Monday, November 24, 2008

15 Years in the Making (con't.)

From the beginning, this suit was always intended to be used when I'm directing (currently, that would be H.S. band). I chose it for all the interest on the back since that's what most people will see during a concert. It took so long because everytime I looked at it all I could see was pleats, pleats, and more pleats! I finally cut it out last year and it was one of the key pieces that sat in pieces for an entire year. The fact I've done so many fast and easy garments lately, and have settled in to a comfortable sewing schedule gave me the energy to finally put it together.

You're going to have to be satisfied with headless shots and "silhouettes" for the pictures of me wearing it. (I'm still not feeling 100%.) Detail shots are on the dress form.

My original plan was to have the long version of the skirt, but I was missing my short black skirt earlier this fall and sacrificed this one. (I mean, I cut off the excess when I got ready to sew it up.) I think the longer version would be a little more flattering. Oh well, just another excuse to buy more fabric!

My button problem was that originally I didn't place the top button high enough. So I switched to smaller buttons (tacked the ends of my button wholes to shorten them), added a three more buttonholes (one above, and two in between the existing two). I'm still not perfectly satisfied with their placement, but it's better than it was.

Thought I'd try something new and put the pictures of my construction details in a photobucket slideshow. Tell me what you think.

I'm so relieved to have this jacket done. I'll let you know how it works in the near future.

Happy Thanksgiving-time sewing to all!

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Winter Coat Saga

(Details of the black suit are coming, but I've been sick for two days and am not ready to get a picture of the entire suit yet.)

I had these grand illusions of sewing-along with all the GCSA participants and happily trotting out in my new garment the minute the temperature went below 40 degrees. Okay, I knew that was really not going to happen and my beautiful coat fabrics have been hiding all summer...and fall.

Guess what? The temps have dropped and I need a new coat, now!

One reason I haven't cut into it earlier is because I kept changing my mind about the pattern. I want an updated version of a tan wool coat the I've had for...dare I say, decades? At least one decade, more like a decade-n-a-half. First, it was going to be this OOP Vogue that I've had for some time. Then, everytime I turned around I saw a vintage pattern I wanted, including the one I used on the coat I was replacing. (Believe me, I was tempted!) I love the oversized feel of Vogue 9931 and the buttons all the way up to the neck (I hate it when the wind sneaks into that spot!). Then I saw Butterick 5078 and loved the silhouette, really loved the raglan sleeves, and the big pockets. Then a couple of weeks ago I was checking out the new Butterick patterns and fell in love with this.
Even after making the last purchase, I was still undecided. Until last week. I took my scissors to the fabric with the new Butterick pattern.

Did I make the right decision? Check back after Thanksgiving break and let me know what you think!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

15 Years in the Making

It's the black suit! (Made the skirt a month ago.)From the first day I purchased this pattern in (ahem) 1993, I intended to make a black suit. Well I just, almost, finished. I thought I was finished but I messed up the button placement - and I never mess up the button placement! There is a Plan B, but I'm done working on it tonight. More details to come.

Why'd it take so long? Here's a hint:

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Needle Does Matter

This is what I wore to church today.
This is what I wanted to wear to church last week.

I couldn't wear it last weekend because of sewing machine, well, umm, operator error. Last weekend I was on a roll, really living up to my blog moniker. (The bulk of my work was on a jacket that won't be blog ready until next week.) You know how you kind of envision all the steps to making a garment in your head? Well, I figured that I had just enough time to sew a knit top and skirt, probably long before we had to leave for church the next morning. Top goes together in a snap and is soooo comfy! Skirt goes well until I'm ready to sew the side seams. At least a half hour of frustration ensues. The bobbin is a mess every time I sew. So I put it away and started trying to figure out when I'll could bring it in to be serviced. That never happened. Yesterday evening I tackled it again. This time the bobbin thread wasn't even locking with the top thread! As a last resort before packing it up I changed the needle and got the most beautiful stitches I've ever seen (okay, that an exaggeration but - what a relief)!

That's the story behind the garments; these are the actual sewing details. The fabric is a poly knit jersey and both patterns are for woven fabrics. I used this pattern for the top. The center seam is visually distracting but necessary for the dolmen sleeve. I extended the turtleneck (cause I like 'em tall 'n tight), eliminated the opening in the back and made the separate tie/bow. I interfaced both sides of the bow. It turned out way too bulky and the bow itself just got lost in the print - instead I used it for the skirt waistband! The neckline has enough give to fit over my head without a back opening, but I will probably go back in and make the turtleneck a little tighter, it's still a little loose for me.

I've been looking for a flattering knit skirt pattern that wasn't the usual gored skirt. And I have to say, I'm not a big fan of an elastic waistband - just one of those things. This pattern is from 1995, and yes, I'm the original owner! Honestly, I don't even remember making it before, but it was cut so... Anyway, I'm intimidated by how a bias skirt looks on me but thought this would be okay in a knit. I didn't cut it on the bias and ended up (a little short on fabric) cutting it with a CB seam. Originally I cut it to have an elastic waist, but when the bow didn't work out on the top I decided to add the waistband. I did move the zipper to the CB since the seam was already there and a side zipper in an a-line knit, well, I just didn't want to deal with that. I interfaced the seam allowances at the zipper opening. I also basted fusible web at the hem, pressed the hem into place and then used my blind hem stitch to secure.

Hopefully, I'll be posting again next weekend with my completed black suit! I've been so busy with school - and having so much fun - just can't seem to make room for blog posts!