Sunday, March 27, 2016

A Late Birthday Present and A New Outfit for me

I am going to warn you.  This is going to be a picture heavy post.  It was finally sunny and warm enough to take pictures outside.  You may remember way back in August/September/October, I was working on my lovely husband's birthday present, a handmade leather jacket.  I finished it in early October, only a week or two after his actual birthday.  He wore it one time out to take pictures, and the back shoulder seam busted open.  This was a combination of me not factoring in enough wearing ease, him having broader shoulders than me, and bad thread.  I was out of leather needles and needed new thread, so it got hung up, and left to gather dust.  In my defense, by the time the leather needles arrived (late October/early November), it was too cold for the jacket.  When I saw the good weather today, I knew I needed to get off my kiester and fix this jacket.  I took off the sleeves and inserted a 5/8ths inch wedge on the back armhole.
Of course, that's the one spot that is out of focus on this picture.  It was a bear to do, as I couldn't take out the lining (snaps and stuff).  My machine also hates this leather.  It did the trick, and he can pick up the little guy without any trouble with the jacket. 
Here it is from the front.  If I were to remake it, I would probably extend the front shoulder the same amount.  When he lifts his arms the shoulders pop up weirdly. 
Here you can see the shoulder wedge.  I made the jacket out of two separate hides, both remnants. They were dyed the same color, but in certain lights, you can see a slight difference between the two colors.  Hopefully as it ages, the patina will even out the color.  You can also see that I should have done a forward neck adjustment, oops!  I must remember that one if I ever make him anything else.  Tony is happy with it, so that is all that matters, right?
Final picture of them.  Alex was a super serious model during the shoot.  We were on our way to the park, so he was pretty excited.  I am surprised I didn't get any smiles out of him. 
And now on to what I have been making.  We'll start with the pants.  They are my second version of Burda Bella pants.  I made a major change in the front pocket, raising it 3.25 inches.  I also took 5/8" out of the side seam due to fabric constraints. Lastly, I used snaps instead of buttons, as my machine is on the fritz regarding buttonholes. I think it's the foot.  Alex loves to play with it, so I think he broke it.
A look from the side.  The denim was bought last week at Kashtan in Kyiv.  I know, I know, I have perfectly fine denim in my stash (Cone Mills), but I really wanted a lighter color and lighter weight denim.  I did use up about a half yard of fabric from my stash, the inside waist is leftover denim from my first pair of Ginger jeans. At least I used it within the week, so it did not end up in my fabric collection.  Doesn't fabric collection sound so much nicer than stash?  It definitely takes the negative connotation away. 
From behind.  I really love how these pants fit.  They definitely make the most of my curves.  I don't know if you can tell, but one of the pockets is cut off grain.  I couldn't make it work otherwise. 
The top is also new. It's another Deer and Doe Airelle blouse, this time sans both front and back darts.  I may put the darts in, as I am feeling that it's a little too blousy.  The fabric was bought for the top three weeks ago at a Kyiv craft fair.  It's a lightweight voile, likely made out of rayon.  I did use up a half yard of white/cotton silk voile for the lining/underlining. Which meant no facings.  The cream silk collar is some of the oldest fabric in my collection, left over from my wedding in 2010. 
I cut the yoke with the stripes perpendicular. I thought about cutting the yoke in half, and doing it on the bias, but decided the print is already busy enough.  I used the remains of this fabric for both the pocket lining on these jeans and on another pair of pants.  Looking at this picture, I really do think I should put in the darts.  What do you think?

