Saturday, February 27, 2010

No Longer Swimming in San Diego

I have tweaked the jacket - I think successfully.

After showing the issues I had with the San Diego jacket, I spent the next week or so ill. Illness slowed my thought processes to a crawl - which was a good thing for this jacket's survival. I was able to really think through what was needed and how I was going to accomplish those goals.

First line of business: unpick the shoulder seam only partway (due to the curve in the neckline which turns into the collar) in order to place a dart at the front. I normally need to make a 1 3/4 (one and three quarter) inch FBA so I couldn't skimp on the size of the dart. I had plenty of ease to accomplish the large, needed, dart. I simply folded out the dart(3/4 inches on each leg - for a total of 1.5 inches) in the seam allowance and then top stitched the dart down to help it lay flat following the vertical lines in the material. (No forming the typical triangle bust dart.)

Before attempting this alteration, I used a disappearing marker to mark the original shoulder seam line on the front, back and sleeve seams. It was just a matter of tracing over the stitching line before starting to pick anything apart. I did this to give me a point of reference.

After taking in the dart from the front, it was just a matter of pinching out an equal amount of material from the back and sleeve (without unpicking the existing seam) and sewing around the shoulder seam....matching the seam I had already unpicked on the front piece to a new seam allowance I drew with a disappearing pen. It really was quite easy, though I think I'm butchering the explanation. I was easily able to cut off the excess seam allowances.

To take in the sides and sleeves, I tediously unpicked those seams and pinned to fit.

I was unhappy with the wonky front facing popping out, so I top stitched it down at the front edges and decided to also top stitch it at the inside facing edge to give added structure which the fabric required. I debated sewing vertical seams at each stripe within the facing, but decided that would be overkill.

I finished the inside raw seams with a hong kong finish (darn, forgot to take those pictures!).

I re-hemmed the jacket and sleeves.

I'm happy with how I managed to salvage this jacket. I think I'll be wearing it this spring - it does add warmth and will cut the chill from the air.

I doubt I'll be making another Sewing Workshop pattern for quite awhile.

Oh, one more thing. I did not wear the jacket with that skirt. The jacket it loose and large, so I think it requires a fitted bottom or a pencil skirt. The skirt shown in the photos is a-line. Too much bulk and width from top to bottom when worn together!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Progress on my Wee Spring 2010 SWAP

I altered my SWAP plan from needing clothes for Florida to needing some items for a convention I attended with my husband last week.

I finished a pencil skirt (out of the brown silk noil) which I wore on Thursday. Super comfy and a great choice. I lined the skirt and am very happy with it. I made the a-line version of this pattern previously, but this time I decided the fabric determined it needed to be more fitted so I opted for the pencil version. I think it was a good choice. I was surprised that this skirt took as long to make as it did: a good 10 to 12 hours! Either I'm a perfectionist or I need to learn to work a bit faster.

I also completed a skirt which was not on my original plan. It is a stretch jean-type material which I noticed had a rather unique fringe on the cut edge. Even though the stretch ran the wrong way, I decided to use the fringe effect as a design element. I wore this skirt Friday. I used the same pattern as the above skirt, but I traced a new pattern and cut it apart to form two seams in the front and back which I would fringe, as well as traditional side seams (not fringed). I made this skirt a bit longer because of the vertical lines of the fringe. This skirt is comfy and warm. I did have a bit of an issue with the stretch running up and down, rather than across. I also had issue with the side zipper because of the hip curve. I only unpicked it once in order to take in about an inch off the side seam - on both sides in order to keep the symmetry. I'm not sure why this version ran large - it must have been an error in mathematics when I accounted for extra seam allowances. I'll have to think about it (later!).

Making of the fringe seams:

And a wadder: I also made a top out of the patterned stretch fabric, with 3/4 sleeves and a rather high neckline. While the shirt only took an hour or so to make, start to finish, as this is a TNT pattern, it looks HORRID on me. The fit is fine. The sewing is good. It's just that the fabric: blah! And it would have been such a cute outfit, too. I love the colors - but I think I've confirmed that I'm a plain jane. I need to stick with simplicity. I'll have to remember to take a photo of this shirt so you won't think I'm exaggerating!

