Winter sewing has begun. I find it to be a real challenge. I am going to continue the way I worked with my wardrobe this summer. I will make tops and bottoms that coordinate. Entire SWAP (Sewing With A Plan) plans are too large a commitment for me and just do not interest me at this time. However, if I can look in the closet and find a top and bottom and in winter a coordinating vest or jacket that all work together, they don't need to work any harder for me.
You remember the little cropped poncho I made this summer to go with two other pieces, inspired by Silhouette Patterns? Well, while cruising another pattern website I came across something similar but with straps. It had buttons on the side for a closure and was really quite cute. I really thought I could knock off this designer's version and I proceeded. While Peggy Sagers offered her design to the public, this designer was selling hers so I will not mention her name. But you have to respect that many sewists have spent their lives knocking of designs made by others. This was no different so I proceeded. There were also differences so this is not an exact copy either. I guessed my way through the construction. I have no idea if the other designer made her's this way.
This was a really, really fun project and a great start to some winter sewing. I had forgotten how much I loved to sew with wool. I had also forgotten how great it is to sew really high quality fabric. I have often mentioned my dear friend Ima who bequeathed me most of her amazing stash before passing a couple years ago. As a degreed textile major as well as FIT grad she knew her fabrics. This piece of vintage Pendleton Black Watch plaid was among her gifts. When deciding what to make this poncho vest with I searched and searched the resources and this gorgeous vintage wool said "look no more". It was perfect and the one yard listed was more like one and a half yards. You'll notice the price is 16.00 per yard. I'd say that puts it back around the 60s or 70s knowing Ima. Today this exact same yardage, if you can find it new like this, runs 40-50 dollars a yard. It is heavenly to stitch with and so very classic. It felt perfect for my poncho project. I love having something I can throw over a top and pants in the winter that isn't the same old cardi or sweater. Pendleton has been making the same classic plaids for decades and actually had a mill and store about 35 minutes from where I live now in New Hampshire in a town called Guild. Alas, the mill closed and all the wools are now made in Oregon, I believe.
I also made an executive decision to make the front of the poncho one inch longer than the back. I would add a one inch bias cut strip to the front only. Why? Well, as in all thing C cup and larger...a bosom lifts the front of any garment and when the poncho was properly placed at the shoulder area the front was lifted by the bust and was shorter than the back, lik e any garment needing an FBA. So, I just made the front of the poncho longer by one inch and all fit fine.
On the front side of the poncho you can see where I added the bias strip of hem. It is also topstitched with the triple stitch. A lot of these pics have been seriousl lightened/tampered with so you can see the details, etc. I always try to let you know when I use photoshop. The actual fabric is quite dark. The bottom hem bands also have mitered corners.
The soutache also came from Ima's legacy. Gotta love that price and how about that fiber content? I tied the ends of the soutache in knots and coated them with Fray bloc. Once dry I stitched them to the back side of the facing in beween their "ridge". I love how that hides the stitching. I love this soutache. Do they even still make this type? I have such a bounty that I haven't ever shopped for it.