26 January 2012

What should I wear?


Kristine from Just Keep Sewing sent me a link to the Fashion in Detroit runway show coming up in March.  This could not have been timed more perfectly as I recently developed the desire to go to glitzy affairs.  I don't know where this is all coming from, but for some reason I want to get all dolled up and prettified.

 The event with afterglow appears to run from 12p - 9p   What do I wear to one of these?  Should I plan for fashion show and afterglow with separate garments?  I need something relatively quick to make since time will be an issue.  I perused my pattern stash and came up with these.


Christine Jonson 630

Butterick 5559
Vogue 1250

Simplicity 2473

Vogue 8379







Fabric choice is important too. The fact that the event spans lunch and dinner makes me think that I have to pick something that works in both settings. Ugh. So many options!

22 January 2012

Has it Been Two Weeks?

Yeesh. It seems like whenever school resumes, not only am I super busy, I am super sick too! Two (yes 2!!) days into the new semester, I came down with a nasty cold. Sore throat, headaches from Hades, and sinus pressure that was unbearable. I went through a box and half of Kleenex. TMI? Sorry. Needless to say, during that time I did not do much sewing. I haven't worked on my jacket since re-setting the sleeves.  But now that I'm feeling MUCH better and can comfortably breathe out of both nostrils, I'm back on the sewing block.

Jacket progress:
Since the jeans contest on PR ends on 15 Feb, I decided to postpone construction of the Jalie jacket until after I complete the contest.  I need to assemble the lining, sew on the facings and attach it to the garment. 

Jeans progress:
I cut the fabric for two more pairs of jeans.  I wracked my brain for a two days on how to design the pockets. I've got a couple of ideas, but I don't know if I'll have the time to implement them fully.  I really want to return to sewing for the SWAP and since we have midterms coming up soon, time might be an issue.

Two more versions of New Look 6648:
I managed to squeak in two more versions of this top.  I *love* this pattern.  It's my new go-to option when I need a new top. It's really quick to make and very comfortable to wear.  Even though I already had plans to make more versions of this pattern, I moved them up in the queue in response to a comment by one of my friends at the rink.  He said, "You're looking good as usual...even in last year's clothes."

O_o

Ummmmmm....thank you?  I laughed so hard when he said that, he probably thought I was a lil' cray-cray. 


I used rayon jersey for both tops and didn't bother with gathering the lower hem band.  Is it me or do I look a little 'storm-trooper-ish' in the first picture?  =)

Ugh.  I have to grade papers and do a host of other things.  If I manage my time right, I can get a lot done before the football games start today.  I'm a die-hard Lions fan, but since they're not in the playoffs I'm rooting for the Giants.  After they humiliated the Packers last weekend, I want them to go all the way.  Part of me wants to see another Giants-Patriots rematch in the Superbowl.  Then again, I cannot stand the Patriots and would do a happy dance if they were eliminated by the Ravens.

Until next time, be well!

L

20 January 2012

Go on Pres!



Updates coming soon!

08 January 2012

Jalie 2559: Sleeve Heads

The pattern calls for installing sleeve heads for sleeve cap support.  I did this in my Vogue jacket, and  recognize the benefits of having this structure in a jacket. 

The pattern includes a separate piece for the sleeve head (a 2" bias strip with diagonal edges).  According to the instructions, set the sleeve in first and then sew the bias strip (folded in half lengthwise) to the seam allowance of the sleeve cap.  I tried this and didn't like the results.  While there was some support, the sleeve cap caved significantly.  Unfortunately, I neglected to take pictures before removing the sleeve head. 

I knew there was a better way to do this, so I referred to Kenneth King's book, Cool Couture.  His method not only results in a nicely supported shoulder area, the process of inserting sleeve heads makes setting the sleeve really easy.

Here are the steps:

1.  Sandra Betzina and Kenneth King suggest using lamb's wool or mohair, respectively, for the sleeve head.  Having neither one of these on hand, I opted for hefty polar fleece.  Cut a bias strip measuring 3" by 11" (7.6 cm by 28 cm).  I thought 3" was rather ride since on the Vogue jacket, I used a 2" strip.  I opted to take the average and cut a 2.5" strip.


2.  Anchor the strip to the wrong side of the sleeve cap one inch below one of the notches.  Sew a few stitches using a 1/8" seam allowance.  I would use a 1/4" seam allowance so that presser foot (or walking foot) has something to grab onto.  Hmm.  Looking at this photo, I think I may have used a 1/2" seam allowance.


3.  Stretch only the strip as much as you can while sewing it to the sleeve cap.  This shouldn't require a lot of effort since the fleece is already stretchy and on the bias.  Be sure to keep the piece taut and stretched as you sew. Continue stitching until you're about one inch below the opposite notch.


4. Shake the sleeve and watch the ease fall into place.  Neither Kenneth nor Sandra suggest a stitch length.  I used a regular stitch length (2.5 mm) on one sleeve and a basting stitch (4.0 mm) on the other.  While they both eased relatively the same, I like using the smaller length better.  On future jackets, I will use a length of 3.0.  This way, I have the benefits of both a secure stitch and longer stitch for adjusting ease.


5.  Pin the sleeve into the armhole right sides together.  Basting stitches aren't needed since the ease has already been removed by the bias strip.


