Saturday, January 31, 2009

Cool Couture

Finally received my autographed copy of Cool Couture by Kenneth King. I really like this book and I will definitely try his technique for welt pockets. I am currently working on a linen mandarin jacket that does not call for pockets, but I love pockets on jackets that I will most often wear running errands and such, so I think I will alter this pattern to include the pockets. There are alot of chapters devoted to piping in this book, which probably would have come in handy when making the silk mandarin jacket, but oh well, too late for that! I think I probably could have found most the instructions for things like lapped zippers and perfect seam finishes on organza in old Threads articles, but nice to have in one place for reference. He includes some information on adding prairie points as finishes to garments which sounds kind of interesting since it's traditionally a quilting technique and a chapter on tassel making. The examples shown on passementerie "the art of making elaborate decorative trims and edgings from thin cord", are out of this world! Overall, it's a nice book to treat yourself to!

Friday, January 23, 2009

70 one day, snow the next!

I am sitting here looking out my window to flakes the size of quarters. One thing you gotta LOVE about Colorado is the weather! Yesterday it was almost 70 and the kids wore shorts to school - today it's snowing, but only at our house and not 3 miles down the road.

Sewing-wise I am not working on any garments but have started a quilt for my mother-in-law's February birthday, or perhaps Mother's Day, or maybe even Christmas depending on when it actually gets finished.

I am also about to clean out my sewing room as it was messier than my teenage son's room - and that's downright hazardous! I have no idea what I will do with myself when my house is in perfect order, but that is what I am striving for. Wish me luck!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Finished Jacket!

I am finally finished with the jacket and am very pleased with the results. The piping turned out much better than I expected and the garment drapes nicely. The pattern was New Look #6519. I also added a bit of machine embroidery to the lining instead of a designer label. Overall it was a fun project and goes together rather quickly. The fabric was a bit expensive but I think I will keep this piece for a good long time. I loved the raglan sleeves and the slope of the shoulders actually matched mine! I like that this jacket will look equally good dressy or casually with jeans. As this jacket was made for a sample at Textile-O-phile, it will be a while before I actually get to wear it -but can't wait until I can!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mandarin Jacket

This is what I am currently working on. . . . . It is a New Look pattern that I have somewhat modified. I added piping to the princess seams and added embroidery to the lining (picture to soon follow!) In this photo I have not yet attached the collar or larger piping all around the outer edge and the contrasting sleeve band. I made a muslin prior to cutting my fabric and was happy with the fit with some minor tweaking (waist and shoulders). The lighting in this photo is very poor, but I chose a rusty coral randomly pleated dupioni with the contrast of an olive green embroidered dupioni. The piping is cut from a blue green cotton/silk blend. That is also what I chose for the lining. I was a little concerned about how all this would drape, but so far I have been very pleased with the result. I especially liked the curve of the raglan sleeve - it matched the slope of my shoulders very well. I had read some reviews that the shoulder slope created a somewhat armour looking poof, but I guess I just lucked out here. I'll keep you posted on my status! Happy sewing!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Yep, it's a Monday!

This has absolutely nothing to do with sewing, but what a horrific day it's been. I broke the washer - yes, normally that would thrill me, but today I not only have loads to do, I have mountains to do! It did look like a scene from I Love Lucy, what with me trying to turn the shut off valve and water (hot water!) spraying me all over simultaneously! Oh well! I found the part I need to replace online - it's called a fill valve - and it costs $40! I could have bought fabric with that! Now do you see why I'm SEW bummed! Oh well, it can only get better from here - right?!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Faux fur jacket

I am very fortunate in that I work in an independent fabric shop. Yes, someone actually pays me to sit and sew samples and handle luxurious fabrics! Truth be told, I'd probably work for free! And I practically do - (I've never had such a low paying job), but I wouldn't trade it for anything! Anyway, my latest project was a jacket for my daughter. The body of the jacket is a wool/lycra blend with a faux fur collar and trim. The lining is a stretch polyester. The pattern was from the Dec. 08 Burda World of Fashion magazine. The pattern called for an imitation leather for the jacket, but I used the wool because I liked the color. I did fuse the wool with a fusible weft to keep it from stretching. I fused the lining with a lightweight tricot fusible interfacing as well. Sewing with the fur was really not bad at all. The Burda instructions were reasonably easy to understand - though I really didn't follow them for the sleeve vents - they were a little confusing there. I also eliminated the pockets for the same reason. I modified the pattern by adding the trim along the bottom and adding a belt - the pattern called for belt loops but no belt, which seemed odd to me, so I just made one. I did find the pattern to run a bit small overall, but I made allowances for this in my seam allowance. Overall, I was very pleased with the outcome and my 10 year old daughter loves it, so what more could I ask for? Coming soon . . . . duster length mandarin jacket from a rust colored pleated dupioni and an olive embroidered dupioni.