Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Sewing a Kasha Lining

Today I easily managed to sew the lining up for my winter coat. It is Christmas day and my husband and I have had a wonderful day connecting with family both far and close. Since all the hustle bustle has settled down I was able to play with my new tablet, thank you Santa, and hit the sewing studio as well. The design of this coat is simple and the lining is simple but as promised, I am adding a few touches that will make it more tailored, more couture, if you will.

First, let's discuss Kasha. I love Kasha. I think it is warm. I think it is luxurious. It is for dry clean only garments as the piece I picked up from Vogue fabrics is 52% acetate and 48% cotton. It is a shiny satin weave on the public side and a thick flannel on the private side. It ravels like crazy. It sews up beautifully.

I've made changes from the pattern, Butterick 5960. First, the only yardage given for the lining is 45 inches. Kasha is 57 inches wide. I have almost a yard leftover so keep that in mind. I find at Vogue fabrics there is the biggest color selection available online although I wanted an ivory all along so that didn't quite matter. It retails for 14.99 a yard and got to my house in two days, perfectly cut and folded. . It is yummy stuff, IMO. NAYY.

The pattern has rather simple, albeit at times confusing, directions. I kicked them up a bit.

I stayed the shoulder seam with selvedge. This is not mentioned in the directions. I also did all the stay stitching up front before much handling of the fabric was done. The pattern specifies otherwise.

This fabric, like all satins, will telegraph to the public side when pressing. So if you don't want to see the ridges of your seam allowances either use a seam roll of some sort or use manila folders/oaktag to slip under the SAs before pressing.


The pattern has you baste a 3/4 inch hem in the lining and then stopstitch. I chose to serge the edge (so ravelly) and then do a catchstitch by hand for the hem. I love those even little pick stitches, don't you?

Above is a highly corrected pic of the serged and catch stitched hem. While working on the hem the side seams became more and more ravelly. To late to serge, sooooooo....


The edges got hand overcast, a sweet touch. Normally, if the lining were enclosed I wouldn't have bothered but in this pattern the lining hangs freely from the coat, two separate hems. I didn't want straggling threads to rear their ugly heads further on up the road.

Another hint for Kasha: This is the place to use those fine silk pins. Big pins just push through too hard and can leave marks. 

So the lining is complete now and next will be steaming the wool. I seam to have lint-y towels so I hesitate to do the quick pretreatment of throwing the wool in the dryer with damp hot towels. Black and white? I don't think so, untrusting laundress that I am. And the London shrink method isn't quite appealing to me either. So an hour or so of heavy steam pressing and I will be good to cut out this cashmere wool blend. The fabric is lovely with that low glow that only fine woolens have. I have a few trade-ups on the construction for that too!
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I sincerely hope your holidays find you spending it with those you love and the blessings of  the season bring you much joy. You all mean so much to me and I wish you the best of Christmas cheer and Spirit......Bunny

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Back to Sewing with Butterick 5960



Finally I am back to sewing and blogging. It's pretty interesting how intertwined the two are for me. We have had lots of visitors and the holiday has been priority for the past few weeks but I am ready to roar. I am finally excited about my new coat project. It is Katherine Tilton's Butt 5960.
It is rather bath robe-y, isn't it? But that's OK. I wanted something classic, waist defining but roomy and this fits the bill. My version won't be a stunning print like this one but an equally gorgeous wool/cashmere blend in black, ALL BLACK. Yes, much tweeking of the photos will happen so you can see the details as we progress. I have made my muslin and I will share that with you in a moment. I am using this, other than one tiny tweak, straight out of the envelope in the Extra Small size. I love saying that, "extra small size". Pattern land seems to be the only place I get to mouth those words! But an extra small has 46 inch hips and a 42 inch bust, all the better to fit my warm winter clothes beneath. I love the sleeves and they are very comfy.

The area on the upper chest at the join of the front and the side front has a bit of a bubble. I am always narrow there so I will push that over a bit when I sew up the fashion fabric. 

Above you  can see how I caught the fabric up when topstitching on the facing inside. I will be extra careful about that with the wool.


There are some interesting issues with this design but I still love it. First, the collar is having an identity crisis. It doesn't quite know it if is folded back all the way down as in some photos on Butterick or is it more a wrap style. The center front is also the facing and you can see the distinction with it being white muslin and the back, sides and sleeves being pale yellow. This is OOOooold soft sheeting and my wool will definitely work differently but I think I gleaned enough about the fit from this to proceed.
I have narrow, sloping shoulders. Shoulder pads are a given for me in any tailored garment. None are specified on the pattern. It looks pretty clear to me that the model is definitely sporting shoulder pads in her lovely version. The back is cut wide and the armholes low but not crazy low. The other day I wore a tunic to work that did not fit in the armholes of my coat. That won't happen with this coat. I like the cut.
Something odd about the pattern you can see above. The front armhole is way shorter than the back armhole. You can see how the sideseam is toward the front and the shoulder seam is toward the back. This is exaggerated on Miss Dumdum. On me everything hung right and looked OK. I realized this was intentional when the directions said to line up the underarm seam of the sleeve with a square that is set back a fair amount beyond the frontal side seam. Of course I realized this after the sleeve was installed.
Speaking of sleeves, that should be OK too. The sleeve has a two inch fold back cuff. You can see the correct length for me here, two inches beyond the hem fold, perfect. So I can make the sleeve as is and fold it up the two inches. I like that retro type of sleeve.