On a side note, I don't know why I was making such goofy faces at the camera.  Once I saw the pictures, I wanted to redo them, but at that moment my camera died. Eh oh well.  I'm just happy that there was some light for these photos.  And on that note, that's all I have.  Until next time happy sewing.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Finished B6074

Hello there, I meant to show some pictures of my finished B6074 last week, but I failed to bring my laptop (or make the quick fix to the jacket) on my work trip.  Then the weekend got in the way.  Oh well, enough excuses.  Here is the jacket. 
I tossed it on today to take new pictures.  I paired it with my teal ponte Gingers (made out of the same ponte of the pockets, patches, and collars).  I don't think I've ever blogged about these Gingers, as they aren't my favorite.  I folded up the hem on them, and I think I like them better like this.  I also want to take them in at the knee.  Meh, sometime.  Back to the jacket.  I added a second button hole to it, and now it looks better.
The single button hole for your comparison.  The bit of skirt showing above it drove me nuts all day while wearing it.  I wasn't sure if I like it with the teal ponte.   It kind of makes me feel really matchy matchy.  The jacket also turned out looking a lot more formal than I was expecting.  From the front, it is giving me plaid tuxedo. I think it's the shawl collar.  I also think that it is me- I don't ever think I will be hip.  I am almost always over dressed.
From the back.  The wrinkles are from how I am standing, I promise the plaid is straight down.  Blergh, you can see some bagging in the pants, they are a little too big.  I should really fix them, but the top stitching is a triple stitch.  I am not sure if I can handle seam ripping them.
And from the side.  I can pretend the messing up on the sleeve plaid matching is a design feature.  Somehow I ended up a stripe off.  It works though, right?  One of my reservations about this jacket is the length. It's roughly 4-5 inches longer than most of my other jackets, so it feels a little bit harder to wear.  I am thinking that it would look good with a camel pleated skirt, maybe?  The plus side to it being longer is the pockets are actual functioning pockets.  I can put my whole hand in there, instead of the little pockets I am usually stuck with.  Well, that's all I have to say about the jacket.  I'll leave you a me trying to look cool pose.  Until next time, happy sewing.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Sneak Peak, Finished B6079 Jacket

Well, thanks to International Women's Day, I was able to spend a lot of time on my jacket and fixed it as much as I could.  I ended up taking the back princess seams in a total of 2-2.25 inches, and letting out the side seams 1 inch total.  Sounds strange, but it makes sense.  I am not a wide person, all my curves go to the front or back, so the extra space is needed on the sides.
A back view, in which you can see the pile of leftover fabric.  I need to reclean my sewing room.  I really love how the elbow patches turned out.  I debated building out the shoulder a little bit, but when I started to do it, it went 80's on me.
A view from the front.  I think that I might need to move the button ever so slightly.  That plaids really do match down the front.  One major change I made to the pattern is that I overlapped the fronts and added a button.  This is one of the reasons that the back was too big, I went up a size to make sure I had enough to do so.  Now I realize, I should have only done that in the front, would have saved me all that extra work.

A closer look at the front.  I topped stitched the edge of the jacket, as the contrast fabric did not want to lay flat.  Doing this was a pita, as my last jersey needle was getting dull and kept on skipping stitches.  I had to manually make the button hole, as my little guy broke my button hole foot.  It's on my list to replace.
I lined it with the gold bemberg as the last jacket I made.  It really brightens up the inside.  I also did a hem facing rather than fold the hem up.  I feel this makes for a cleaner inside.  I hand stitch the sleeve hems, and about an 8" portion of the hem facing.  This equals 20 minutes of hand stitching.
Since I had to replace the original hem facing, I couldn't use the same bias binding as the neck facing.  So some is turquoise and some is purple.  It's on the inside.  No one will know, right?  I also added a pleat on the back.  (Thankfully, so I didn't have to make the final modifications on the lining, the extra fabric from the pleat made it all right.)  You'll have to tune in tomorrow to see the jacket on.  I will leave you with a close up of the elbow patches.  Until next time, happy sewing.  And also, happy women's day, let's hope in the near future, we won't have to have a day set aside to achieve equality.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Jacket in progress ( or damn my good posture)

Hi there! I'm dab smack in the middle of a four day weekend due to the kiddos being out of school today, tomorrow being a holiday, and my husband having to work today. The plus side is I've gotton to sew, the downside is that the little guy likes to help me sew, making it hard. I have made a good amount of progess on the jacket. I will admit that I have spent the same amount of time seam rippig as sewing. 

