Sunday, November 28, 2010

Done...done...and so...done!

Yes, the dress is finished! So this:

plus this:

equals this:

Sometimes though I wonder if you read these ramblings and think I'm whining during the creation process.  It sure seems that way to me when I read an older post, but I truly use my blog as a diary and as such some times I vent here...dream and plot here...and pat myself on the back here.  I just allow you to read over my shoulder!  *LOL*

You want some stats right:

Burda WOF (that's what it was called then!) 09-2005-115

1.5 yards of off white doubleknit from
1.5 yards of black doubleknit from Metro Textiles

1 ~ 18" white zipper
scraps of black/white printed doubleknit from Fabric Mart
3 yards black rayon seam tape
1 hook & eye

Construction Information:
There are several differences between this dress and the original version ~ longer sleeves, no lining and I colorblocked this one in the front and the back.  The original version only has the seamed detailing in the front...this one has a curved seam in the back also.

The other difference was that for the first dress I had already worked out the construction process in my head way before I traced the pattern or before I cut the fabric.  Since I got the idea Thanksgiving Day to make this version, all of the process had to be worked out as I went along. 

This led to much waffling and indecision ~ to topstitch or not ~ where to add the printed doubleknit to the dress ~ whether to have an all black back or a black & white back.  This caused ALOT of frustration during the construction process.  I am so use to having the roadmap that I've already worked out in my head to follow while I'm sewing...that making the decisions step by step almost wore me out!

However, as you see, I went with the white top & the black skirt.  Making sure to curve the back seam so it duplicated what was happening in the front:

I also decided to discreetly add the black/white trim.  My original plan was to have it at the waistline (sort of belt like), at the sleeve hem and at the neckline.  I settled for at the neckline and the sleeveline:

This conveys the look I was aiming for better than some of my original thoughts.  Finally one last look ~ wearing it with the black doubleknit cardigan that I made about 4 years ago:

More photos of the dress can be seen in my flickr album, Burda Style Projects.

Of course, the thing that everyone has really been waiting for...the winner of the two pieces of fabric from Fabric Mart...and they are:

2.5 yards of Gray/Cranberry Stripe Wool Double Knit:

Zusana from Bratislava, Slovak Republic

1.5 yards of Chocolate Brown Bamboo Knit:

Jodie from Alberta Canada

Congratulations to you ladies!!!  I will send these pieces out via the postal service this week.  Please let me know your mailing address by dropping me a line at my email address found in my profile.  Thanks and congrats again!

Lastly, I've started working on another dress.  It's one of the pieces from The Pinstripe Follies collection.  Something that I have a construction plan already worked out for using my TNT dress pattern plus the details from a vintage '60s pattern.

...more later!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

TNT - Yeah Right!

I'm working on the Burda 09-2005-115 dress because I got this crazy idea that I could make me a dress that looked like Beyonce's...see I'm is truly doing me in and y'all aren't calling me on my delirium AT ALL!  *LOL*

One of my issues is that my view of this dress keeps changing in my head...first I see it with topstitching...then I see it with the print as a featured I'm confused.  Then I do stupid things like cut the back dress pieces too short.  I'm rambling and you don't know what the heck I'm talking about so let's start at the beginning and work from there.

I never planned on making an all white or ivory dress.  I already have an ivory silk twill and a beige wool crepe dress so I don't need a third one.  The Beyonce dress just touched a nerve and made me want another version of the Burda dress.  Early in the inspiration process, I realized that I wanted to make a black and white dress with long sleeves.  So I had to figure out what portion of the dress would be white and what part would be black...or if I would use the print as one of the sections of the dress.

Once I worked out which portions would be white and which black, of course after ditching the front printed piece, I couldn't get topstitching out of my topstitching on the white pieces and white topstitching on the black pieces.  That went by the wayside when I decided that the dress would look best with a black & white back instead of an all black back.  I just couldn't figure out how to carry the topstitching to the I discarded that idea.

Here is the front now:

And here is the back - after recutting the black bottom pieces because originally they were 3" too short when I pinned the fronts to the back:

I added a curved seam to the back seams to emulate the curves in the front of the dress...but this entire process has been like pulling teeth.  I think the only thing that was easy was the sleeves...*sigh*  The dress isn't finished.  I just needed to take a break from it, to regroup...

Now I'm wondering if I should have just picked a couple of the easier pieces from The Pinstripe Follies to sew and knocked them out...but I was trying to save them for later in the process, y'know when I started to get sick of the wardrobe sewing...

