Saturday, May 30, 2015

7 Years in the Making

the front
In 2007 (yes, I had to look it up to remember how long ago it was) there was an exhibition of Russian quilts here.  I translated at some of the classes.  One of the quilters was showing jackets that intrigued me.  Up to that point, the quilted jackets that I noticed around were rather oversized bulky things that did not appeal to me in the least.  The "Russian" jackets were fitted, much more stylish.  Upon inspection, they were not really "quilted", but pieced together right on the lining with no batting (foundation piecing?).  I had to have a try.  Pieces of fabric were bought (cotton batiks - at least I had a definite idea about something!), fanned out on the table.  I'd squint at them, walk around the table, squint some more, put the fabrics away.  Buy more fabrics, lay them out, delete some, add some.  This went on for, literally, years.  Fast forward to 2013 - enough is enough - I finally decided that I could continue this process for decades and never put together this jacket.  Out came all the fabrics - I finally made choices.  What I had envisioned as being a "brown" jacket, ended up being more orange, but that's the way it goes.  The jacket pattern ended up being a combination of bits and pieces from various patterns, and I really don't remember what I stuck together.  My main goal was to have very simple pattern pieces to stitch on the patchwork.  I had some kasha lining, and that was my foundation.  Pattern pieces were traced, and then (another long process) I had to decide how to piece.  I had many brilliant ideas - log cabin, crazy quilt... it could have gone on again for years.  Another kick in the behind to myself, and I decided random width strips would do just fine.  If I didn't start stitching, I would manage to drag this out yet again.  I was so very glad when I finally got to the stage where I was actually cutting and sewing jacket pieces!
the back
For some reason the sleeves just refused to be fitted into the armholes.  I simply put in a few pleats at the top of the sleeves.  The collar needed a bit of pizazz...
so I pieced it from little squares (Seminole piecing?).
And then... don't know what happened... the sleeves turned out a bit short.  Never fear - there's always a solution - more little squares...
Oh - just in case you're interested - all the main seams were sewn wrong sides together, then bound and topstitched on the right side.  Nice clean finish on the inside.  Anything sewn right sides together was bound on the inside.

Edges all bound.  Needless to say - I was very happy when this jacket was all done.  There really was no need to make this into such a drawn out project, and I really have no idea why I become absolutely petrified when I dream up something like this.  Next time...

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Men's Shirts

Let's try this yet again.  I never did manage to keep journals, write diaries, and obviously that reflects in my abilities to keep blogging.  I am determined, however, to try again, and perhaps this time I will actually manage to keep going and to post at fairly regular intervals.  How difficult is it to write something, say, once a week?
I do apologize for not having responded to comments, and at this point, I'm sure, that any reply would not make any sense any more, so I'm starting over - clean slate.  I will attempt to be a much more interactive blogger.
Men's shirts.  In the fall I had a class on simple men's shirts.  (I am now getting quite a few men in beginner's classes!  Only fair to gear the topics for their interests.)  Obvious recipient of class samples would be my son.  Unfortunately, he's at the other end of the country, so sizing becomes somewhat of a guessing game.
Here's the shirt and the pattern.  Blue linen with grey buttons.
 I actually followed directions - just because I have to set an example for students!  Well, except for the finishing of the bottom of the collar inside...
Instead of tucking the raw edges into the bottom of the collar, I sewed straight across, then finished with a strip of bias.  Much easier.  Much more secure, especially on such a loose weave.
The next shirt was to be a birthday present.  Birthday is in February.  Shirt(s) were sent just recently.  What's a few months?
My son likes the look of steampunk clothing, but he's not too keen on wearing a "costume".  Perfect shirt would be...
This one I made from muslin - literally.  It's was very wide muslin with a very silky feel.  I had purchased it with thoughts of a shirt or blouse for myself, but it seemed perfect for this shirt.  Buttons are shell.  I was a little concerned about the size - it is a rather voluminous shirt, but then there's the pleat in the front, and pleats in the back...
The package arrived today, so I'm sure I'll be given a verdict soon enough.
I did stick to directions.  (The front "bib" with the pleat wasn't difficult, but it certainly helped to follow the directions.)
My son's request was to change the sleeve opening at the cuff.  I made him another Folkwear shirt years ago (the Russian one).  The cuff buttoned at the sleeve seam, which put the button right at the underside of the wrist.  Not very comfortable when, for example, one is writing.  This pattern had the same "problem", but I fixed that.
This shirt got regular 21st century sleeve vents.
Now that wasn't so difficult.  I actually managed to write a post and add pictures.  It did not take me all night.  I do apologize for the very choppy writing.  I tend to be very wordy, and here I try to keep things short, and then it all seems wrong.  If I keep mulling this over much longer I won't hit the "publish" button, and then there will be no post!