Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Adios to summer and to Octtobre 05/08 #10

Around our house, summer officially ends once the Fall garden is planted. Well, the garden planting was finished this weekend. The temperature now is just 80 degrees. That's a cold front for us!!

I wanted to make a simple raglan sleeve t-shirt for my last summer garment. I have numerous patterns that met that criteria. Why did I pick the Octtobre 05/08 #10 jersey? Actually, I had a reason that would have been a good one if the pattern looked like the picture and line drawing. It had what looked like a slight amount of gathers around the neckline. Now, I know I could have looked at the pattern more closely and would have known that there was mucho ease in the front. I've made size 40 in Octtobre patterns before and they fit perfectly. I didn't stop to think about fit. That goes to show me that a tape measure should go on new patterns! I do think that I will remember that one!! This top has enough ease to make a great maternity top. At least it is comfortable. Both the top and the Hepburn pants wear pretty well. In these pictures, I had just returned from dinner with DH's sisters, my son and 2 grandchildren (ages 3 and 5). Normally, I would have been pretty rumbled. There is some "kiddie wear" but not a lot. I love this cotton knit fabric but it needed a different pattern! Here's what it looks like:

After the pictures were taken, I got an urge to see what the top would look like if I reversed it. I didn't think about being outside and took it off and put it on with the back in front. Our next door neigbor is quite elderly and don't think he could see anything even if he was looking. Oh well. If he saw anything, I gave him something new to talk about. Here's what the top looks like reversed:
In MHO, the front looks a lot better although it is still pretty full.

The back looks all right I think.
I apologize for the dark background but I have to take advantage of my photographer's availability. It wasn't that dark, but it was dusk. Oh well.
As for this top, I know I won't be making the pattern again. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the top. There are a number of options: recut and make into t-shirt, wear it for housecleaning (that means it won't be worn often), wad it, or give it to Goodwill (probably for an expectant mother). For now, I think I'll put it away with my summery clothes and decide next year. I'm ready for Fall sewing!!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Chanel Jacket - 2 Trim

It's time for the fun part. I still haven't made a decision about the trim for the jacket. I could use the winter white or orange as a binding around the edges. The wool in both colors miters easily so either would work. I don't have any trim or ribbon that will work with the jacket fabric. Of course, I could go shopping! I kinda of like "that's it" feeling and it hasn't come yet. What do you think?
Hopefully, I can put scissors to fabric in the next few days.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Chanel Jacket 1

One of my sewing goals is to make a Chanel Jacket. I love the many versions that I have seen. When I read about ChanelSewAlong I just had to participate even though I joined the group late. After looking at numerous patterns, I decided to use KS 3258 for the first of many (I hope!!) chanel jackets.
I am going to make view B with long sleeves. I am still debating about putting in a zipper but I don't think that it will enhance the design. I certainly don't need it for most of the Florida winter. My muslin is a size S in the shoulder, neck, and armscyle area with a size M for the side seams. The only adjustment that I made was a 1/2" petite adjustment in the armscyle area.

I'm pleased with the fit for a first muslin. The adjustments that I think are needed are: raise the bust dart 1/4", add 1" to both sides of the front seam, and shorten the sleeves 1/2". I like the length where it is so I will add a hem allowance. The side looks pretty good to me and certainly the sleeves are the best fit I've ever done. I have toothpick arms so these narrow sleeves are wonderful to me. I wasn't very careful setting in the sleeves but they did go in easily.

The back fits all right as far as I can tell.Here are pictures with my hands on my hips. I think that is a way to check on ease. In the front view, I can see the horizontal lines on the left side so I know that they are straight. I marked the left pocket flap locations and will raise the top one a bit.

I've made the adjustments on the tissue and did a tissue fitting. That looks good. I am concerned that the front seams don't meet at the top and the bottom. They fit at first and then fall when I move. That was not a problem with the tissue fitting. I'm hoping that adding facings will take care of that.

I welcome any comments and suggestions that anyone has. I'm planning to do a second muslin to check my adjustments. I know the fit will never be perfect with my body but I want to get as close as possible.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Loes Hinse Hepburn Pants

The LH Hepburn Pants deserve a separate post. These pants surprised me in several ways, but I wanted to try the pattern anyway. I was concerned about the gathers at the waist as I have certainly don't need any extra bulk in that area. The gathers smooth out so much during wear that there was no problem. The fly front instructions were different and I feared that would give me problems. Funny, the mind works in strange ways and sure enough they did give me the problems that I expected. Actually, they are much easier than the traditional fly zipper opening. I somehow made them difficult. I won't get into the construction details as Shannon did such a great tutorial. If you want to make these pants, I suggest that you read her tutorial. This link shows all the many samples of the pants she has made. If you scroll down to 8/14/09, you'll have the tutorial.
My version of the pants was made from toffee silk noile from Nancy's Notions. The fabric sewed beautifully. For the first time I attached elastic with the serger. That worked really well and is a lot faster than using the sewing machine. The finish is sooo much neater. I do have to practice getting my gathers more even, but the results this time look fine when I'm wearing the pants. Here's a picture that shows the full pants:
I'll definitely be making these pants again. I have a number of comfortable pants patterns, but these rate #1. The sewing doesn't take much longer than pullon pants (unless you try to make them difficult like I did) and the fit is nicer especially around the hip and tummy area (I don't need any extra fabric there!).

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

August Review: Highs and Lows

For August, I completed two garments and almost finished a top. I'll do a post soon about the reason that top didn't quite make the August total. During two lack-of-focus weeks, I traced a bunch of patterns and even cut out a few of them. Most of them will be put away until Spring arrives. A few went on my Fall sewing list. I am so ready to start sewing for cooler weather. I'm looking forward to this hot, steamy weather ending.

On the positive side, I did attach collar bands and collars for a blouse and a jacket. I thought my collar points were good, but had a long way to go. Then, I compared them to a Liz Clairborne blouse in my closet. I'd still like to get closer to perfect, but the collars were as good as the Liz blouse. Perhaps, I'm being too hard on myself. I'll always be working on sewing skills - at least I'm progressing!

The blouse is V2634 made from a cotton print from GorgeousFabrics. Although the colors are not the most flattering for me, I loved this fabric when I first saw it on the site. It hardly winkles (amazing for a cotton) and is soft and comfortable to wear. I also like the pattern. I made size 12 in the shoulder/sleeve area and size 14 in the hip area. The fit is about as good as I can get with my lopsided body. I love the blouse and know that I'll make it many times. Next time, I'll put in sleeves and, hopefully, the pattern will work as well.

The other finished garment was Loes Hinse Hepburn pants. For some reason, I struggled with the zipper insertion. I've done lots of fly fronts, but this method was different. It took a long time for me to wrap my mind around it. I tried this pattern because Shannon likes it so much. At first, I thought that it was sort of silly to put a zipper in pants with an elastic waistband. Once I finished them I understood why she likes the pattern so much. The fit and comfort is much better than pullon pants. I haven't worn them out yet. That will be the real comfort test. These pants deserve their own post. I'll do pictures and blog about them later in the week.

That's about it for August. Right now, I need to hem my last summery top and get going on Fall Sewing. Yea!!