Sunday, March 29, 2015

Choir Wardrobe 03/29 -- the Hasty Photographer edition.

I suppose I can't complain too much...we had professional portraits done back in of those fundraiser deals...and the lapel on my jacket was turned up in every picture exactly the same. 
Except we didn't notice it until AFTER we'd gotten home the whole package of photos we'd bought.

My Sweet Babboo was late for a meeting by the time we got home today; he snapped the picture and left, I went and changed clothes and ate lunch.  Then I pulled the photos off the camera and saw what he missed.

I almost didn't post them...then I thought, what the heck.  This is real life, y'all. ;-)

So...for a cold snap on the last day of 'lucite' green, navy and gray, here's what I wore...except I *think* the collar behaved itself better when in public:

Navy Cotton Jalie 2566T, with frankepatterned 3/4 length sleeves,  Burda 05-2009-108 vest, made from a poly/lycra matte -backed satin that the online vendor had labeled as charmeuse;  I made the vest with the matte side out and used the satin side for the collar.  It worked, but it was very unpleasant stuff to work with and it's rather cloying to wear; as a vest, it's bearable.  I tried to make a jacket from it and got a very bad wadder.  The scarf is a remnant from the same fabric that I used for the tank top that I intended to wear today, but as it was 31 degrees when we left the house I reverted to the wintery version.  Lee jeans, labeled 'short' but requiring at least a 2" heel.

Easter is coming...5 services spread over 3 days.  The choir post next week will be picture heavy.

If I can get my photographer to take a breath and look at  his subject. ;-)

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Back to the cutting board...

I got the 2nd go at the Neue Mode jacket complete to the sleeves; it was looking pretty good.

Until I tried to put in the sleeves.

I had something like 1 1/4" too much ease in the front, after I *thought* I had painstakingly walked the seams to make sure I didn't.

I pondered what to do.  At some point, I wished I had an already-tweaked TNT jacket to compare the pattern to, but I didn't.

Or did I?

I wore one of my McCall's 5191 jackets to work last week, and when I got home that night I realized...that one might do.

Now, I looked hard at the McCall's jacket and it is wide on the shoulders, with a shallow sleeve cap.  I don't think I'd be comfortable in it had I not made it from lycra-blended fabric. But, taking that into account, I compared the Neue Mode jacket to the McCall's and found that I still needed to raise the underarm (cough) slightly. 
 You can see the two iterations of underarm-raising clearly...I ended up raising it something like 2", and adding a good bit of fabric just in front of the lower armsceye.

Once I had the  armsceye adjusted, I began to work on the sleeve to make it match. 

The Neue Mode sleeve was actually rather large on me anyway, so I narrowed it  by slashing from the cap to the hem and overlapping the sleeve cap.    I did it to both in front of and behind the shoulder point, and that resulted in a need to shorten the cap height to true up all the seams.

But I was still over an inch too long in the front.  I finally took a wedge out of the front, tapering to to nothing by the back seam.

I have a weird looking sleeve, but it does actually kind of resemble illustrations I have seen in old pattern books.  So who knows. 

Finally, I ended up narrowing the back at the lower armsceye, where I had a pouf of fabric.

So I took apart the muslin, trimmed down the pieces that could be trimmed down, cut some of the new ones from pieces that had to be replaced, and ended up cutting a new front and side front.

So it's ready for the 3rd time.  If this one looks bad, I may just ditch the pattern for the time being and  try one from a pattern company whose sloper is more familiar for my black denim jacket.

And, you know, I was cutting , so I also cut out  a first go at the Sewing Workshop's Helix which I have, whaddya  know, added pockets.  A turquoise Jalie top and a black-and-gray strip Jalie t.

A goodly number of these garments will work for SWAP, but I'm not sure I'm going to finish.  The Refashion/reversible requirement may KO me at the last minute.  I had a plan for that...a silk blouse that's been cut out and in the queue for a REALLY long time, using buttons I'm removing from a worn-out version of the same pattern.  But the SWAP plan is turning out to be fairly casual and I'm not sure a silk blouse will be 'sympathetic' to the rest of the collection.

And I'm losing an  entire weekend in April to a sudden out of town trip.

We'll see...

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Choir Wardrobe 3/22/15

March colors...'lucite' green (mint), navy blue and gray.

I took the LaStrada top to the cutting board and whacked 3" off the length of the shoulders, 3" off the length of the front and 5" off the length of the back and sewed the sideseams up about 3" beyond the only mark on the side seam.