Earlier this afternoon during a particularly trying stretch, I went back and checked my blog and realized that even though I made plans to sew the last two Thanksgivings, I didn't really turn out anything.  I'm sure this has something to do with how tired I am by the end of the year...because besides pretreating fabric and cutting out this dress, I really did nuthin' else sewingwise yesterday.

Two last quick things and then I'm going back to the dress ~

If you are a reader from overseas and yes this does include Canadians, please don't forget to enter the drawing for the Fabric Mart fabric by leaving a comment on this post.  I've also decided to throw in a piece of bamboo knit, so there are two pieces that can be won but you must enter by Sunday, November 28, 2010 by 6pm EST.  I will pick a winner shortly after that!

Finally, Claire from OKC left this comment on my Simplicity 2958 - Done, post:
"I LOVE what a rolled-cuff can do sometimes. It makes all the different in the world. What's the deal with your armhole linings? Really - I really want to know."

The short answer is that I messed up and instead of hiding that fact, I put it on front street! *LOL*  The more detailed answer would be that I didn't think the lining portion out before I started to construct the jacket, because if I had, I would have bagged the lining. Instead I pieced it together during the construction process and I ended up with well you saw what I ended up with! *smile*

...okay, I'm calmer I'm heading back in...more later!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday Diary Bits - November Style

I hope everyone who celebrates enjoyed their Thanksgiving holiday!  Mine was filled with lots and lots of good food and family.  We ate ourselves silly and then proceeded to solve every problem that was wrong with the world!  *LOL*  Alot of reality TV was discussed, who knew so much of it was watched by my family...and card games abounded.  But the most amazing thing about the day, was the dayum snow!  Yes, peoples it snowed yesterday, here in my corner of the world.  No, it did not stick but the audacity that it would be doing it so early in the fall/winter season does not bode well...*sigh*

Today, I have spent the morning pretreating all of my fabrics for The Pinstripe Follies wardrobe.  For the first time I tried Pam Erny's way of pretreating wools by using the towel and dryer method and can really see no difference in this method on the treated wool vs. my iron/steam method except that I surfed the internet while the dryer did all of the hard I will be using this technique again!  The last set of poly charmeuses are in the washer now.

However, yesterday while surfing the internet, prior to going to dinner, I got inspired by a dress that I found on InStyle and I decided that since I have three days to sew why not sew something I wanted as well as something from the plan.  So this afternoon, this fabric:

plus this inspirational dress:

will become another version of the BurdaStyle 09-2005-115 dress just with 3/4 length sleeves. It's getting cold here and I do NOT like being cold!

On another Burda note...I bought my copy of the December 2010 magazine Wednesday morning...last night while watching television I perused it.  I know that there have been some complaints about some of the crafts showcased in the magazine but I have to say that I thought the gift ideas compiled for this issue were quite charming.  But I guess what I liked most is that the magazine is chock full of embellishment patterns that can be copied and enlarged and added to garments at a future date...look for them because I saw some interesting embellishments!  *LOL*  ...some that were in the back of my mind to be included on a dress or two...

I did partake in one more fabric is offering anywhere from 20 - 30% off their fabric depending upon how much fabric you I restocked some of my basic colored rayon bemberg linings.  I love that I can order it and have it shipped to my apt instead of having to schlep it out of NYC!  However, I still buy special colors from NY Elegance Fabrics...their selection is like rainbow heaven and when I want a special match, I head there first! They also sell it in 45" and 60" widths.

Well I'm off to sew...I've got some Mountain Dew...some DVDs and no plans for the rest of weekend...since the SO is working all weekend...

...more later!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Pinstripe Follies

I was digging around in the Fabric Closet last weekend.  Originally I was planning on putting the pieces that fell down from the top shelf back on the shelf because it's getting a little difficult to manuever in there.  However, when I went to put a piece on the top, this piece of blue wool crepe fell down:

What was interesting about that is at the same time this piece fell down too:

...and they went together so well that I think they planned that appearance in my life!  *LOL*  Neither piece have been in the closet long so I think they have a lot of chutzpah to cut the line in front of some of the older pieces but cut the line they did!  This combination is 15 yards of fabric...that's a lot of pieces...and the opportunity to make some really kewl garments for my fall/winter plan. 

