Saturday, September 29, 2007

Back to posting!

It has been far too long but I am finally blogging again. No real reason - just distraction.

Back on August 3, I was making a black jacket and I just finished it today. Now I am "allowed" to start a new project. But first, the jacket and a few other things.
black cotton jacket
So cute! Even if it is just plain black. It is the same pattern as some other jackets I have made (Simplicity 4698) and I went with the "no lapels" variation because I didn't have enough fabric. I decided to make it less plain by adding a bit of satin piping around the front edge and a not-too-boring button. The sleeves are 3/4 length so I will wear it with a sleeveless or short sleeved top. That works for me because when I teach, I am always very warm, waving my arms about and standing in front of the class. Plus the jacket is only partly lined so it will be nice for Summer too.
flat felling an armhole
Because of the way the jacket is constructed, with a partial lining, I decided to sew the sleeves into their tube shape and sew the body of the jacket together, and then set in the sleeves and finish the raw armhole edge with a flat fell. It does make it more tricky and fiddly, especially when the fabric frays a bit, but with patience, you can tuck in the raw edge of the sleeve all the way around the armhole edge and then sew it down to the body of the jacket to encase all the raw edges.

Anyway, I am quite pleased with it and think I will get a fair bit of wear out of it.
blue jacket and skirt
This is a shot of that blue twill jean jacket I made a while ago, with the complimentary patterned skirt. I find both patterns very comfortable to wear and thought I'd illustrate that I really do wear the clothes I blog about - in this case, at a family gathering this Summer.
red linen
I had a student from last year become a friend and when she went home to China for the Summer, she came back with a couple of meters of red linen for me! She says the Chinese characters on the fabric are very old and not in use as "letters" these days, so chances are they don't really spell anything and won't offend anyone. Now I have to decide how to prep this fabric - should I wash it or will the gold come off? She said it was linen and it feels like it, which means it will shrink. But even if I only ever dry clean it, I worry about the gold. We debated about what I might make with it and I thought "jacket" and she thought "dress". I am leaning more toward something that I won't have to clean very often, which rules out dress.

A Dress A Day had a post recently about fabric stashes and deciding what to use next, and I related to it a lot. So I think this red linen will join the stash for a while. In that same vein, I am putting the expensive navy wool aside, while I make my next project.
suit ingredients
I plan to make a two piece suit with this green wool. It's only partly wool and has a bunch of other fibers in it, including a thin silver stripe which you will be better able to see in later photos as I make the suit. I pre-washed and dried it in the dryer and it came out perfectly, much to my relief. It was originally $20/metre but I got it on sale for only $5/metre, which is why I dared to wash and dry it. I will use the same patterns that I plan to use for the navy wool, as a sort of practice run. I have used the patterns several times before but not since I got my dress form (whose name I still don't know in spite of what I wrote earlier). There is a troubling tendency of the front facings on the jacket to seem shorter than the outside pieces and therefore, curl the front up slightly. I don't know why this happens and can "cure" it by pressing and pounding the heck out of it. But maybe with the dress form, I can see what is happening. I'll know soon.


Stitchy Fingers said...

Glad to see that you are back. My sister and I were wondering if you had stopped blogging and if everything was all right. The Chinese fabric looks interesting.

MadeByAmanda said...

Wow, that black jacket is really nice looking. I've been thinking of trying a jacket, but I'm still intimidated by the thought. I have a nice pattern, though, so maybe I'll get around to it.

Sigrid said...

Really great, the black jacket. And aren't those jeans jackets comfortable for non formal occasions. I have a few (selfmade) in my closet, and wear them too with great pleasure.
Glad to see you blogging again.

JuliaR said...

Wow! 3 comments right away. But I think now I won't be gone so long. I also had some alterations and repairs to existing clothes to do (really don't care for those) and that kept me from feeling creative too. But it is onwards and upwards now.

Amanda, I know what you mean about feeling intimidated but sometimes you just have to plunge into the deep end and do it. I used to be intimidated by collars and sleeves and even though I can do them easily now, I still feel like putting them off when it comes time to do them in any garment. In other words, it's a mental thing.

Cherie said...

I also love the black jacket. It could be dressed up or down, as you wish! I can see it over a sheath dress, but also over a b/w print skirt and cami or tee. Nice!

Granny J said...

The satin trim is very cool. I, too, am glad to see you back, even if it is at the sewing blog, which only makes me feel guilty because I haven't sewn in many, many years. The mention of a fabric stash reminds me of my mother, who always had a drawerful -- as did her mother before her. My current stash is quite small, as a disciplinary measure!

Carmen said...

Nice jacket! And nice to see you back!

Chicago Sarah said...

Love the satin trim- elements I'm just getting around to _thinking_ about adding. :) Good to have you back blogging. And I, too, loved Dress a Day's entry about fabric stash. Even knowing I'm most likely moving in 10 months, it's hard to break into the stash!

JuliaR said...

Cherie, thanks for the ideas for the black jacket. I don't think I have many (any?) b/w print things so I'll keep my eyes open when I'm at the fabric store.

Granny J, I exercise my "discipline" with not allowing myself to start new projects while one is still on the go. I try not to buy new fabrics too but that doesn't work as well.

Hi Carmen! We still have to go shopping at Darrell's - I haven't forgotten!

And welcome Chicago Sarah, I don't think you've commented before. Good luck with reducing your stash - ain't going to happen in 10 months, I fear! Wouldn't with me anyway.