Tuesday, March 31, 2015

New Jacket

March really was the month of jackets.  I completed my third and final one- a mishmash of a pattern from Moldecia (a Brazilian pattern magazine ala Burda) and Butterick 6104.  Here is the final result:
 It pretty much turned out how I imagined it while sketching a couple of weeks ago.  Here is the original idea.  Do you keep sketch books in random places?  Do you sketch ideas for sewing?
I knew that I didn't have a paper pattern for this, so I turned to my fairly extensive collection of pattern magazines.  I buy them with zeal, but never use them!  I really need to rectify that, because there are some awesome patterns out there.  So I found a base for the body + sleeves in a Brazilian one, called Moldecia.
One thing to note with Brazilian pattern magazines, is most of the patterns come in one size.  Luckily, the jacket was presumably in that size.  I didn't know for sure, since for whatever reason, Moldecia only printed the larger size measurements- so starting with a 44. This plus mashing the patterns together meant I needed to do a muslin.  The Moldecia pattern had the right style lines in the body, plus added ones on the sleeves.  But there was no peplum and the collar was wrong.

Enter Butterick 6104, which had the right collar and the right peplum.  The muslin was pretty straight forward with only a couple of alterations- lengthen the peplum by 2 inches, take in the body waist by 2.5 inches, and the original neckline with the collar was way too snug, so I widened it by 5/8ths of an inch on each side.

Line Art 

Now that I've bored you with the technical details of designing the coat, let's look at it again.
Even with the hiccups of sewing the front panels in backwards, it was pretty easy to put together.  The one thing that I would have changed if I really thought about it, would be to have the zipper go all the way to the bottom.  It's fine as is, but kind of a pain to get started.  Here it is from the back and side.  It looks like I could take a smidge out of the back, but it's not too bad.
 Now let's take a look at the quilting detail.  It's not truly quilted, as in I didn't use batting underneath, but some cotton sateen.  I am really trying not to spend much money on my sewing, as I really don't need too. 

Quilting took forever!  Hours and hours of it.  I did as much of it as I could before constructing it, as I figured it would be easier in the flat.  I learned a lot about sewing in a straight line.  I used up some cotton satin (at least that's what I think it is) for the lining.  You may remember it from my bomber jacket.

All in all, I love this jacket.  It's a great spring/fall jacket for Kyiv and for work, as it's a bit nicer than my bomber jacket.  Anyway, it's now April, and I've decided to try and enter the Pattern Review Wardrobe contest, which means sewing 8 items in the next 6 weeks.  I sketched my ideas out, and cannot wait to get started.

What do you think?  Everything will be sewn from stash fabrics, minus the Ginger jeans which hopefully will be sewn with the kit fabrics, but I don't know when in April the kit will be shipped, and so I might have to buy some denim her in Kyiv.  Here are the fabric choices.  And with that, it's time to get ready for work.  Until next time happy sewing.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Sewing While Sick...

As much as you want to, when you have a head/chest cold, it's best to stay out of the sewing room.  Because otherwise this might happen:
I'm sure you're scratching your head and wondering what I'm talking about.  Well two of the wool panels have the wrong side of the wool on the outside.  I can't decide how much it's going to bother me yet, because I only noticed it when:
I finished quilting all the leather panels, so it's not easily fixable.  My mistake for you guys to learn from!  The blue will also be quilted the same way, so readers, the question is- do I fix it? Or just hopefully forget about it? Let me know in the comments. 
P.S. I used the lining fabric to quilt- as I am working through that stash.  Luckily there was just enough to cut out both the lining and the quilting.  Hopefully it will be awesome when it's done.  Now it's time to slap on some Vick's Vaporub and try and sleep off this cold.  Until next time, happy sewing.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Finished Jacket! Burda 7212

