Sunday, May 24, 2015

Costuming progress...

My Sweet Babboo and I had some tasks that pulled us out of choir today, so instead of a choir post it's an update on the steam-punk-ish costume...

I made the tweaks to the jacket pattern, cut out the jacket, the interfacing and the lining.  I put the interfacing on and sewed up the back lining and sewed the front facing to the side front lining.

Then I had a little pause while I stopped and looked at the way the pattern guide (oh, yeah, it turned up under a cutting board) instructed to bag the lining.


The problem is that there is no back facing in the pattern...and to do a kinda traditional collar treatment, in which the upper collar is sewn to the facing and the undercollar is sewn to the jacket and the facing assembly is sewn to the jacket so that the seam allowances are all pressed open...the facing is bagged on in a very unusual way that results in the sleeve lining  being hand sewn down around the shoulder.

Costuming here.  I don't have time to do a bunch of hand sewing.

So I repeated one of my favorite Gorgeous Things quotes, 'It's costuming, not couture' and sewed up the collar, which I will attach like a camp shirt collar, and I'll bag the lining to the seam in a quick and dirty sew-the-lining-to-the-neckline fashion.  My wool is very lightweight, so I think I can get away with it.

If I sew this pattern again...and I rather expect to either sew it again or use it to modify other jackets...I will draft a back facing so bagging the lining can be done right.  I'd've done it for this jacket but I already had the back lining put together.

I've also cut out the skirt...Folkwear's Walking Skirt ; I'm using the street length view and I've ditched the period-correct placket opening for a zipper.  Costuming.

So far that's what I've got.  If I get that much put together I'll at least have something.  I've got a couple more things I'd like to do, but I'm going to see where I am when those two pieces are finished.

Rain is forecast for the next two days, so I should get some sewing time...

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Close enough for costuming...

After a three-muslin-still-not-fitting jacket marathon, it was a treat to slap this  jacket together and have something that comes this close to fitting (it really is slapped together.  I wasn't going for pretty):

There is really very little I need to do here.  The sleeve needs to be shortened about 3/4" below the elbow dart, and maybe slimmed down just a bit in the forearm to trim the wrist.

 I might add a pinch more ease at the waist.

But that's it.


I will be cutting out the good stuff tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

New Venture into Steampunk...

A quick post here, because I've got to hit my cutting table...

Ten years ago, we did a family crusade at church with a pirate theme.  We split the congregation into two teams, and the competition rose to amazing, incredible, hilarious heights as the kids learned about God's love amongst the hilarity.

We all joined in the's flashback photo of all of us, on what just happened to be the 25th anniversary of our wedding day...
Wow.  Ok, I had to have a moment there.

But it's been ten years.  And the time has come 'round again for a full out family event.

Only this time the theme is kinda Rocketeer-ish steampunk.  'Sky Kids - Saving the world of Tomorrow'.

And this time, I'm on staff.  I"m actually going to be over all the data entry and point tracking for all the kids who come; the top five point-earners will get some pretty cool prizes.

So I'm working on a costume.  I may or may not be actually interacting with the congregation in my role as 'Record Keeper', but I will be part of the backdrop.

Steampunk ain't as easy as Pirates...I'm just sayin'.

But I found that wonderful superfine wool in a perfect sepia brown, so I'mma gonna give it a go.

My inspiration is Mary Poppin's red Day Out suit...and that's just what it is, inspiration.  I'm going to make the jacket out of Vogue 1132, which has a pretty pronounced back peplum...which some reviewers called 'bustle-like'.  Kinda awkward for daily wear, maybe, but for a costume...perfect.

And, check this is a shoulder--princess cut with long sleeves w/elbow darts.  Ya'll, this could be the basis for a TNT jacket.  Without the peplum, of course.

And Vogue is a sloper I'm used to; I more-or-less know what I need to do to alter up the patterns to fit.  I've decided I'm going to do one more adjustment...a forward shoulder...and then I'll cut out the lining to see how it does.  Then the jacket.

And, me being me, I seem to have mislaid the pattern guide sheets.


