Saturday, March 14, 2020

An Oldie but Goodie

I own a lot of sewing books.  I started collecting pre-Internet, when books were the way to learn new sewing techniques. Because I'm preconditioned to look for an answer in a book first, I've kept every one I've bought.


Grace (wzrdreams on IG) was sharing in her stories on IG, some of the patterns she picked up at the Pattern Swap during MPD on March 7th. One of the patterns she showed, a Vogue Wardrobe Pattern from the early 2000's, I knew I owned. So I went scrambling through all the patterns to see if I could find it.

Then I found this...


...and I went looking for the book that accompanied these patterns. Sandra Betzina's, "No Time to Sew" published by Rodale Press in 1997.  


See I was looking for a simple vest pattern and it was in the book/patterns. Sometimes you have to kick it back to the oldie but goodie patterns. BTW, I didn't find the pattern I was originally looking for! *LOL*

Supplies ~
2 yards of a cable knit purchased from Jomars in Philadelphia
6 yards of black satin bias binding
A remnant of black faux leather
One 1" button

Pattern Alterations ~
I made a few alterations to make this more wearable for me.
- I lengthened the front and back pieces by 4" - 2" right under the arm and 2" in front of the
  second set of notches


- I added 1" to the side seam of the back piece and straightened out the curve


- I wanted a more boxy looking vest
- I added a 1/2" to the side seam of the front vest piece
- The pivot and slide technique was done to the back piece to give me an extra 4" at the hipline.



Design Alterations ~
I omitted the lining and the pockets suggested for the vest. There was also a batting suggestion where it was quilted between the fashion fabric and the lining. Not what I was looking for in this vest. I wanted a simple layering piece that was warm enough to work for winter and early spring. 



After cutting the pieces out and constructing them, I added bias binding to all the seams.

The next thing was whether to add a button and buttonhole to the front. I didn't want a conventional buttonhole and I used to put Faced Buttonholes on garments a lot back in the 90s.  Since this was a 90s pattern I decided to use a technique from the same time. I haven't made one in years, so I reviewed the process using my Lois Ericson book...


I made a sample first...


After I got a reasonable sample, I decided to go for it.

Mark the back of the vest and then add
basting around the markings

Cut a hole in the center and then trim around 
the edges, finally cut into each corner

Next I add Steam-A-Seam 2 to the back


o  The next step was to add the pleather pieces.
o  I cut 2-4" by 3" wide pieces of the pleather then pressed each one flat.
o  I placed both pieces on the back and pressed it down so the Steam-A-Seam would hold.
o  Flipped it over and made an adjustment to the lips of the faced buttonhole.
o  Added some pins to the surrounding area before stitching it down



This is the buttonhole after it was completed and it's just okay. I removed some of the extra stitching around it and left it. I use to make so many of these and realize I will need a little more practice to gain the finer points of the skill back.  It will do. It's not perfect and once buttoned you will never notice.

I decided to take a picture of the vest on the dress form and call it. I have a cut pile and moved on. I'm in the mood to sew and pictures take so much time. I will wear it with my black shirt, a pair of black jeans, and my black high top sneakers. 

Conclusion ~
Sometimes an oldie but goodie really works! Sometimes you need to throw it back - even if it is 23 years - to get the look you want. This is the first finished garment from my cut pile. The next post is about some wardrobe sewing I want to do for spring with garments from the cut pile. After that there will be more sewing from my cut pile.

Due to the Corvid-19 outbreak and how many people are infected in the NYC area, along with the request by the Governor and Mayor of NYC for companies to have employees work from home...I'm now working from home. I'm home until March 30th. The company is re-assessing then...so I'm working and I'm sewing while I'm practicing social distance. 

I may even start sewing some in the evenings since I've gained back three commuting hours. Because of that I just want to sew...not take pictures...crop pictures...edit pictures and download them to blog posts. Just sew. So hopefully there will be more blog posts in the future.

...as always more later!








31 comments:

  1. We are so on the same page right now, Carolyn. I just cut a vest from an older pattern in the stash to just has something warm and cuddly to wear around, nothing fancy. Next, I have Ericson's book and it is such an inspiration. Every now and then, like you, I pull it out and try one of her amazing closures. Great effort on your part. Hey you used some challenging fabrics for that BH with the faux leather and the thick knit. These are not easy BHs and you get an A for effort. I am down for a planning day tomorrow as teachers work their plans for down time with corona and the curriculum. We are waiting for the official announcement Monday. I have MAJOR sewing planned. Stay safe and germ free everyone.

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    1. Bunny - that Ericson book is a treasure trove of wonderful techniques AND nothing exists like it on the market today not with the detail and instructions she includes. Thank you for your A for effort because that's about all that buttonhole deserves! *LOL* And you're right, I did pick a fabric that was hard to use. Thank you for your kind comments!

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  2. Great job and I am fascinated with that buttonhole, I must do some research.

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    Replies
    1. ChrisT - I googled it to see if I could add a link and the one site that I found linkable, did not have as much information as the book. My suggestion would be to get a copy of the book if you can.

