Sunday, February 6, 2011

Summer in Winter

Last night, I cut out Vogue 8263.
I was drawn to the in-seam buttonhole and the structured/unstructured feel. I used Brussels Washer from Dana Marie in charcoal.

I'd heard this didn't hold it shape well and needed to be washed several times before use, but having seen it in several of Dana Marie's sample garments, I looked past these warnings and decided this would be a muslin. Wearable if I was lucky. I washed this fabric 5 times, followed by drying with tennis balls. It came out incredibly soft.

I cut a size 12 with a 4" full bust and hips alteration. This was not an easy thing for me to wrap my head around since there are front and back yokes. I use the pivot and slide method, so I taped the yoke to the body at the armhole to facilitate the alteration. After a couple of false starts, I was good to go.

The pattern is very straight forward. I could sew children's clothing in my sleep and rarely looked at a pattern sheet, but for some reason, I feel the need to follow every written instruction to the letter. So I do read the pattern sheets. I followed the suggested order of construction with one exception. Rather than turn the back hem up prior to stitching in the front facings, I did it after. I also chose not to understitch the facings. I don't think there is any way this fabric is going to hold it's shape after washing, so I edgestitched instead to hold the edges.

So where's my pictures? Sorry! The jacket body is complete, all that is left to do is hand stitch the lining to the side seams and stitch and insert the sleeves. But I ran out of thread and didn't have anything close enough to finish up. I have not gone into my quirks, but that is one of them. Unless contrast is required, the thread must match. Exactly. Or I just can't do it. This becomes a real issue when I use my serger. It has been really hard for me to overcome this "tick". Today, however, there was no overcoming the color issue, I couldn't go any farther. It will wait until I can hit the store.

Besides, I have no desire to leave the house on this nasty rainy day.

I've talked before about my weight gain and while I don't want this to be the center and forever of my life, it is a reality. Now that I am back to full time sewing for the love of it, it's a gentle balance between sewing things that fit now as well as things that I will still be able to wear once this "bundle of joy" is gone. This jacket may fit in that "between" area. We'll see. I'm not entirely in love with it yet, not entirely in love with the fabric, but I withhold final judgement until the sleeves are in and I can try it on with something lighter weight underneath.

I picked V1099 Badgley Mischka up at JoAnn's $3.99 sale. It's classified as a jacket on the pattern, I'd like to try a linen. I have some old old rusty red colored in the closet as well as a beautiful ruby red. One of those might work. This will definately start out with a muslin, though, as I've waited a long time to use that linen and do not want to waste it :). Instead of gathering the undersleeve (I guess that's what you'd call it?), I think I will pleat and smock. There's also a gathered organza under collar, almost like a ruffle. My first impressing was "That does not work for me", but it's growing on me!
It is hard to articulate how happy I am to be sewing 2 weeks in a row with plans for a third. I feel lifted and restored. At peace.

It goes farther than that, though. Husband has been busy in the garage, getting ready for his new workbench. Yesterday, I cleaned the kids' bathroom. Daughter only lives here in short bursts home from school, Son has moved into a house with two buddies and is in process of moving his things a bit at a time. That bathroom? I am not proud that that room was ever in my house, but I gave up cleaning it when they were in their late teens. Four times a year I'd go in and disinfect the entire pit as a defense for the rest of the house, but that was it. Today, it is clean as a whistle. I like to walk in it and take a deep breath, stand with my arms crossed, leaning on the wall, enjoying the clean.

This is empty nest syndrome. Time to sew, time to spend with Husband, time to clean the bathroom once, right and know it will stay that way. This isn't the trauma I expected. It feels like the natural order of things. I like it.

Time to go and toss an easy dinner on plates, cuddle on the couch, watch a movie and hit the sack. While I am in bed, falling asleep, I will contemplate the hard work that has brought us this far and joy this life is filled with.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Butterick 3625 Circa 2002 Floats to the top :)

When Stitcher's Guild started the Jacket a Month thread, I thought it would be fun reading. I had no idea it would lead to this! Me stitching two jackets in less than a month? Who is this person?! I do not have any visions of actually making one a month, but two by 2/1 is definately a sign that I may be emerging from this funk.
Here's what I did.

Butterick 3625 has been in my drawer of patterns since 2002. I am sure I thought it would be an easy addition to my work wardrobe and, like with so many of it's friends, never made it out of the envelope. I was actually getting ready to toss it when I had an *idea*.
Fabric: Black Wool coating left over from the SW San Diego Jacket that I made last year and gifted to Maryann when I lost my weight last year.
Pattern: Butterick See & Sew 3625, cut size 14 with no alterations. There are only 4 pieces: Sleeve, Fronts, Back and Hood.

Special touches: The hook and eye tape closure inspired by Robin at a Little Sewing On the Side, purchased at Sew Expo in Puyallup WA in Feb 2010. 

The fall leave embroidery from Martha Pullen's Mini-Collection  stitched on a little patch on the back, visible only when the hood is up, inspired by my favorite winter Woolrich sweater. I love the idea of a hidden surprise.

Modifications: I did the front a little differently only because of the tape. And that was it. I am probably going to add pockets as the lack of them is driving me crazy. And the sleeves are a little wide at the cuff, so I am considering using some of the leftover hook and eye to remedy that. Other than that, this is a good basic throw on topper that I can see myself making again.
Best Tools for the Job: Again, and I can't say this often enough, get thee an adjustable zipper foot. I couldn't have applied the tape in one shot without this. I also LOVE my edgestitch foot and 1/4" foot with guide. I used a combination of the two for edge and topstitching. They made the job go quickly with a great result.

Off to see what I can whip up next!