Only it evolved.  After a couple of hours of digging around in the fabric closet and playing with different fabric combinatons, this is the composition of fabrics I ended up with...I will use them to make the 13/14 garments that will make up this wardrobe.

I've named this plan "The Pinstripe Follies" since the pinstripe fabric is the basis of the collection.  It will contain the following pieces:

Blue/Grey Pinstripe fabric ~
*Jacket (pattern TBD)
*Lined Pants (from TNT pattern)
*Vest w/collar (Vogue 7944)
*Straight lined skirt (ala Tracy Reese pattern - using my TNT pattern)
*Bolero Jacket - Vogue 7617
*Two Tone Dress - from TNT dress pattern (print top/grey pinstripe skirt)

Blue Wool Crepe ~
*Sheath dress (TNT dress pattern)
*4 gore skirt (Simplicity 5914)
*Straight lined skirt (TNT pattern)

Blue/Gray Paisley Print Wool Jersey ~
*Cardigan (Burda 8869)

Sweatery Blue Fabric ~
*Cardigan (Burda 8869)

Dark Blue Print Poly Charmeuse ~
*Blouse (Simplicity 2566)

Grey Hat Print Poly Charmeuse ~
*Sewing Workshop Mission Tank w/tie
*Top of TNT print dress

I have one piece of fabric in reserve, I'm not sure if I really want to use the fabric, but if during this process I decide that I want to add it, I probably will.  I'm really excited about this collection because it has quite a few of my favorite patterns, some new ones, an interesting color combination that will work quite nicely at my job and garments that I am comfortable wearing.

The most important thing to note is that all of these fabrics are from the fabric closet.  I thought about purchasing a shirting fabric from Fabric Mart but I have more than enough here and mixed with tops currently in my closet, I think I don't need to add anything else. 

I will begin constructing these pieces during this three day weekend...hopefully I can knock a few of them out so that I will have some new additions to my work wardrobe which can be worn next week.

Finally to all my friends in the US, I am wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope your day is full of good food, family, fun and football!  To everyone who has a family member serving overseas, please know that my prayers are with them as they perform one of the most honorable tasks, serving in uniform and protecting our country and our freedoms. 

Tomorrow I will be with my family enjoying their company and making new memories...all of my daughters, their significant others and my grandchildren will be with me, as well as, my mom and my sister and brother's families.  Friday morning I will start to sew... always, more later!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Fabric Tale

Last week the hardworking, fabric hoarding, Little Seamstress received an email from her most favoritist online fabric store in the world offering 20% off the entire website.  It came in the midst of a very hectic day at her real world job of slaving for the IB trolls, and just getting the email filled her with such glee and anticipation of the wondrous fabric shopping ahead.

She could barely wait to get home that night to turn on her computer and peruse the amazing fibers that sang so beguilingly to her.  It took her several hours to compile and whittle down her list of only the most special-est fabrics to come to her house and finally in the wee hours of the morning (8 minutes after 12am to be exact), she typed her credit card number in and hit send...  The hardworking Little Seamstress went to bed with visions of fabric dancing in her head.

The next day the Little Seamstress woke with a smile on her face and went off to her day job slaving for the IB trolls.  But miracles upon miracles, there was an email from her most favoritist online fabric store in the early afternoon (3:48pm to be exact) stating that her fabric had shipped.  How wonderous was this?  How awesome that her order had shipped not more than 24 hours after being placed!  Now there would be fabric goodness awaiting her upon her return from work on Monday evening because one of the things that the hardworking Little Seamstress loves best is the one day shipping from Fabric Mart.

But miracles upon miracles, the hardworking Little Seamstress' fabric arrived on Saturday afternoon.  After quickly sending a most gratified hallelujah to the fabric gods, the Little Seamstress carried her box into the house and with baited breathe carefully sliced the box open.  And magically there tumbled out beautiful shades of bamboo knit in very generous cuts that took her breathe away...and then the double faced wool in orange and gray that is such fine quality it makes her want to weep...and as she reaches her hand into the box to pull out the last piece...a cloud is not the coordinating orange/grey stripe but a cranberry/gray stripe instead.

Oh what to do? What to do?  It's Saturday afternoon and there is no one to call at her most favoritist fabric store.  The hardworking Little Seamstress checks her receipt to confirm that yes she did order the gray/orange striped double faced wool knit.  Then she checks the strip of white tape on the fabric which confirms that yes, it does say that it should be the gray/orange piece but it's definitely cranberry/gray stripes.  After a harrowing weekend of constantly checking the website to make sure that the orange/grey stripes weren't sold out and a night of tossing and turning from the sheer worry of her dream outfit being thwarted...

