Sunday, September 27, 2009
Vogue 1127 - More Sleeve Pattern Alteration Info.
Janima the Mom Beast asked,
"I was interested to learn how you give more ease for the upper arm, as I always have to do the same. your method is the one I use-- but don't you add the corresponding increase to the bodice underarm side seam?"
First here is a pic of the alteration I did to the side seams of the pattern piece:
Second, I made this alteration because the normal alteration I make to the sleeve pattern involves putting a seam down the center of the pattern piece, increasing at the bicep area and decreasing back to the seam line. An example of it can be seen here. I guess I could have cut the dart apart and made a seam. However, I like the dart detail so I don't want to lose it. So I had to come up with an alternate option.
Now to answer Janima's question...by adding width to the sleeve sides in the bicep area has nothing to do with the bodice side seams. Once you sew the sleeve side seams together, the sleeve is inserted into the jacket. The instructions from the pattern sheet are below so that you can see the raglan insertion.
So the jacket side seam is not affected at all by increasing the side seams of the sleeve. And that is not only in this specific case but in every alteration I do for the sleeves. The area you do have to be careful of affecting is the sleeve cap. I make no alterations to my sleeve cap AT ALL!
Tracy I hope this also helped you with the visuals...please make sure you click the link to the other post because there are pics there that detail how to make the other alterations that I make to my sleeve pattern to increase the width at the bicep.
And one more disclaimer...this is the way I handle the alterations. They work for me. I have learned them through trial and error and may not be in any of the fitting books that are presently on the market...so take them with a grain of a salt! *smile*
I stopped to take a lunch break and saw the above question so I thought I would answer it sooner rather than later...back to the machines!!!
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Vogue 1127 - Part 2 - Pattern Alterations & Prep
To both the front and back pieces as well as the front facings, I added 3" at the lengthen/shorten line on the pattern. And to the front pattern piece I added 1/2" to the hemline by gradually widening the pattern from the underarm seam at the side seam. I also added an inch to the front band and moved the center front line over to accomodate the added width. Since you place the back piece on the fold, I will use the pivot and slide technique to add a 1/2" at the center back hemline that way.
I increased the collar by one inch to accomodate the change to the front pattern piece. I also added an inch to the front facing piece for the same reason. Then I re-measured all of the pieces, omitted the 5/8" seam allowances to determine if my new measurements would fit my body measurements as well as the amount of ease I like in a jacket. As of now, my calculations appear correct, so I will cut the fashion fabric after it's pre-treated.
Pre-treating the Fabric:
Even though this is a cotton blend fabric and I should be able to wash and dry it...I am concerned about removing the "shine" of the fabric. So I'm going to load the steam generator with water and steam the heck out of this piece. I believe that this should be sufficient for pretreating the fabric.
Since I've never made this jacket before and the reviews on PR did not heartily endorse this pattern, I did spend quite a bit of time reading the instructions. I've already noted where I'm going to make some changes.
One, since I'm making my own bias binding using the pattern piece supplied by Vogue, I noticed that nowhere in the instructions does it tell you to mark the lines on the pattern piece prior to cutting it out. Ummm, I know this is a general fact but seriously it could be reiterated. Also, for making the binding it tells you to iron down a 1/4" on either side of the binding. Now most of us know that you can use a bias binder maker for this job...why wouldn't the patterns instruct you to use one? I can just see some poor sewist burning his or her fingers while they tried to iron down 1/4" on either side...*sigh*
Lining the sleeves:
The pattern instructs you to baste the lining and the sleeve together, then after the sleeve is sewn into the jacket to hem the sleeves. Okay that's one way...but I think I'm going to use the Nancy Zieman method ~ the lining and fashion fabric are sewn together at the hemline. Then the side seam is sewn and the lining is flipped inside. I just have to insure that none of the lining fabric hangs from the bottom of the sleeve. This method allows the hem to be sewn before the sleeve is placed into the jacket. Cleaner and easier.
Since I've added three inches to the length of the jacket, I will add some more buttons to the front of the jacket as well as one to the collar. I don't understand why there isn't one there already! The jacket presently has 3 buttons...I'm thinking 5 or 6. Speaking of buttons, I want to use a silvery nickel type which I have in the button collection.
For the buttonholes, I'm thinking about making corded buttonholes. The fabric is a little busy and I think that by adding some cording to the buttonholes it will provide them with a little more oomph. I will have to make a few samples to see if this will work or not.
