Thursday, September 17, 2015

A tale of two jackets, Vogue 7975

Two completed jackets in two very different fabrics.

This is the muslin for 7975 that was done in the jacket fitting workshop with Sarah Veblen this past spring.

Jacket 1, my first wearable muslin, in a cream stretch woven cotton/Lycra sateen. Fully lined with cream ambiance.  Biggest issue was choosing a fabric with Lycra! I have such a love/hate relationship with Lycra. The biggest problem with woven's with Lycra is that they somehow end up being much bigger than intended.  In my mind this is so counterintuitive. In retrospect, not the best fabric to use for a first wearable muslin! Oh well, it was in my stash and I wanted to use it up! 

I had a lot of fun making this jacket. I have been wanting to try some internal ribbon details for a while and thought this was a perfect time to try some new techniques!
The buttons are from my vintage button stash! They make me happy!!

Other than fitting changes, I used a different sleeve. I have been working with a 3-piece sleeve. Love this! Love the shape, the drape and the fact that you waste less fabric :) I choose not to do a vent in this sleeve for ease of construction.
Other changes; changed the neckline to a shaped soft V, a very flattering shape for me. The jacket hem is interfaced with strips of silk organza  and I added a lower small inside pocket, this was a design decision to keep my silhouette sleek on the outside however, I like to have a small pocket for mint, tissue, hotel room key, etc.. 

You can see from the photos that the jacket is big. It's on my list to take out the lining, go in and tighten up all the major vertical seams. In the body and at least the exterior arm seam. I do want to get this done before mid- October so I can wear the jacket for a business conference in October. I have pants and a shell already done for this jacket. I have worn this for one work meeting and definitely needs to be taken in! I felt a bit like I was swimming in it. 

Jacket #2. Wearable Muslim # 2  Non-stretch denim, with print cotton facings, under collar and hong kong seam binding. This has a 2 piece knit sleeve. I loved the idea of doing a knit sleeve on a woven jacket, I've seen it in RTW and wanted to play with this idea. 
Fitting changes in this version: addition of a narrow dart below the bust in approx the  center of the side front. This provides some additional shaping. I also trimmed of a small amount off the side front princess seam in the bust area. My boobs just looked too pointy! This jacket was cut exactly the same as the first cream one and such a huge difference in size due to the type of fabric.

As you can see in the photos this version also has a collar. There is no collar in V7975 so I drafted my own partial roll collar using the Craftsy collar drafting class by Suzy Furrer. This was such an easy thing to do and I loved designing my own collar! I know it's just a basic collar but somehow knowing that I did it myself makes me feel proud of my skills. 
I also think the Hong Kong binding on this jacket looks quite amazing. I was quite careful about trimming overlapping seam allowances to help keep the extra thicknesses to a minimum. Hing Kong binding takes a bit longer to do than an actual lining but I love how it elevates the interior of the jacket!

I am very happy with this creation!! I decided to keep the original front neckline. This allows me to play with design. I thought about adding in inseam pockets at the front princess seams, however in my mind I was thinking of this as a 2nd wearable muslin and didn't want to go there. Although, I really do like having pockets in my casual jackets!
I have worn this jacket several times already! To the movies, to a  Haute Couture club meeting, and traveling.
The buttons I used are vintage plastic 1inch buttons from my stash. I really enjoy the pop of color, color makes me happy. 
I am very, very happy overall with this jacket and it makes a perfect fall garment. Every time I put this jacket on I just feel good.

I have a couple more plans for this jacket pattern. One with a self drafted shawl collar, and a Chanel knockoff cardigan jacket. Hope to work on this over the winter. 

I am off to Delaware to help take care of my mom post surgery for the next 10 days. So glad I had the time to take off to go birth with my mom and dad. This does mean that my home sewcation is not happening. However, I have brought some sewing projects with me.... Mom sure won't be using her sewing machine while I'm there!

Happy Sewing!!

My hubby snuggling with the grand babies this past weekend! 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Summer Eureka! Linen crop pants and review of my go to pants patterns.

I have made two pairs of Eureka! Pants that fit pants for work. I have been super pleased with them! Of course it helps that I have perfected the fit of the pants through several muslins and with help from Sarah Veblen.  

Since my first 2 pairs worked out so great I decided to make another pair but this time as a casual summer pair. 

