Saturday, October 3, 2009


I have been working on that Marfy skirt 1985 this weekend, here it is pictured with the Vogue jacket that I just finished. I didn't include it because I was busy watching the dump truck parade and forgot to smile. It looks deceptively complete in that picture, but look closer.

Even before you see the selvage hanging there at the end (in places) where the hem should be, you have to notice that the pinstripes don't always line up, and that whole centerpleat really doesn't lay right. Regardless of those things, it looks pretty good with that red jacket.

This was part of a wardrobe contest last May, if you think it looks good with the red jacket, you should see it with the matching one that I have cut out. Ironically, the white silk blouse from a previous post was also part of that plan.

I actually got the pants put together, but they were about 2 sizes too small. I actually got the blouse put together and got started on the fitting. Same with the skirt (I don't have a waisband, so I will have to find that Kay Y waistband that she did.)

I love that jacket! I must get more interfacing. Paammm... where is your email. I am so ready for some fabulous fusible interfacing.

Tomorrow I will show you my new white shirt.

I have even cut the sleeves, pockets, and collars. All that i need to cut is the interfacing. I am thinking that the white silk organza will work for interfacing.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

What's Next...

Now that I have sent that lined jacket off to the cleaners, I am moving on. Filing for unemployment this afternoon really inspired me to get something interview like on the road. I am going to start with this quasi-professional shirt that you can download for free here:

I know, accountant like things that are in rows and columns, but how can you argue with "free down loadable," the only down side is that my Portuguese is a bit rusty. I know that I should be looking for something more fall like with long sleeves, but it is so hard to get in the fall spirit when it is 90 outside.

I am also working on those UFO's. I dug out the sleeves for the white blouse this morning, so I hope to get that done this weekend.

I also tried on a skirt that I started for another wardrobe project last May that I will get to pretty soon. This skirt is in black with a red pinstripe, which gave me a good opportunity to turn those stripes cross grain in the hem insets on the sides. The skirt is underlined with silk organza for a nice crispness that swings when I walk. I will post pictures tomorrow.

Thank goodness I don't have to work for a living, yet.

Sewing Shouldn't be this Hard (WTH)

I finally finished my lined jacket contest entry. I like to leave things down to the wire for suspense... It isn't exactly what I imagined, but I know that it could have been a lot worse... I will get better, natural light pictures tomorrow when there actually is natural light.

Burda has really outdone themselves with this one. I love this collar, the way that is it inset is so Marfy, but the fit is more like Butterick. This graced the cover of October 2008, it is incredibly stylish, yet there have been no reviews... What could be the problem?

Personally, I have traced, looked, contemplated, cogitated, and inquired, but I don't think it is possible with a complete neck facing. Or, even and incomplete neck facing, as you may notice the only facing is the lapel facing and the band on the collar. Look closely at the pattern, the only facing alluded to is the front facing which doesn't continue to the side seam.

You will notice on the front/facing piece posted here, the facing part of the front only extends to the point (the X in orange towards the bottom of the picture) that it connects to the sleeve and the band of the collar.

As per Burda's instructions (which we all know are written in German, then loosely translated into English by people who don't sew), you sew the collar together and finish it. Then you "stitch onto inside edges of facing, from seam number 8, and onto neck edge from corner of neckline." Now, you Burda lovers out there know that these things don't come with seam allowances, and the X in the picture is about 2" below the seam line of the lapel, but it lines up with the edge of the facing. So, the collar band is only sewn to the facing on the front edge, and only sewn to the neckline on the bottom edge? Huh?

Well, it does say "Stitch lining to inside edges of facing and collar band." Like this:

The lining is then sewn along the edge (that borders on point 8) that is on the right side of the orange line.

Well, it makes much more sense now that I have had the second glass of wine... I should have started yesterday. Even though my typing was better, I would not have needed to pull out the Trig book, or call the engineer. Seriously, my sewing guru Peggy L was even confused.

