It’s been slow going here. Still suffering with insomnia so I haven’t trusted myself to do too much sewing. I felt kind of energetic today so I thought I’d get the collar and cuffs attached, at least.
This is really nice, medium-heavy rib knit that I ordered from Pacific Trimming. It’s the perfect weight for a light jacket but not heavy enough for an outerwear jacket.
I am glad it’s starting to come together. Hopefully tomorrow I will feel up to attaching the waistband then I will have to set this aside for a bit, which I *hate* to do but I’m doing a sew along in the Hot Patterns FB group and our deadline is Thanksgiving! I don’t like starting something new before I finish but I’m so anxious to wear this jacket so I think it’ll be okay. 🙂
In the past when I’ve sewn with leather, I’ve used paper clips or binder clips to “pin” things together. I bought these cute little Clover clips on a whim awhile ago – I think they are for quilting – and they worked so perfectly here!
Not a lot has been happening in the sewing room this past week. Work has been really busy and I’ve been suffering with insomnia, ugh. I don’t like sewing when I’m tired because I just end up making mistakes that I have to fix later.
I did manage to stitch my sleeves to the back and fronts yesterday. I glued down the leather seam allowances and catchstitched the fabric seam allowances. It was nice doing a bit of hand work while watching Ratched on Netflix. I’m not removing the basting but you could if it bothers you.
Next up, I’ll be installing the zipper – as soon as I figure out where I put it.
I took a day off from work today to work on my jacket. This year I find myself in the unusual situation of having a lot of PTO that I’m going to lose if I don’t use it. I’m sure many of you are in the same boat!
I decided to start by cutting out my leather sleeves and then work on my single welt pockets. Now, I can crank out single welt pockets all day long so I went into this feeling a bit over-confident. Big mistake.
My first mistake was thinking that I would use my usual welt pattern.
Here’s my disappointing result. Really, I should’ve guessed this would happen.
So then I just cut some rectangles and folded my seam allowances in on the sides and glued everything together. Very easy with a good result.
That wasn’t the end of my difficulty. Let me tell you, single welts are much more difficult to make when you are using leather. Yes, I should have made a sample first but I didn’t and once I cut into the first front there was no changing my mind.
Just for fun, I whipped up a double welt sample. I didn’t measure the welts, didn’t mark my stitching lines, used no interfacing, my stitching was wonky because I didn’t have my Teflon foot on and I didn’t press anything. It looked pretty good with zero effort and was much less bulky than my single welt. Lesson learned! The next time I want to use leather, I will make double welt pockets!
I did finish them so now I can move on. Can’t say that I’m 100% happy with them but that’s okay. You can’t learn from mistakes if you never try anything new.
I finally just took a deep breath and cut and I’m really happy with it so far. The back really *had* to be cut this way as I couldn’t imagine it cut any other way. (Sorry for the wonky photo – panoramic while standing tippy toe on a stool!)
Ordinarily, when I want to match a pattern across a center front I use the CF line as my guide. But the front of this jacket veers off-grain in the upper chest plus I’m using a zipper so there is no overlap. So, instead I cut one front, lining up the lower CF line with the center of the medallion, and then laid it face down on the fabric, matching the pattern, and cut my second front. It looks weird now but once the zipper is installed it will look better, I hope.
I chose a cotton batiste as the underlining for the body of the jacket. I love using an underlining because I can make very clear markings without worrying about show-through.
Before I hand basted the layers together, I fused a small piece of interfacing where my welt pockets will be. My fabric ravels pretty easily so I wanted that extra reinforcement. Again, I pinked the edges to avoid a hard line showing on the right side.
I also stabilized the bias edges with strips of fusible interfacing. If your fabric doesn’t want to be fused you can always fuse to your underlining – another bonus to using an underlining.
The last step before my favorite part – the welt pockets – basting the layers together. I use either silk or cotton basting thread but I definitely enjoy using the silk thread more as it glides through the layers so easily. I couldn’t locate my basting needles (hence the tiny stitches) so I just used a #9 hand needle and basted within the seam allowances. I really recommend basting needles as they are longer and make fast work of this somewhat tedious job.
