Saturday, November 19, 2011

It's done!

Okay. I'm a tad bit late with the post, but no one cares I'm sure! So I finished up Friday night late before the Fashion Show on Saturday, the fifth. It is okay. There are a few places I don't like that will be fixed before I make this the next time. I like the fit, I like the lines, but I'll take out the little pleats at the pocket before I do the next version. I also hate the way the hem is done, and I'll change that on the next version. The idea was to get a pattern that fit, and that was accomplished!

I had a wonderful time at the Fashion Show and got many compliments. It was nice to get a chance to see all of my sewing friends and chat and catch up! As a matter of fact, I got so excited about finishing this jacket, I started on the next one on Saturday night after I got home. I'm still working out the bugs on the Simplicity jacket, which I have modified beyond belief. I decided it needed to be lined, so drafted a lining for it, which set me back about a week.

At this point in time, it's almost complete. I have to install the shoulder pads, and then do the hems, buttonholes, and buttons, and it's done! It's a teal green linen-rayon blend from Joanns that was inexpensive, but I knew I had to have it when I saw it. I have several greenish cotton prints to make tops out of that will go with it quite well.

I'm really excited about sewing again. I have plans for so many garments swirling around in my brain that I expect I'll be sewing in all my spare time for the next several months at least! I am switching American Sewing Guild chapters from Santa Rosa to Walnut Creek due to the move. It will work out amazingly well for me I think as they do the monthly meetings on Saturdays during the day instead of Monday nights, and there is a Neighborhood Group in Suisun City that's about a mile or so from our house two nights a month. Woo Hoo! Fitting help and a way to meet new sewing friends. Very nice for me.

Well, here's the Fashion Show jacket:

I've joined in a SWAP (Sewing with a Plan) over at Artisan's Square site, so will be doing my next several garments on that blog. It's called Lynda's Sewing and SWAPs. Hope to see you there!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Summer Sewing Adventure Part 4

In order to be able to go back and re-alter the alterations if needed, I trace the pattern off. In this instance, there are also several separate patterns for fashion fabric, interlining, lining, and interfacings. That's a lot of tracing and checking and re-checking to being sure the alterations carry through to all of the pieces!

With this project, I have learned something very interesting about myself. When I am uncertain about something, I have a tendency to procrastinate! I am telling myself it's my way of getting things settled in my head before I proceed, but that may not be absolutely true!

If you choose to make this jacket, you may want to note that the instructions with this pattern are less than ideal! I have been moving back and forth between View A, the hand tailored instructions, and View B, the fusible instructions, and at times have just pulled the pattern pieces out to experiment with them to figure out what the instructions intend to portray.

At the point where you have the basic shell completed, sans sleeves, they recommend you try it on to check the fit. Since I've learned over the years to have a picture taken of the front, back, and sides to look at fit, I had to wait until Dale was available during the day to take the pictures. I'm glad I didn't overlook this step! The additions I made to the hip area were a little too much. There was some excess that needed to be eliminated. Back to frog sewing… rip, rip, rip. And then I redid the side front and side back seams with the adjustments that we determined from pin fitting after the ripping.

At this stage, I've copied off the pieces needed for the lining, and am working on that step. Several of the pattern pieces tell you to "cut here for lining," but in reality, you need to make a separate pattern piece because several of those areas are slightly curved. Once the lining is complete, it will be down to just the collar, multiple facings, and the finishing.

After that, Fashion Show, here I come!

Pictures of the "first fitting" and the front piece with the markings.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Just Realized

I never put up swatches of the fabrics so you could all drool and be jealous of my forthcoming beautiful jacket.
I finally got started and have the back put together.
Here are a few pictures as I'm fusing and marking:

Lining Fabric:

Jacket Fabric:

Fusing and marking:

Thursday, September 22, 2011

My Excellent summer sewing adventure Part 3

So I finally figured out I was afraid to cut into this beautiful fabric because I didn't want to ruin it. Duh! I've had it around for about 10 years plus waiting for the right project. This is it. Time to get moving. Even if my sewing isn't perfect, at least it will fit right, and I'll have the best fitting jacket I've ever owned.

So I started cutting and fusing today. I'm going very slowly and deliberately.
Part of perfect sewing is perfect marking. So I have taken each pattern piece, and punched out the dots with either my sewing hole punch, or a darning needle for the small holes. The diamond got cut out. All darts are marked. I'm trying to be as precise as possible. Then I am cutting out a piece, fusing it, then pinning the pattern back to the fused fabric and doing as precise of tailor's tacks as I can. This should be enormously helpful in getting pieces put together exactly right.

Onward and upward!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Finally! Back to Vogue 8333

Okay. Work got extremely busy, as happens when the interest rates drop. I've worked the last 14 or so days straight, so didn't get to sew. The sitting really bothers my knee so I'm wearing a brace most days and icing it at least a part of each day.

But I worked like crazy yesterday so got a half day off, and FINALLY I got to get started on my jacket. Finished up some alterations and figured out that I'm going to do fusible for my first one due to time constraints. I promised I'd have this ready to wear for our ASG Fashion Show in mid November. That means I need to get on the stick so I can do this carefully and follow directions well for a change. That means being deliberate and hopefully not having to do frog stitching. Rip it, rip it, rip it!

