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Cutting Line Designs “A New Dimension” Part 2

29 Jun

It’s beginning to get hot in the sewing room, which means I need to turn on the air conditioning.  I’m pretty stingy with the air, since we live in a fairly moderate climate, but I can’t let that keep me from my sewing, so the air must go on.

I just finished the second version of A New Dimension.  Just to spark your memory, here is the envelope cover:

A New Demension

Here is my version:

I made the longer version this time – the one with the cute collar.  This collar is made by fusing the interfacing in three sections with space between so that you can fold and iron the collar as shown on the envelope cover.  I did it that way, but then I decided I like the collar unfolded A LOT, so I left it that way.  In the future, if I want to change the collar, I can easily do that.

I used the extra small sizing, and there is still plenty of ease in the final jacket.  I made no other alterations except to shorten the length.

I cut a bunch of inches off the length (can’t remember right now, but I’m going to say something like seven).  Because I cut off so much, I made sure I did that at the lengthen/shorten line.  I was still worried about losing the proportions, but I don’t think I did.   I generally don’t look good in a long jacket style, and my intention was to make this a “big shirt” type of jacket.  I think it turned out to have a “swing jacket” vibe.

I used a stretch cotton bottom weight that I got from Marcy Tilton.  It will be a nice layering piece for summer evenings, spring, and fall.  I didn’t put in the pockets, since I’m not much of a pocket girl.

I liked both versions of this pattern, and will probably make it again (especially the last version).  A plus is that THE DONALD (DH) likes it. : )

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Travel Clothes 2013

14 Jun

We just got back from Spain, and I wanted to share with you my travel wardrobe.  I was very pleased with what I took this time.  Everything fit in one carry-on size bag (which I can’t carry on because of the dang liquid restrictions).  I don’t know how TSA thinks a woman of a certain age can possibly go on a two week trip with the bottles of liquid one can fit in a quart-size baggie!

I have learned over years of traveling that knits are the easiest to wear, pack, and launder while on the road.  They are comfortable, they fold to nothing, and I can wash them in a hotel sink with Eucalan, a great product that you don’t have to rinse out.  Knits dry pretty fast (it depends on the knit, of course).

I started the travel wardrobe by participating in Elizabeth’s Spring Six-PAC on Stitcher’s Guild.  Here is my completed Six-PAC:

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Okay, now for pattern numbers, clockwise from top left:  The white top is a frankenmorph of Katherine Tilton’s Vogue 8710 and Vogue 1261.  Vogue 8710 goes to just below the bustline.  The blue top to the right of it is the same frankenmorph.  The only difference is that the pleats on the sleeves are folded inwards instead of outwards like the white top sleeves.  The blue top on the dummy is Vogue 1261 without sleeves.  The gray top is Katherine Tilton’s Vogue 8817.  The blue top on the hanger is Marcy Tilton’s Vogue 8582 (OMG, it’s out of print – when did that happen).  Both of the pants are a modified version of The Sewing Workshop Hudson pants.  I have slimmed them down a bit.

So, that’s 5 tops and two pairs of pants.  You can’t tell from the picture, but the pants are black and brown.  They are made from that indestructible Parisian microfiber knit that Marcy Tilton sells.  I can’t rave enough about this fabric for travel.  I wore these two pairs of pants almost daily on my trip, washed them in Eucalan, hung them to dry (which they easily do overnight), and put them back on again (no ironing).  They are lightweight and cool for a hot climate, as well.  This fabric won’t work for cooler climates.

Those two pairs of pants, and about 10 knit tops were my key wardrobe pieces for two weeks of travel.  Yes, I did take a rain jacket, some shorts for a bike trip, and two lightweight sweaters (one black and one camel) as layering pieces.  Also, I made two dresses out of the microfiber knit and took them as well.

Here are some random pics of me in my travel wardrobe on the trip:

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IMG_0137One thing I noticed from these pictures:  As much as I love the crossbody bag for travel, it really isn’t the best look, is it?  I’ll probably continue to use a crossbody, but I might try one with a thicker strap and see how that looks.

We had a wonderful time in Spain.  The people are very friendly, the food is good, and weather was fabulous.  The culture is interesting, so what’s not to like?

Vogue 8804 – Chanel Style Jacket

27 Sep

It’s been awhile since I’ve had anything happening in the sewing room that I felt was blog-worthy.  Now, however, I have an EPIC project that I want to document and share.  It’s the new Claire Schaeffer, Chanel style jacket sans motorcycle helmut and leather gloves:

It’s an epic project because of the preparation and sewing techniques involved.  My goal is to greatly improve my sewing skills during the construction of this jacket.  Hope springs eternal.

I bought the fabric during a wild shopping moment in London.  Don’t ever go to Joel & Son unless you want to unload some cash!  It IS a wonderful fabric store, but I’m glad it isn’t located in my town!  The fabric is a beautiful pewter gray boucle with “Chanel” written all over the selvedge.  I don’t really know what that means, except that perhaps the fabric was made for Chanel?

I purchased the lining at this shop, as well.  It’s a gray stripe silk – a beautiful piece that will look perfect with the boucle.