Otherwise, I'm ready and will go into "sewing mode" in the morning...I..CAN'T...WAIT!
Friday, September 25, 2009
My next project ~ "A Wearable Muslin"
My next stop was to check Patternreview to see if anyone had used the pattern. But I have to tell you that I was a little disappointed by the two reviews of the pattern. However, I did read all of their comments and double checked them with Barbara's blogpost, where btw, she mentions none of the reviewers issues.
So I pulled my pattern pieces out last night and preceded to start the alteration process. I won't detail them all here now but I had a very relaxed evening just altering the pattern pieces. Since I mainly want to try out the jacket first...because if it doesn't work what will be the sense of making the other pieces...I will admit that I added three inches to the length of the jacket. This is a kewl short boxy jacket. But I don't want it to make me look kewl, fat and plump! Therefore, it had to be lengthened...not too long to take away from the original design but long enough to be flattering on me. I will make another sleeveless sheath dress to accompany this jacket.
This is my fabric ~ a Doubleside Dotted Italian Cotton from EOS:
I will use a rayon midweight lining fabric and will incorporate some of the issues that the PR reviewers referenced. First being that only the sleeves are lined in the jacket. The seams are HK finished. Even though I loved how Barbara HK finished her jacket, mine will be underlined with the lining and then the seams will be HK finished. Very similar to the way I finished the interior of the Butterick 4980 jacket.
Another point of contention in the reviews was the dart that formed the top of the sleeve. Since I've used this technique before for the Butterick 4980 jackets, I'm sure I will be able to handle this and make it work.
I was going to run down to the garment district today to pick up some gray satin bias binding from Daytona Trimmings to use for the HK finishing, even though the pattern does have a great piece for making your own bias binding in the pattern. Well my day job precluding me making the trip and saving the time...so I will be using the pattern piece with the lining fabric and making my own bias binding.
Work will start on the jacket this weekend and I'm pretty excited about it. I have some errands to do tomorrow but I'm gonna bury myself in the process on Sunday! Finally, this version will be my "wearable muslin" before I cut into my fashion fabric and make "The Elegant Fall" version...but I really believe that my wardrobe can stand two of these jackets!
...as always, more later!
Thursday, September 24, 2009
New Sewists Thursdays is back!
The series on how my TNT Dress Pattern came to be is in three parts - Part One, Part Two, Part Three
Would you please TNT with me? - is about the reasons to develop a TNT pattern
This post details the list with a brief description of each one of my TNT patterns - 12 on a Desert Island
There are also several really good books that I would recommend you borrow or buy to learn how to work with fabrics and knits in particular. They are:
Specific to knits: The Stretch & Sew Guide to Sewing on Knits by Ann Person
and Sewing with Knits, Classic Stylish Garments from Swimsuits to Eveningwear by Connie Long
General fabric books: Claire Shaeffer's Fabric Sewing Guide and
Fabric Savvy and More Fabric Savvy by Sandra Betzina.
But Karen didn't ask about books did she...she wanted tips! And after Lindsay's post today...I'm sure more of you are wondering if you can make knits work?!
So my tips...because I've sewn quite a few knit garments...
1. Choose your knit fabric carefully.
I am really, really picky about what knit fabrics I work with...most of my garments are made from a knit with a little lycra in them...rayon/lycra knits being my favorite. Now this is for closer fitting garments. I've used more sweatery knits for cardigans.
2. Stabilize key seams
I always, always, always stabilize the shoulder seams with twill tape, rayon hem tape or the selvedge edge of a woven garment. I don't want them sagging from the pulling on and off or the day-to-day wearing.
3. Use the correct needle and thread for the garment
Both Claire and Sandra's books give detailed information on what type of needle, thread and length to set on your sewing machine to use with knits.
4. Learn to use the best techniques that you can!
Again I'm going to refer to the books referenced above. I read and sewed based upon the information gleamed from the books above. You will be amazed at how many little tips you pick up! Or if you are a more visual learner try Nancy's Notions..."Sew & Go Knits DVD". She offers her show online at Sewing with NancyTV. If you click Nancy's Favorites, there are two shows on Knits - Easy Fit, Easy Sew that you can watch at home at your convenience on your computer!
