Thursday, January 31, 2008

Stash Diving Day?

I am feeling a bit bereft as I am in project limbo. The jacket is finished. My smocked bishop is near completion, and I have been playing with my embellisher. I am awaiting a delivery of roving and don't want to start anything until that palette arrives. So I am waiting for the next big project to hit. I think a spin thru the stash could get me on track. There is even a lime green piece that has been calling out to me. Hmmmm,,,,,a bag maybe, for summer.....?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I am not a sewist of fleece!



I don't buy fleece. I don't sew fleece. There are no power fabrics in my stash. That being said, I fell in love with this fleece fabric when I saw it made up, wrong side out, into a vest in the fabric store. I long had visions of Vogue 8307 as my next jacket attempt and this fabric was so much more exciting than my solid wools. I quickly found the details I fell in love with in 8307 were lost amidst the tweedy drabness of the fleece. A bargain faux patent leather purchase encouraged me to outline the jacket with patent leather piping. I loved how the piping set the collar and buttons off. It was not without it's frustrations and required the use of wonder tape and a stretch 14 needle. I also rubbed the patent leather with Sewers Aid to help it glide under the press foot. It did so effortlessly. For the button loops I used fabric coated elastic bands from the dollar store, what's become a staple technique for me lately. My lining was another story, presenting me with lots of frustration along the way. It was a silk that I fused to Armo Weft to give the jacket the body it needed for the style. Despite perfectly matching at the armscyes, once the pleat was folded in the design did not match at center back. There was not enough left to cut a new back. A cue to move on. The facings are out of a lightweight black wool gab that is also fused to Armo Weft. The silk, even interfaced, did not have the body needed for the collar and facings . I wanted the black undercollar and black facings as this I thought would make a better presentation if I wore the collar up or the jacket open. Per the reviews I read on PR, I installed a large snap to keep the fronts hanging properly. Thanks, PR.

We are in the throws of an ice event here and I am glad I got my new winter jacket done before the cold weather is over. Think if I make a spring jacket, Spring will be here?

( Shadows make my piping look uneven. It actually came out perfectly even, with the use of one of my favorite tools, a Darr Piping Ruler. Be lost without that baby!)

Monday, January 28, 2008

The bag gallery, first showing!




I will occasionally present a "gallery" of some of my endeavors, this one being some bags I have recently completed.

Vogue 8307 in the final stretch!


As I pull into the final stretch of my semi-tailored fleece jacket, the lining as been touched by the sewing witches. The back lining piece, which was different from the back jacket piece came up one and a half inches shorter than the rest of the lining which forced an unattractive additional piece of fabric to be added. I am not sure if this was mis labeled by Vogue or I cut it wrong as the bottom piece has been chucked at this point. I was not going to make the full length coat in my future so cut the bottom pieces of the pattern off and committed them to the landfill. I just knew it would come back to bite me as I tend to save everything. Anyhoo, I thought a picture was in order of how I dealt with the ease in the lining. As we all know, little extra pleats can appear out of nowhere in an armscye or princess seam. I approached this by doing a second row of pins a couple of inches back from the stitching pins. This helped control the fullness and kept it from going under the presser foot.

I did understitch the lining with a lightening stitch, a la Nancy Zieman, changing my thread colors as I went from the black facing to the grey silk lining fabric. I really feel this jacket needs a back neck facing to which the lining attaches and would give a more professional look to the innards. At this point the inside is my private world so I am finishing up and moving on to the next project.

What would that project be? A few quiet hours spent with my embellisher!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Here's the Sharpie pic!


Here is the missing sharpie pic! Above the Sharpie is the colored grey thread. This trick is definitely going in the tool box!

Silk purse out of a sow's ear?



This current project has me attempting a more tailored jacket, Vogue 8307, with , aakkk, fleece! I am not a fleece sewist but fell in love with this fabric when I saw it made into a vest at Fabric Fix in Manchester, New Hampshire. It kind of has the look of commercial carpet. You can see the fleece side in the photo as well. The color is a black and gold tweed that reads as rather grey and muddy. While Vogue 8307 is rather dramatic, this fabric got lost in itself and desperately needed some flash. I decided on piping the collar and opening in black patent leather. I am pleased with how the patent leather accents the drab color and the great lines of the collar. Here is the rub: The collar is faced with a black wool gab that was handy and rather lightweight. The jacket desperately needed topstitching to tame the "puffiness" of the fleece, so I have topstitched each seam on both sides. The color grey thread I used embedded and disappeared into the fabric and that was good. When I went to topstitch the collar, I had grey in the bobbin and therefore had nasty grey stitches on the black undercollar. I had planned on wearing the collar turned up so this definitely would not do. I also knew that ripping these threads out of the fleece would not work either.

In the night I had one of my Eureka dream moments. This morning I took a permanent black Sharpie and drew over the grey thread. Allehuhia! It worked like a charm. My grey topstitching is now black where it should be and you would never know it was done. Above is a pic of the undercollar. One side of the sharpie is grey. The other side is black. What little flecks you see there are the shine of the patent leather piping. On to the lining!