It took several weeks to accumulate the notions and trims, especially the trims.  Here is what was needed:

I had to get silk thread in this exact, sort of odd gray color, silk buttonhole twist in the same color, 1/4″ cotton woven stay tape, gold chain, buttons, interfacing and trim.  Most of that had to be ordered online, since there were no stores in my area that carried these items.  For the trim, I took some of the fabric apart and made a braid.  I made two other braids with some lighter and darker mohair, then I plaited the three braids together.  If I use this braid, I will put a black petersham ribbon under it, since I can’t find a gray ribbon to match.

The other option for the trim, and one I am favoring at the moment, is to fringe the boucle and use that as the trim.  The fringe on the boucle is really pretty, as you can see in the picture, so that may be the one.

I have just finished cutting out and marking the boucle.  Here are the pieces:

Now I am ready to cut out the lining and interfacing.  I am a very slow sewist as it is.  This will take some time, and I intend to enjoy the process.

Travel Wardrobe – Finished

17 Apr

The title is a bit tongue-in-cheek, because the travel wardrobe isn’t finished until the suitcase is zipped shut for the final time, but at least I can say the Spring Six-Pac is finished.  This is probably the best collection I’ve ever put together, simply because each piece goes with other pieces in my closet.  I learned a lot about combining colors, and especially about Nanette Lapore’s “column of color”.

Simply stated, the column of color is the anchor of a collection.  Besides being slimming, it offer the opportunity for throwing just about anything in your closet (especially if you are working within your personal color zone) over the top to create an entirely new look.

I extended the column of color to include a draped cardigan in the same fabric.  I figured it would offer lots of mix-and-match opportunities.  I will say that I have finally come to the conclusion that a draped cardi is not for me.  This one is the StyleArc Abby cardi, and it is good as far as draped cardis go, but I’m just not crazy about the look.  I will wear this one, though.

Here is the collection:

From left to right, the Abby Cardigan from StyleArc, the Creative Cate top (under the cardi) from StyleArc, Vogue 8435 raglan sleeve top, The Sewing Workshop Quincy top without pleats at the bust, another Vogue 8435 top, Cutting Line Design Discover Something Novel pants, and finally, Annie’s Cami from StyleArc.

The missing piece here is the Vogue 8435 skirt made from the same fabric as the Quincy top (a wonderful rayon tencel from Marcy Tilton).  I didn’t have enough fabric and had to order some more (actually, I think I accidentally threw a piece away, but that’s another story).

The scarf was a bit of serendipity – a piece of silk from my stash that I had purchased long ago to make a scarf, but never did.

By the way, I love, love, love the Quincy!  I intend to figure out how to make it without the zipper, either with one large button at the top or no buttons at all.  I like it without the pleats, and got the idea for that from TerriK on Stitcher’s Guild.  Thanks Terri!

I’m off to a spa in Utah next week for 3 days with a dear friend of mine.  I am so looking forward to it.  I’m sewing a couple of tops and some pajamas that I will post about later.

Here are two more pictures of the collection:

Another Piece for the Six Pac/Travel Wardrobe

23 Mar

It’s been pretty slow-going, and I’m not sure why.  I have plenty of time to sew, just haven’t had the mojo.  Another hobby of mine is genealogy, and I’ve been preoccupied with it lately. When you start finding folks in your family lineage that were famous at the time of the American Revolution, it’s hard to let it go.

I did finish the fifth piece of my travel wardrobe/six pac.  I’m not sure this one will actually make it into the suitcase for a couple of reasons, but it was a good learning experience. A year ago at Sew Expo, Puyallup, I took Marcy Tilton’s “Arty Cardi” class.  As is typical of me, it took a year to actually apply that knowledge to my sewing.

I started out with a Katherine Tilton pattern that I’ve made before, as a regular t-shirt, and transformed the pattern into a cardigan.  This is the original pattern from Vogue:

This is the process I used to make this t-shirt into a cardigan:

1.  I made copies of the fronts (it has a princess seam coming out from the sleeve, so there were two front pieces) and back pieces.

2.  I drew in the center front line, added 2 3/4″ to the center front, and drew the fold line 5/8″ from the center front (see below left).

3.  I added 1/2″ at the side seams (see above right)

4.  I deepened the armhole 1/2″ (see below)

5.  After cutting out the fabric, I interfaced the center fronts from the fold line to the edge to stabilized for the buttons and buttonholes.

6.  I made the buttonholes before adding the neckband.

Here is the final cardigan again:

The reason why I’m not in love with it?  The fabric is too thin for a cardi.  It just doesn’t feel right.  Also, the top buttonhole is too far down, which makes the front center neckline gape.  Live and learn.  Again.

Travel Wardrobe 2012

7 Mar

I have decided that I am hopeless at blogging, mainly because when I get stuck in my sewing, I get stuck in my blogging, as well.  That makes for a fairly sparse blog.  Here is a brief update:

The Koos jacket is still unfinished.  I decided somewhere along the way that it is NOT my style.  This was one of the best sewing failures I’ve ever had, in terms of what I learned:  I cannot wear clothes that don’t fit around the shoulders.  Forgive me if I am repeating myself, but I really have no shoulders to speak of; therefore, anything loose-fitting around the shoulders makes me look like I’m playing dress-up in my mother’s clothes.