5. Keep working with the garment until you get the fit you want!
Oh drat there I go again not encouraging quick and fast results! *LOL* But seriously, how do you know what works for you if you don't experiment and then try again when something doesn't work? Remember my earlier analogy a marathon...not a sprint!
Now a few disclaimers...being a plus size girl and liking a looser more relaxed fit, I don't have some of the stretch and recovery issues that someone desiring a closer fit might have. My garments typically don't lay right against my skin as many of the tees and tops that most women/men sew. Let me emphasize again that this is my preference. I don't like overfitted, too tight tops or dresses...they make me uncomfortable, however, someone else may be more comfortable. So I tend to treat knits like wovens...the point is for them to glide over my body but have a little more stretch than a typical woven.
I also only sew a few types of knit garments...cardigans, loose fitting tees, tanks and dresses. You have yet to see me make a wrap dress...can't figure out how to make one without looking like there is a war going on beneath the dress in the back! I haven't made one of those wrapped/knotted front tops that are everywhere...another popular sew. My pieces are more classic in nature and I've been sewing them for years. BUT, I've had my share of disasters, oops and garbage pitches...again, you just have to get up dust yourself off and try something new. Or if you truly don't want to work with knits...let it go! There are so many other things to sew and adventures to have...it's a personal decision.
Can I also note here that I've been sewing since I was 11 years old and that I've learned much of what I know through books, TV series, videos and DVDs and from a few sewing classes that I've taken. The reason I emphasize books and sewing shows is because I've learned so much from them.
Sorry that this post has been more of an encouragement post than one chock full of information...but sometimes I think that's what we sewists need! A pat on the back...a word or two of encouragement, understanding and support...and a shove back into the game!
Please continue to send questions to me for future blog posts...and I will share my next finished project with you soon!
Sunday, September 20, 2009
A Piece or Two
I love my fabric closet really I do! It's just that today after spending some real quality time with it and seeing just how much fabric I actually own...*sigh*...I mean I have a lot! Okay honestly more than a lot! I realize that now and in the near future, I have no business buying another piece...so anyone wanting to meet me in the garment district...it just ain't happening! *LOL* The first thing they tell recovering addicts is to stay away from temptation...and I need to be staying away...far away!
Yesterday afternoon I was really gloaming on these two knits from Emmaonesock:
Wouldn't this one go great with both my green and pumpkin dresses!
And wouldn't this one work amazingly well with the pumpkin dress and then all of the brown pieces currently in my wardrobe!
Well neither one of them will be coming to my house now! Because I already have some pretty awesome sweater knit pieces from EOS, as well as, some amazing ones from a few other internet fabric sites!
Since it took all day to jam fabrics that had been lying around my living room and bedroom into the fabric closet and switch over bins from spring/summer to fall/winter, there was no sewing going on here...and can I say yet again there won't be any shopping going on around here either!
This is what the pile in the bedroom looks like now:
And this is what the pile in the living room looks like now:
Finally, I am relieved to be done! It went a little quicker before I started watching E's Red Carpet coverage for the Emmys...but I'm done...I'm contrite and I need to schedule a few more days off to sew! Because at the rate I'm presently sewing, my grandchildren will need to sew along with me to get this collection down!
And a parting shot:
My daughter rooting around in the closet trying to claim the best pieces for herself! *LOL* Actually she lightened the closet's load by 20 yards...a mere raindrop during a torrential downpour!
...as always more later!
Saturday, September 19, 2009
I'm a copycat!
Last night, however, there were quite a few of the October issues waiting for me! I won't bore you with how many magazines I subscribe to (Let's just be thankful that the mailman drives a truck! BTW, do mailmen walk around and delivery mail anymore?) it's cheaper and easier tho' to subscribe than to truck magazines home on the bus with me.
So back to the magazines that arrived...InStyle - one of my personal favorites - showed up last night! And it is a wonderful issue...especially because they had two sections that are near and dear to my heart. One - an entire piece with photos on Michelle Obama's style. I love how she dresses. It is a clean, concise style using a lot of color to accent her personality but without frou-frou. It works so well in corporate environments - I'm sure because she came from one - and her wardrobe showcases her figure. Now while I don't have a Michelle Obama figure...I will never have those arms without surgery and leaving my day job to work on them...I can copy it!
