploring!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

towel pants

I sewed a pair of towel pants today.  Towel pants would be a invention by a certain someone I like to call Howie.  He described his innovative idea over dinner at the Hamilton Tavern (amazing hamburgers) on Wednesday night.  I stopped by a fabric store on Thursday and I saw terrycloth.  I bought 2 yards.
I give you now:


Where does one find a pattern for towel pants?  Well... Kathleen Fasanella posted about a free book download recently, so I used my copy of Il Modellismo Sartoriale.  You could also use that book to draft this cutaway coat.  But I was in the mood for towel pants.

This was a fast and easy project!  Click for larger pics:

I had to make an XL because terri cloth has no stretch at all.  Or because some guys just need an XL, depending on how you explain things.  If you know what I mean.  (Just kidding, sorry)

I was also going to lay some puns on you, but I will skip them.  
Now that was fun!  All that heavy coat sewing has dragged me down a bit.   I have some other easy sewing on the table.  I need some instant gratification!

[edited on August 17, 2013 - click here for information on how to create a pattern]

Happy Sewing!