Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Thread is Red!

The swagger pennant drapes are done, folded and ready to be handed over tonight; I'm moving on with red thread.

Does everyone have an, um, pile in their room (closet, laundry room, sewing nook, whatever?) of stuff that's almost right but needs a bit of attention? Maybe a loose button, or it needs a bit taken off the hem, or some other thing that keeps you from being happy when you wear it?

Mine migrates around, and when I was sorting laundry yesterday my gaze landed on the current location of the Pile...the quilt rack in our bedroom. A bit of red was visible, and I pulled out my boiled wool jacket.

It was a Christmas gift from my DMIL about 8 years ago; a classic Tyrolean boiled wool jacket from Lands' End. Knitted trim, knotted buttons, the whole deal. In a size 10 petite, it fit really well everywhere but my shoulders. I just have way narrow shoulders, and the jacket kind of hung off. Well, I wore it anyway, but it bothered me a little. Once I found internet sewing sites and started really working at fit, those shoulders bothered me a lot. I don't know that I've worn that jacket 5 times in the past 5 years. I couldn't part with it, though. I love the style and I thought it should be fairly easy to move the sleeve caps in...boiled wool doesn't ravel, the jacket is unlined. But I was afraid to take a seam ripper to my Very Nice Jacket.

Until yesterday. When I pulled it out of The Pile, I happened to think 'I have red thread in the sewing machine!' I carried the jacket downstairs with the laundry, and, before I had time to think too much, removed the stitching on both sleeve caps. The sleeves had been eased; I released a bit of the easing and hand basted them in about 1/2" farther into the shoulder seam and tried it on. The left one was still a little droopy, so I pulled out the hand basting, moved in another 3/8" or so in and basted it again. That looked good, so I sat down at the machine and sewed them in. Pulled out the basting, the jacket fits perfectly. I didn't even have to trim the seam allowance; that extra bit works kind of like a sleeve head.

It took maybe half an hour.

Did you hear me smack my head? As in 'Why didn't you do this YEARS AGO?!?'

It's in the closet now; I'll be wearing it to death this year. On to those Weekenders.


  1. I remember those jackets! Loved them and gave a vest in the same fabric/style to my very Dear Mother-In-Law.

    This newly resurrected jacket must look fabulous on you! Perfect, I can even see it. Glad you got 'round tuit, better late than never.

  2. Way to go. I got a beautiful Dana Buchman hand-me-down recently. It would coordinate with several things that I own, but I am trying to find the nerve to fool with the shoulders just like you did. Maybe I can do it too.

  3. LOL! Sarah, did you catch that key phrase? ...before I had time to think too much... Once I had the stitching out, I HAD to fix it! ;)

    Good luck!