Here are the pics from the article, "Power Dressing" InStyle Magazine (October 2009):
The other article was about home sewing. First Vogue Magazine and now InStyle! You can tell the economy is in a recession because when was the last time you picked up a fashion magazine and they had a two page spread on home sewing! Yeah...I know! The article is called "Project Disaster" with the tag, "Are Home Ec sewing skills and a 10-year-old machine equal to the task of creating a three-piece designer outfit? Columnist Faye Penn puts her fearless foot to the pedal" It is a very funny article about someone diving back into sewing after a hiatus...a must read for anyone returning to sewing. You will find you are not alone!
Anyway...pick up a copy of this month's InStyle...it is full of wonderful yet useful fashion advice...a homage to the sewist contingency...and just a very fun issue. I do have two ideas as a starting point for this weekend's sewing adventure. Neither one of them are instant gratification sewing...boy, I'm missing last week more than you know! But both of them are pounding at my brain and insisting that they be released! So updates later!!!
Friday, September 18, 2009
An Apology and some of this and some of that
Next, I spent an awesome evening last night with Elizabeth who writes the blog, "Sew a Beginner" The great thing about it is that no fabric shopping was involved just two women having dinner and discussing their passion. Elizabeth gives all the details, here!
What follows next are some thoughts I had over the week I was in sewing heaven...can you tell it's been a long week at work! *LOL*
~Why do I line everything? Because as a plus size woman I hate wearing a lot of layers under my clothing. If a dress or skirt is lined it slides right over my Spanx and I don't need to wear anything else under it. And let's not even talk about the fact that lining actually lengthens the life of a garment!
I read somewhere the other day, someone asking why do people line their garments and is it necessary? The question stuck with me and of course rumbled through my mind as I sat and sewed.
~When I'm sewing for long stretches of time...I get even more ideas for the garments I'm working on. It's like being deep into the process gives me a clearer vision of what the garment should be. Does this happen to anyone else?
~Again the recurring theme in my life...I have ALOT of fabric! *LOL*
~I think the reason I sew so many dresses is because I get more bang for my buck! When I've finished a dress, I have a complete outfit to wear. When I finish a skirt, top or pair of pants, I still need to make at least one coordinating piece to have an outfit. So dresses have become a mainstay in my wardrobe...my sewing time is limited and precious...I have to accomplish much in that time...dresses help me do that!
~My sewing machine is getting old. I have to baby it more to keep it happy! It's almost like an elderly relative...I'm always going the extra mile to make sure that its safe and working properly. I've put off buying one because I thought I should own a top of the line version. But during the sewing vacay, I've started to rethink this. Christmas is coming and sewing machines will go on sale...so I need to actually do something about this...
~Do you realize that when constructing a garment that the least amount of time is spent at your sewing machine? It just seems that I spend way more time at my ironing board or the cutting table than I do actually running my sewing machine. Has anyone else noticed this?
And finally, I'm going to sew this weekend...what I don't know...but something! *LOL* I have a lot of options for more pre-fall garments especially since the ones I wore this week worked so well.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
A Wrap-up and Questions & Answers
This sewing vacay left me calmer, happier and more centered that I was before. I also realized that even though I have an extremely large collection of fabric, patterns and trims...having it gives me the freedom to be as creative as my imagination allows...it was a good week and just what my weary soul needed.
Now onto some questions:
In the New Sewists Thursdays - Pattern Sizing post
BJ asked, "I am an experienced sewer and now I am sewing for my thirteen-year-old daughter. She measures a size 16 girl's, so she has almost grown out of that size range. Some of the pattern companies don't have junior patterns at all, some have very little to choose from. What do I do when she outgrows girl's?"
I noticed this when my girls got older and what I found was that mostly they got taller before they become more shapely. So at the beginning I just added length to patterns that were already working for them. After that I used Misses patterns in the smallest sizes I could find...making sure that I used more youthful looking patterns. But I have to admit that right around 6th grade my DD's asked me to stop sewing for them. They wanted to look more like their peers and have things purchased from the store. So I have limited experience with sewing for older children. If anyone has some specific answers for BJ please leave them in the comments section! Thanks!
Aminat asked, "I am a new sewist myself, but when I buy my pattern I buy based on the finished garment measurement which is usually placed on the bottom of envelop , if I choose my real measurement based on the actual body measurement usually placed on the top of the envelop , the fit is always too big. So my question is, is this the general rule or it's just working for me?
Actually I purchase patterns by the finished garment measurements too, making sure that my largest measurements fit within those measurements with a reasonable amount of ease added. So not only is this working for you but its working for me too! I know that there are rules for fit. But I also know that sometimes you find what works for you and you go with it.