It turned out much less floppy than the original, but I'm not sure how much wear it will get; the hip still fits a big snuggly and the fabric is so fine all the seams and facing show right through.  So it may get relegated to PJ top, but I was able to alter up the pattern based on this and I'm planning to give it another shot soon.

But with just a bit showing under a cardi, it's not bad.  Lee jeans, a navy Jalie 965 tank and the gray Jalie 2919 cardi.  Makin' it work. ;-)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Little switch...

So, I have the in-need-of-alteration Hot Patterns top on the cutting table upstairs, but I'd already switched out the thread in the serger so I decided to get something else out of the queue.

Made it on Monday, but, as yesterday was St. Patrick's day and I had to wear green to celebrate my1/16 Irishness, I wore it today.  And took a crummy bathroom selfie, but you can get the idea.

Katherine Tilton's Vogue 8691, made up in a marbled cotton/lycra jersey that was kind of a last minute 'oh, what the heck' addition to an on line order late last year.
Very good impulse, that time.  It feels wonderful and was very nice to sew.
My only complaint about the top is that the band is just a teeny bit too wide for the curve of the neck and buckles slightly.  But not bad enough for me to take it off and trim it and certainly not at all difficult to edit next time.  
Back to the LaStrada  top...

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Choir Wardrobe 3/15/15...Punting...

I intended to show you a new bright green Hot Patterns La Strada top today in the choir post.

Still in the plan...but not like I intended.  The green top didn't work and, faced with a need to pick something quick, I went with something that's going to look really, really familiar.

Yup.  Switching the scarf for the mint/seafoam/ Lucite green necklace, and a rayon Jalie 2566 T for the cotton/lycra's the same as Thursday's work wear post.

Because it works with March, gray and Lucite green.

I finished the top last night and sighed over it's extreme oversized-ness but figured I'd make it work.  But as I got ready this morning, I thought of something I *might* be able to do to fix it up a bit, and I didn't want to wear it if it might be fixable.  Hence the last minute swap.

But I put the top on over my blue T, just so you would get an idea of what I'm up against.

The extreme sheerness of the fabric is certainly not the pattern's fault;  I knew when I ordered it that it was very thin and planned to use it for a loose drapey top layer.  It was supposed to go over a blue Jalie 965 tank top.

 Very seriously drapey.  The sleeves are a good 3" longer than they look to be in the pattern illustration.  And, as that length really comes from the width at the top, it looks hugely oversized above the bustline.

And, since the shoulder line is so long, the underarm seam is pretty low.

As in it hits just above my waist.

Even if I didn't need an underlayer due to the sheerness of the fabric, I'd need an underlay for decency's sake based on that open side seam.

The back shows the huge shoulders really well...but you can see that I don't have a pinch of extra ease below the waist.  In fact, it might could use a pinch MORE. (I cut a size 12, based on the bust measurements/ finished garment measurements)

Anyway.  Gonna try cutting that upper chest/shoulder volume down a bit by shortening the shoulder line substantially and raising the underarm seam to a much higher stopping point.

Maybe it will work, maybe not.  I like the design...but it's gonna need some work to be wearable.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Work Wear 17

...Because today was an 'If you see it, I made it' kinda day...

I wanted to wear the new cotton voile scarf.  So I scrounged around in the closet to see what I had that would work today.

And I pulled out my original Sewing Workshop Thai Coat. which is a deep blue with white pindots.

At first, I put on a white T and jeans.  But it just didn't work...the slits on the side of the coat were high enough that the white t peeped out on the sides if I didn't tuck it in and, while jeans seem to go with most everything...they just didn't seem to be quite right.


I tried the tropical wool Sewing Workshop Plaza Pants...and they worked.

'Sympathetic' is the word May Martin uses on the Sewing Bee.

 And, as luck would have it, my navy cotton/lycra Jalie 2566 was hanging in the closet instead of in the laundry basket.

Column dressing, to be sure.

And the blues in the scarf pretty much worked with it all.  But that camera flash...sigh...

Oh well.  It was fun to wear.
Here's a look at the scarf;  I had two yards of the fabric and thought I could just split it in half lengthwise.  But I found that I needed to pay attention to those zig zags...and they got wider as the pattern moved across the fabric.  So I ended up cutting it a little less than half way across, and I used the side with the narrower zig zags.  Getting some practice using the narrow rolled edge foot... ;-)

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Choir Wardrobe 3/8/15

This looks so uber casual...but the gray fabric sparkles...

