Saturday, April 9, 2011

Surgery on a jacket

Last year for Easter I decided on sewing a suit.  The fabric  - a silk herringbone.  Two colours - pale blue and pale green.  (Remind me of Easter egg colours.)  I picked up the two pieces at Fabricland in a section they call "designer suiting".  One of the "junk piles" at the back of the store (but always worth digging through).  Not quite enough of either piece for a whole outfit, but I thought that they went together well.  So - skirt was to be green, and the jacket in the blue with green trim.  Sewed the skirt.  Sewed a blouse in an off-white eyelet.  So far, so good.  Started on the jacket.  Even made a muslin!  Quite a bit of tweaking needed there, but everything went along just peachy.  Guess you might want to see the jacket pattern.
Burda 8949 - and you can even see what I paid for it.  Anyway, all went very well.  Then I decided that I wanted keyhole buttonholes.  My machine makes very ugly ones.  I headed over to the store to use one of the machines there.  Picked one of the fanciest machines on the floor.  It really does make nice-looking buttonholes.  Sewed samples - many times over.  I was quite pleased with how this was all going to work out.  Buttonhole #1 - perfect.  Buttonhole #2 - perfect.  Buttonhole #3 - disaster.  Huge wad of thread underneath.  I tried picking it out, but that proved to be impossible, because the picking/ripping was ruining the fabric.  I got a brilliant idea - why not cut out the buttonholes within a shape and cut the same shape around the perfect sample buttonholes, drop them into the holes and satin stitch around.  Went home and did just that.  The cutting was done with an exacto knife.  Everything fit perfectly, but somehow the stitching made things wonky.  At that point I decided to leave things as they were.  I did have a top and a bottom to wear, and I thought that I would come up with something later.  A year later, here's  the mess as it stands (or may-be I should say lays).
(The jacket landed in a basket, and that's why it's all rumpled and sad.)  Too much work invested to just throw this all away.  Can't recut a front, because this is all I have left to work with.
Game plan is this - slot buttonholes.  I cut away the front just past the buttonholes.  Cut strips that will be between the buttonholes, which themselves will be part of the seams.  Does any of this make sense?  I've worked this all out in my head.  It should work.  Scary part starts with ripping off more of the bias trim, because that just seems to take on a life of its own when it's not attached to the jacket.  Even scarier will be cutting off the front with the messy buttonholes.  Well, I can't wear this the way it is, so I can't make matters any worse.  (May-be praying a lot while doing this will help.)  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Mama's Easter dress

I was merrily sewing along on an outfit - pants done, blouse done, jacket yet to go, when it dawned on me that Easter was only 3 weeks away.  Yikes!  Definitely time to sort out who's wearing what for Easter.  Seems that's my job.  Over the week-end I stitched up a dress for my mother.  I don't ask her opinion.  I just choose fabric, cut some variation of the same pattern, because I know that it will fit, sew it up, then tell her that I'm coming over for a fitting.  We do need to mark the hem, and she has to complain that this, that and the other thing are not working for her.  I listen, put in my pins where I see fit, then I take it home, finish it, and deliver a done deal.  Works rather well.  Mama gets a new dress - I don't spend a lot of time listening to the likes that she already has enough clothing, that I don't have time to be sewing for her, etc., etc.
I know, looks rather mumu-like.  I liked the fabric - polyester, but sooo soft.  Definitely a grandma print, though I was tempted to use it for a skirt for myself.  Very easy care - washer, dryer, hanger.  (Very definitely grandma fabric!)  She'll wear it with a black belt and a cream-coloured jacket that we dug out in her closet.  The pattern is old - don't know if it qualifies as vintage.
Vogue 7719
I made a few changes.  According to the pattern there is no zipper - there are buttons on the shoulders.  Did away with the buttons and put an invisible zipper down the back.  Instead of the facing, I doubled the yoke - covers all the unfinished edges inside.
As many women of a certain vintage, my mother has a rather rounded back.  With this particular pattern, it still fits across the back - no alterations needed.  The front, however, does need some tweaking, because she's getting smaller across the front, as the back continues to round out.  I simply moved the sleeves in further, starting at the shoulder, down to the notch.
Oddly enough, you can hardly see the yoke in these pictures, whereas in reality it does show.  Oh well.  That's one down.  Two more to go.  Mine's easy - well...  I made a major mess of the buttonholes on a jacket last year, which then got tossed in a basket, where it has stayed ever since.  The skirt and blouse to that jacket are ready to go - have been since last year.  I think that I can salvage the jacket.  Figured it all out in my head.  Now if only things work in reality, as they do in my head, we'll be just fine.  Then there'll be something needed for my daughter...  And then there's my son - yes, he'll be home for Easter!  He called to-day that he's bought his ticket.  Guess that means that I should take his suit to the cleaners.  (That's easy!)