The hardworking Little Seamstress contacted the most wonderous shopworkers at Fabric Mart first thing Monday morning...and tada!  They did have the 2.5 yards the Little Seamstress needed to complete her outfit!  And tada they would ship it out right away!  And tada they didn't even want the cranberry/gray doublefaced wool knit piece back...they said to donate it or keep it myself.  Aren't they just the best, most amazing, most wonderous fabric store on the planet!?!

And because they are...and because they let me keep the piece...I am going to share it with you my dear readers!  That's right...I'm going to pass the piece on!  But here's the catch and please dear U.S. readers in the spirit of giving that reflects upon Thanksgiving understand...I am opening this drawing to overseas readers ONLY!  We, here in the U.S. and Canada can partake of Fabric Mart's goodness anytime we want, but I have taunted and teased our fellow overseas readers for days, months, and years with the awesomeness that is Fabric Mart.

So if you are from anywhere besides the continental United States or its terrorities, yes that means if you are in Alaska, Hawaii or Puerto Rico you are not eligible for the drawing, please leave a message (including your email addy) and tell me why you would like to own this 2.5 yard - 60" wide piece of luscious double faced wool knit:

I will ship anywhere the random generator chooses.  You have until 6:00 pm Sunday, November 28, 2010 EST to leave your comment.  I will choose and announce a winner then and will ship it next week.  So let the praising begin!  *LOL* 

And the moral to this story...great customer service gets rewarded by me singing your praises here in my little corner of fabricaholicness!  If you haven't purchased from Fabric Mart yet, please visit their site or their YouTube Channel and shop until you drop!  Especially now that they are offering 20% off their entire website!

...more later!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Simplicity 2958 - Done!

Finally!  I've managed to get a completed jacket from this pattern.  So pictures first:

SWAP beige wool crepe dress w/jacket

Another shot of dress w/jacket

Back view


2 yards of woven boucle from Parons Fabrics
2 yards rayon bemberg lining

5 - 7/8" domed cranberry buttons
5 - 1" snaps
Rayon hem tape

I feel like I've been blogging about this jacket forever!  As you know the first version out of the black doubleknit was a fail.  And this version has had button drama - but it's done and will be worn to work next week.  This is a short week so I won't be "dressing" for work.

Some construction details:

The jacket is fully lined.  No, the pattern doesn't call for lining and I ended up improvising and honestly jerry rigging the lining.  Because I chose to line the sleeves separately from the body of the jacket, using the Nancy Zieman method of lining just the sleeves...

I forgot that without a collar and a facing piece there would be no way to cover the raw edges at the sleeve/neckline edge. So I had to add a lining piece and then hand stitch everything down. 

Now I debated whether or not to share that with you...especially since you would never see it but I like to be real with my sewing and since lining jackets is not one of my strengths ~ it's definitely a hit or miss proposition ~ I wanted you to see that I truly jerry-rigged this lining.  Again this is a case of don't do what I do, sew better! *LOL*

I would like to make this jacket again and will definitely line it by bagging the lining.  I really should have thought that lining situation out better.  However, once I got the sleeves in and turned up, I liked it so much that I just let it be.  This way also required a lot of handsewing.  One of the things that I did think about was encasing the armhole in binding to cover the seam but when I attempted to apply it, it pulled horribly on the back of the jacket - so I let that idea go and went with the hand stitching.

The second challenge I had with this jacket and one that almost made me throw it in the garbage - was that my machine would just not make buttonholes on the completed front.  No matter what I did, add paper beneath them...attempted to sew them from the inside out...change the order in which they were sewn...nuthin' worked.  Plus after removing all of those stitches a couple of times, I was worried that I was ruining the fabric because it is a loosely woven boucle.  I finally broke down and stitched the buttons down then added snaps. 

This jacket is in no way perfect.  But it's very wearable, comfortable and it achieves the look I was going for ~ so I'm content with it.  Also it works with two different dresses...the ivory silk twill dress and the beige wool crepe SWAP dress, plus a pair of beige wool crepe pants in my wardrobe. 

The coordinating cranberry dress never materialized.  I just didn't feel like pushing the sewing this weekend...instead I started crocheting a scarf to go with my new winter coat.