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    2. There are a variety of books that cover this button hole (most of them written by Erickson or Shaeffer or King). Threads probably has an article or three in their vaults on this one as well. Making a practice one is always a great idea.

      I love the 80s patterns. I haven't tossed a single one, including that one. I don't have the book. I will look into it.
      This vest is fab. As are you.

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    3. Thanks SJ! It probably is in one of those books because I own most of the books by Erickson & Shaeffer. This was the one I always think of first though. I know social media sends you to the shiny and new but I'm appreciating some of the old I've collected!

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  3. The 90s are back. I like the vest and it's funny how the garments on the front of that pattern look kind of modern. Stay well. Stay sewing. Life is kind of weird right now. Maybe we are all supposed to be slowing down a little.

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    1. Natasha - they do don't they! I agree that it seems like the universe is telling us all to take a step back and re-evaluate. No matter what nothing will be the same when we come out of this.

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  4. I love sewing books, too. Always fun to pull a couple out and poke around for inspiration! Wish you all the best while working from home.

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  5. I love seeing books, too, and keep buying them. That Rodale book looks so interesting.

    Thank you for your blog and the time you take to keep us all up to date.

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    Replies
    1. Julia - Rodale was an amazing sewing book resource and I was hurt when they stopped publishing sewing books. The quality of the paper, the size of the book and the sewing authors they featured was the best. If you can get your hand on this book and pattern I highly recommend it!

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  6. The shoulder pads on the Rodale book bring back such memories! Love the vest.

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    Replies
    1. It took me awhile to get rid of my stash of shoulder pads from that time because everything had a shoulder pad!

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  7. My kids laugh at me because I go to books first: sewing, cooking, whatever. You're right, the older directions don't need updating; if they worked then, they'll work now. I learned to install an invisible zipper from a Vogue sewing book from about 1969. Clear, concise directions and line drawings are great, because I don't get bogged down in the photographs. I just need the details for the task at hand.

    My sons are home for remote classes for at least 2 weeks, so it's going to be louder around here. I hope you enjoy your extra 3 hours a day, and enjoy your sewing.

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    Replies
    1. Marjie - that's just our generations fall back like it's this generations to check the internet first. I know you love a book as much as I do! I'm sure you're not minding the extra noise or company!

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  8. Whoa girl, that BH is just fantastic. Never seen that technique before. I know sometimes you just gotta sew and whats better than an idea translated into a superb garment to show off! We are very fortunate that we can do that. I wish more young (and olders) would get into the game.
    Keep on sewing and posting(at your leisure) Pegeth

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    Replies
    1. Peg - I'm feeling very blessed for the sewing cave these days. Prior to the pandemic I knew my cave was a little excessive but at this time, I'm thankful for everything I've crammed in here!

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  9. I have used this vest pattern for years, mostly for holiday vests: Christmas, Valentine's, Mardi Gras, etc. My pattern requires an FBA and over the years I've had to add side panels to older makes, so I can keep wearing them once a year. But I've had fun with it! Thank you for sharing your fun with it!

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    1. Brigid - I was shocked when I opened the pattern and realized that I've only used the skirt! I really like the tuxedo shirt and it might make an appearance before the year is over. So thrilled that this is your TNT vest pattern!

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  10. I only just discovered Sandra Betzina- found a copy of "Power Sewing" in a second-hand shop. Lots of practical advice! Love the look of the buttonhole-

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    1. Eric - I stumbled upon Sandra Betzina years ago when she wrote a newspaper column. I'm glad you were able to find a copy of her Power Sewing book. I think it's a good resource even now years later.

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  11. This is beautiful! Your post brings back memories of cutting those Sandra Betzina's columns out of the newspaper. I probably still have them somewhere!

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  12. Showing our age... but I have all those books plus a frightening number of others. I keep looking at them, wondering if it's time to give them up, but whenever I look through them, I find so much information, beautifully organized and explained. Sandra Betzina's Power Sewing books are amazing. Her fly front zipper is my default--nobody but nobody has done it better. As for those shoulder pads--I still have bags of them, but I'm using them slowly--Peggy Sagers is advocating for using them in jackets, and I think she's right. The internet with its instructions is fine, but I'll keep using my books!

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    1. Wendy when it comes to my sewing stuff I have a hoarders heart. I find it hard to let any of it go because I always end up looking for it later. Other things no problem throwing out or letting go, even clothes but the materials to make them...not so much! *LOL*

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  13. Books still have their place.

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  14. Hello from Australia. I am actually going to carefully read through my books rather than just rushing to the appropriate section. The Govt is looking into the internet connection speeds, as with lots working from home and maybe children home schooling, there will be lots of demands on it. We may have to resort to actual ........ books. Happy sewing, love to read the blog.

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    1. Sam I'm sure you're right! I'm sure that as more and more people use the internet, there will be those of us grateful for a book to answer a question!

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  15. That is so cute! I have that pattern and have never done anything with it. I love the fabric too! Awesome!

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  16. I've got No Time To Sew too. I never get rid of my sewing books; you just never know. I look forward to your increased blogging; much for fun than the latest on Corona.

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