So far, for my 6-piece SWAP, I've completed:
Brown Skirt
Jean Skirt

I will not count the shirt that doesn't work since I won't be wearing it. (Darn! I was hoping to use that yardage for two tops!) I need to come up with three alternative tops and I'm a bit stumped as to what I will make. I have several lovely off-white pieces of yardage - but two are woven and I've not yet perfected an FBA on a woven pattern.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

San Diego Jacket - My first garment in my Wee Little Spring SWAP

The San Diego Jacket from Sewing Workshop.


-the fabric (from Waechter's). It's a perfect weight for spring. I get chilly in air conditioning and this will add just the right weight of warmth.

-the sewing of it. It was a tad difficult in the collar/shoulder but a good challenge for me (it would have been easier with a less open-weave fabric)


-it was too large on first blush. I fell between sizes and chose the larger one (size large) based on hip and waist measurement. Since my upper bust measurement was a size medium, but I have a full-bust, I thought choosing the large size would be wise. Not.
-I neglected to add an FBA. It is a loose fitting jacket and I just didn't think I needed one.
-the sleeves are very wide. I took in a dart at the wrist and added a button embellishment (which I like).

New Happiness:

-Hong Kong seams!

This fabric would have just kept unraveling and unraveling until the seams were involved. I double stitched each seam using a small sized stitch as well as zig-zagging each edge. But it was still unraveling. So I took a lovely light-weight silk and made a Hong-Kong finish on most exposed seams.

They aren't quite as even as they should be, but I'm blaming that on the unraveling which was already occurring, which caused me to swerve my straight seems in order to catch good fabric rather than frayed fabric.

Here are a couple of photos of the jacket as it stands today. I hope to alter it to fit a bit better.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Story Board Trial

A bit difficult to see. I've tried using a new program to me Using an easy method, I simply posted photos of fabrics with the patterns I'm thinking of using.

I plan two phases of sewing, completing a few items for a basic 6-piece wardrobe before heading into phase two.

Phase One:
Starting at the top row: the left off-white jacket and middle brown vest (which still needs interfacing and a lovely silk lining).

The second row are tops: an off-white silky tunic, a patterned fabric which I plan to use for TWO tops (one shell, one with 3/4 sleeves), and a plain off white knit top.

The next line are skirts. One I plan to make in phase one: a brown silk noil (on the left).
The blue knit is already made and will coordinate with the solid tops.

That makes 7 garments for phase one - giving me one more than the 6 I really need - and room to wiggle if something doesn't work out as planned.

Phase Two
Phase two will be a bit more fun!
I'll add a white jacket with funky buttons.

I'll add a couple more skirts: a solid off-white, a solid rust knit and a funky "faces" skirt. I'm still undecided about the off-white skirt as I usually like my bottoms to be darker colors. But this is speaking to me, so I just might make it up.

I also hope to make the floral pink skirt with deep pint knit top during this second phase.

Now that it is photographed and on a board, it gives me a great outline instead of sewing haphazardly. I'm looking forward to starting but starting is proving to be difficult due to some new medication I'm taking which is making me loopy and sleepy. I'm not trusting my judgment or coordination. But I've got everything pre-washed and ready to go as soon as I feel a bit better.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Loes Hinse Morphed Jumper

I did this the difficult way because I didn't realize Loes sold a tunic pattern, line drawing shown below.

I took Loes' Sweater set, shown here:

and tweaked a pattern using the shell as a base, altering it a bit overlaying the cardigan's proportions and sleeves, and voila. My own tunic pattern. Adding length and side slits, I ended up with this:

Here's a view of the back:

And now for the could have/should have/would haves:
1. I should have added a back seam
2. I should have added a back zipper
3. I should have added a bit more wearing ease across the hips.
4. The side slits are a wee too high.

Here's a sweater I made using Kwik Sew 3693, view A. I love this pattern because there isn't too much fabric, as it seems similar patterns use. I don't feel like I'm swimming in folds. I originally added 3 inches in length, but ended up cutting most of that out as it was too long for my frame. I also shorted the sleeves (a tad too much). I think I'll be making view B when I find a suitable fabric.

Meanwhile, here's my rendition, made in a chocolate, rather slinky knit with ribbing.

I made these things in December, but am just now getting around to photographing the outfit, which I wore today.

Next up: A wearable muslin of a purple knit cowl neck top for a pattern which I'm planning on using for my wee little SWAP. I'll save that for the next post.

Tonight I hope to finalize my wee little swap plans, fabrics with patterns and sewing order.