Sunday, March 30, 2014

Choir Wardrobe 03 30 14

The last Sunday for Mint green/navy blue/tan or brown, and I have to admit I'm kinda glad.  I don't have a boatload of mint in the wardrobe, and that scarf has been worn for 4 out of 5 Sundays this month.

Normally, spring break week is when I pull out the spring/summer clothes and put away the fall/winter wardrobe...but, seeing how it snowed on Monday, I'm not quite ready to part with the warm stuff yet.  But I did open my out-of-season box and pull out the mint green rayon Simplicity 2599 tank top that was the garment that left the remnant that turned into the scarf.  It's kinda fun wearing a matching top and scarf; at least one person thought the scarf was part of the top.

I covered my bare arms with the brown-embroidery-on-stretch-denim McCall's 5191 Jacket. 

Easter colors next Sunday!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Trench Coat...a little bit at a time...

Back to the 20 minute-at-a stretch sewing.  Takes forever, but at least there is some progress.

I started with the little bits...the collar, the belt, the pocket flaps, the shoulder and sleeve bands, etc.  Got them done to the topstitiching.

I'd decided to use a dark charcoal for my topstitiching; it matched the buttons and I thought that would make a nice detail.

The first item to be topstiched after I changed out the thread was the back shield.

Folks, once that thread was on the elephant gray coat it looked blue.

I guess it's just the contrast.  Away from the coat fabric, it looks dark gray.

Laid on looks navy blue.


So I've unpicked that topstiching and will redo it.  I considered just using black, but the buttons are a swirly gray, so I nixed the black (now I'm wishing I'd just gotten black buttons). 

I guess I'll just use the matching thread to topstitch.  Won't be quite as striking, but, given the way things are going here, maybe less contrast will be a good thing...

Monday, March 24, 2014

Choir Wardrobe 03 23 14

I'm really hoping yesterday is the last leave-at-7:30-get-home-at-7:30 Sunday for a while.

Or even just a couple of weeks...

Anyway, this was a comfortable outfit to wear for a long and busy Sunday.  I am dismayed that the scarf always looks more aqua than mint; it really is mint green in real life. ;-).  Colors are Navy, Mint green and brown/tan.

RTW jeans, the as-yet-un-reviewed Jalie 2566 cap sleeve t in a really floppy blue rayon (or might be modal)/lycra jersey and McCall's 5191 Jacket in brown-on-stretch- denim eyelet.

And the made-from-a-remnant-really-mint-not-aqua-scarf.

Feeling-rather-dashing-today.... :-)

Friday, March 21, 2014

Long day...

DS the Elder, AKA the Artist, had arthroscopic surgery on his knee today, repairing and rebuilding damaged tendons and cartilage and I won the draw to be the official 'family representative'.

Which means I pretty much sat in a chair from 7:30 AM until 5:30 ish PM, when My Sweet Babboo arrived to take the evening shift.

Everything went well and he seems to be recuperating fine; he's hoping to go to the church men's pancake breakfast after he checks out of the medical facility tomorrow.  But it was his right knee, which means he won't be driving for 6 weeks.  That means we're going to be doing a lot of chauffeuring.  Dunno if he can rig up a car pool for his ride into work or not...

I took some needle work but, owing to the aged state of the piece I was working on, I did not have a functional needle with me.  So, I ended up reading a book I found at the bookstore yesterday for just such a situation; George Washington's Secret Six:  The Spy Ring that Saved the American Revolution by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yeager.  It was a quick read...I read all of it before he got to his room...but very enlightening.  I'd never really heard the whole Benedict Arnold story (yup, those six civilian spies were key players), and many of the American Revolution stories that I learned in history class looked a little different coming from a non-textbook perspective.  I'll probably pass it around the's worth a read.

But I did come home and fuse every piece of interfacing I have onto the respective pieces of the coat.  That's a huge piece done; when I can get back into the sewing room, I'll actually be sewing.  Glory! ;-)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Officially in the WIP Column...

Finally finished cutting out the last bits of the trench coat tonight.

I did do some testing and decided that I would

1) cut all the interfacing pieces recommended by Burda from Pro Tricot fusible; it's very light weight but gives the fabric a crisp hand, which should work well for the collar and various tabs.

2) Interface the front, the belt, the sleeve hems, back hems and around the back armsceye with Pro Weft; it's a little thicker than the tricot, but it retains more drape

3) cut a front shield and a back shield from hymo and lining; I'll be putting that together to see if I can get the shoulder area nice and stable.  Haven't tried this before, but I have seen photos on the 'net so I'm going to give it a go.

4) I drafted curvy sleeve headers and cut them from quilt batting.  I saw a lot of references to them in the internet searches I did so I thought I'd give them a try.