In the Garment No. 1 ~ Saturday/Sunday Entry post:
BCR8iv asked, "Which TNT pattern did you choose in the end for the dress"
When I mention my TNT dress pattern I'm only referring to one pattern - OOP Butterick 5932. As I've mentioned before, I've been using this pattern for at least 12 years. It's started out as one thing and has morphed into a completely different dress. So even though I have sewn several other dresses from other patterns, when I have an idea or need to make a dress quickly, this is the pattern I reach for because it never fails me. I wrote a blog post about my top 12 TNT patterns - you can read it here.
LindsayT asked, "When are you going to make up the black & white wool print that you bought at Mood?"
Okay, the pressure! *LOL* Girl that fabric hasn't even aged yet. It is still in the Mood bag sitting beneath my cutting table! The significant other is still cursing at it when he comes over! No seriously probably this fall. It is a simple sheath dress and will make an appearance before there is snow on the ground!
Anonymous asked, "Did you make your own black satin bias strips or did you purchase them and from where?"
I buy basics like that from Daytona Trimmings - my trim store of choice! I bought 25 yards of it last November to make The Dior Dress Knock-off and have been using little bits of it ever since.
And to all who asked if they could borrow some of my garments...ummmm, no! *LOL*
In the Fall Greenery post:
Char asked, "You have mentioned in the past that you baste your garments. Why do you hand baste or machine baste?"
Mainly I hand baste to keep things together until I can get them to the sewing machine and sew the pieces together. I don't hand baste alot. It is mostly in sleeve insertions where I've found I get a better result when hand basting. The other time is when I'm adding underlining to a fashion fabric.
Marjie asked, "Where do you get the fabric?" referring to the Missoni-like cardigan.
My best and most interesting sweater knits come from Emmaonesock although I'm constantly on the look-out for them. I've bought a couple other pieces from Fabric Mart and Metro Textiles but the best ones come from EOS!
something else designs asked, "Aside from the fact that they are all beautiful, they are numerous! My question is what do you do with them after you have worn them some? I have trouble parting with things I have put my work and care into. Are your closets bursting or do you manage to part with some of your creations?"
I use to have this problem before I started sewing so much of my wardrobe. Now if something wears out...I sew something new to replace it. If something is out of style or I no longer fit it...it goes to the recycle/donate pile. I have no compunctions about giving them away. However, I am very sensitive about them when they are first made because they are like my babies...but babies grow up become mouthy teenagers and need to move on! *LOL*
Kathryn asked, "Did you consider orienting the stripes in the other direction?"
Yes originally I did! Because there is always the danger that horizontal stripes can make you look larger...but when I laid the pattern pieces out, I realized that matching the stripes would be easy and the "Missoni-like" pattern seemed light and airy enough to camouflage instead of enlarge. If it hadn't worked, I would have just scrapped it but thankfully it did work!
Finally, Spottedroo asked, "Where did I get the pumpkin fabric?"
I bought that fabric two years ago from Fabric Mart. They were having an end of the season sale on linen and I bought 4-5 yards of all the colors they had left...black, red, a denimy blue, brown and that pumpkin. Sometimes it pays to collect beautiful fabric! *LOL* Because of the 8 garments only 1 came from recently purchased fabric...all of the rest of them were from the fabric collection/closet!
I would like to thank everyone who followed along and anxiously awaited for posts (Elizabeth)! Thanks everyone who left a comment...they were so appreciated! And thanks for coming back again and again to read my ramblings, check out my sewn garments and encouraging me on!
As always...more later!
Sunday, September 13, 2009
A Dress or Two
Both dresses are made from my TNT dress pattern...but there are several differences besides one has short sleeves and the other is sleeveless.
1/2 yard embroidered ribbon from M&J Trimmings
2 yards of lace for the lining hem
2 yards of ambiance lining
At first I was just going to make a sheath dress to go with the "Missoni-like" green cardigan. The skirt, dress and cardigan would have worked together to make mix and match pieces. Somewhere in the cutting out process, I changed my mind. I decided that I wanted a stand alone dress. Something distinctive and with a little voom especially since I'm planning on making quite a few sheath dresses this fall/winter season. That's when the sleeves got added back onto the dress. Then I started playing around with a ruffle on the front of the dress. After a few options were tried and discarded, I realized that I really liked the selvedge edge of the fabric. So two strips were cut, sewn together, gathered and then basted to the front of the dress.
