Sunday, November 29, 2009

Connie Crawford B5336

I have been slowly nurturing the idea of making a Chanel jacket for myself. I have found some great fabric, but until I hone in on the pattern, I don't want to buy it. The fabric I want is quite expensive so I am not looking to waste. My first choice pattern would be Claire Schaeffer's Chanel jacket from Vogue, OOP and really hard to find. I will keep looking though. In the meantime I found this Connie Crawford pattern that has a two piece sleeve and the shoulder princess seams. It has a shawl collar too, but that would be nixed. Here is Butterick 5336


Here is my dilemma. Connie's pattern innards say, " These patterns are designed for full figured women's proportions. Each pattern is specially fitted for rounded shoulders, (don't have), fuller stomachs, (not really) and thicker waists...." Am I barking up the wrong tree here?  The pattern is offered in extra small, whatever that is. It seems closest to my measurements. But her sizing also suggest getting this by your retail size. Confusing for the non full proportioned woman. I am an aging hourglass, still have a waist, need a good bra for my Cs, and have very narrow shoulders and back. Am I wasting my time here? Does anyone have any experience with this pattern before I go the muslin route? I will definitely be making a muslin, but would like to keep down to the single digits! I really like this jacket but don't want to waste my time. Can anyone help? It would be greatly appreciated and thank you ever so much...

Just when I think I am getting back to my old self I get knocked off my saddle. I swear I have a UTI now and will see the doctor on Wednesday. Just want this s--t to be over with. It is cutting into my joy for life, I tell ya. Oy,,,,,,,,Bunny

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Little Cashmere Hat with Cockade

I did a search on cockades thru Google images. Most were folded or pleated ribbons with a central element, maybe a button, special feather, or medal. I was on the right track. I had one of my embroidered samples to play with and a bit of leftover lining fabric. Here is Carly's hat:

I think it will be darling with the coat. Right now I am starting all the bullions. I have decided to go with Gail's wonderful design with my adaptations. There will be no buttons. The hearts were felted white wool that I further needle felted into the cashmere. I did a little extra embroidery around the edges with chain stitches and a blanket stitch. My bullion roses will be an orangey red. The red/pinks just did not work with all the black and white in the ensemble.

This hat took me no time to make, literally. I used the hat in Butterick 6030, a boy's pattern. There were quite a few hat patterns in my stash but this was the closest I could get to the cloche look I wanted. One thing about this pattern. It has you use 1/4 inch seams and they are printed on the sections and referred to in the pattern. My 1/4 inch quilting foot came in really handy for this, especially matching up the points at the top of each section. Lining the point up with the appropriate marking on the foot made them perfect.

This pattern does not tell you that the seams to close the brim and attach it to the crown are 5/8ths. My gut told me to double check. It's a good thing. Knowing that, I can tell you this is beautifully drafted.It's not often a hat pattern with sections like this fits the brim so perfectly.

This is how I handled the collar. I cut it in a block but cutting the outside edge correctly and snipping where the neckline began. This way I didn't risk the bias neckline edge stretching out while I did all the handwork. It seems to be holding its shape so far.


This has been a great recuperation project. It has tons of embroidery I can do while "resting", something I am not good at. All this embroidery has held my attention long enough to get the needed rest and I feel on the mend, not there yet, but getting there. Making this little hat for Carly's outfit took about two hours at the machine and iron, much of it standing and ironing. I can feel it now and will get back to my nest and my bullions. This is getting close to done. Think I can get another smocked dress and coat done before Christmas? I sure hope so.........Bunny

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Little Red Coat Part 4?

I am losing track. Is it Part 4? No matter. Yesterday as I was still fiddling with the embroidery design for the coat it occurred to me that it would be just downright inappropriate to not have bound buttonholes. I have done these many times but because time elapses in between efforts I always need a review. Pulled out all the basic sewing manuals and even , en homage, pulled out Adele Margolis's book. I tried 4 different methods and as usual decided on the windowpane method. This really works best with this bulky fabric and small size. they are only 3/4 inch wide. Here is my sample.


