Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Making of a Suit - Chapter Two

So today is Saturday - the beginnings of a long 3-day weekend here in the US to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday...which I have elongated by adding two vacation days for the Presidential Inaugural Celebrations. I plan on working on this suit during the festivities and maybe finishing up a UFO...depends on how I manage my time!

This series of posts, "The Making of a Suit", is just about the decisions that I make and the process I use in creating these garments. I wouldn't call the posts a primer, just an inside view of my thought process...scary right! *LOL*

Next up for me usually is picking out the notions and embellishments. Yes, I think about the embellishments/trim this early in the process. I use to be an at the end of the finished garment embellishment kinda girl, but found that enclosing ends and adding trim then could be kind of awkward. So now I plan the embellishment out before I cut out my fabric so that I can incorporate trimming ideas into my seam finishes.

Of course, this is one of my favorite parts of the construction process besides actually sewing the garment. I can happily spend an evening choosing buttons and trim from my extensive collection. And yes, I consider buttons trim - well actually to me they are like jewelry down the front of a garment - be it dress, shirt or jacket. A well chosen button can add so much to a garment, so I need to take my time and choose the best one for the job!

After pulling any and all contenders out of the trim drawer and the button bins, I lay them down with the camera and take pictures. Lots of pictures...looking at them not just on the view finder of my digital camera but also large and in charge on the computer. Then I somehow manage to narrow my choices down to a particular color for the piping and buttons. Sometimes this process is easy...the right color just jumps out at me. This time the choice has been a little more challenging, so I've come up with two alternatives:

Corporate - "Kewl and Funky"

or just "Corporate Chic"

I am undecided regarding which pairing will work best and will let the fabric speak to me as I work with it before making a final decision. I have enough piping and buttons for either they will be placed on the side until it's time to use them.

My next step will be to make interfacing if you are interested...stay tuned! Now though, I'm off to finish watching the train trip of President-Elect Obama as he makes his way into Baltimore!

Three more days and Barack Obama will officially become the 44th President of the United States!!!!


  1. First I want to say that I am so excited about the inauguration of our 44th president that I can hardly stand it.

    Second, I have a question that you have probably addressed somewhere on your blog, but it's a long blog. :)
    Do you line all your jackets? Completely? And if not, how do you finish the seam allowances?

    Thanks, Linda

  2. I like the corporate chic version for your suit.

    I too am happy for Obama and this country but I must say, living just outside of DC, many of us are appalled at all the money that is being spent on this, not to mention all the police and military being deployed here.....I would have rather seen a pared down version due to the know, walk the talk and all that......I think it would have spoken highly of him and his administration's message

    Tina in NoVa who will watch it on TV vs fighting the crowds for one of the only 5,000 porta potties LOL

  3. I like the green buttons and piping very much. The photo just jumped off my screen! Just in case you're soliciting votes.

  4. oops, I picked the wrong suit....I meant the kewl and funky is my favorite...

    Tina in NoVa

  5. Change is GOOOOOOD! :)
    As far as the suit, I really like the corporate funky. I really like the trim for the corporate chic, but I'm not jazzed about the buttons so much.

    Go funky, young woman!

  6. I agree the green version. It really pops the fabric.

  7. Love the kewl and funky!

  8. I vote for corporate funky because I am a major 'covered buttons are eye candy' sort of person. As for the Inauguration - I think the amount of security is thought warranted and worth whatever it costs. I am truly sorry that residents of the Northern Virginia (including my sister's family) are going to be inconvenienced by this but this is truly a historic occasion and one which we should all enjoy. I have read of numbers of people all over the country who are holding Inaugural parties -- when was the last time any of us read about THAT???

  9. I like kewl and funky, definitely. K

  10. The green buttons and piping are my choice. It knocks the rather staid fabric out of the ball park!

    I am excited about the intauguration also and will be glued to the tube.

  11. Green, definitely green. Lovely combination.

    Pray for me, I am one of the millions that going to brave the cold and make my way to the Mall for the Inauguration.

  12. I am in agreement, positively the green!

  13. i like the kewl & funky. The buttons really give it an upscale look1

  14. The Kewl and Funky looks great. Like Anne, the buttons for the other one are kinda blah and you definitely are not!

  15. I'm with everybody else--I like the kewl and funky. I actually dislike the brown buttons with the fabric, although the piping is OK. Maybe they look better in person, monitors aren't always accurate. Or, look for a 3rd option?

  16. Kewl and funky here too!

  17. Boy, when they say that it depends on the notions that is so true! Each of them really shows a different version! Hmmm, you don't don't have enough to do both do you? Cause I really like the green, and the 2nd piping looks great too... the button's on the 2nd are good... but not as good as the green. Isn't it funny how putting different colors really can make such a differnce.

  18. Kewl and Funky without a doubt. The green will be pretty into spring, too. Of course, you may be forced to make another blouse to go with it.

  19. It is all personal preference isn't it? I like the green too. It really pops on the fabric.

    You know, I've been fighting for 5 years to bring change with all in charge of making decisions which control all of us, to stop the death that has been happening in my name. The fight has worn me down because no matter what I did those in charge would do what they wanted anyway. I know many gold star families who have lost so much.

    And I feel like I'm awaiting the birth of a new child. Not knowing what the birth will bring. Only knowing our lives will be changing with this birth and knowing in my heart, like a new parent, there will be hard work to be done but the joy of the birth is indescribable.

    And the change will only come when all of us "we the people" do our jobs by staying involved with our government - like good parents do with their children.

    Enjoy your sewing moments Carolyn!

  20. "...buttons ... are like jewelry down the front of a garment"

    I wholeheartedly agree. Picking buttons is the best part of outfit planning, IMHO.

    I like the funky buttons better but my monitor is not great with color rendering so the green color doesn't look great. I know you will make the right decision!

  21. You didn't ask for our opinions, but since everyone else put in their 2 cents, I love the first one, I agree that it really pops the fabric, but it's still appropriate.
    I do have a question, do you only use pre-made piping, and if so, where are you buying it? How much do you usually buy? If I already have a project in mind, I measure, but you mention having it in your stash.

  22. I love the kewl and funky combination. I, too, plan to take a few days next weekend to add to the Australia Day long weekend and then I'm going to finish a few things and make a few things more! Uniterrupted sewing days are the best. Can't wait to see what you do with yours!

  23. I like both options, but agree with the others, the Kewl and Funky.

    Totally enjoying the Making of the Suit Series.

  24. I like the kewl and funky better too.

  25. Kewl and funky, of course! The green adds the little bit of edge and also says, "Spring!" to me.

    I go through the same design process mentally - picking out all the trims, buttons, etc. before even cutting into the fabric. Any additional elements such as piping might require design changes early on, so advance planning is required!


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