Monday, May 11, 2015

Sarah Veblen Chicago Jacket Workshop

Last week I had the incredible pleasure of spending time with Sarah Veblen and 4 other incredibly talented Chicago area sewists, Wendy, Liz, Liz and Susan!

I must admit that I was initially a little nervous about heading downtown to join these ladies in the class. Why? May you ask.... Well,  what if I wasn't good enough, what if they didn't like me, yadda, yadda, yadda. Head trash, all of it!

So, I put all that head trash aside and on Monday I headed downtown to one ladies apartment for 2 hours of private fitting appointments. I was psyched about this and had prepared 4 muslins. A pair of dress pants, a sheath dress, a paneled swing jacket and a traditional French jacket. 

On that Monday we worked on the pants, sheath dress and swing jacket. The process is great. Each of the muslin pieces is marked with both horizontal and vertical lines. These help you to see where the fit is going wrong and assists in helping you to understand how to fix the fitting problems.
With my muslin on, I stood in front of a mirror with Sarah armed with pins on a rolling stool. With us looking in the mirror she would make changes. Some of these were pinning out wedges and darts horizontally, some were pinning out vertically, some also included cutting and slashing. Once pinned and discussed in the mirror, the muslin came off and was then discussed, marked and annotated in sharpie. We discussed the changes and what order to make the changes in and a quick review on how to make the pattern changes. I only spent minimal time on how to make the pattern changes because I feel pretty confident in this area. 

The 2 hours flew by and I was so excited to have several well fitted muslins. That afternoon I drove home and did some homework. I made the changes to the pants pattern, recut and sewed a new pants muslin. Whew! Power sewing on a Monday evening! 

The next 3 days were spent in the actual Jackets workshop at another ladies apartment in downtown Chicago. I felt so welcomed by this group of ladies I really was silly to even had felt anxious! 
We spent 9am to 6pm Tuesday - Thursday. The mornings were spent with Sarah Veblen in discussion. It was such great discussion among the group. The first day was a show and tell of what kind of jacket we were working or planning on working on with discussions around the considerations of the style, the fabric type, the construction. The other days had more detailed discussion on collars, cuffs, vents, and then some more detailed items such as closures. 

The afternoons were then spent with us fitting, adjusting, sewing,etc... For me I spent a lot of time on perfecting the fit and a very classic Chanel type 3 piece sleeve. I think over the week I made 2 full jacket muslins and 3 sleeve muslins. One of the great parts of this was me finally fully realizing the relationship of the armhole to the sleeve! WOW!!! It was like things just clicked into place and I actually really enjoyed making the muslins and all the pattern adjustments. Imagine I have an actual custom made sleeve pattern for me. 

Along with that, we played with different necklines that would be flattering on me.

There were many times that I put down what I was doing to go and look over someone's else's project and discussions. It was great to hear others considerations and issues and how they were being worked out. So much learning and so much inspiration! 

I did also get my new pants muslin tweaked!! Go me!! 

The week ended with a Thursday evening meeting of the ASG Chicago chapter meeting where Sarah Veblen gave the guest lecture. 

When I got home late on Thursday evening I was both utterly exhausted and feeling energized and excited to move into some very high quality sewing projects. 

I was also inspired to join the ASG :) finally after sewing for 25+ years. Better late than never!

Sarah Veblen is an AMAZING professional to work with! If you have the opportunity to take a workshop with her, do it! You won't be sorry at all. She also has classes on pattern review. Although, I have never taken any of these. She also does teach periodically at some of the expos. Check out her website

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Saturday morning on my worktable

A busy worktable!
A skirt ready to be hemmed by hand... Needles, thread, beeswax and skirt hooks. 
A pattern ready to be altered and fabric cutout.

This busy table makes me happy!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Simplicity 1463 a new summer top

Last week I finally got some pictures of myself in my new summer top Simplicity 1463.
These pics are not the best.... I'm trying out my new tripod and clicker so I can take self pictures. Of course this was the first warming day but the sun was in such a bad position and the yard was soooo full of mud and ice AND setting myself up was just a bit awkward!! LOL!! 

They will have to do and I will need to work on my self photo skills ;)

The fabric is a lightweight cotton blend open weave knit from a JoAnn's super sale. The colors in this are a perfect match for my new pair of purple capris! Yay for coordinating separates!! 

This shirt is definitely a very lightweight summer top and will be perfect for my upcoming girls trip to Puerto Rico. I particularly took my time deciding on the color placement of the stripes and think the yellow/green across my upper chest draws the eye up and looks pleasing to me. I also tried to match the stripes of the sleeve bands to the color in the main body. I came as close as I could with the fabric yardage I had.  
The sun was VERY bright in these photos and the colors look a bit washed out.

The pattern: simplicity 1463. I initially purchased this pattern for the view with the lace back yoke and sleeves. But I had no combinations of fabrics that would quite work for what I wanted. And since I'm on a fabric fast (mostly) I was not purchasing any! I decided instead to make the view on the left. I must say that the sleeves are made for arms that are MUCH skinnier than mine and the 'bat wing' is not nearly as pronounced as on the model pictured on the pattern front. Luckily this knit is quite stretchy and it doesn't bother me to have the sleeves tighter. Next time I will give myself a little more room in the sleeve band and the bottom of the sleeve.
For the neckline I used a bias strip of soft white cotton knit and then cover stitched the neckline and the hem. A quick and easy project.

I used fusible knit interfacing strips on all of the seams for stabilization. I love how this top turned out. It makes me happy to wear!

My grand baby princess is now 9 months and is getting up on all fours and is ready to take off! Time sure does fly by :) 

Happy Spring and Happy Sewing!