Thursday, May 19, 2011

Not another pink jacket!?

So there I was, having finished the reversible pink jacket, wondering what to do next. I got out my new Badgley Mischka pattern, thinking I would use it to make the raw silk fabric that I've had for ages, into a Chanel-like jacket.
I even got new fabric, so I could make it the first time without using expensive or coveted fabric and not worry about having it turn out poorly. But the idea of the stand-up collar didn't sit well with the loose, scratchy silk fabric.

Then I found myself thinking ahead to the weekend, when we are attending a wedding. It's not like I have nothing to wear! I got out the linen dress and jacket I made last year and wore at the Pink Tea. I wasn't happy about how high the slit in the back went. At the time, I sewed it down so it wasn't so long. But I felt nervous about what might happen if I bent over - would my underwear show?
So I jury-rigged a box pleat over the open slit.
I cut a piece of fabric about 16 inches wide, so it would form a deep pleat in the back. I figured out how to attach it to the existing opening.
And now my dress has a nice big pleat in the back!
Something prompted me to pull out my well-used vest pattern and I dug out the little bit of left-over pale blue wool from the suit I had just made. I knew when I cut the suit out, that I had just enough fabric for a vest. It might be a bit 80s but I don't care - I really like a vest as it gives me a bit of extra coverage and warmth without being a whole jacket.
And vest are such fun to make! Almost like baby clothes, because they are small and fast.
I even made real, working welt pockets, just for fun. When I made the suit, I speculated about brass buttons but ended up with clear plastic which I still like. I got out a treasure trove of metal buttons I have to see if they might work on the vest. I don't think the gold works but the silver might. I only have one of the silver button that I do like (third from the left at the top - I used them on another wool vest I wear a lot), so I'll have to go shopping. DSCN2439 Making that vest reminded me that I had just enough orange wool to make another vest so I pulled out the wool, the raw silk, the lining I had bought for the silk, and some other pieces that might serve as vest lining. Another embarrassment of riches! DSCN2442 I got out the first and only jacket I have made with New Look 6619. DSCN2441 Tried it on and it fits nicely. So I made a command decision to cut out the silk and be done with it. I got the lining a couple of years ago at Darrell's, specifically with this silk in mind. It is substantial fabric in some man-made fabric (acetate or polyester, I can't remember), and funky fun with the print on it. As I was cutting, I realized it would work equally well with the orange wool for lining.
Here is the original plan, with the silk and the printed lining.
And here is the jacket body, on the judy. I have fused interfacing to the entire front and around the back neck edge. The fabric is a loose weave so it will benefit from this. I have already started to sew the lining pieces together. As Hannibal Smith used to say, "I love it when a plan comes together."

Friday, May 13, 2011

Reversible jacket finished

My pink reversible jacket is done!

I am especially pleased with how comfortable it is. It is soft and cozy and unrestricting. I decided in the end to sew on large snaps as fasteners. I had thought of using the hammer-on snaps, knowing they would show on the outside of the garment but when it occurred to me that I could sew them on inside the fronts, I realized they would not show on the outside and so make the reversibility even less obvious. I had some 11 mm snaps but went out and got the biggest sew-on snaps they had - the 15 mm variety.
Going back to where I left off, I did a flat fell of the entire underarm seam (as usual). This jacket has to look as good on the blue side as the pink side. The fabric is a little bulky, being double-sided, but it isn't as stiff as 10 ounce denim so it wasn't that difficult.
It's always fun to sew down into the tube of the sleeve and come out at the far end of the sleeve. I put this photo in for a friend in my writers group who sewed his own shirt recently and wondered how flat felling this seam worked.
I made a sort of "couture" hem on the back (and then the sleeves). I used a single layer of the pink fabric that I got from the selvages and folded it over the raw edge of the hem. This photo is at the back where the side seams meet and the front bands end. On the right, everything is unfolded and on the left, I have started to pin everything down for top stitching.
Here are the cuffs, before and during hemming. Another friend said I should make turned-up cuffs in the contrasting colour, even though I made a point of really limiting the amount of contrast elsewhere on the jacket. I thought she was right.
Here's the jacket, almost finished (I haven't sewed the snaps on yet) with the cuffs turned up. Now that I have been nominated the next president of the board at BCA, it will be nice to have another bright pink jacket to wear for certain occasions. Breast cancer has surely appropriated the colour pink and it will serve to promote our charity.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Reversible jacket and other things

Other things first: My Dad wrote a book some years ago, about his time in Korea in the early 1950s. It is well written, nice clear prose, and interesting. What was especially poignant was the fact that when he was in Korea, he was only 24 years old. It is interesting to think back to when I was 24, and compare our life experiences. He has set up a website now, and will be posting reminiscences in the form of a blog. He can use some traffic, so here is the URL:
If any of my readers have a military connexion, you might be interested in the book. It also has U.S. military connexions, as he got some training at Fort Lewis in Washington (chapter 4). That chapter contains an intriguing anecdote about the recycled barrack box he was assigned and which now rests in my garage. In any event, I wanted to give old Dad a plug here, until he figures out how to increase his blog traffic. Go check it out!

Back to sewing! Here is the two-sided denim, all ironed and laid out. I have far more than I need for a jacket and I don't know what to do with the yard or so I have left over. Not a skirt - it is too quilted and bulky for that.
I am modifying this pattern.
I used the original to good effect on this jacket that I wore all over France in 2008. But since I wanted to make the jacket truly reversible, I needed to make some changes.
I wanted to have a one piece sleeve with no cuff. I also needed the front to be plain so I could turn it inside out. I pinned the two front pieces together so they wouldn't have a seam (or a pocket). I might still add a pocket later, but not until I try wearing it.
I thought I would use two colours of thread on top and bobbin but it turns out I can use just the pink successfully, due to all the quilting stitching.
Another reason for a one piece sleeve is to make the flat felling of the armscye easier and neater. Once that is done, I can sew up the entire underarm and side seam in one go and finish it neatly also.
I have decided to limit the amount of the other fabric that shows on each side. I could make the band around the front contrasty and have cuffs that turn up and such like but I think it is busy enough without that. I have the single sided selvages that I can use when I hem the bottom at the back or I could let the blue show more on the pink side. I believe I will wear the blue side out more of the time than the pink side but I don't know for sure. I have decided it is a lot more casual fabric that I remembered it being. Anyway, by modifying the pattern it is going together very quickly (fewer pieces) so I'm not investing tons of time in it.