I started with the welt pockets made in the contrast color. Alex was using my computer, so I didn't have instructions, but I made it through.  Then I had to insert the sleeves, I think I'll make a sleevehead to take some of the wrinkles out. Then after trying it on, I realize I needed to take fabric out of theback waist and add some to the hips. And now for the fun part, adding the elbow patches.
I used the two circles to make an oval method. Alex really liked this method, so we made several variations. The final version ended up being 5.5 inches by 3 inches. I cut them out of the teal fabric, and safety pinned them for placement. 

Needless to say it took a coupe of tries.  Once I got them in the right place, I seam ripped the sleeve seam and glued the patch down. This way i could machine sew them on, using one of the kajillion fancy stitches my machine has, but I never use. 
I used the blanket stitch feature. Not too shabby, eh?  I resewed the sleeve seam. Now for the problem, I am getting some ridiculous wrinkles in the back, and this is after taking an inch out, maybe it needs a little more?
Suggestions? If this were a muslin, I'd take out a horizontal fisheye dart, but it's not. It's due to my erect back, as if I slouch the wrinkles go away. Anyway, I'll continue to think about it while cooking some lasagne. Until next time, happy sewing. 

Saturday, March 5, 2016

A Ridiculous Pair of Burda Pants and Another McCalls 6649 Button Down

I have pretty much worn this outfit (or variations of it) every Friday for the last three weeks meaning to take pictures of it.  The first Friday was my first day off coffee, meaning the massive migraine prevented me from pictures.  The second Friday we were running late to a shindig so the pictures were skipped.  Yesterday, finally I had my dear husband take some pictures.  They are not the best, but they're taken.  The pants are Burda Style Bella 6011.  The button down is yet another McCalls 6649.
Now that I look at these pictures, I should have re-ironed the pants before the picture.  They are super wrinkled.  I'm not sure if I like them or not to be honest.  I like the idea of them, but during the making I was worried they would be too tight, so I sewed the side seams at 3/8ths of an inch, and they're a little big in the waist.  I also hate how low and small the front pockets are.  It drives me nuts all day long.  I think I could raise the pockets 3-4" and still get the full effect of pleating.  I will say, they are super comfy to wear. 
You can see the pleating on the pockets better in this picture.  The waistband is a series of panels, It creates a lot of shape.  Honestly, I think part of the problem is also the fabric.  It's a little thin, and not the best quality, but it was what I could find here in the color that worked with my current wardrobe plans.  You know what I am thinking-  I need to keep an eye out for better fabric and make a second version to fix my issues.  I know what you are all saying.  I should have made a muslin.  I'll just call these my muslin.  That works, right?
You can see the paneling a little better here.  The drags lines are from how I was standing.  Anyway, moving on to the shirt.  I don't have much to say about it, it's one of those I've made 5 times, so it's a breeze to sew.  The fabric is from my trip to Munich.  It's a super nice cotton lawn.  I have enough left for a simple top, which I'll probably make later this spring/summer.
So I started my jacket last weekend.  I got the lining and the facings done, but now I've been stuck on the cutting the plaid out for the outer jacket.  All I've cut are to the two side front panels.  In a week!  I just need to get off my butt and do it. The panels are in the foregraound, and the jacket lining is on the mannequin.  In the middle is some fabric I picked up today at a Made in Ukraine Expo.  I got it for the first section, which I hope is wide enough for a kimono sleeve top.  I'll have to figure out what to do with the other half, maybe it will make a good pleated skirt?  Anyway, that's all I have today.  Apologies for being super boring about it. It's been a rough-ish week, and I've depleted most of my energy stores.  Luckily, I don't have to be at work until Wednesday.  Hopefully that means there is some sewing time in there. Until next time happy sewing.