A parting shot:

No photography goes on in my apt these days without The Little Prince getting involved.  He's learned to say "cheese" and does it everytime a camera comes out! *LOL* always, more later!

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Button Journey

Back to the Simplicity Jacket that's sitting waiting to be finished...

It needed buttons and I didn't have anything (can you believe it?!) in my extensive button stash!  And since the jacket needs button jewelry I decided to hit up M&J after work to see if I could find something special.  I brought home two choices:

paperclip buttons

leather flowers

But I was really unhappy with both choices...the buttons kind of melted into the fabric.  They are both amazing buttons and I will probably use them on future garments but not exactly what I was looking for.  So I remembered that LindsayT did a blog post on Botani Buttons and I decided that I would venture down there at lunchtime and see if I could find something better.

This time though I took the time to look at a few button sites to get a better idea of what kind of button I was looking armed with a picture of the jacket and a few new ideas I took the A train down to Times Square and walked over to 36th Street. 

I don't know if I've ever been in Botani Buttons before but people I'm in love!  LindsayT did not exaggerate the wonders that is this button shop.  It actually reminds me of how the button shops use to look in the district before they started to disappear.  The shop has one section totally devoted to handbag fixings, locks in all shapes, sizes and metals, chains, feet...seriously, I have never seen so many different kinds of feet for the bottom of a handbag! 

Moving to the next room, I was in button heaven.  There are buttons in boxes lining the walls.  There are tables of buttons in all shapes, colors, sizes, geometric shapes...*sigh*  Natural materials like shell and coconut buttons...plastics in amazing colors...buttons covered in rhinestones...and buttons on rounders like at the craft store...I got a bowl and started to shop...and then I started to edit...cause I went a little crazy! *LOL*  I was in button heaven, y'know! 

These are the choices that came home with me today:

These golden ones have a scored center

these wooden ones add a nice pop of color
but DD#2 didn't like them on the jacket

and these cranberry domed plastic buttons

One of the choices from today will go on the jacket because I wanted more of a pop of color, something that stood out against the busy fabric of the jacket.  But I have to tell you that Botani Buttons will now be my go to shop for buttons.  The women in the store were way more helpful than the staff in M&J (which is a constant problem there) it must be me right?  No one else gets ignored and basically brushed off when they are being helped, right?  Whereas in Botani, they answered questions, looked for prices and offered thoughtful opinions on my button choices.  Just how I prefer Daytona Trimmings or Pacific for purchasing trims...I will use Botani for buttons.  That other place isn't the only game in town, y'know! 

I didn't mean to turn this into a mini rant, I really just wanted you to encourage you to visit Botani the next time you are in the city.  Bring a list because any button or finding that you need can be found right here!  Two more quick things...and then I'm out.  The store is well lit and well organized ~ two really big pluses to me besides the great customer service and outrageous supply.  Lastly, not only do they cover buttons and buckles but they dye them to match too!  Somehow I missed that fact when I read Lindsay's review.

The jacket will be finished up this weekend and I have a piece of cranberry doubleknit that I want to use to make a dress to go with it.  Guess the fact that I have so much in my wardrobe that matches the jacket doesn't matter, does it!  *LOL*  I need a new piece!

It's a short work week...since this year I took a vacation day for the friday after Thanksgiving and I will be avoiding the Black Friday sales.  I will be safely esconced at home working on a sewing project...which one?  I haven't a clue...but I will work that out this week...

...more later!

Fabric P*rn

My apologies to anyone who reads my blog that is not in the United States or Canada...actually you might want to just click out right now...I'll take a minute so that you can go...

Okay now for everyone else...Fabric Mart has developed a channel on You Tube where they actually show you the fabric.  So for anyone who hesitates to purchase fabric online...they move it, they take close ups of it...they describe it in terms we all understand...and after you see it...well you need a cigarette, y'know what I mean.

To top it all off, after you've gone through and looked at all of the luscious fabrics...Fabric Mart is offering 20% off the entire website with a few exclusions...but seriously, you want bamboo knit - 20% off, the couture silks - 20% off, and that amazing border print (which is still available - follow the link by clicking on border print) I used for the flower power twinset - 20% off, everything is 20% off!

I'm not affiliated with Fabric Mart, I just love their here's the link to the Fabric P*rn - oops I meant the Fabric Mart YouTube Channel...*snicker, snicker* and here's the link to the website.  If you want a sneak peek, I have uploaded a video to my sidebar, under my favorite sewing spots.