Today I realized I'm kind of scared to start this project. The fabric is a beautiful silk tweed, and I have a silk charmeuse for a lining. I really don't want to mess it up, but I figure I need to get moving, so here I go. If I do something not exactly right, no one will probably know but me. If some of my ASG friends see it, they will know because they've probably made similar mistakes! :P}}

So I'm starting on the back as there were fewer alterations and I can get that moving fairly quickly. The back always has a separate piece for the lining as it is done differently with an ease pleat at the top. This particular pattern calls for using the side back and the side piece for the lining and just cutting them shorter. I did make a separate piece for the lining for the side back and will probably continue making the separate pieces throughout the jacket parts just so I don't have to remember to cut them differently. The front and side front have very different pieces for lining, so the front lining needs alterations to match the front that I altered, and I'll copy the side front piece for the lining to be separate too. It's pretty different and would be easy to mess up.

Had to search for a while for my interfacing, but got super lucky. If you're doing the fusible jacket, she calls for fusing a lightweight knit interfacing to most of it. I found some old interfacing that is much better quality than you can buy most places now. It's from Handler Textiles, when they still had Stacy brand, and it's Fusi Knit. It was good quality stuff. I usually buy all of my interfacing from Pam Erny's web store, but I was out of the white knit, so was happy to find the Fusi Knit in my supplies. I have another box of interfacing somewhere, but that has yet to surface. So I have parts of the interfacing cut out and ready to go. Hopefully tomorrow I'll get to cut out the matching jacket pieces so I can get moving forward to this project.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

My Excellent summer sewing adventure Part 2

Well, the summer got off to an interesting start. We had been looking at areas for our "pre-retirement" home for a while. We knew we wanted to be near water so we could launch our boat fairly quickly, and I knew it couldn't be in Sonoma County as I really like to breathe and the allergens here are more than I can handle. So in a quick fit of insanity, we found a house, packed, downsized by 1/3, and moved. During the process, I wrenched my knee, which turned out to be a pretty major sprain, and we're looking at about 12 weeks for full recovery, about 6 of which I've already completed. We still have way too much stuff crammed into our house, and tubs of fabrics and boxes and boxes of other things remain in the garage. I am periodically trying to find something, and realizing, "it's in a box in the garage." Unfortunately several of my helpers were not terrific about labeling, and just shoved anything that would fit into the same box. It's going to take a while!

Right now, I have sewing things in a couple of rooms and my garage. I don't think I realized how much I had acquired over the last ten years, but it is considerable. If you think about moving your sewing stash, sewing equipment, and all the rest, it can be a little daunting to say the least. At this point, I'm more or less set up and ready to sew. I get to start with the additional jacket alterations today, on a limited basis.

At the June meeting, as Billie Jane looked at my muslin, we knew there were sleeve issues as well as collar issues. The sleeves were split at the elbow because I also needed a bit at the elbow, two slashes made to the sleeve cap so it wouldn't be too much in one area, and additional width was added into both slits from the elbow to the sleeve cap. The collar adjustment was fairly straight forward with just removing some height due to my short neck. She finished those adjustments, stood back, and asked the group if there were any other adjustments needed that they could see. Lo and behold, there were some additional adjustments needed.

For my particular body, I had done a full bust adjustment adding 1/2" length to 1" in width as I'd learned in a class on a totally different subject. For the jacket, I needed a 1:1 ratio. So some length was added from the center front across to the side princess seam in a wedge. Billie Jane also noted that the lapels on the collar were gapping a little at the neckline~ more so on one side than the other due to a slight size difference. She indicated that I could pull it up with a tape along the roll line, or ideally, cut the lapel in a wedge, eliminating a slight amount from the outside edge in to the roll line of the lapel. Voila! The gapping was gone. I'll also need to shorten the sleeves quite a bit once the other alterations are completed. That will be done at home on my own. Due to my height, I have done a lot of shortening over the years!

So today starts the alterations. I'm going to have to be deliberate in doing my alterations as there are separate patterns for fashion fabric, interlining, lining, and interfacings. That's going to be a lot of alterations before I get done. I will have to rest a bit throughout the day as the Physical Therapist indicated that I shouldn't stand for extended periods of time. I'll let you know how it goes!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Guess I need to change the name now!

Well, lots has happened in the last few months. Not much sewing, but lots of other things. We're in our "pre-retirement" home now. Moved to Suisun City with an 18 month lease to be sure we're where we want to be before we go ahead and actually buy a place. Don't need any more mistakes at this point in our lives for sure!

Today I'm finally starting my super new jacket. I got to be the "model" for a fitting class at ASG in June and our instructor got my sleeves and collar adjusted on my muslin to fit my own unique shape and body. And then she did a few more things also to make the fit of the entire jacket even better. As of now, I need to incorporate her changes into my pattern and then I'm off.

Have a beautiful blue and green silk tweed, and I found a fantastic silk charmeuse lining that matches wonderfully. This weekend I hope to start cutting out and tailoring my new jacket. I'll try to keep you posted!