I decided to omit the flap on the front; it confused me as it didn't really seem to have a function.  Front flaps I've seen before actually button over the right front, to cover that area at the top of the coat as a storm flap.  But this wasn't drafted to go that far over and I thought it would just kinda flop around, besides creating an opportunity for me to bungle something into Loving Hands at Home.

But I will line the back fly.  I think it will hang better.

My wool gab is really a tropical weight; I think my lining is actually a bit heavier than the shell fabric.  It really needs a bit of weight added here and there...hence the extra interfacing and lining and such.

I cut the coat out, then cut the front interfacing and fused it to the fronts; then I laid the fronts back together and made the tailors tacks for darts and pockets and such.

I really wish I had a clamshell press for things like that....

So I'm ready to start sewing with a fully booked weekend in front of me.  I will readily admit that this may be the only piece I actually finish from the SWAP wardrobe before the deadline, but it is the one I need the most....

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Close Call

Decided tonight was The Night to cut out the Trench least the shell fabric.

Due to the moth damage, I knew I was going to have to fold and cut and fold and cut my way through it; the first piece I cut was the back...tailors tacked all the markings I needed, and then refolded and laid on the front, the lower sleeve and the welt flaps.

For some strange reason, I felt compelled to check the length of the cut back against the laid-out front...I just wanted to make sure I'd added two inches to the pattern length before I cut it.  Something made me think I might've only added an inch and a half.

But, as I messed around with the back something began to nag at me.  Something wasn't right.  I tried to ignore that little mosquito thought on the edge of my conscious and continued chalk marking the addition to the bottom of the front...and just as I finished marking it I realized what the 'something wrong' was.

I'd used the pattern piece for the back lining to cut the back instead of the actual back piece.

I thought I was done for right there.  Kaput.  I wanted to cry, throw up, throw things, scream...instead, I took a deep breath and checked the actual back piece against the remaining length.

There was enough.  By cutting the upper sleeve and a couple of other smaller pieces from the first piece I'd cut, I squeaked by.

There might even be enough left for me to test a couple of different weights of interfacing, although I'm pretty sure I'll use Pro Sheer on the whole front.

Maybe I'll get the rest cut out on Thursday...


Monday, March 17, 2014

Am I Overthinking?

I'm beginning to wonder if I'm trying too hard here.

I finally got all the teeny bits of the pattern cut...and I made a pattern for a sleeve header, chest shield and back support as well.

Then I read carefully through the Burda instructions to see how much interfacing they expect me to put on this coat.  It wasn't very easy to find...I  had to hunt a bit to see what I was supposed to interface. 

It's WAAAAAYYYY less than I expected.  No chest shield.  No upper back support.  On the front, there is only a strip down the front edge and around the dart/pocket opening (and I must say, their description of that made NO sense).

I expected a full front interfacing at the very least.

So now I've got a I go with the pattern instructions (I looked again at the photos of the coat in the does look rather floppy) or do I add more interfacing?  If I add it, how much?

I never liked guess work, but I want the coat to be reasonably sturdy.

Time to go read Trench coat reviews and blog posts, I think...

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Choir Wardrobe 03 16 14

 March colors are mint green, navy blue and tan/brown.  After a very short night, due to My Sweet Babboo's wee hours return from a trip to Missouri,  I just grabbed what I could and went.  CWC jeans, with my 3/4 length cotton/lycra jersy Jalie 2566 T that was new 2 weeks ago; McCalls 5860 Jeans Jacket in khaki stretch cotton sateen and the mint green scarf made from a remnant.  The jacket has never really been a raging success; there was way too much fabric flopping around on the bottom when I finished it, but the only place to take it out was the front princess I have ended up with an off-grain seamline.  Oh, it's better than it was...but still not great.  I really, really need to replace it with a jacket that has been properly adjusted at the pattern stage.  But that's pretty low on the priority right now.  Trench coat first...

My Sweet Baboo was actually at a knife making class over the weekend, and during some of their free time they ended up at Springfield Leather. He'd been there on an earlier trip, so this time, I had him call me.  And he brought home two very nice pieces of leather for me, which goes a long way towards making up for being allowed to go to the knife class the same weekend as the Atlanta Sewing Expo, which I consequently missed again so I could be home and make sure the Flute Player had someone looking after her.

The color is not very good on the photo; the pinkish/purple piece is really a dark burgundy, and is intended to be a replacement Bible cover (as in, a zipper case to carry it around in); the shiney piece is actually a very lovely gold metallic (the spot on it sort of in the middle is a blip on the camera lens).  .  I'm hoping to get a vest out of it, but all the scraps WILL get used in some fashion; it's just too lovely to toss.

It may be 10 years before I use all of it up...but I intend to use ALL. OF. IT.