Readers, I am going to keep this post short and sweet.  I finished Burda 7212, version A mixed with version B, altered to not have linebacker shoulders and to not have a gap at the hips.  I don't have much to say about it.  Except, this may be my absolute favorite think that I have ever made in my entire sewing history.  I loooooooove it!  It was pretty much a dream to make and it's amazing to wear.  Without further ado-
This picture was taken after a full day's worth of wear, so it needs a slight pressing, but look at that color!  A coworker said it looked good enough to eat- like a raspberry.  What do you think?  It is a Super 120 wool from Valentino.  It was very lightweight and drapey, so I interfaced the entire jacket with tricot interfacing.  I didn't have enough of the black, so for the under sleeves and facings I used white.  It changed the depth of the pink ever so slightly.
Let's get into the details.  I combined the view A collar with the view B no peplum.  I made a size 38, with an giant 1.25 inches taken out at the shoulders.  I added about 4 inches at the hips, so that the front would lay flat.  I sewed the side, sleeve, and princess seams at 1/2 inch, but the rest at 5/8ths inch.  I drafted facings for the hem and the sleeves, as I think the make a cleaner jacket. 
The lining is likely a poly charmeuse bout in Sao Paulo for about $3.  I used grey/lavender biased binding to finish facing edges.  I also used it as piping between the front facing and the lining. 
I used a piece of the selvage to make a hanger.  I thought about using the piece that said Valentino or made in Italy, but I thought this was better.
For the buttons, I used mother of pearl buttons from a necklace that a friend gifted me.  I did make the welt pockets, if I were to make this again, I would make them thinner.  They're a little oversized for my tastes.

Anyway, that's that, I'll leave you with some more pictures.  Now to decide on my next make- should I move onto a wool/leather moto jacket, or should I make a shirt dress?  And oooh, wouldn't this jacket look good with my hot air balloon dress.  Pink with white and blue.  Next week!  Anyway, until next time happy sewing.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

A Fall Outfit in Spring

Now it would seem that I can't seem to sew with the weather, but it all makes sense in my mind.  In Kyiv, we had about a week of spring, and now we're back into fall-like weather.  In the 40s(single digits for those who only know Celsius) and dreary. So it would seem it's a weather appropriate outfit right?  Let's get to the sewing- the jacket is Burda 7212, a mash between view B (lapels, no peplum) and view A (buttons).  I made a size 38 with the side seams sewed at 1/2 inch, and a giant wedge taken out of the shoulders.  Looking at the photos, you can tell that the shoulders are very line-backery.  Right?  The wedge was 1.25 inches- a little over 3 centimeters.
As I mentioned in my previous post, this is a wearable muslin, so no interfacing was used in the sewing of this jacket.  It shows.  The fabric is a double sided wool from Turkey.  It's kind of a mix between brown/black/green.
It is also the tiniest bit snug in the waist.  I am going to sew the front princess seams at 1/2 instead of 5/8s of an inch and the back princess seams will start as 5/8s and taper down to 1/2.  This should take care of the snugness.  For once though, the sleeves are a. the right length, and b. not ginormous.  The shoulders are pretty perfect.
 A view from the back, where you can tell that I sewed the lining too tight.  One of the major changes I am making to the super lovely jacket, is that I will be using facing for all the hems.  It should make a difference in how it sits, right?  And now for the second part of the sewing. The button down.  I used McCalls 6649 by Laura Ashley.  I think it's the size 12 with the d cup and without the front darts.  I don't know for sure, as I didn't mark the size on the tracing of the pattern. 
The fabric is a super lightweight cotton from one of my fabric buying sprees.  I got it in a great fabric store in Lawrence, KS.  It's probably where I'll spend my $100 allotted for that vacation this summer.  As it was super lightweight, I didn't want to use regular interfacing, as I felt it would be too thick and heavy, so I used a lightweight white cotton batiste, from the scraps of my hot air balloon dress.  I think it would look better with higher waisted jeans.  Where are you Ginger jeans kits?  The jeans I am wearing are Eddie Baur, not my favorite, but they pretty much what I have right now.
For the construction, I halfway followed Sewaholics tips on collar making, but I like to make the collar and collar stand and then attach the whole thing together.
 The back actually does fit well, I was wearing a tank top underneath, and the cottons kept on sticking together.  I was worried that it would be too shear.  I realized halfway through the day that I forgot to sew on the last button!  That's what I get for finishing an outfit before work.
My options for pictures were limited this time around because over half of them the collar of the jacket was up.  My lovely husband didn't bother to tell me to fix it.  Ooops!  Anyway, this is what I've been working on.  I have cut out my next version, which will have the asymmetrical collar, and be the loveliest shade of hot pink.  And one of the most expensive fabrics I've worked with, but it's lovely.  It's a super 120s wool from Valentino, it has a little bit of stretch, so I'll be interfacing it with tricot fusible.  I have a perfect lining for it, but it doesn't have any stretch.  Do you think I should buy another lining for it, or just use what I've got and sew the seams at 3/8ths inch?  While you think about it, here's a picture of the statue- I have no idea who Zhambil Zhabaev is, but his statue is right across from my work in the park.  I need to learn more about Ukrainian history!  Happy Sewing.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Just Stopping By

