Friday, January 25, 2013

Mad Men and

Mad, mad, mad
Women too.

I'm not sure why. I like several of the new ones.

Now 1341,a Donna Karan Design, is intriguing. In fact I like her jacket, An otherwise interesting dress with an arrow pointing at her armpit.

It's probably cuter in real life. Anyway it's red so I kind-of like it. 

It might look better with the Coolie Jacket. The lines are definitely different.

There were several other new ones in the latest Vogue line up that I like a lot:

  • Also from DK, a cute jacket, 1346. But it's not really anything dramatically new. I do love the big collar on it though. It kind of reminds me of an older Marcy Tilton jacket.
  • Speaking of MT, I love, love, love this new dress from her - 8876. I'm hoping there is more about this over on her website. The one with long sleeves looks interesting but it is made up in black so impossible to tell much about it. I like the line drawings of all 3 views.
  • 8883 is called *basic* and I guess it is. It's appears to be a terrific pants pattern with a contour waist and princess seams in the front and the back. Love those vertical lines.
  • A great looking trench style coat - 8884 - this one is definitely on my wish list. 
  • Now 8886 may be a sleeper. Great column (though I won't be making my column in hot pink), as Nancy Nix Rice calls it. And it contains an equally nice dress - terrific lines - may be time for a LBD.
  • And lastly, I love the Chado Ralph Rucci jacket/top. The pants aren't too bad either.
All in all, a pretty good line up for my body shape. I hope.

8883 - perfect pants pattern
1341 Donna Karan
1346 Donna Karan

8884 - love the look of this trench

a great column
8876 Marcy Tilton

1347 - Chado Ralph Rucci

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Coolie Complete!

This time, I think it's finished. I really, really like this little jacket, Paco Peralta's Coolie Chinese Jacket. Such a cute style, so easy to wear and feel good in.

hidden pocket in pieced facing
And there's just something about red.

Maybe it's not my best color but I always feel good in it for some reason. It's just so cheerful in the middle of winter here in the US.

Finishing touches:

Finished the sleeve hems with bias binding in silk dupioni. No surprise that I had bright red in the stash.

button loops satin-stitched down on the outside
Finished all the interior raw edges with Hong Kong binding from a pretty shirting remnant.

Tacked down the loose bias tubes, turning them into button loops. Much more practical than wrapping them around the buttons.

Yep, I'm pretty sure it's finished, for now anyway.

Hong Kong edge finish

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Artist In Motion shirt

This is a special pattern for me, as Louise allowed me to name it and provide the details of the little story that is told on the pattern cover. I imagined myself on a train from Tokyo to Kyoto with my daughter. On a fabric shopping trip, of course.

Previously I made the vesty peice which is probably the *star* of the AIM pattern. But this top is fabulous. Since I had the pattern tissue all prepared in my size, it took less than a day to complete from cutting to sewing on the button.

Of course, I could not leave it alone. I wore it once and decided it needed some black sashiko to highlight the lines. This blouse is simple, yet comfortable, slightly fitted, and totally lovely.

As mentioned here I have been taking classes from Jude Hill. I am allowing her approach to seep into me and see where it takes me. I do love the handwork. And I do love the slow sewing process.

Yet, there is something exhilarating about making such a sweet little top in one day.


PS - (I can't seem to figure out how to *reply* to comments below.) pdiddly - the fabric is printed almost randomly across the white. I probably should have arranged it better to have more of the black on the right front. I was pretty focused on avoiding a black splotch over the bust points.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Paco's Coolie Jacket

Paco includes a label in the pattern. Love it.
Paco Peralto designs and sells such interesting patterns. They are hand-drafted in pencil, and all the sizes are included. The instructions consist of the yardage requirements and little else.

Because they travel across the Atlantic to me, and a bit of postage is involved, I decided to go ahead and buy three - the Coolie Jacket, the T (shaped) coat, and the drape front shell. I started on the Coolie Jacket first.

Iteration 1.2
It is a very simple design, not really requiring instructions. There are just two main pattern pieces - the front and the back.

I'm so spoiled by using Louise Cutting patterns. So I did wring my hands a little, and scratch my head a bit on the in-seam pockets.

I shopped the stash and used red silk noil for the face fabric. I decided to use a Mary Ray quilting technique, and chose cotton flannel for the batting, and Bemberg Ambiance for the lining. I channel quilted it following the front grain line. This created a nice chevron effect on the lower portion of the cut-on sleeves.

The pattern calls for 60 inch width in the fabric, but my noil was only 45 inches. I pieced the sleeves on both the front and the back, based on where I encountered the selvage. This fit in with the chevron in the quilting, as the new seam followed the grain.

pretty curved vents on the side
As is becoming a habit of mine, I ran out of fabric. This meant I had to piece the front facing piece. So I added a third in-seam pocket where the piecing occurred.