Sewing Workshop Eureka, nuther review I need to write...from a really sheer, really sparkly, really devious to sew rayon jersey over a gray rayon/lycra jersey Jalie 965 tank top, with RTW Jeans.

And a navy blue necklace, 'cause the colors for March are gray, navy and 'Lucite Green'...which is the current Pantone-speak for 'mint'.

I actually ordered this fabric last fall specifically to make this top and, since we're wearing gray for three straight months, figured maybe I'd better get it done.

I did give the back of the top a little hi/lo action, with a downward swish that doesn't show at all in the photo  but made it more graceful, IMHO.

I'm not kidding when I say it was ghastly to sew.   Had to baby the serger big time to get it to even make a stitch on it.  The neckband...well, the fabric curled like a pillbug with the least amount of stretch, so the first attempt at the neckband didn't curled and skinnied and didn't even stretch enough to go on without puckers.

So I cut another one...wider and that it wouldn't disappear and I wouldn't have to stretch it so much.  It looked nicer from the stitching point of view, but it was too wide and long to lay flat on the neckline.

So my solution was to press the whole thing to the wrong side and topstitch it down. Worked great, and it doesn't matter that the neckline is too wide; I'm always going to wear it with an underlayer anyway.

I was really relieved to finish it...but now I'm enjoying its funky sparkle.  You may see this a lot in the next 3 months... ;-)

Saturday, March 07, 2015

In the Queue...

We had a 'winter weather event'...basically an ice storm although it was not as bad as it could've been, it was bad enough to close the roads for a couple of days.

So I spent some time at my cutting table...

I unpicked the denim jacket muslin and trimmed some pieces, recut others.  It's back in the queue to be sewn up; hoping I have solved the shoulder issues and can cut out the fabric.

But I moved on to the second version of the McCall's 6436 shirt; this one in the white.  I moved down the bust dart, cut the collar about 1/4" back away from the center front on the band, added a pinch to the back hip and reworked the 'painless placket' to be a little more useful.  Hoping that works on that one as well.  If it turns out, it's a SWAP item done.

One of the things I kinda went crazy on in the last sales was fabric for scarves.  I bought two pieces of silk chiffon/charmeuse burnout...two yards, split in half lengthwise, will make two oblong scarves.

So that's four scarves...two for me, two to give away.

I also bought two pieces of cotton voile, with the same thing in mind.

One of the pieces of cotton voile I've put back for later...I may make scarves, or I may do something else.

The silk has been cut into rectangles and is slowly getting fed through the narrow rolled hem foot on the sewing machine.  I'm very glad these are not going to be closely inspected.  There is a knack to that rolled hem foot...maybe I'll get it by the time I get all four of those made.

The other piece of voile I cut was a bit longer than 2 yards, and it was 54" wide so I'm thinking I might actually squeeze a camp shirt out of the piece that didn't turn into the scarf. was kind of a border print.  Ziz zags running the length of the fabric; broad on one side and narrower on the other.  I cut the scarf from the narrower side, and the campshirt...or going to have to be cut on the crossgrain, I think, to keep the pattern balanced.

Thank you, Patrick Grant.  I've learned the importance of pattern balance... ;-)

I did that scarf first and the rolled hem foot finished it off quite nicely.  The silk is another story...

Anyway, whilst I was cutting I pulled out a remnant of some poly shirting that I had to give a go at  the cut-on-cap-sleeve shell  from New Look 6273.  I'm auditioning it for the silk charmeuse  tops that I need for the SWAP plan...if it works, I'm a happy camper.

And, Lucite green (or mint green or seafoam green, as it has gone by in years past) being a color for choir, I managed to get one piece in that color in the new acquisitions as well. It's a bit thin, so I'll have to wear a cami under the Hot Patterns LaStrada top I squeezed out of my slightly more than one yard.  I'm not sure I have thread the right color for that, though...I've still got to check.

Finally, since I was auditioning new patterns, I finally cut Katherine Tilton's Vogue 8691 from some marbelized blue-on-white cotton jersey.  I left off the little floucy things, because the reverse of my fabric is just white and I didn't want the backside showing.  I'm not sure I had enough fabric for the flouces anyway.  We'll see how it looks with the little peaks on the regular hem.

And a tablecloth, just because the fabric was in the way and it'll be a quick rolled edge on the serger. (yes, it was upholstery cotton intended for a tablecloth...).

So I've got somewhere close to 10 yards in the queue.  And I'm making myself do those fiddly scarves first, whilst the rolled edge foot is on the machine...