So I think I am ready to go. I am going to do the lining first. This simple looking pattern really needs you to read through the directions at least twice. Took me three times to get the pockets understood. I will save you some time and tell you that there are neat topstitched slot type pockets on the outside. But there are also big pockets in the lining on the inside, four pockets total. But  that isn't real clear in the pattern till the third reading, at least for me, and I found it very confusing. Anyway, now I get it and don't plan on any issues. Read this pattern if you plan on making it. BTW, there are no reviews yet on PR so I will make sure I get this up on there.

I am going to make and complete the lining first. It hangs separately from the coat. That can be easily changed but I think I will just go with the pattern as is at this point. I will be adding a few tailoring details that are lacking here and will post those as I go along. The fabrics in the very first picture are a cashmere/ wool blend, mostly cashmere but I forget the ratio. Sorry for the overcorrected lintladen pic. The wool  is lovely. The lining is Kasha, a flannel backed heavy satin. It makes a really warm lining. I've used it numerous times and love it. It is the same lining you usually see in fur coats.


And what is that bright colored business? That splashy shiny goody? That I am hoping will be my piping between the coat and the lining. Off white lining, black coat in the style of a bathrobe, gosh, I need something to jazz it up so that's what that fabric is bringing to the party. Hope to have more to share soon.
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It has been difficult being just too busy to blog and sew but the trade off is quality time with my family who are usually quite distant. I'll take that any day. I did re-discover, as has happened before, that when I don't have my creative outlet, I am not too happy. Just sort of a gray funk sets in. But get me to imagine making piping out of some extremely gaudy polyester and the rainbow sparkles and the sun sits high. I know you all understand.

Hopefully I will have more posting before Christmas so I will save my merry wishes until then. I will have a bit of a sewcation this week for a few days as I will not be seeing family until the second week of January when I have to travel for completion of some dental implant work. I am hoping to finish this coat during that time. It's great to be back!....Bunny



Sunday, December 1, 2013

Down and Dirty Sewing, Anyone?

The house is quiet. The turkey has been turned into the most comforting soup. Snow is falling once again and all of our guests have headed back home. I've known for the past 2 weeks that my grandaughter was working on a special school project and needed my help. Of course, Grandma acquiesced. Now did I procrastinate a bit? Well, yeah, I did. But I had to deal with all the Thanksgiving dinner, tons of overnight guests issues. And we won't even talk about how  my oven died the night before. I know it's hard to believe that can happen but it did. I told my daughter that I had all day Sunday to make this simple little project and would mail it out overnite on Monday morning. Deadline met!

DGD Sophie, third grade, is doing a special class project on Ellis Island and immigration. She need to find a family relative who came in on Ellis Island if at all possible, and become that person for the day. Luckily, two years ago, when DSIL was laid off he researched all the family genealogy and we had a real great great grandmother who came over from Belgium as a teen. Can't beat that Ancestry.com! Anyhoo, Sophie had to do the research on the era, clothing, etc. Thanks to the internet you can see above actual Belgian immigrant children from the 1880s. I also was provided with this pic:
Sophie and Mom decided she would wear a dress I had already made her out of grey fabric and "old fashioned" to quote Sophie. (eye roll) She needed Bunbun to make the pinafore like you see on the girls in the pic above and a kerchief. Piece of cake - one pinafore coming right up.
I used some washed muslin that I didn't iron too much. We were going for reality here.I used the bodice and sleeve cap of Simplicity 3859 and rounded up the neckline. No facings were used  but the neck and armholes were attached to bias strips, turned and topstitched and the bias cut back to about 3/8ths inch - good enough for a one time modeling job.
Since I doubted the existence of buttonholes at this time I used two ties in the back to keep the thing together. 
The original immigrant image at the top shows all wearing their kerchiefs which Sophie felt she needed for authenticity. So triangle of dark depressing grey print and we are done! One Ellis Island, 1880s immigrant child from Belgium hopping off the boat! Whew!


She will get dressed up in her outfit Friday and wear it to school. There she will get "processed" just as if she just got off the boat. I think it will be a wonderful learning experience. I do know one thing. It sure isn't a project like any I had in third grade. Heck, in third grade I didn't even have projects. But what really really mystifies me in all of this is what do kids from Asia or Africa do? And what about kids without sewing at the last minute capable grandmas?  Oy...

I can't wait to start on a couple of projects for myself.It's been a while and it did feel good to get back at the machine today despite the type of project this was.  I have been asked to do some home dec sewing for DD "as a Christmas gift". Not sure that gift is getting done before Christmas!......Bunny