Voi-la!  This is the pucker-free finished product!  These pictures are of the sleeve before steaming the cap into shape.  I think it looks pretty good!






Ugh!  I can totally see my pattern alteration error in the back.  Hopefully it's not too noticeable while I'm wearing it.  I've put in too much time and fabric to scrap this project now.  This jacket will be completed!


********
Since writing this post several days ago, I've removed both sleeves and opened up the front and back princess seams and the center back seam.  There was just too much width in these areas.  Looking at these pictures now I can totally see where the back of the jacket is too wide.  I took about 1/2" out by sewing 1/4" in from the existing seam lines.  I also removed some width from the bicep to elbow area of each sleeve.  The jacket fits much better now.  I will make the same changes to the lining pieces and permanently adjust the pattern pieces. 

Up next:  I need to start working on the lining.  I am dreading this part of the project!

L

05 January 2012

Jalie 2559: Getting Started


This is the fourth item of my 2012 SWAP and I'm moving right along with construction.  Jalie writes fantastic instructions for their patterns.  Not only are the instructions thorough and easy to read, the drawings are amazingly clear.  Unfortunately, I have already had some issues with constructing this jacket.

Preshrinking the Fabric
I should have known that this was going to be a PITA project labour of love when I attempted to preshrink the wool flannel in the dryer.  I only meant to leave the fabric in for about 30 minutes.  10 hours and about a yard later, I remembered it was in there.  I am almost certain I had at least 3.5 yards.  Upon measuring, there was about 2.6 yards left. 

Pattern Alterations
Fortunately, what remained was enough to cut out the jacket.  While cutting out the main pieces, it occurred to me that I needed to make the same swayback alteration on the lining piece since the pattern includes separate pieces for shell and lining. After staring at the pattern for several seconds, I noticed that I goofed up the swayback adjustment.  I took out a wedge of 5/8" from side seam to center back, tapering to nothing at the center back.  This is suppose to be done the other way around.  I have NO idea what I was thinking when I did this.  Since I had already cut out the fashion fabric. there was nothing I could do about it.  I just hope that it won't look like too much of a hot mess. As for other alterations, I shortened the sleeve 1.5 inches and that's it!  I made a muslin cutting a straight size Z.  

Welt Pockets
I had some fears about doing a welt pocket since I had never done one before.  I can't emphasize enough how super simple and clear the instructions are.  Before cutting into my jacket, I practiced the technique on some wool flannel and cotton flannel scraps.


outside                                               inside

Not bad, eh?  Yeah, well.  It was pretty bad when I tried to sew the welt pockets for real.  Interfaced wool flannel and welt pockets simply do not mix.  At.  All.  There was just too much bulk in the area of the welt to turn under evenly.  I stitched and unpicked the welt at least five times - each try never improving in look or feel. I decided to scrap the welt pocket idea after already cutting the jacket open at the pocket line.  Determined to save this project, I zigzagged the opening closed and sewed the pocket flap over top.  I need to think of a way to keep the pocket flaps from...um...flapping so as to permanently conceal the welt pocket failure.  Any suggestions?




I've made more progress on the jacket and will describe how I inserted sleeve heads and set the sleeves in my next update.

Until then, be well!

L

02 January 2012

NL6897: 3rd SWAP Garment Completed

I started sewing garments for the 2012 SWAP on Monday, 26 Dec.  Why is that anticipation sometimes leads to no motivation and/or disappointment?  I eagerly awaited the start of the contest, only to not feel motivated once it began.  What's that about?  I thought I would be in my sewing room the whole day.  Nope.  I was only in there for an hour or so.  Anyway, I finished the skirt and will share the details.

Fabric & Notions:
  • brown wool suiting
  • 7" invisible zipper
  • camel Ambiance lining
  • 1.5"-wide cream petersham cut to waist measurement plus extra for folding under
  • fusible interfacing for the zipper area
Sewing this skirt was super simple since I made it twice already.  The only change was to take slightly bigger seam allowances.  As the notions list above suggests, I used an invisible zipper, inserted a lining, and faced the waist with petersham.  I used the techniques described in these two posts:  invisible zipper, lining & facing with petersham.  I'm glad I took the time to write the second post as I complete forgot how to do this!  I had to refer back to this post a couple of times to refresh my memory.

Originally, I included the flounce on this skirt as I did on the first one.  Apparently the fabric didn't have the right amount of drape because the flounce stuck out like a shark's fin.  Don't ask me why this image popped in my head.  What can I say?  I grew up in the 80s.  (Do you know the origin of this still-shot?)

 (new skirt; old skirt)

Yeah...see?  That thing had to go.  Believe me, it was not cute.  I have another wool suiting with far more drape out of which I might sew this pattern again. 



I don't know if I'll keep this or not.  I don't like how it fits - even though the first two versions fit beautifully.  I think the fabric is just too...something.  The way it hangs on the dress form is how it hangs on me.  Meh.  If I have to use this as a last resort, I will.  In the meantime, Ive already started looking for something else.

I leave you with the entire video from which that still-shot was taken.  If you guessed LL Cool J's I'm Bad video, you get a cookie.  Since you are not here to claim your cookie, I'll enjoy it for you.  =) 




L

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