Today's plan, keep resting, and get the three little bound buttonholes in......Bunny

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Felted Wool Bag Completed



Finished this little number this morning and I think it is perfect for my barteree, or is it barteror? The lining is from one of those poly blouses of Ima's that I took home. I added the key chain and a triple pocket, all pretty simple construction.

This was a lot of fun to do and I hope to whip out a few more before the holidays. In the meantime it is back to Carly's coat. I have decided on a third "heart" embroidery. It is pretty much  the same as the non felted one but with different colors and some outline stitching added in for highlight. I think the linearity of the embroidery will go better with the graphic of the dress print. Frankly, though, I think either would have been OK. Now I have to dig thru my patterns for a hat for the ensemble. I want Carly to have a cloche. I have located a couple of adult patterns on the web and may just size one down. But I will check the stash first.

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Yesterday was a rough day. I had a mandatory errand in town which put me next to the supermarket and Joanns, not a good thing. I did the errand, ran into the supermarket and told the cashier  to please make sure the weight of the groceries was spread out very thinly in the bags. She did but they were still bags of groceries. Pushing that carriage didn't help the situation either and I was really wishing DH was with me. I went on to Joanns, stupe that I am, and sat at the pattern table for a looooong time. Then I went and grabbed the Missoni print I had hidden in the clearance area, I know, got it cut at its 50% off clearance price, and came home. This was all waaaaay toooo much. Talk about exhaustion. I am someone who doesn't do exhaustion. Nor do I do rest very well either. But I learned a big lesson. I need to just sit or lay down and that is the end of that until the three weeks is up and the doctor says I can get back to my old routine. I can be so hard headed. I am also going to limit my up and down the stairs too. So it will be down to the cave and no coming up for hours....I can do a lot of quiet sewing down there which I think will be Ok. I am going to start embroiderying the coat now. Here's my Missoni:

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Project #2 - Barter Bag!

Yesterday I just wanted to fiddle with fabrics, textures, and colors. I needed to work on a bag for a barter and this is what I have come up with so far:

Some of the components are stitched, some just placed at this point. The bag will have a gusset and straps of the herringbone and will be lined. I know, its chickens, but this person has chickens and she will just love it. DD#2 has convinced me I need to put my label on the outside. We'll give that a try for this bag but I am not sure that is going to happen again. It didn't take long to put this together and it gave me great satisfaction. I need to get some more Steam a Seam and Decor Bond to finish it and DH is taking me into town today.

The pink and herringbone are both felted wools from Ima. I could make bags forever with what she gave me. These totes really seem like a "whip up" so that may be the gift of the season this year. It's great fun to pull out the different components and work them out. One thing just leads to another and I can't wait to do another bag. The size, BTW, is 12 x 9 on what you see here.

I have not started on Sophie's dress yet. Remember only two in the cue at a time! Actually I need to get collar and cuff fabric and I think it will be tricky. Nothing in the stash works. Happy sewing......Bunny

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

LRC Part 2

I have decided to follow Gail Doane's sweet little design for the embroidery on the coat. Frankly, I am just not feeling really creative right now but do want to get this done. Handwork is easy to do right now and it is great to know that there are such wonderful resources available if you are just not in the mood.

Here is my dilemma. My jacket is red. Gail's is white. The little white wool heart on the left has been needle felted into the cashmere. It adds thickness but not in a problematic way. The green chain stitches fill in the raised edge which is kind of neat. The red heart on the right would be stitched directly on the coat. It adds no bulk and there is no change in drape. It doesn't have the contrast. the sample is definitely larger than I would use. I would use the size of the little white heart. I also am having an issue with the color of the bullion rose on the red heart. Still in a dilemma on that one. Maybe a white bullion rose?  There will be a line of the tiny buttons below the hearts and black running stitches connecting them.  So please chime in and vote for the heart you think would look best. Your critical imput here is greatly appreciated. Thanks so much. Also, the point of my samples was to check color and "look" not accurate fine stitching. I'll save that for the solution.
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Thank you, all of you, for your wonderful well wishes, prayers, and sentiments. I am definitely on the mend and walked to the end of our long drive today. I am quite fatiqued, not normal for me. But every day is a better day so I am not going to dwell on this and know that this will end soon. Again, you are all so appreciated and each so special......Bunny

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I'm Back.......