This jacket is evolving. Garments often do this. I sort of enjoy it.

This time, I tried some experiments. Now that I've worn it, I know some things that will be changing.

First, I created a closure with bias tubes on one side, to be wrapped around buttons on the other side. It doesn't really work, so I will convert the tubes into button loops.

Second, I pinked the edges of the facing. In version 1.0, I turned the edges of the facings under about 1/4 inch and hand-stitched them to the lining. This created a hard line, particularly across the back. Not good-looking.

In the next iteration, I pressed the pinked edges flat and hand-stitched them to the lining.

That worked until I wore a white blouse under it. Lots of red fluff stuck to the shirt. Next I will apply a Hong Kong Finish to the edge of the facings, similar to what I did to the seams. Hope the hard horizontal line doesn't appear again.

bracelet length sleeves
Third, I was so short of fabric that I had nothing to finish the sleeve edges. Since I'm taking classes from Jude Hill, I decided to try to simply attach a raw edge binding.

More red fluff. So off with those bindings, and on with some ordinary (enclosed) binding in silk dupioni of similar color.

The raw edge was pretty, just not practical in this instance.

In sum, I think this is a cute little jacket, perfect to toss on over lots of clothes. There is PLENTY of room for layers underneath. I believe I will wear it often.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Now Playing

As I continue to read, view and listen to Jude Hill of Spirit Cloth, I find new creative energy. I am currently working my way through Contemporary Boro 1 and look forward to continuing with Contemporary Boro 2 once it becomes available.

quilt cottons - not as malleable as old cloth

More quilt scraps

And more quilt scraps

Background from DH's shirt on its way to Goodwill

Shibori-tea-dye fabric with quilt scraps

Shibori-tea-dye fabric with quilt scraps

A start on embellishment - I like this one.

Learning some weaving from Jude
These are the experiments I am working on at the moment,  allowing her techniques and aesthetic to work its magic on me. I'm telling myself that it's OK to do what she does because eventually my own techniques and aesthetic will emerge.

Or I'll just have fun.

It's OK either way.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Sewing Gratitude

Here is a gift that I received during the just-past gift-giving season. A wonderful little sewing gift that I'll use over and over again. Pattern weights that I'm already enjoying.

I received this gift as part of a neighborhood group party where we optionally brought a gift and took a gift. But the gifts were anonymous so I don't know who gave this.

All that I know is that I am grateful for this small gift. It is a happy thought to think that these were made from small, pretty scraps of fabric (and I'm guessing large metal washers,  maybe a pair of them).

In the past I used my stainless steel knives as  pattern weights, mostly on knits or sometimes other fabrics that don't like straight pins much. These little textilian weights are much more fun to use, as they are hand-crafted and tactile. 
So perhaps I'll go use them to cut out Paco's Coolie Jacket.

I've decided to use a rich red silk noil from the stash for the face fabric, perhaps adding a little applique from a top I purchased at a fund-raiser for orphans in Honduras. I love the look of this Honduran embroidery. The top is not so great, but the embroidery is lovely.

And, as an added bonus, the fabric seems to be easy to stitch - maybe a linen or a cotton, loosely woven, a bit sheer.

This project approach fits nicely, I think, with a class I am taking from Jude Hill of Spirit Cloth. The class is titled 21st Century Rags and is about her approach to Boro styled clothing. She has a large collection of old and recycled fabrics. I do not. I have some pieces, but not a large selection.

One thought was to go to Good Will and acquire some old cloth. I've done that from time to time. But, do I really need more *stuff* right now? No.

So, I've decided that one way to try out her ideas is to incorporate them in with my own usual way of sewing. Shop the stash. 

Meanwhile. I am certainly learning to respect old cloth and will (continue to) throw away very little new or old cloth. It's good to know another way to use scraps, other than as stuffing for pillows going to the animal shelter.

Anyway, after some other auditions, here is what I'm thinking about for Paco's Coolie jacket:

Coolie Jacket - possible supplies

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

On second thought...

I like left-overs, even sewing left-overs when I'm in the mood. This Christmas season I started out overly-optimistic and finally had to bow to the clicking clock. Not that anyone noticed but me.

But now I have completed the coat for DGD that I started about 10 days ago. And I finished the coordinating coat for doll Felicity.

  • Pattern: Kwik Sew 3818
  • Rating: Nice pattern, helpful instructions
  • Fabric: Medium weight woven wool
  • Lining: Bemberg ambiance
  • Description: double-breasted, full-length, set-in sleeves, in-seam pockets with a cuff, back belt attached with buttons. Hope it fits!

Now back to selfish sewing...

Next up - Paco Peralta's Coolie Jacket