Monday, April 21, 2014

End in sight...

Dunno if I'll finish this week or not...it's possible, though.  We'll see...

Got the hem pinned and pressed but I think I'll put the lining in before I actually hem the coat, that way I can finish off the bottom of the facing when I do the hem instead of just slipstitching it to the hem fold of the coat.
 So I thought I'd pull a couple more pics off the camera and show them...

The collar band fix; I've got the bias hymo tacked into the collar band here; next step is to tack the seams all together.






I could NOT get a nice flat coat photo of the inside; it kept slipping off the ironing board.  But at least you can see the key elements I added... namely, the front and back shield and the sleeve header.








Finally, here's one more bit that I added...there are two buttons for the sleeve tab; one in a sort of normal position and a second one a couple of inches over, to cinch up the sleeve a bit.

However, there really isn't any support for those buttons.  I fudged the first one over a bit and put it on the seam allowance so that it had some support, but that second button is just in the middle of nowhere.

So I cut a wee bit of interfacing and fused to the button position on both sleeves...just to give those buttons something to hang on to.

Progress...progress...



Sunday, April 20, 2014

Choir Wardrobe: Easter Weekend Edition

Sewing blog.  For talking about sewing.

Sometimes I have to remind myself why I post about what I wore, for goodness sakes, when there's so much stuff that is so much more important to talk about.

I will refer you to the  link to the Choir Wardrobe explanation on the side bar, take a breath, and talk about what I wore.

Old stuff, all of it.  Someday I will finish the trench and commence to updating the rest of my wardrobe.

I'm just glad that April's colors are primarily ones that are in my wardrobe...purple and gray, and some yellow.

Anyway, Friday night I pulled out my One Yellow Top (Simplicity 2603)...yeah, the one that was missing all last summer.  I found it when I switched the fall wardrobe in October; somehow, it had gotten mixed in with the fall clothes and stored for the summer.  It's paired up with my slowly disintegrating gray modal knit Jalie 2919 cardi.

Replacing that cardi is high on the priority list; it really is falling apart.  The fabric has several holes that are just showing up for no discernible reason.  Fortunatly they're still quite small, so it works for what is basically stage wear, but, wow, I canna get much more from her, cap'n... Lee Jeans?  Maybe?

  And, lookit, on Saturday it's another Simplicity 2603, this one out of a sparkly gray poly/rayon knit, with the gray denim Jalie 2320 Jeans Jacket.  (I totally did not realize I did that...)   I don't remember which jeans I wore, which is really sad considering it was just last night.


Today I managed to wear something other than Jalie and Simplicity; this is the Loes Hinse Sweater Set from yummy bamboo jersey.  I had a yellow bracelet on when I left the house this morning, but I think I pulled it off and left it in my office as it was getting in my way typing.  I actually attended the Friday night service, and then sang in the choir, grabbed the data entry cards and worked in my office for the other 5 services (two on Saturday evening and three today).  I honestly don't remember taking the bracelet off; but I know that bangles typically annoy the stew out of me when I'm typing, so that's my guess.  Coldwater Creek jeans today...

Church staff have all been given tomorrow off; I forsee laundry and, if I manage it, some work on the trench.  My Sweet Baboo is getting very close to the finish line on his Hunting Frock...very close indeed...

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Photo tests...

Downloaded Picasa and I'm slowly figuring it out.

I have to move the photos to an 'export' folder in order to resize them...the resized versions go in the export folder, while the originals remain untouched in their spot.  Makes sense, I suppose, it's just a paradigm shift.

So, I pulled a few photos to check the process:
 Drafting the pattern for the fleece batting sleeve header...

It's a really thin batting, used for baby quilts, I think.  It came in a pre-cut package and went into the sleeve very nicely.




 The back and front shields.  Incidentally, I've got that put in and I love the nice smooth look it gives the shoulder area.  Plus I can sew the shoulder pads straight to it.

I will take some more photos of the interior of the coat before I put the lining in.
Buttonholes by the Kenmore.

I read somewhere that a buttonhole should start exactly one button's width from the finished edge.  I think that might be a bit too far away for the tabs, but not enough to redo them. Just filed away for 'next time'.

Actually, I was supposed to use a smaller size button for the tabs, but I didn't catch that until after the WAWAK order w/all 7/8" buttons had arrived.  I'm not stressing over that.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Moving on...

Before I jump into the progress report, I have a question.

Does anyone know if there is such a thing as a downloadable photo editor? Or, maybe I should rephrase that...does anyone have experience with a cheap photo editor?   I just need something that will crop and resize pictures, nothing fancy schmancy.  Microsoft apparently removed the photo editor from  their home package; I always used the one that was included in our Microsoft 03 package on the old HP, but, well, that has gone the way of all electronics. I really want to post some photos...