Friday, March 06, 2015

TGBSB -- Season 3 Semifinals thoughts

(Hopefully not too much of a spoiler, but you never know... consider yourself warned if you haven't seen it yet)
Wow wow and wow.

Anything can happen in the semis...
This is a very evenly matched group.

Neil...breaking stereotypes left and right, he's done exceptionally well all along and is the discussion-board  favorite to take home the golden dress form.  But he's not immune to the misaligned pattern or the not perfect embellishment...or, in the walkaway dress challenge, the unfortunate slip of the scissors.

Lorna, the consistent second-placer, is, I think, someone who sews very well within her own comfort zone.  She's branching out, though..and that refashion challenge this week had to be a big step for her.
Still, she's not experienced in the new territory and she's not inclined to practice techniques because, as she says, 'I don't like to waste material.' So her sewing is not always dead on.

I can identify with that.

I think Matt has really good technical skills; he's just inexperienced, and it shows every now and then in his fearless beginner's optimism that an idea is just going to work (like the hardware on his peacock costume).  His fit problems on the jacket were all related to the fact that he used a pattern intended to be made from a jersey knit, so the close fit did not translate well to leather. He's going to be formidable behind a sewing machine by the time his kids get to high school and involved in theater.  And, seeing as how they seem to be excited about costumes and dress-up now, I would expect them to be inclined to that.

 Deborah has a good instinct of what will and will not work, and running the slider off the end of an altered zipper  is a mistake I bet every one of us has made at some point.  My heart broke for her at that moment.  Been there, done that...knew she didn't have time to fix it.  But zippers aside, her jacket was too small for the model.  It needed a FBA.  I'm not sure the model she had didn't put her at a bit of a disadvantage; the other models were a bit less, um, curvy, so who's to say if anyone of the others would've caught and allowed for that issue?  They were allowed to cut out the jackets before they came; bit late to adjust for something as baseline as a full bust after that.  Surely they had the model's measurements to go by when they were cutting....

Paul squeaked by last week; I think if Ryan had done just one point better on his kilt...having the right underlap or having it the right height or having it the right length...he would've gone on and Paul would've gone home.  Paul was on the bubble this week and I think he was aware of it.  But the bubble was not for sure...and Patrick even owned up that there just wasn't much difference amongst most of the lace skirts.

Anyone can mess up...and anyone can do something stellar.  And two of the three going into the finals are pretty much who I expected from the beginning.  That third slot...well, it could've been any of several.

And I'm kinda sad that next week is the end....

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Buying like I was really sewing....

I finally updated the 'fabric in' totals...

Shocking, but in 2 months I have managed to acquire a fuzz over 42 yards of fabric.

Whilst sewing up less than 1/4 of that amount.

Time to put the brakes on, I believe, and get some sewing done....

But I'm not going to get a sewing road trip on the schedule this year, it appears, so at least I don't have to resist fabric live-and-in-person.... :-)

Off to work on the Denim Jacket muslin #2.  If I've got the shoulders/sleeves right, we're full steam ahead...

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Choir Wardrobe 3/1/15

I really am kinda making myself do this tonight.

March's colors are Navy, Gray and 'Lucite Green' (from the Pantone colors for spring 2015).

I actually have something close to that shade of green, but it's a rayon tank top and it was chilly and rainy today and I wasn't ready to pull out spring clothes yet. So I went with the Navy and Gray options. ;-)

Only one piece of this outfit came from my own sewing room, although I will admit to doing a rather botched job of shortening the sleeves on the Evan Piccone jacket I bought at Penny's way longer ago than I can remember...

The top is a sleeveless version of Christine Jonson's Basewear Two top that's probably about 6 years old, made from some wonderful rayon/lycra knit that I would love to find again in more colors...and, you know, Lee or something jeans.

I've started work on another Sewing Workshop Eureka top, but the knit I'm using is sheer, with metallic threads, and it curls like crazy.  I totally messed up one neckband and took it off, and cut out another ...a little wider and a little see if it goes on any easier.

Doesn't help that the serger doesn't like it either.  I gave up on that and I'm using the conventional machine w/ a zig-zag on the neckband, as that's the only seam that actually has any stress on it.

I may even resort to hand basting.  That's how annoying that fabric is.

Hoping to get to muslin number two on the denim jacket plan this week, too.  If the weather reports are correct and we have another Winter Weather Event on Wed/Thur, it might get done. ;-)