My original thought was to add some pearls that I had on hand. I'm glad I took a chance with this piece of embellished ribbon because to me it just makes the dress and takes it in a totally different direction. This is how I will wear it now:
And that is piece 7 or another day at work...
Here it is with a cardigan from fabric from Emmaonesock that I made several years ago:
I finished sewing ahead of time...about 4:30pm and I'm very happy with my total of 8 finished garments. It is a full week's worth of clothing. So I even though I didn't sew 9 garments, I do feel as if I fulfilled my goal!
You can see all the pictures of the garments, including construction pics that were not included in the blog posts in my Flickr album - Sewcation Garments!
Saturday, September 12, 2009
The September Issue ~ The Movie
However, after reading both Karen's review, LindsayT's review and a folder about the movie on Stitcher's Guild, I've decided that someone did something to the cut we saw in NYC yesterday. Because I have one word to describe the movie, BORING! Thank God they gave Grace Coddington a bigger role in the movie because Anna Wintour may be a genius of an editor but she came off as bland, cold, and monotone. The movie was so uninspiring that one member of our band of merry fabric shoppers (who shall remain nameless) took a nap during the movie and at times I had to pinch myself to stay awake.
Now I know why they jazzed up the storyline for the movie, "The Devil Wears Prada!" Maybe it's also because I've worked at a magazine before so I realize that the day-to-day, in and out is just not that awe-inspiring, drop dead glamorous. Maybe it's because I saw Valentino (which is a wonderful movie and you should run right out and buy a copy now!) that I'm so unimpressed with the movie.
Or maybe it was because it was BORING! *LOL* And the funny thing is that everyone in my group agreed. So if someone would kindly tell me where that more interesting cut of the movie is playing...I would like to go and see it too! Otherwise, I'm gonna stick with Meryl and Anne and the fictionalized Vogue Magazine...
btw...Meryl had Anna down to a T!
Yesterday after spending the day in the city with friends, I found some perfect trim at MJ Trimmings for the dress I'm currently working on...Probably won't have more pics until much later in the evening...or tomorrow...
Friday, September 11, 2009
I had two goals in mind for my sewing this week. One was to see if I could complete a well-sewn garment for each day I was off...that's nine garments. And the second was to complete an entire week's worth of outfits from those 9 garments. I think I'm gonna end up with 10 but we'll see.
So far I've created a dress that can be worn with a jacket or a sweater from my closet. Just a regular work dress for a regular work day. The second outfit is the power outfit of the bunch - the black suit to be worn for those serious meeting days. Pieces 5 and 6 are my Friday "business casual" outfit.
I called it "Fall Greenery" because of the sage green fabric. This is a soft more fashionable color and that's one of the reasons why it was used in the business casual outfit.
It is comprised of my TNT burda cardigan and another version of the Simplicity 5914 skirt (which btw has 42 reviews on PR!). I can wear this with a simple white tank as I have above or with a short sleeve turtleneck sweater for those early fall days. Or if needed I can up the ante by pairing it with the white Butterick 4980 jacket.
2 yards of cotton/linen twill from fabric.com
2 yards of a Missoni-like knit from Emmaonesock
3 yards rayon hem tape
1 one inch button
I've made this cardigan many times and this was the most challenging because the fabric was so unstable. It shifted and moved and wouldn't hold a pin from the cutting table to the sewing machine...ay carimba! I used seam binding in the shoulder seams to stabilize the shoulders. I used silk organza in the neck binding to stabilize the front band and it gave me a place to add a button and buttonhole. It was an amazing piece of fabric and I'm glad that it's cut and sewn!!!
This is my 4th version of this skirt, even though this is it's first appearance on the blog. The first time I made this skirt, I changed the center back pattern piece from a straight cut on the fold piece to two separate pattern pieces so that I could add a center back zipper. I don't know what it is but I don't like side zippers much. The pattern doesn't call for a lining but I've added one. I've also omitted the facings. I taped the waistline and the lining extends from it. This is one of the easiest and most gratifying skirts that you can make!
