27 September 2015

Catching Up...Again!

Where is the time going?!  It's almost October already?  Oy!

I've been doing some sewing, but not much blogging.  My intentions are good, but in reality...um...well.  Yeah. =)

Let's get on with the updates.  First I had the awesomest of awesome visitors to my house yesterday.  Kyle and Anne stopped by after attending the American Sewing Expo.  Their visit was pure joy!  I loved watching them raid my closet and try on the clothes I made!

Kyle is wearing New Look 6897 skirt and looking for more to try on!  Anne is wearing Jalie 2559 and looks fantastic!  The jacket fits her perfectly!  I tired on Anne's Motor City Express jacket and will probably sew that for Round 3 of the PR Sewing Bee - an experience about which I have yet to blog!  

Then came the big moment:  Kyle and Anne saw my sewing space and fabric stash!  Kyle had me laughing when she first entered the basement.  She had to stop and take it all in!!  LOL  Anne counted 31 bins of fabrc; I stopped counting after 24.  In my defense, one bin is full of lining, so that doesn't count.  Another bin is full of leather scraps.  So really, I only have 29 bins.  =)

We were treated to two demos by Kyle:  joining the edges of piping and inserting a zippered pocket - the prelude to making welt pockets. 

I asked about the piping because of this dirty little secret:

I knew there had to be a better way to make these ends neater.  Kyle showed us her process.

I took video of her process, but it appears to be too big to upload through Blogger.  When I use her technique (believe me I will!), I will try to explain it clearly.  It's genius!

She also showed us how to make zippered pockets.  Y'all know I have a fear of welt pockets and she and Anne both said if I can make a zippered pocket,  welt pockets were not that difficult.

I might push myself to add welt pockets to my upcoming jacket.  I have to do several practice pockets first before I cut into my fabric.  Good grief!

Anne and Kyle also brought gifts.  How sweet is that?!

Cute sewing tote from Anne.
Labels that point to the reality of my sewing from Kyle.

I had a great time with Anne and Kyle yesterday.  They were so much fun to have around and I laughed and learned a lot!  Thank you both for a wonderful day!


On the sewing front, I made some embellished jeans for the PR contest, am currently stumbling through a McCall's cardigan, and thinking about what to do for a lined jacket.  More soon!

Until next time, peace!




07 September 2015

Another New Look 6407

This makes four this year!

At the end of August, I started sewing a black version of this pattern to go with my Starting from Scratch wardrobe.  Then I saw the rules for the PR Sewing Bee.  Sew a fitted blouse?  For real?  

Not only did I already have the pattern pieces out, the fabric was pre-washed last year.  Score!  

The first change I made was to raise the neckline one inch.  This top is quite low-cut and puts the girls on full display.  Unless I'm wearing a jacket, I have to wear a camisole with it.  Raising the neckline solved this problem.

The first three versions all have cap sleeves and I wanted long sleeves.  I made a one-half inch bicep adjustment and did not make a muslin.  Nope.  Nada.  I just went for it.

The sleeve looks snug, but it isn't.  I can lift my arms and reach forward without any problems.

I used Pro-WOVEN Shirt Crisp interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply.  This stuff is expensive compared to Pellon, but it is fantastic for giving nice structured collars and cuffs.

Speaking of cuffs...these joints were a pain to put together.  The opening was a fraction too small for my machine's free arm, so I had to sew very slowly and carefully.  Topstitching took some maneuvering, but eventually it worked out.

The shirt looks okay without a belt, but I'll probably wear one anyway.  Here I've paired it with a dark brown linen skirt, animal print belt, and scarf.  Good dark colors for fall.

Even though I love this pattern and have another one in the mix, I wish it had a separate front band instead of a facing.  I'm going to try and use the pattern pieces from this pattern to adjust those of Butterick 5678.

That's all for now.  Until next time, peace!

31 August 2015

BWOF 9-2006-104 (trench coat): Complete

The coat is done!  Though it took a lot of movement from the universe to make this happen, it is finally completed.  

