Monday, November 12, 2018

Leather wannabe

This is one of those annoying outfits that just have “something” wrong that keeps me from wearing it on a regular basis.

Made quite some time ago.  The fabric … a rather thin knit that wants to masquerade as leather.  I just had to have it.  Unfortunately, it’s a rather boring brown.  It became a 2-piece “dress”, because …. that’s so much more versatile than a real dress, right?  The top – my usual Pamela’s Patterns t-shirt.  The skirt – McCall’s 5523 (OOP, but still available).  I remember being thrilled that the fabric held a perfect crease for the pleats at the back.

Then I was not-so-thrilled that the zipper decided to sport a blip at the bottom despite all my precautions of interfacing the seam allowance, etc., etc.  No amount of steaming or any other tricks helped.  (If this was wool, that zipper bottom would have been PERFECT!)  Well, before I did any really serious damage to the fabric, I decided to just leave it alone.   I figured I’d always wear a jacket or cardigan with this skirt, so no-one would ever see my backside anyway.  The waistband decided to stretch out, despite my best efforts of interfacing and stabilizing.  No problem.  I just threaded an elastic through, to keep the skirt from sliding down to my hips.  I’ll just always wear a belt to cover that unsightly mess.  So far, so good.

What I had was a less-than-perfect, very boring brown outfit.  It needed some embellishment.  I came across some iron-on metal stud thingies.  An opportunity to use my gadget for applying hot glue crystals and studs!  Never mind that it took me – hmmm – a while to get up the nerve to actually apply the studs.  The thought that I might make an irreversible mistake with hot glue on the front of my outfit made me put off doing it.  Eventually I did get up the nerve.  I was not impressed with the fact that the glue actually seeped out beyond the edges of some of the studs.  OK – I can live with that.  Not too, too bad.   So you’d think that finally, with everything in place I could wear and wear this outfit – it works quite well with an “interesting jacket.  Not so.  Every time I wear these pieces, one or more of the studs come loose.  I’ve even lost a stud.  (Good thing I still have replacements!)  This is just downright annoying.  I think that I’ve figured out the problem.  The fabric is stretchy.  The studs – not so much.  Obviously the glue (despite my meticulous application) is not as strong/ doesn’t actually seep into the fabric to keep the studs really permanently in place.  So – lesson learned.  Hot glue embellishments are best left for woven (non-stretchy) fabrics (but I think I'll leave my clothes alone).  I would have probably been far better off with sewn-on embellishments.  Peeling off the studs will only leave unsightly spots.  I’ll wear these pieces in a pinch, but they’re definitely not a favourite.  I hate having to go through the day worrying about having bits of metal raining off of me.  I obviously need to stop acquiring fabric because it looks/feels “neat”.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Kwik Sew 4162

After months of radio silence – I’m back.  I won’t go into long explanations.  Let’s just say that I needed a break from life.  I meant to start back to blogging in September.  That didn’t happen.  October.  Didn’t happen.  Then I saw Faye’s post about blogging every day, and today is November 1st, and somehow that really put the firecracker under me to get going.  Now don’t expect miracles around here.  “Every day” is highly unlikely.  Even though quite a lot of sewing happened in the interim, there are the pictures to get caught up on.  The weather is so lousy these days, I’m beginning to forget what sun looks like, so I’ll be playing around with taking pictures in less than stellar conditions.  Once again – don’t expect miracles.  I’m trying to get over my perfection streak, and I’ll just have to live with less-than-perfect pictures, so long as they pretty well show what’s what.  So without much further ado…

When Joyce was closing up the sewing shop in March, you can imagine the prices on everything were just too good to be true, and despite trying to refrain from cluttering up the pattern drawers at home, quite a few Kwik Sew patterns did come home with me – mostly jackets, if I remember correctly.  This one isn’t exactly “my thing” going by the pictures on the envelope.  On the other hand, it’s a simple cardigan jacket for wovens, with bust darts on the front (I disappeared said darts, because I don’t need them) and darts in the back and just enough shaping that the whole thing doesn’t hang like a box.

I used a suedey (is that a word?) knit – much too soft for a jacket, so I fused knit interfacing to every piece.

I added a pocket, because how often do I say - “What idiot didn’t put pockets in this jacket?”   Oh, and I had this one metal zipper with the cutest pull tab, and it needed a place to go.  Too bad I didn’t have two matching zippers, but … one pocket is better than none.
I made one crucial mistake.  I fused the interfacing to all the pieces once they were cut.  My fabric shrunk lengthwise.  Should have block fused before cutting, and then there would have been less cutting, but … I didn’t.  Live and learn.  I ended up having to add a facing to the hem to get the correct length of jacket.  The sleeves became “bracelet length”.  No big deal, but aggravating nonetheless.
Sorry - fuzzy picture 

I also added a lining.  Didn’t want to look at fused-on-knit-interfacing and it certainly helps with getting the jacket on and off.
Just for the record – this jacket was actually sewn in the late Spring.  We had cold weather for so long (before it became unbearably hot and humid) I just couldn’t switch over to summer sewing.  I popped in shoulder pads that were just a tad too thick, just because they were pre-made and I was being lazy.  Then (finally) came the hot summer and this jacket just hung and hung, waiting for me to replace the shoulder pads.  This week I finally succumbed – made some ¼ inch pads and … I have a wearable jacket.

We’ll see how this fabric performs.  A few years back, I made a t-shirt dress out of the same fabric (slightly different colour brown).  After a few washes, it became far too limp to wear as a dress.  The snakeskin print has all but washed out.  I cut it down to a tunic.  It might even get cut down further to a t-shirt.  It’s wearable, but…  This jacket is certainly not going to get washed, so we’ll see for just how long the fabric will look presentable.