Shop, enjoy, and remember to breathe!

...more later!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I'm Done with Dancing with the Stars...

If you've been reading along for anytime you know that I LOVED Dancing with the Stars.  I've faithfully watched since Season 2 - cheering along the winners, crying with the losers, and only sometimes picking the winner.  I love the costumes.  I love the mirror ball trophy.  I love the fact that celebrities and reality stars (just in the last few seasons!) have come on the show and learned to ballroom dance.  I love how the artform of dance is celebrated.

But Tuesday night was the last time I will watch this show because Brandy was voted off instead of Bristol Palin. Now before anyone starts with the nonsense associated with politics, my disgust has nothing to do with politics.  It has to do with talent and even though Bristol worked hard, I just don't believe that her dancing was on par with Jennifer Gray's, Kyle Massey's and Brandy's.  I truly believe that it made a mockery of that beautiful artform. 

For all those who voted for Bristol because she is a regular person...ummm no she isn't.  Because regular folks aren't asked and PAID to dance on this show.  If they were, both you and I could apply to be on the show and it would be called "Dancing with the Regular Folks" not Dancing with the Stars.  And for those who say well maybe you should have voted....ummm, I did regularly.

But even more than the fact that mediocrity took the day...the fact that people celebrate it and no longer want to achieve their best is beyond me.  Bristol's dancing was not in the same league as Jennifer's, Kyle's and yes, Brandy's.  So I won't be watching DWTS next week or ever again.  I get to vote one more time and I will by turning the channel on my watching another show with different not encouraging this travesty!

I am sure that some of you will think that this is an overreaction, but it's similar to the feelings that a fan has when his team loses the Super Bowl, the World Series or the NBA Finals...only I can't say maybe next year...I can only shake my head and protest in the way I see fit.

You asked...and I answered!

Audrey left this comment on my last post:
"I am really interested in what kind of interfacing, if any, you used in this soft sweatery look jacket. I have some similar, loosely woven tweeds that I would like to make into jackets and whether or not to use interfacing on these types of fabrics has me stumped."

I was looking to make a soft, sweatery type jacket.  Something a little more structured than my cardigans but still soft and comfortable like a sweater. To get that effect, I decided NOT to interface the body of the jacket because I didn't want to lose the soft drapability that this fabric offers.  However, I did interface the heck out of the stresspoints.

For example, here is the jacket front:

front with silk organza on the center front

back with fusible knit interfacing

Not only is there interfacing at the raglan sleeves but also at the neckline...and I added a piece of silk organza in the front band to give it a flexible stiffness which will allow me to make firm buttonholes but not alter the hand of the fabric...there is also interfacing at the hemline.

The sleeve is interfaced at all of the stresspoints ~ the hemline, the armholes and the top.

I used 1" or 5/8" strips cut from Pro-Weft Fusible interfacing purchased from Pam at  Yes, this involved alot of pressing but I have to tell you that assembling this puppy was a breeze because with everything interfaced, there was no worry about stretching any of the seams out during the construction process.

Here is where the jacket stands now ~ and I would like to thank Lulu for standing in for me:

I'm headed to the garment district this week because I want a really spectacular closing to add some wow to the front of the jacket.  I already have two dresses that will work with this jacket, a pair of pants and a skirt so I don't have to make any accompanying pieces.  Once it's finished it will be ready to be worn...

I have to tell you that if I was attempting to make one of the collarless set-in sleeve jackets that I featured a few posts back, I would have either fuse blocked ALL of the jacket pieces or taken the fabric to be fused in NYC and then cut the pieces out.  To get that look with this particular piece of fabric it would have needed a lot of interfaced support.

Julie C. asked:
"Won't the addition of 2" to the front and back make the neckline too large?"

No the additional inches made the jacket fronts overlap and allowed the back to lay flat.  After measuring, the "too many dislikes" jacket, I realized that I needed to add inches to not only the front but the back of the jacket to give it the look I wanted.  There might have been some challenges if I had added the collar but it was included in the dislike category!

This is where I am now...there is quite a bit of hand sewing that needs to be done and I have to find the "perfect" closures for the jacket. 


Finally, I wanted to say a very heartfelt thank you for all of the lovely compliments that everyone left on the Birthday Gala Dress.  It is so nice to know that fellow sewists appreciate your work especially when you pour your heart and soul into a garment.  Thanks so much!