Which will be fun, seeing as I have never sewn with leather before. ;-)

But since I technically did not buy the skins, I'm not really counting them as breaking the no-new-fabric-until-the-trench-is-done moratorium. ;-)

I'd put them in the 'fabric in' tally...but how do you compute that???/

Monday, March 10, 2014

Choir Wardrobe 03 09 14

I almost didn't bother; the only thing I'm wearing that I made is the very thin and floppy rayon knit Jalie 2566 cap sleeve t.  But, for some crazy reason I thought it would be good to TRY to be consistent, so at about 10:30 last night I jumped in front of the camera-on-ten-second-timer and took a few selfies; this was the best of the lot. 

The jeans are from Lee and the linen jacket is from Coldwater; the colors for this month are navy, mint green and tan.  I actually had on mint green hoop earrings, but by the time I got home last night (I was at church  Sometimes that's what you do when you teach teens....) my ears were begging me to take 'em out, so I did.  Immediately upon walking through the door.

 I'm not sure they would've showed up anyway. ;-)

The weird necklace was something I came across at our local Really Cheap Color Coordinated Jewelry Store.  It was different...really different...from the rest of the offerings and so came home with me.  I'm really trying to pull colors in with accessories rather than making up so many different garments; my closet just can't handle much more. ;-)

And I need to get on that trench coat...if for no other reason than I'm missing some fabulous online fabric sales, because I have declared I will NOT add to the stash until that coat is done.

Arg...sorely testing my resolve here...

Monday, March 03, 2014

Choir Wardrobe 03 02 14

 Y'know, so long as I've got the 'three services Sunday morning and a class on Sunday evening' schedule, I think I'm going to consider Monday the normal day to do the weekly Choir Wardrobe post...I'm doing good to get  a photo, let alone find time to post it.  This week's photo is a jump-in-front-of-the-camera-with-the-timer-set one available to snap the photo when I had a minute to snap it.  But I think the schedule will change at some point...sort of...maybe... ;-).

Anyway, being March 2 the colors have changed to navy, mint green and tan.  That cardi from Coldwater is a weird color; next to my gray, it looks to tan, it looks gray.  But under the lights, well, it kinda goes brownish so I wore it. ;-)

The scarf is a hemmed rectangle remnant of rayon challis  which really is a hair more green than it looks in the photo. The stage lighting does weird things with mint green, all looked white or gray as the blue lights in the array washed it out.  Interesting.

The T under it was my Saturday whip together frankenpattern of  the Jalie 2566 t shirt; the knit is very stretchy, but also very firm so I used the larger size tracing so it wouldn't be forced into obvious stretching.  It's cotton/lycra and really a pretty casual top, but it's ok as a bottom layer.  It's also really comfy and I wish I'd made it early in the season so I could've worn it more.  I cobbled up the sleeve using the cap sleeve from the T and the long sleeve, shortened, from the cardigan.  Just pinned one on top of the other and folded the extra on the cardi sleeve to match.  Now I really wish I'd traced that so I could do it again easily.

Next time. ;-) And, next time I probably should do a bit of adjusting; the shoulder on this size is just too wide for me and needs to be adjusted.  But it's minor and no worse than RTW would be...

And I really do need to do a review on that pattern one of these days...

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Almost a muslin...

 I was pretty happy with the muslin until I saw the pictures.  Now I'm not so sure.

I put a sweater on under it, just to make sure that I'd have room for a sweater.

The front looks pretty's the back and side views that are making me frown a bit.

 I didn't include the pleat in the back because I wanted to fit the back w/o cheating any ease from the pleat. I'm seeing some diagonal wrinkles that make me think that 1) the upper back is too wide and 2) the back hip is too snug. (ETA: I think the 'too wide' upper back is a trick of lighting, so I've decided that only the back hip is an issue)

There is a pleat that goes all the way from the back neckline to the hem; I intend to sew it closed at the waistline for about 2" above and below.  There is also a back shield .

And there's a good possibility that a heavier, lined coat would fall just fine; the lightweight muslin may be velcroing a bit to the sweater and jeans underneath.  There will also be a belt and tabs on the lower sleeves.  I thought the sleeves would probably be too long, but they are just about right when I bend my arms, so I think I'm going to leave them at that length.

There's a 2" hem in that that I haven't turned up...I like the length it is, so I'm going to add 2 more inches to so that will be the finished length.

Now to I need to fix the back, or will it all be ok once the back pleat is there and the coat is lined???  I don't want to overfit...

Meantime, I am in need of something warm and navy blue for choir this month, so I celebrated my (I thought) completed muslin by whipping up a cotton/lycra 3/4 sleeve t from a cobbled up Jalie 2566 pattern (there's no long sleeve option for the t, so I morphed together the cap sleeve and the sleeve for the cardigan...).   It's a pretty casual looking top, but it'll get worn and it felt good to finish SOMETHING! ;-)