You buy a very special fabric. You then need just the perfect pattern. The search goes on … for years. The fabric sits and sits and finally you make the decision. Then, because this is such special fabric, you want to take your time to savour every part of the sewing process, and before you know it, you have a very special UFO sitting in your sewing room … for months on end.
|Doesn't really fit this mannequin!|
The fabric is an Italian wool/silk blend. Bought at the Creative Festival in Toronto many years ago. On the way home, my daughter used the package as a pillow – the ladies on the bus called it the world’s most expensive pillow. (Well, I don’t know … I’ve seen some very expensive pillows out there.) It was always destined to be a jacket. (Pillow status being very temporary.) Finally at the end of last winter I made the plunge, decided on Kwik Sew 4191 and cut the fabric.
Started sewing. Along came other distractions (among others, a bride who needed help with her outfit), and before you knew it, the weather was really far too warm to be sewing a wool jacket, and the whole caboodle was folded into a basket, covered with an old pillow case (to keep moths and suchlike out) and there it sat … and sat … and sat. With cooler weather in the Fall, I finally pulled out all those (now) wrinkled bits and pieces and proceeded to procrastinate about every step of the process. Once again … very special fabric, needing very special attention.
|Fits this half-a-body mannequin better.|
I did deviate from the pattern a little. This jacket should have been unlined, but mine definitely needed a lining … a very special lining. I remembered having a piece of brown silk charmeuse – somewhere. It once stood in for a shawl many years ago, and was therefore not in the fabric stash. Took a little digging through the house to find where I had hidden it from myself. But I did find it, took it apart and proceeded to cut it up. (It is certainly now much more useful as a jacket lining, than a shawl that only ever saw use once.)
I did not follow directions for finishing the edges of the jacket, which calls for a strip of contrasting fabric to be sewn to the long edge of the jacket before proceeding with attaching the facing. I chose to sew the jacket and facing wrong sides together, cut off the seam allowance and just bound the edge with a bias strip.
So I finally got to the buttonholes. I thought of making bound buttonholes, but the weave of the fabric is so loose, I thought that option might not be the best idea in the long run. (Wear and tear, you know.) And by this time we had that amazing Pfaff Icon sitting at the store, just waiting to be explored. Choices, choices.
When you only have one option of buttonhole on your machine, things go much more quickly. When you have a whole array of buttonholes, well that requires much experimentation and thought. I knew I wanted keyhole buttonhole, and what I ended up choosing was something with lots of stitching to make for a (hopefully) very durable buttonhole.
Much sample stitching ensued. The Icon behaved very well, but with the loose tweedy fabric, I found that the best results came with placing stabilizer top and bottom to keep things nice and smooth so that nothing got caught up on the feed dogs and the buttonhole foot (which, by the way, has some very serious "teeth" and does a wonderful job of grabbing and holding the fabric in place). Buttonholes sewn, I cut away the stabilizer (the water soluble variety) as close as possible to the stitching, then used a wet Q-tip to whisk away any little bits of stabilizer that were still visible.
|Buttonhole with a little stabilizer still visible|
|Buttonhole - finally finished|
Of course, after all that, the jacket still hung in my sewing room for a while because I needed to get up the nerve to slice open those buttonholes. Cutting holes in a finished garment always makes me very, very nervous.
Stay tuned for the rest of the outfit. (Because a new (very special) jacket definitely requires new stuff to go with it.)