Just a quick note here to let you know that I am back and recovering as expected. I had two procedures done, a hystorectomy and a TVTO and everything is looking normal. I am tired, in some discomfort, and can only sit for short periods. I am more comfortable standing or laying down. I haven't picked up my needles at all. You will know when I do! I have spent time trying to catch up on the blogs. Thanks for all the good wishes. Keep checking. I will be back soon with the start of a smocked dress for Sophie.....Bunny

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Felted Vest Complete

I am pretty much pleased with this. It is an old pattern from the 80's, McCalls 7255.I still think I should cut back the armscyes more. What do you think? I appreciate your input. The original princess seams were in the middle of the shoulder seam. I am thinking if I make this again, and I think I will, that I will have to move those princess seams in a bit to accommodate for the cutting in of the armscye. Dang, those narrow narrow shoulders! Other than that I like it. I like the way it just skims the body and there is still room for a sweater underneath. I am glad I did the shirttail hem. For some reason that hem seams to be flattering on women with bigger hips. In a nutshell: here is what I did to the vest pattern:

Fit Changes

* FBA
*sloping shoulder adjustment
*swayback adjustment
* Add to hips

Design Changes

*Change back to shoulder princess seams from darted back
*Add one lapel to neckline
*Change hemline to a shirttail hemline
*Lapped seams sewn with a 4.0 twin needle, a really easy construction method, no facings
*Change button positions


These buttons are from Ima's collection. They are heavy. The fabric is soft and fluffy like a nice wool sweater. I knew it would not support the buttons so here is what I did.

I dug in the stash for a matching piece of poly silky. I fused Steam a Seam to the back and then pinked it to the proper shape. More reinforcement behind the actual buttons was still needed so I cut little triangles of Decor Bond and dot fused them with the point of the iron where the buttons would go. Pinking helps eliminate show thru.



This was then flipped and fused to the wrong side of the vest.


The buttons were then attached on the right side using matching embroidery floss. Once this was done covered snaps were sewn underneath the buttons on the wrong side.




I used larger snaps than normal to carry the weight of the buttons. The female snaps were then covered and attached to the other side of the vest. This definitely carried the weight of those big buttons on a really soft fabric.


I  promised to show how I do a "fish eye dart" in the back to accommodate a swayback with full hips. Every time I make a blouse or some sort of top there is a big blob of fabric from my shoulder blades to my buttocks that is just filled with air. Just darting this does not take care of it, at least for me.I find I have to take out length as well as width. I read that you have a swayback if you can drop a string from the nape of your neck to your buttocks and there is space between your back/spine and the string. I have lots of space there. I find to get this right you must first have your muslin adjusted to the proper hip width. So start by adding in there if you need it and if you are swayback you more than likely do. Then I start pinching out fabric in a horizontal line at the waistline. I pinch it across this line but about 2 inches from the side seam start tapering it down to nothing at the side seam. This is what works best for me but I am always open to new techs here.You can see that here. I then transferred this change to my pattern piece. The darts were changed to princess seams and and a small amount of width was taken out that way as well. Very important to make sure the grain line is straightened once you have made your adjustments to the pattern. Then you cut.  IMO shoulder princess seams are a swayback's best friend. Why is this called a fish eye dart? If you open up that waistline dart it will be an elipse shape with the fold line down the middle, I guess sort of resembling a fish eye. . Fish eye darts are great, by the way, for getting rid of that bag of fabric under your butt when making pants.


I may not post for a bit. I have my surgery tomorrow and hope all goes well. I do have some handwork planned and ready to go. Hope to see you all around the corner..................Bunny