Fabric & Notions
  • 3 yards of cotton navy twill (stash; Fabric Mart)
  • 3 yards of plaid silk broadcloth (stash; Fabric Mart)
  • 1 package of red piping (stash; source unknown)
  • fusible interfacing (Mood NYC)
  • navy mottled buttons (Wawak)
  • navy mottled belt buckle (Mood NYC)
  • short piece of twill tape to use for hanging
  • bias cut fleece strips for sleeve heads
  • muslin for back stay
  • 80/12 universal needle (for shell)
  • 70/10 microtex needle (for lining)
  • regular sewing and serger thread

Size and Pattern Alterations:  I traced and cut a straight size 44 for my muslin.  I compared the pieces to another shoulder princess seamed coat (Indygo Junction 740) and was happy to see that not many changes were needed.  I used 5/8" seam allowances all around.  I sewed 3/4" seams at the start of the shoulder princess seam on both the front and back as a cheater narrow-shoulder adjustment.  Then, I tapered to 5/8" above the bust and 1/2" at the bust for a little extra room.

I did a 1" swayback adjustment by removing the length completely in the waist area and adding the amount to the hem.  This way, the side back seam lengths remained the same.

I took out a 1" wedge below the neckline; the muslin showed a bit of bunching in this area.

I also shortened the sleeves 3 inches (1.5 inches in two places).

I did not add a hem allowance since the "unfinished" length was slightly longer than what I wanted.

Instructions:  My brain was no match for this Burda word salad.  In addition to the instructions being sparse and confusing, you are to jump back and forth to other views for different parts.  Yeah no.  To construct the majority of the coat, I used the instructions for McCall's 5525.   To make the inseam pockets and pocket flaps, I used the ironically less confusing word salad from Burda 8-2009-107

Construction:  Sewing the shell was pretty straight forward; it's cotton after all.  The fabric was easy to work with and pressed beautifully.  The lining, on the other hand, was a pain in the ass.  Me and slippery fabrics just don't get along; plus the lining is a plaid.  It's an even plaid, but still.  Even though I pinned carefully and sewed slowly, I only managed to marginally match the plaid.  Using a walking foot made it WORSE! 

I brought this on my self.  =)  I had to have THIS lining with THIS fabric come hell or high water.  Yeah well, it was hell on high water, but I made it work.

Front/Front Facing Problem:  As many suggested and as I suspected, the lengths of the front and front facing were off.  Somehow, the front was 1/4 to 1/2 an inch longer than the facing.  This minute amount caused the massive amount of pulling.  I must have erred in tracing/measuring - despite checking my work twice.  Oh well.  

Kenneth D. King fixed it by taking a deeper hem and trimming the excess.  He also corrected the pattern by creating new stitching lines on both the facing and front.  The fix resulted in the coat being shorter, but it at least it's not pulling wildly like before.  I was ready to send this coat to a watery death in the Detroit River.  

I had the coat professionally pressed by my dry cleaner.   

Other:  I removed the sleeve loops because they were way too close to the hem.  If I make this pattern again, I will move the placement lines up 1.5 to 2 inches so that they're more proportionally positioned.

I added some red piping between the facing and lining because why not?  I did this on my last two coats and really like it.

The one thing I'm bummed about is the wrinkling along the bust curve.  

I picked and restitched this area a couple of times and steam-pressed it over and over.  Of course it's on the side that's not covered by the flap.  o_O  If I had enough fabric, I would have recut the side front panel and sewed it again.  Oh well.

I used navy mottled buttons in two sizes (large for the front and small for the epaulettes and belt loops).  It was surprisingly difficult to find a navy mottled belt buckle.  Thank you Mood!

Conclusion:  I am very happy with coat.  It will serve as a great transition between seasons or whatever we call the days between hot and arctic in Michigan.

As for the pattern, this was my trial run for my super warm tundra-life winter coat.  I don't know if I will use this pattern for that.  Even though Kenneth fixed the length issue, I don't want to run into the same problem again.  Maybe I'll make a muslin of the front with facing just to be sure it works.  I plan to go all-in (pad stitching, hair canvas, interlining) with the coat and want to make sure everything is sound first.

Up next:  Probably another coat or two.  And maybe some more pants.  I still haven't given up on Starting from Scratch.  I'm in turtle mode for a while.

Until next time, peace!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...