...more later!


Monday, November 15, 2010

In Search of a Relaxed Fit Jacket

Even though I featured several versions of a collarless jacket with set-in sleeves in my last post, in actuality I prefer a jacket with raglan sleeves.  I don't know if it has to do with how much activity I do during the day at work or the fact that I have very plump biceps but I am just more comfortable in a raglan sleeve jacket.

So yesterday when I was trying to figure out what to work on next, I saw this really cute sweater jacket on Dillards' site and I thought that's what I really want!  A jacket that has that soft, sweatery look and is slightly more constructed than the cardigans I adore but will still work with the dresses, skirts and pants in my wardrobe.  To that end, I went rumbling around in the fabric closet looking for a great tweedy knit to use for my version of the Dillards' sweater jacket.

Up on the top shelf of the closet this piece winked at me:

Now this piece has been in the closet for at least five years and I truly thought it was a knit.  So I grabbed it...pulling down several other pieces in the process...convinced that it was a knit and would make a great sweater jacket.  Only after getting it into my hands did I realize that it was a very soft tweedy WOVEN.

Did that stop me from using this fabric, heck no!  Obviously it was time to leave it's flat fold status behind and move into the 3D world!  What I actually said to my daughter was that if it worked out fine...and if it didn't that was okay too because I have plenty more understatement right?! *LOL*

Now I've been promising an update of the black doubleknit version of Simplicity 2958 jacket...but the problem is that I really don't like this jacket as is...and I have no motivation to make it better because...

~ it's too short
~ it annoys me that it doesn't close in the front
~ the sleeves are too short
~ and I don't like the funny little collar

...this jacket has wadder written all over it...but I hate wadders.  I always try to rescue them or rework them but I'm crying uncle on this one because it has way too many "don't likes."  However, I am still intrigued by the jacket pattern primarily because of the raglan sleeves.  So what to do?  Why alter the heck out of the pattern to get the look that I want.

The Pattern Alterations:

* I added 2" at the waistline on both the front and back pattern pieces.

* An additional 2" were added to the hemline of both the front and back pieces.

* Two inches were added to the center front of the jacket front.

* I also added 2" to the center back piece.

So here is what the front piece looked like out of the envelope:

and here is the altered front piece:

The back piece out of the envelope:

the final back piece:

I know I originally said that this pattern would work for me right out of the envelope...and I guess it would if I wanted a too short, too tight, funny looking jacket (if you aren't catching it I'm saying I was wrong here people! *LOL*)...but the pattern alterations make it much more appropriate for me now.

Since I'm such a tease and this post is getting quite long, I will leave you with a picture of the jacket...and talk about the construction of said jacket in the next post...

I guess I wanted complicated rather than easy after all... always, more later!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

What Next?

I know I want to sew ~ but what?  The simple project that seemed such a sure fire bet several days ago seems boring after the adventure of sewing the Birthday Gala Dress.  I really want to begin sewing my FWPlan for November but don't really know what piece to start with...

...and I have a real hankering to make a jacket, like this one:

photo courtesy of Newport News

I even have several patterns and a TNT pattern that I think needs a little adjusting...but tho' I have the desire, I don't have the fortitude.  I know I need to work on something not as involved as my last project, but I also need to start my November sewing because I only have today, next weekend & Thanksgiving weekend and November is over...can you believe that?  November will be over soon...and then it will be December and Christmas...but I digress.

I've collected quite a few of these inspirational jacket pictures: 

Issac Mitzrah

Dolce & Gabbana/Nordstroms

All I have to decide is do I want to wade back into the sewing waters with such an elaborate garment or do I want to make something simple?  I just don't know... more later!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Birthday Gala Dress goes to a P-A-R-T-Y!

Me in the dress:

Me in my coat going out the door:

Scenes from the P-A-R-T-Y:

Me and my Mom

My daughter Adrienne, my friend Carol,
me, and my daughter Cristina

Carol and I during the cocktail hour

My sister's name begins with a "C" too
so instead of candles she had her initial on the cake

My brother, my sister and me

My sister in the center with my daughters

Me and my daughters

The dress held up well, though I did step on the hem at the end of the evening and pulled a thread.  But the DJ was pumping and my brother and I were hustling so it was fine!  A grand time was had by all and I was very happy with my dress!

I'm sleeping in tomorrow...and maybe, I'll sew on Sunday...maybe!  *LOL*


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