I promise there has been a lot of sewing here, but just nothing being finished.  I can't seem to keep my mind in the game to finish any of the projects I am working on.  I blame spring!  I want to be outdoors in the sunshine that has finally decided that it can visit Kyiv again.  When I last left you, I had finished the purple skirt and started on the button down.  Well, the button down is still unfinished.  If I got to it, I bet I could get it done in two hours or less.  I just have to put the cuffs on the sleeves, attach sleeves to body, button holes, and buttons.  Not a lot right?  Well I got distracted.

Yes, that is a jacket.  You can also see the button down underneath it.  Look it's already hemmed and everything!  Nicole get on with it right?  So how did I interrupt my shirt-making with a jacket?  I was using the same thread for both the button down and the skirt.  I took the spool off the sewing machine to do the blind hem.  I misplaced the spool and had printed out some of my digital patterns from Sewingpatterns.com- which as a pattern printing company I am not a big fan of.  Do you know that you can only ever in your lifetime use three separate computers to print patterns? How does that make sense? I can understand the copyright issue, I've studied copyright law, but the average person trades in their computer every couple of years- limiting your usage of this company to 10-12 years at most.  As a side effect of my job, I end up having to replace my laptop every 1-2 years, and this is my third computer, meaning that I can no longer use sewingpattern.com after my time in Kyiv at most.  End rant!

Lining for the jacket and those pesky unfinished sleeves
Anyway, I printed out two suit jacket patterns- one for my hot pink Valentino wool and one for my cobalt blue wool.  I decided that I should probably muslin both of them, as I made some changes, and didn't want to cut into my ridiculously expensive pink wool.  So I made one of them up with some wool that I'm not a big fan of- it's kind of brown/green/black, but really liked the fit, so I decided to finish it.  It's not the best made jacket as I didn't interface it, but it's definitely functional. 

Well I'd best get back to sewing, so I can actually show you something. See ya soon and happy sewing.  I'll leave you with a picture of the kiddos to tide you over until then.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

McCalls 6993 and Venice

Good Evening dears!  Sorry it's been so long, but I got to spend a lovely six days in Venice, Italy, only coming home on Saturday.  I spent Sunday sewing and today have a skirt to show for it.  I made McCalls 6993, which is from their limited Archive collection.  I used purple wool that I got on our trip to Toronto.  It was in the remnant bin, so about 1.2 meters.  I didn't make any changes to the pattern, made a straight size 14 view A.
Boy!  I should really take new pictures after I iron it.  I tend to take pictures the moment I step in the door from work, so that I can change into my sweats and a tank- so I'll blame working all day for the wrinkly-ness.  Although I didn't alter the pattern, I did make changes to the construction. 
The main feature of this skirt is the interesting piecing at the top- the yoke.  Notice the two sharp corners.  How the pattern has you do it looked really hard and was going to give me a headache, so I did it the easy way.  (Sewing it, clipping, then top-stitching).  How I did it- well, it was easier than the explanation is turning out to be.  Basically I skipped to the top-stitching step.  To do this you have to fold under the seam allowances and then match the edges.