Six pieces are completed...I have a dress almost finished but it will have to wait until Saturday morning. I'm off to spend the day with some friends in NYC and won't be back until this evening. I'm actually glad for the diversion. I need a break from my sewing machine! *LOL*
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Another Black Suit
The suit is comprised of the jacket from Simplicity 2570:
The top is the Sewing Workshop Mission Tank:
And the skirt is a version of my TNT skirt pattern.
black wool doubleknit from Metro Textiles
paisley eggplant silk from Marji - a piece from her clean-out
8" black invisible zipper
12 - one inch silver buttons
5 - 1/2" silver buttons
a pair of 1/2 shoulder pads
4 yards of black satin bias binding
3 yards black rayon hem tape
Simplicity 2570 Jacket
I love yoke front jackets. That's one of the reasons why I chose this pattern. It also reminded me of my favorite black sweater which was worn with the black/white eyelet dress I just made. I thought that this jacket would be great with the dress as well as with a skirt. However, my jacket looks nothing like the jacket on the pattern envelope. And that's because when I went to add width to the jacket, I not only sliced and diced the pattern pieces but I added some to the front band. When I did a quick baste together of the jacket pieces for fit purposes, I liked how the larger front band looked and kept it...thus changing the overall look and feel of the jacket.
Also, I moved the pockets from the chest area (do I really need emphasis there?! *LOL*) to down by the hem. By encasing them in bias binding and adding a button to the top of the pocket, I gave them an emphasis that was lacking in the original version. My sleeves were also changed from a one piece sleeve, to a bracelet length sleeve with a center seam. I typically make this change on sleeves to make room for my bodacious biceps. The original jacket is unlined and remains so in my version. I did add some topstitching to unite the jacket and skirt.
Finally, this jacket took a full two days to sew! And for someone who was trying to make quick pieces this one was anything but quick! Then to add insult to injury not only did I have a lot of handsewing - yoke, hem and sleeve hems but there were 14 buttons to sew on which also is not part of the pattern - it recommends snaps! But all of the effort was worth it...here it is with the black/white eyelet dress:
Sewing Workshop Mission Tank
This is my go-to, TNT tank top. There is nothing different in this constuction process except that I didn't take the easy way out and turn and stitch the edges of the neckline and armholes. They are both self bound to give it a more finished look. This was not originally scheduled to be sewn but after using the fabric for the lining of the skirt, I could just "see" the tank. I'm glad that I took the time to make it because it completes the outfit!
I haven't used this version of the skirt in years. But after making it this time, I will definitely sew it again this fall/winter season. I chose it because I already have a straight black skirt and a 4 gore version for fall. I didn't really want another one of the these versions and the choice was between this one and the one Gaylen has called "The Carolyn Skirt". (Simplicity 5914) Besides the three panel front and a thinner waistband, there is no other difference between it and my straight skirt. The pattern pieces are actually taken from my straight skirt, just sliced at the darts and 5/8" seam allowances added to come up with two separate front pieces. However, I did tape the waistband with twill tape to insure that it didn't grow on me during the day...especially since it is made from a double knit fabric. The finished skirt sports an invisible zipper, 2 silver buttons on the waistband as closures, as well as topstitching on the front seams. It is the perfect skirt for the jacket.
One more pic of me in the outfit...
...my next garments are made from a cotton/linen twill out of a soft sagey green. I'm tired of black...the black fuzz is everywhere...and I need a little color in my life now! *LOL*
...as always, more later!
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
It's Tuesday Morning
Monday, September 07, 2009
Garment No. 1 - Saturday/Sunday's Entry
Sunday, September 06, 2009
Sewing Vacation = Sewing Camp
And in that vein, I have a goal for this week...to finish one garment per day. Just one...I think this is doable. My list for sewing this week is a mix of simple, TNT and one or two new patterns. I've planned this like a general planning a major offensive on the battlefield! Supplies are on hand, Mountain Dew and food are stocked...I've even laid in a fresh supply of batteries for the digital camera to document the process. But most importantly, I have a list and a full fabric closet to bring this to fruition.
So starting tomorrow morning, I will prewash fabric, cut and alter patterns and generally prepare to sew. I will sew every day except for Friday...with a hard stop at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday evening. Stopping then will allow me to calmly put everything away, vacuum the threads and drippings off my carpet, and slowly decompress for my re-entry into my work week.
There will be a limited amount of computer time...I don't want anything to intrude on my dedicated sewing time...I will, however, keep you updated on my progress! *LOL* I mean really that's part of the fun...sharing with all of you the struggles, the challenges and the satisfying results!
So let the sewing begin!