The Koos jacket sat on my dress form for months, while my sewing and blogging languished.  I finally said to the Koos jacket, “Off with your head!”  It is now folded up in a corner of my sewing room…resting.

In the meantime, I have started my travel wardrobe for 2012.  In August, we are visiting family in Stockholm, and then taking a side trip to Budapest.  It will be very hot in Budapest, so I’m going for a very cool and casual wardrobe, which for me means loose-fitting and light-weight.

I’ve been working on this “packing for travel” thing for a long time, and have decided that knits are the way to go.  They are cool and comfortable, they pack light and fold to nothing.  I can wash them in the sink and hang to dry.  Knits are really perfect for a travel wardrobe.

My travel wardrobe will look something like this for a two-week trip:

1.  7 knit tops

2.  2 knit pants

3.  1 skirt

4.  1 or 2 knit overlayers (shirt or cardigan)

Marcy Tilton has some wonderful fabric she calls “Paris microfiber knit” that I used last year on some casual pants.  I loved the ease of wear of this fabric, so I bought a ton of it for this year’s travel wardrobe, both in black and gray.  Here is what I have come up with so far:

Here, I am following Nancy Nix Rice’s idea of a column of color as a base.  This will make me look taller and thinner…maybe : ).  The top is the StyleArc’s Annie’s Cami and the pants are Cutting Line Design’s Discover Something Novel.

I threw a Babette blouse from my closet over my shoulders, and viola, an outfit:

Then I made this StyleArc Creative Cate top to go with the pants:

Finally, I added this StyleArc cardigan to the mix:

The cardi is not hemmed in this picture, but you can see that I’m working my way to a functional summer travel wardrobe.

Unfinished Koos Jacket, Vogue 1277

6 Dec

I am finished with the Koos class, but not finished with the jacket.  It’s not because of the pattern, though, it’s because of some fabric I used that wouldn’t cooperate.  The class was very fun, and the coat is coming along.

I haven’t been blogging as I go because sewing for eight hours a day wipes me out.  When I get home from class, I am totally exhausted. It made me think of the statue of the garment worker in New York City and what it must have been like, working in a sweat shop bent over a sewing machine 12 hours a day, seven days a week.  Hard work, indeed!

This Koos pattern is pretty amazing in so many ways.  The most interesting part is the sleeves, though, and the way Koos made the sleeve seam curve around the sleeve on the diagonal.  The other appealing part of the jacket is the fact that the coat is really one major piece that becomes the jacket lining, and then you place smaller pieces on top of it to make the design.  The way Koos designed it, you could easily put any shape you want on the main piece to create your own unique design.

Here is the sleeve.  You can see how the seam curves around diagonally:

**My sewing instructor, Marla Kazell, took a class from Koos, himself, to learn how to construct the jacket, and the way he constructs it is very different from the Vogue pattern instructions.  Koos adds 1/2″ seam allowances to his patterns, then lays out the main pattern piece and glues the individual design pieces on top of the main piece, and then sews on the bias tape.  Vogue added full seam allowances so that you can sew the individual pieces together before adding the bias tape.

**Another change that Vogue made to the pattern was to put some of the pieces on the straight of grain and some on the bias.  The Koos pattern has each center back on the bias.  I’m not sure why Vogue would make that change, since you would want the back on the bias for the drape effect.

In my sewing class, we put all pieces on the bias and we glued the pieces on, which meant that we had to trim some of the seam allowances off.  There are options to glueing.  One option is to use a permanent glue (which is what Koos uses), which will give your jacket more body.  I didn’t want that look (I wanted my jacket to drape more) so I used the Sulky Temporary Spray adhesive, which was the good news and the bad news.  The good news is that the jacket will be drapier, the bad news is that the pieces don’t stick very well, especially if they are silk.  Most of my pieces were wool, but I did have a nasty little piece of silk that caused me CONSIDERABLE trouble.

If you use the temporary spray, you will need to add stitching (like quilting) to hold the pieces together.  Then you will need to pin, pin, pin, as well.  Here is a picture of my jacket at the stage where I had finished glueing and was beginning to pin bias strips on the jacket.

I forgot to take a picture of the lining, but it is the same shape as all the top pieces put together and is laying underneath these pieces.  As you can see, the piece at the hemline is actually two pieces that are sewn together at the center back, then the piece is sewn along the hemline to form the hem.  That piece is then turned and glued to the lining, as are the rest of the pieces, overlapping by about 1/2 inch.  As I said before, I had to trim some of the seam allowances away, since Vogue added them to their pattern.

Here is how the back turned out:

By the way, I used an extra small size.

So now, I have the basic jacket put together, one sleeve sewn on, and tons of things (like Hong Kong binding) left to do.  I’m not sure how much of this I’m going to get to until after Christmas, but I’ll keep you posted on the progress.

**These paragraphs were edited after the orignal post.

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