I fell in love with this pattern the moment I saw it and immediately thought of using leather for the sleeves.
I have this gorgeous bronze lamb skin in my stash and thought it would be perfect with this stunning fabric that I initially bought to make a skirt. Truth be told, I don’t wear too many skirts but I wear a lot of jackets. And, of course, a Riri copper zipper, right? Yes, please.
I thought I had it all planned out in my head how I was going to cut this. Still, I’ve been staring at the fabric for a couple of hours, playing around with my pattern pieces, and now I’m unsure. There are so many beautiful motifs in this fabric that I’ve become indecisive. I’ve added a shoulder dart to the front which would go through one of the paisley motifs, grrr, but would give me the bronze motif in the upper chest and upper back. I don’t want to move the dart to the side seam so I need to decide whether I can live with the distortion of one of the paisley motifs. Or perhaps shift it slightly to make it less distracting.
Things have been very busy for me since I returned from Couture Boot Camp! I am still working on my strapless dress whenever time permits but found myself with a free day today so I thought I’d whip up a simple summer dress from Vogue 1224 by Tracy Reese.
I have always loved a peasant style blouse or dress for summer and this is such a cute casual dress that will work well with a pair of flats, don’t you think? As soon as this pattern was released I knew I’d use this jersey from Gorgeous Fabrics that has been in my stash for a couple of years. I’m such a copycat!
I made a size 8 with a 5/8″ full bust adjustment (which I really didn’t even need since there’s a lot of ease) and added 2″ to the length of the skirt. I found the skirt to run pretty large and ended up removing 2″ from the circumference to get the slim look as shown on the envelope. Since this is a very busy print, I omitted the lining. I certainly don’t want that extra layer if I don’t need it. Lastly, I allowed 1.25″ for the hem as I find 5/8″ to look very skimpy.
The directions have you stitch a separate elastic casing into the waistline seam. Since I didn’t want any unnecessary bulk at the waist, I omitted this step and simply pressed the skirt seam allowance up and used it to form the casing. I also made a belt from the leftover fabric to give it a more finished look. The belt was cut 2 yards by 6″ wide and stitched in a 1/4″ seam – perfect to wrap around my waist twice.
I’m really pleased with the way this turned out and the almost instant gratification I got from this pattern!
I also just finished another New Look 6429 which I have made several times already. I needed a summery interview dress that would work well with my white pique jacket and this fabric was perfect.
Instead of a facing, I bound the neckline edge – very fast and easy!
Once the bodice had been hand basted together and I had another fitting, I stitched the dress together by machine. Notice that I took a smidgen off the bust curve of the Princess seam.
All of the seams were then trimmed, well clipped, pressed and
catchstitched to the underlining.
The next step is to insert the zipper – yay, we are coming down the home stretch! I pinned and then hand basted the zipper opening and will now insert the zipper by hand. Notice that I included the silk crepe de chine lining in my pleats to give them additional fullness and support. The skirt is also underlined with muslin.
I hope to get back to this by the weekend. I have no a/c right now and the thought of standing over a hot iron isn’t very appealing!
Phyllis had asked about my underlining yesterday so I thought I’d go into that a little more. Since my dress has a waist seam (it’s actually slightly low waisted but that’s fine) I was able to sew the boning channels through the two underlining layers. Had I not had two layers I would have stitched separate channels to the underlining. The underlining/boning unit is then treated as one with the fashion fabric. My waist stay will exit the lining (through the use of buttonholes) a few inches from the zipper opening.
When working with a dress that doesn’t have a waistline seam, a separate corselette must be made (which will end at the waist). The corselette can simply be two layers of cotton which are stitched wrong sides together and then boning channels made through those layers. Once the dress and lining have been put together, the corselette is attached to the dress at the top edge only. The corselette has it’s own closure (I like hook/eye tape the best) and is tighter than the dress itself. Here are some photos I took of one of Susan Khalje’s dresses to illustrate:
Notice that the waist stay is incorporated into the corselette whereas mine will simply be hand-tacked to each bodice seam and is otherwise left loose.