I still have a problem with this. The collar band only measured 15" for a size 40. The short piece that I needed for my jacket didn't extend down the front and still had to be lengthened by 3/4". So, the neckline edge for a size 40 would have to be lengthened by 4".

I like the obtusely shaped buttons. I almost picked some nice shell buttons that looked like they matched in the dining room, but when I took a picture they magically turned purple: I went with the gold, I can change later.

For now, that was enough fun for one night. the cats have given up on me and went to bed, I shall follow.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Moving Forward

I think I have worked out the collar question, at least in theory:

I like the look even though it is a tad shorter than the lapel I don't think I will be changing it. However, I do need to take it apart and sew the convertible collar in correctly. By that I mean the body and the undercollar, the upper collar and the facing need to be sewn to each other. I think that I will like the way that they look though.

I was up pretty late working on those pockets, but they are in, and thanks to Peggy those sleeve bumps are gone. I also have the lining together and ready to sew to the facing. I like the placement of the hem, and I need to bring those sleeves up a couple of inches.

As for that BWOF jacket that I was trying to morph, all I ended up with was a great big WTF, even Peggy didn't understand it so I didn't feel so badly.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Question of Collar...

I think that I will really like the fit, but the collar isn't going to do exactly what I imagined. I was attempting to do this: but I really struggled with getting the upper collar to sit inside the lapel. After reading the directions a 4th time, and sleeping on it more than once, I have figured out what my problem is. I was confused because the pattern only has a facing for the front band and the lapel, like a shirt. It doesn't continue around the neck edge like the Vogue pattern that I am starting with. In fact, the point of the end of the collar extends about 2" below the neck edge. What I don't think is really clear in the instructions is the fact that the end of the collar band is sewn to the facing, not the jacket body. Also, the collar band is really short at only 7 1/2" long. I don't know how tight the neck edge actually is, but I made mine considerably smaller than the pattern and it was still 8 1/4" long and it just reaches the turn of the lapel. In order for it to extend down the front for the Burda jacket style, I would have to add at least another 2" to each side.
Now, I could do this by recutting the collar. I have about 26" left that I was saving for a skirt. I could sacrifice having a complete suit in order to make it look like what I was aiming for. I have other things that I could wear it with like black, gray, black w/red pinstripe.
That is where I am for now. I will probably update later after I consult with my sewing guru.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sleeveless in Houston!

I have been trying to make good use of my rare time off by going through my sewing room, and man do I have a mountain of UFOs. Just starting with the stuff hanging in hangers on my door are 4 beautiful shirts, 1 casual and 3 that might work for job interviews:

Looking at this might lead one to question my devotion sleeves. Why do I have a block with sleeves? Maybe it is because once you put the sleeves on, you have committed yourself to the fit of the rest of the shirt. We seamstresses are so unbelievably particular about fit. We get things to a point that infinitely better than RTW, but then we wrinkle our noses and fuss over the slightest pull or wrinkle. Speaking of wrinkles, the one on that beautiful silk blouse in the middle disappeared with pressing. The one on left with the wrinkles by the shoulder will require re-sewing of the inset and a square shoulder adjustment, both of which should take about half an hour. As for the one on the right, I need to let out the side seams and get back on the treadmill.

These wrinkles and minor adjustments have left me with a doorknob cluttered with hangers of rejected "close-but-not-quite" garments that I barely remember starting. I have a million dollar wardrobe in the some assembly required stage.

This isn't all the shirts, some of them are still in ziplock bags so that the sleeves at least have a chance of staying with the rest of the garment. I also have 2 pairs of jeans, 2 pairs of pants and a pretty terrific looking skirt.

The fact that I have lost about 10 lbs over the last 6 months has immensely helped with the fitting challenges, and I certainly have more time now than I am ever likely to have again. I guess the only excuse that I have now is motivation, so before I go any further, I am going to go work on that red jacket before it is doomed to be a UFO forever.

My Blog List