So.  Back to the sleeve dilemma.  Debbie had a very good point...something that Cynthia Guffey has stressed in her classes...you can't judge fit of a garment unless you've got both sleeves on.  I knew that...but I didn't really want to put that other sleeve on just to take it off again.

Then I had a facepalm moment...I'd already FINISHED the lining...it had both sleeves set in, cut at exactly the finished sleeve length at the moment.

So I pulled the lining out and put it on.  Hm.  Looked promising, so I took a breath and put the other sleeve on.

Yeah, it's still pretty long.

But when I cross my arms, the sleeves hit precisely where I want them to.

I need that extra length after all.

So...woot woot, I pressed the sleeve seams, pulled out all the gathering/basting stiches and serged the seam allowances.

I'm looking at a fair amount of handwork now; I've got a floating back shield that I attached at the shoulders to floating chest shields and I'm going to hand tack that assembly to the shoulder seams and the armsceye seams, and have a look and see if that gives me just that pinch of extra support or if it really makes the top boardy.

And I also have some fleece sleeve headers to put in as well to support the shoulder cap.

None of that is in the pattern guide, btw.  I'm making it up as I go.

Then I will add the shoulder pads; at some point in there I'll hem the sleeves, too.

Then I'll put the lining in.

I think I see the light at the end of the tunnel.  There's only one more major hurdle now...the buttonholes.  The Kenmore makes nice ones, but with the cam set up it's always a bit of a guess as to just exactly where it's going to start sewing in the button hole pattern.

I'm still trying to think how to get rid of that guessing...

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Tripped up again....

Got one of the sleeves on last night and could not resist putting it on to get a glimpse of what the finished coat would look like and had a bit of a shock.  If you go back and look at the photos of the muslin, you'll see that the finished sleeve length hits right about the bottom of my thumb joint...which would be about right for an overcoat.

I was really surprised, since I almost ALWAYS have to shorten sleeves.

But that looked good.  So I made no alterations.

And last night, when I put on the one-armed coat, I found that the finished sleeve length hit about the tip of my thumbnail.

Whhaaattt???

I did put the muslin on over a sweatshirt, since I wanted to make sure it had ample ease for wearing over a bulky underlayer.  The only explanation I can come up with is that the muslin fabric just didn't slide over the sweatshirt fleece totally and I didn't catch it.

But I went to work today, thinking in my head about how simple it will be to shorten the sleeves, especially since I caught it before I had them both on.

I came home, put the unattached sleeve on the ironing board and suddenly was confronted with a detail I had forgotten.

I'd put a lovely bit of fusible interfacing on the hem.  To fix it properly..., well, I'm not sure I can fix it properly, since I will not have to remove enough length to cut away all the interfacing.  But I definitely want interfacing on that hemline.

So...the only other alternative would be to shorten the sleeve from the top.  Which is probably do-able, I just haven't done it before.

Or, do I just leave the extra length, knowing that it will allow me plenty of ease for bulk in chilly weather?

Oy...

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Off and On

My inner perfectionist took over for a bit last night and the collar and band came off the coat.  I trimmed as much off the ends as I could w/o messing with the actual collar, and cut a bias strip of hymo and painstakingly whipped it down to the already graded  collar/band seam allowance, then I put the collar assembly back on the coat.

It went in MUCH smoother, and the collar band stands up nicely.

So all I have to do now is catchstitch the inner band/facing seam to the outer band/coat seam and I'll be back to where I was when I got home from work last night.

Maybe I'll get the sleeves in tonight...

Monday, April 14, 2014

Two steps backwards

Moan about the collar band, part two...

Finished all the handstitching on it and got the sideseams sewn up so I could actually try on the coat.

I wasn't happy with the collar band...it had some bagginess/rippling going on due to being kinda squeezed into the available space...but I thought I could live with it.

However, once I put it on I realized that it really wasn't beefy enough to support the collar...it kinda flops around.

My fabric is a tropical weight wool gab...not at all heavy...but the fusible tricot just wasn't stiff enough to hold it up.

What to do, what to do.

I could ignore it; it's not really something that noticeable.

But I wasn't happy.

I've just about convinced myself I need to pull the whole thing off, take the collar off the band, sew the collar band at exactly the end of the collar (right now, there's about a 1/4" notch that sticks out beyond the collar) and maybe tack in a strip of  hymo to hold it up.

Or maybe just putting the hymo in there would support it enough to get rid of most of the ripples.

Hm. All I'd have to undo then would be the hand stitching.

Might be worth a try.