Here goes.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Choir Wardrobe 5/17/15

You really can't see much of the new Hearts A'Flutter top; you'll just have to trust me that it's there under the much-worn Jalie Pleated Cardigan.  The dark wash jeans are new; but they are a brand I didn't recognize off the sale rack at a local department store.  It's the same fringy scarf I wore last week; just tied differently.  Last week I wore it hacking-fashion (folded in half with the tails tucked through the loop at the fold) but that fringe is so heavy that it kept snugging up against my neck...I was continually tugging the loop back down into place.  This week I tied a slip knot, which worked much better.  I was worried that it would look crazy long, but as it turned out it blended in with the hemline of the jacket quite nicely, so it worked.  All nice and lavender-and-gray.

But it covered up the top.

Which probably isn't so bad.  There are  few fit issues; I have to remove some of the extra I added to the lower front and I need to adjust the bust dart and raise the underarm slightly.  It's also a little short to wear with any pants that do not come all the way to the natural waist...not as much overlap there as I'd like...which means most of my jeans (including the ones I wore today, which were the only dressy ones clean) are risky.  The cardigan makes that a non-issue.

The top is mighty comfy, though;I'll try and get the pattern tweeks done and make another one before the summer is over.  I'll review it once it's good to go.

 Loving this linen; I think I'm going to go ahead and make up the rest of the piece, just so I can wear it.  It won't get done in time for Choir...I've got an urgent project that's going to boot it out of the lineup, I think, but it can definitely go in the workwear rotation.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Fabric Aquisition Road Trip

Not getting the opportunity to attend any Expo this year, Miss A and I decided to do a little jaunt up to Nashville to take advantage of Textile Fabric's Moving Sale...50% off all fabric and much for a change of scenery as anything.  I really didn't intend to buy much.

Famous last words.

The Remnants rack was actually marked at 75% off retail, so I looked there first.

Sequins on black mesh; I know they look red, but trust me, they're a rich burnt orange...a color we wear every October in choir.  Hoping to get a little shell top or tank top for some fall bling.  Not to mention a new sewing experience...I've never done sequins before...

 I found a gorgeous piece of rayon challis for, like, five bucks.  It's just a yard and a half, but it should be enough for a camp shirt, eh?  The green/black lace is non-stretch;  but we'll be wearing that kelly green later this summer so I thought I'd go for a lace T.  Not sure if I'll line it or just wear it over a tank.

I also picked up a few pieces off the bolts at half price.  Cotton/lurex/lycra's black and silver...a gorgeous rayon/lycra jersey knit and brown/black/white stripe bottomweight linen.

I only got the pieces that I decided I'd be mad at myself if I came home without them.  There was another piece of lightweight wool that would've made a KILLER tunic top for winter, but at $50/yd on sale it was still too rich for my blood.

Then we ate lunch at a posh restaurant and headed back south.  We decided to do a little jog on the way home and swung 20 miles east to Fayetteville for a visit to Sir's Fabrics.

I'd forgotten that the entire month of May constitutes Sir's Founders Days...with 20 - 25 percent discounts on almost everything in the store.  I was particularly looking for some brown suit weight fabric I could use for some costuming...and you'll be hearing more about that in the days to come...and I STRUCK GOLD (click on the photo to read the selvage):
I got 6 5/8 yards for the astonishing price of (including tax)  $4.15/yd.  The Superfine wools I'd seen at Textile started at about $89/yd, yeah.  GOLD.  That should do for my costuming and maybe some regular clothes for the closet.  It's a birds eye weave and it feels MARVELOUS.

So, yeah, the fabric in totals jumped a bit (sheepish grin).  But I'm probably not going to buy any more for quite a while.

Yeah, yeah.  Famous last words. ;-)

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A Lavender Herb top!

The final selection was Cutting Line Designs'  My Heart's Aflutter shell top.  It's one I've been wanting to try out for quite some time and I knew it would be wearable, since I've sewn with CLD patterns before I had an idea how it would fit.

I don't  have a photo of it actually on me yet, but I can report that it's not bad.  It does need a bit of tweaking to be dead perfect, but I can wear it under a top layer for the choir this month and it will be just fine.

Mostly, I need to petite the armhole about 1/2"...which would not ordinarily be a problem, but there's that dart in the armhole.  Which points just a wee bit high for me.

I might need a slight FBA, but it could also be that once I have the darts pointing right the fullness will drop down into the right place and I won't need one.

I made a M+, and swung out to the L for the hipline band.   I don't think I need to do that in the front; the fabric just kind of hangs straight down from the full bust, which, while very comfy, is not terribly flattering.  I'm thinking I could move the front back to an M+ and that will help a little with that extra fullness.

