Monday, February 28, 2011

New project - wool suit

I am being a good girl and only using up my stash. I bought all those pieces of fabric on speculation, so it is only fair that I finally sew something with them. The difficulty is deciding what fabric will go with what pattern.
First of all, I finished that striped shirt and it looks pretty good. I sewed down the facings with a single line of topstitching. I put it on the dress form for a photo before I realized that I should press the topstitching and buttonholes. You can see a little of the "puckering" caused by the topstitching in this photo but it disappeared after I ironed it.
I got out a bunch of my "outfit" patterns, to ponder over and speculate what I would make with them. I'm going to a wedding at the end of May, and it would be fun to have a new dress and matching jacket. I have made the two Vogue patterns with the short jackets with the swing backs and I could definitely do them again. I haven't made the plaid outfit (V1132). I got that jacket pattern for the back on it too, having in mind my "Edwardian" (or maybe it is Victorian?) jacket that I was planning a couple of years ago.
I have these long lengths of fabric in the pale pink with the same stuff in navy, and then there's the bright pink. I laid them out on my ironing board to think about them.
Then I remembered this pale blue (ice blue) pure wool with a thin white stripe, that I had bought at Darrell's a few years ago. It was actually two remnants. I got some matching lining at the time and planned to make a suit out of it. It is nicer in real life, compared to this photo.
I had thought I would use this jacket pattern that I have made a few jackets out of in the square bottomed, notched collar views, but only once in the rounded bottom view. The one I made in the rounded bottom view was this one:
It is also pure wool with embroidery on it. Every time I wear it, I feel great and I get compliments. Of course, it is mostly the fabric and the colour, but I like the fit also. For some reason, even though it is virtually the same pattern as the square bottomed jacket, it works much better than the square jacket, in terms of the hem lying flat and the pockets working. It is very odd how that happens. I wonder if it was a fluke, that the red one works so nicely, but I am willing to gamble on the ice blue wool, and see how it turns out.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Wanting to start something new

Still working on that shirt. I get so impatient when I want a project to be finished already. I prefer the phase where I wonder what fabric to use with which pattern, to the nitty gritty of finishing.

In the meantime, tragedy befell my favourite track pants!
I don't know how long I have had these Pearl Izumi pants but it has to be close to 15 years. I love them. They make my butt look small. They fit comfortably over my yoga pants and I wear them to the gym three days a week. Last week, I was zipping down the ankle zipper when it suddenly parted company with itself! The zippy mechanism jumped off the teeth. I can rip everything apart and install a new zipper. But I was wondering if any of you clever sewers out there had a magic fix? You have to get the zipper teeth back into the zipper pull and I'm not sure if I can do that.
I finished the cute little blouse with clear buttons. They have a little band of "cut glass" around the edge which sparkles nicely. I haven't worn it yet but plan to, the first warm day. Today was warm and it got up to 10C (50F) but that isn't really warm enough for a short sleeved blouse. And I have a cold so I didn't even get to go out and enjoy the weather much. But soon!
I decided to flat fell the armhole edge, to contain the ravelly polyester fabric edges. I've been doing French seams for all the rest.
It turned out well.
I put the cuffs on by sewing the right side of the cuff to the wrong side of the sleeve first.
Then after I sewed up the ends, I turned the cuff to the right side and used the zipper foot to sew the folded edge to just over the sewing line.
Here's the finished cuff. I still think I'm going to sew a line of top stitching around the other three sides.
After I turned the facings to the inside down the front, I saw that there was going to be bagging. This might fix itself after I put on the buttons and buttonholes, but in the meantime, I hand sewed a line of basting down the fronts to hold the facings down flat.
So I have just got buttons and buttonholes to go, and maybe some top stitching.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Yet another blouse

In using up my stash, I seem to be gravitating towards shirts. Someone made a comment here not long ago, and their Blogger link led to a blog project called Never too many white shirts. While I've got my own issues, I happen to agree with the idea of "no such thing as too many white shirts". But this one is striped.
First of all, I was rummaging around my sewing room when my husband came by and snapped this picture of me. Silly. The tin man red hat on the far right is the funnel I use to refill my steam iron, perched on the water bottle. On the chair on the left is that gold silk still waiting to be cut. In woodworking, they say "measure twice cut once" and in sewing with expensive fabric, I say "think 20 times, cut once".
I got out ALL my blouse patterns and stared at them. I really liked that Calvin Klein pattern but it is dated with the gathered sleeves. On the other hand, it is a nice pattern and maybe it's not so bad with gathered sleeves. It comes with French cuffs too. I always liked the high neck band and the possibility of flipping the collar like in the photo, with a tiny cummerbund around the neck. That's dated too, I suppose. In the end, I chose the also old but not as dated Vogue 7332 on the right.
My fabric from the stash is quite a few years old now, a polyester (cringe) but with a bit of a texture to it. Bright white with navy and red pin stripes. I recall it being on sale (of course).
I'm making the B view with the stand-up collar. I've made it before so I know it works. I think it'll be a nice addition to my red or navy jackets and skirts.
I took the "risk" of cutting it out on folded double fabric. When I have stripes like this, I will often cut the pieces out one single layer at a time, to make sure nothing gets crooked or doesn't match. However, you can see through the fabric enough that you can see the stripes on the second (bottom) layer, so I straightened everything up properly and used lots and lots of pins to hold everything exactly in place and just cut.
So far so good. I've got the collar on. I think I will end up putting a single row of top stitching along the fronts, as the bands are just facings turned inside and the stitching will make them flatter. I might even sew a second row of stitching down the fronts, to hold the facings in place for the buttons and buttonholes. We shall see.