Monday, November 23, 2015

Tied up

During the past few weeks, I have been out of town more than home. This has meant way too little time in my sewing space. And my mental health depends upon time spent making. Yikes!

I always travel with hand-sewing which is a life-saver when you are spending time in airports and on interstates. But it is not the same. Last week I just started refusing to do anything until I had a little time to myself in my space.

Sometimes, after a hiatus, I jump into something complicated and make a mess. Fortunately I decided to use a pattern I have used before and I made it even simpler. 

Here is my Tremont Vest:

The Tremont Jacket pattern is the most recent of the paper patterns produced by The Sewing Workshop (TSW). I made it first in a medium weight cotton Ikat. 

I goofed and made this fold left over right. So you cannot even tell that the right front is different.

By simply omitting the sleeves, it became a fun little vest. I was surprised at how deep the armscye is. Wow. But still highly wearable, I think. It's a bit kimono-like except the sleeve head sits right at my shoulder line. I like that.

As before I used (mostly) a thrifted man's tie to make binding for the Hong Kong finishes inside. Although one tie generated more than 4 yards of 1.25 inch bias tape, it was not enough to finish every edge. So I used some silk scraps that are similar in color.

When I use a tie to make bias binding, I first take it apart and then wash it in a lingerie bag. This time I even dried it in the dryer. After a good steam press, it was ready to cut. I folded it in quarters along the bias (which is sort of the grain of any man's tie) and made my first cut right down the length-wise middle. Then I made 1.25 inch cuts on each side until I ran out of fabric to cut. Next I opened the strips up and cut off the pieces that were less than 1.25 inch in width. Lastly I stitched the pieces together to make one long 4+ yard bias piece. Tie material is so nice to work with as the fabrics tend to have a little tooth. Even though I choose only 100% silk, they are not terribly slippery.

The Tremont has different right and left fronts. For the vest I decided to cut two left fronts - the left front piece is the larger of the two front pieces. I added a little pocket because I am always reaching for a tissue this time of year.

So how about you? Holidays keeping you away from sewing? I hope not! This season is such a fun time to sew. 

PS - the fabric is a silk-linen houndstooth in black and cream. It's a remnant I picked up at my favorite local fabric shop, Gail K.


  1. I really like your two tops, especially the houndstooth vest. The way the collar sits is so elegant!

  2. Beautiful best, inside and out. And your idea of using ties for bias tape is genius!

  3. Nice additions to the wardrobe. Thanks for the tips on how to turn the tie into bias.

  4. Wow, this makes a fabulous vest and your attention to the details always adds so much to everything you make. lovely garments! I just made my first Tremont Jacket yesterday and really like the pattern. Looking forward to making more versions. And seeing more versions from you!

  5. So nice to see your work...I love the vest and the use of ties for binding.