So basically all I have to do is figure out how to shorten the armhole without messing up the dart.  And make another one pretty quickly so I've got it down pat.  Then I can crank out about a dozen.


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Choir Wardrobe 05 10

...In Which She Actually Remembers the Scarf:

Colors for May are Black, Gray and 'Lavender Herb'...which is kind of a pinky lavender.  Or maybe it's pink with lavender overtones.  Whatever.

CWC jeans with a gray Jalie 2566 T and Loes Hinse's Bistro Jacket in black poly suiting.

With the fringy poly burnout scarf.

Photo taken after three church services, a delightful lunch and ice cream treat with the kids.  Mother's Day and all...always glad for an excuse to hang out with the offspring. ;-)

Now I'm going to go up to the cutting room and not come out until I have something cut out of the lavender linen...

Saturday, May 09, 2015

A Quick choice

Although this may look pink on your monitor, it's actually lavender...really and truly the very shade of lavender that is this month's accent color for choir.  I was looking for another piece and found it in my linen bin.   4.5 yards that I believe came from Michael about 11 years ago; I probably ordered 3 and it was cut very generously.

But it is a fairly substantial linen.  Soft and kind of lofty.  If you click on it, you can get an idea of the weave and the texture.

Obviously not getting it done for tomorrow, but there are 3 Sundays left in May and I really and truly have NOTHING but a scarf in this color.  So I need to make at least one item up really quick.

A tunic?  A tank top?  An unlined jacket?  A little tailored top?

Oy, the choices are endless but the time is not.

Think think think....

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Almost Choir Wardrobe...Substitute fit photos.

May's colors are gray and black, along with the current Pantone lavender, which is rather pink toned rather than blue/purple. 

My lavender tops are on the blue side.

So I thought I'd just wear a black sweater shell, gray Jalie pleated cardigan, and a fringed poly print scarf that is pink/lavender.  Only the scarf is polyester, rather scratchy and hot and very fringy, so I pulled it off to eat breakfast.

And realized about halfway to church that it was still draped over the chair at home.

Not much purpose in taking a photo of just the black sweater and the cardi; you've seen them both lotsa times before and I'm sure the scarf will find its way into the wardrobe before the month is over.

So, instead, I dug the jacket muslin out of the bag I'd stuffed it in and let My Sweet Baboo take some pics that will hopefully show the issues I"m having with it.

I have moved the left front armsceye into the garment about 5/8", just as a test; the right sleeve hasn't been adjusted.

You've got to click them to get them to show the details; firstly, note that the front armsceye seam is on my arm, not on the pivot between my arm and my body. Secondly, I've got foldy things going on in front of the armsceye.   There is a little excess around the princess seam as well, but that would be an easy adjustment.  It's the vertical slop that really bugs me.

 From the side and back...I think the back is just a pinch too long, and, while the armsceye seam sits on my shoulder back much better, there's still a lot of drapey goo going on; folds that run from my shoulder blade right down into the sleeve back.  That might go away with shoulder pads, but I really don't want shoulder pads in a casual denim jacket.

I don't know if the princess seam adjustment would be enough to pull the front up to level with the back.  But there's the suggestion that the peplum has hung up on the jeans so it may not be hanging quite normally anyway.

I don't normally have to make sway back adjustments.
So there's the  4th iteration on the muslin.  Better than the first in some ways but still a long way from wearable.  I'm not throwing it out...but I've got to learn more about sleeve fitting, or at least come up with a different TNT pattern that I can use to correct this one.

It's a cute jacket...but I've hit the wall on this one.  I'm ready to try something different, if only to clear my palate. 

It's going into the 'maybe someday' bin...

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Enough already

I'm crying 'Uncle!' on this one.

This is the 4th muslin.  The sleeves, while no longer batwing droopy, STILL do not join the body correctly.  They look to me as though the armsceye is set too much round to the back and there's a bunch of what Cynthia Guffey would call 'goo'  in front of the lower armsceye.

It just doesn't look...right, although it doesn't feel too bad.

Moral:  I need to develop a good, basic jacket pattern onto which I can morph specific details, like the cute little peplum back on this jacket.  Trying to alter up the shoulder/sleeve/armsceye is just not working for me.

And, you know, looking at those original photos, it looks like it would be a simple adjustment to scoot the sleeve up and in.

Ha ha and ha.

Oy.  I hate starting over.