Once all of my muslin underlining pieces were traced and cut in mirror image (so that the markings would end up next to the body) they were hand-basted to an additional underlining of silk organza. Having two layers of underlining meant I could stitch my boning channels through the layers rather than having to add separate boning channels.
Here is my bodice all laid out in order. Looks gigantic, doesn’t it?
I then used these pieces to cut my fabric. I cut from the wrong side since my underlining pieces were in mirror image. The left and right side of my body are just a little different, something that is very noticeable in a very fitted garment. The narrow rows of parallel stitching are my boning channels.
Next, I removed each previous row of basting and hand-basted all three layers together on the stitching line.
Notice that here on the center front panel, a fisheye dart was pinned out and marked. I did not stitch it in this dress but may use it on a future version.
One of the highlights of the week was dinner with Cidell. Finally, after all these years we meet! Left to right are Gretchen, Anna, Susan, Robin, Barb, Me and Cidell (photo courtesy of A Little Sewing). Great fun!
PI decided to make a very fitted strapless dress in Couture Boot Camp because a) that’s a tough thing to fit on yourself and b) I’d never done it before!
I selected New Look 6454 as my starting point because I liked the shape of the bodice.
Since I knew I was going to drape my own pleated skirt I only made a muslin of the bodice. I began with my usual size 8 and altered for a full bust on the front.
On the back, I made a broad back adjustment and added a seam allowance at the center back for the zipper. I tend to prefer a CB zipper over a side zipper because it’s easier when you have to fit yourself (since no alterations are made at the CB).
At the muslin stage, the side front was split into two pieces and more material removed through the waist (the shaded area). Notice that all of the stitching lines and grainlines have been machine stitched onto the muslin. One inch seam allowances were added throughout. The parallel lines marked with a “B” are the boning channels.
After the final muslin fitting, I traced my muslin pattern onto a muslin underlining, again marking the seamlines/grainlines (with tracing paper only this time) and adding 1″ seam allowances. Note that, since my body is not symmetrical (whose is?) I traced the pieces in mirror image so that the markings would end up next to my body and be visible from the inside of the garment.
The fabric I am using is a lustrous Vera Wang brocade from A Fabric Place (Michael’s Fabrics for you internet shoppers). Isn’t it gorgeous?
Between Summerset’s adorable, casual faux fur jacket, Tany’s high-fashion jacket with removable collar and the fur vests I’ve been seeing so much of lately I’ve been having some serious faux fur envy! Alas, there isn’t anyplace locally for me to buy really nice faux fur so I had filed that idea away for later. But, last night I was cleaning my sewing room and found a large remnant of pelted faux mink that was taking up quite a bit of space and I thought, why not make a faux fur vest?
I happened to have the same pattern that Summerset used (Burda World of Fashion 12/2007 #122) and I liked the fact that it had darts so I figured I could just omit the sleeves and line the armscye to the edge. I traced off a size 36 and made a 3/4″ FBA and my usual forward-shoulder and swayback alterations. The shoulders on a 36 are usually too wide for me but on a vest that’s actually a good thing so I didn’t narrow them.
So far, I have sewn the shoulder seams and attached the collar. I cut the fronts so that the facing fold line was on a peltline, figuring it would give me a cleaner edge (which it does). If I wear this closed, the CFs will not match. But, I figured that I would never wear this closed anyway so I’d rather have a full peltline at each edge. I have never sewn with faux (or real) fur before so I’m just assuming that the CF would normally be on a peltline – am I right?
I didn’t have enough fabric for the collar so I cut the undercollar from black Ultrasuede. I had dark brown in my stash as well but the black looked much better (the flash makes the fur look lighter than it is IRL). You can faintly see the casing line for the drawstring along the top edge.
I am not planning on putting in the pockets as per the pattern. I had thought about adding in-seam pockets but I doubt I’d ever use them. If it’s cold enough for me to need to use them I wouldn’t be wearing a vest, right?