The other thing I changed was instead of interfacing and using lining to finish the yoke, I used some coutil as both the lining and the interfacing.  This has become my favorite way to finish waistbands, as it makes a completely not stretchy waistband.  Anyway, lets finish up with the skirt, so we can move on to more fun topics.  Venice. :)
I didn't want any extra bulkiness at the hem because of the pleats, so I ironed satin bias tape in turquoise to finish the hem.  Well that and about an hours worth of hand sewing.
See- completely invisible stitches at the hem.  The zipper is a run of the mill invisible one, and the seams are finished with the serger, which was being a pain in the butt.  I used it the night before we left to make a completely boring, but oh so useful, Renfrew out of wool sweater knit.  The serger absolutely hated it, so it was still striking.  It ended up being rethreaded during this project, and worked fine after that.  Now I just have to keep on dark projects as it's threaded with black.
Well enough about the skirt, let's talk Italy!  As part of my resewlution this year, I pledged not to buy patterns or fabric- but was allowed $100 of fabric each trip we took.  Well- that went by the wayside in Venice but not how you think.

We were in Venice for 6 nights 7 days.  One of the days we went to Florence as a daytrip.  According to googlemaps there are no fabric stores within the confines of Venice.  Well this is wrong, there are several fabric stores- mainly for home decoration fabrics- thick velvety brocades, Missoni has a home dec store, etc.  So on day two, I went to one of the home dec stores and it was all small pieces of the velvet brocade.  I didn't even look at the price because I just wasn't interested.  We were going to Florence the next day, so I figured it could wait.  Well- we got to Florence and saw David in all of his marble glory.

We also spend a long time staring up at the dome in the Duomo.
Amazing right? and we had an excellent lunch.  Per googlemaps, there was a fabric store right off the main square.  (That in of itself should have told me something.)  It was right next to the MaxMara, I was ok- well it might be $50/meter- as some of the nicer designer fabrics are at Mood.  Ummmmm, no.  The cheapest piece of fabric I saw in there was 70 euro a meter, and it was shirting fabric.  Most of the fabrics were in the 100-250 euro range.  But oh did I find a beautiful piece of taffeta that was cadet blue shot with apricot.  I didn't buy it, of course.  So we continued to walk around Florence and look for other fabric stores.  No luck, and with Venice being no luck, I broke my restraint and bought a Marfy catalog for 20 euro- which came with ten patterns.  Oops! I blame duress!
So we left Florence and went back to Venice.  The next morning, Closet Case Patterns must have sensed my weakened will.  She had decided to do a presale of the Ginger jeans kits.  Five yards of Cone Mill denim and the Ginger jeans pattern.  I caved.  I bought it on my I-phone, over the craptastic cellular service.  It took 30 minutes, but in a month I will be able to make some new jeans (good too, as my favorite pair just fell apart).
So carrying on- we went to the Divine Marchesa exhibit at the Palazzo Fortuny.  You can find more about this here.  It was amazing, but I didn't have a chance to take many pictures.  Alex wasn't behaving.  But goooooorgeous!
Just one of the many gowns, sorry about the focus.  Well, I found out that Fortuny still had a 'factory' showroom on one of the islands.  I was like ok- lets do it!  Well, let me tell you, we did and looked, it was beautiful, but per meter it was 350 euros! You can see more here.  I couldn't even afford at half meter.  So I did what any sensible girl would, and bought a new pair of glasses.  It was about the same price as a meter, but way more practical.  They'll show up sometime in the nearish future, as I have a weird prescription, so it takes a while to make the glass.  Anyway, that's how I went on a fabulous Italian trip, but ended up buying American fabric.  I'll leave off here with some more pictures of Venice.  Happy Sewing!