The fabric is a blue linen with white flower print from my stash. I wanted to be able to wash these at home so I washed and dried the linen a couple of times to shrink it up and to soften it as well. The linen was not sturdy enough for the style of pants I wanted so I underlined the entire thing with Imperial batiste in white. I did this by cutting the pattern pieces in batiste and hand basting them to the linen. This helps with keeping the knees and seat from bagging and cuts down on the wrinkles and the batiste feels so nice against my skin.
I did not line these since I felt the underlining was plenty for this casual pant.

So, how did I decide what changes to make to the original pattern? I put on a pair of the original pants that I made and first I rolled up the hem to a spot above my ankle that I liked and looked flattering. Then I worked on pinning the inseam and outer seam to get a silhouette that I liked. 90% of the width changes are done from the knee down and they are done almost evenly from both sides to maintain the correct grain line and hang of the fabric. 

Once I had pinned and measured my pants I traced off the pants from my master pattern and made the changes to the lower legs. I was carefull to mark the new pattern pieces as cropped/slim so that I can return to those pieces to be used again and know exactly what I have! 

The only difference between these and the first 2 work pair that I made is that I tried a different waistband treatment. The waistband is cut exactly the same only instead of using an interfacing I used elastic. The back lapped zipper and pants hook and eye are exactly the same. The elastic was cut 6 inches shorter than your waist measurement (per the directions). Honestly, I was a little dubious about doing it this way.... Thoughts of kids pants, old lady pants, yoga pants and all sort of this like that were swirling through my head. I am so GLAD I tried it! On my shape with a larger tush and relatively smaller waist it made the waist very comfortable. 

I am very happy with my pants progress! I now have 3 styles of pants down pat! A darted trousers/slacks type of pant. Fitted at the waist and skimming over my lower abdomen and hips to create a smooth silhouette. A casual type of pant with a yoke back and much more fitted, these would be my denim and corduroy jeans. The last is a knit pants, think yoga pants. 

I do need to work on my patterning. I have very precise patterns for my Eureka! Pants that fit. I have what I am calling my 'work' pants and then the variation shown here, 'cropped/slim'. 
For my Jeans pattern I have 2 versions, a straigh leg and a skinny leg. Each is marked with a different seam allowance for stretch versus non-stretch wovens. I am toying with the idea of redoing these and making totally separate patterns for stretch vs non-stretch and having a uniform seam allowance. This will keep things more uniform. 
The knit pants are more fluid. It all depends on the type of knit and the amount of stretch. I use a very scientific method of wrapping the uncut yardage around my hips (my widest part) to where I like it and then taking and using that measurement to base my pants off of. This does mean that I have several sizes cut out and use one that is closest to the measurement. This keeps me from having to make changes after construction because a fabric has more stretch than the original. What I would REALLY like to do is to correlate amount of stretch to a specific pattern size. For example a stable double knit or ponte versus stretchier knits and knits with lycra. I think if I had 3 pattern sizes determined then it would be easier to select the correct one from the outset without having to make changes on the fly.
I think I see a winter project on my list!!

Happy Sewing!!

I am off from work this week and enjoying a week of grandma camp. Helping out while my daughter and her hubby move apartments. I do have to tell you that I forgot how exhausting a 14 month old can be!!! And I am loving every minute of it :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

New bloggers, New Friends

This year has seen a big change for me in my sewing in several ways.

1. I have taken my skills to a whole new level by studying regularly with Sarah Veblen.
2. I have joined the ASG Chicago Chapter and have become a member of the Sew Chicago Neighborhood group. Finally!!! A sewing group of like minded peers all interested in garment sewing.
3. I have also joined the Haute Couture Club of Chicago. Meetings start in September and I think this will be another great group.
4. I have made sewing friends, not just acquaintances but actual friends! And it is nice, so very, very nice. 

Why have I made these changes... Well, frankly I was tired of store sponsored sewing clubs where a lot of the time was spent on advertisements and pushy sales. As well as there not really being a cohesive group. Yes, everyone was interested in sewing! However, not everyone is interested in the same type of sewing. I know you all get what I'm saying here, so I'm saying no more!

Suffice it to say, one thing lead to another and this year things began to change. It feels good to not be in such an isolated sewing environment anymore. No offense meant to the online sewing community!! The online sewing community is great. Offering inspiration and plenty of guidance to those who need/want it and sometimes it's just lovely to keep tabs on what's going on in our cyber friends workrooms! Helps,keep the sewing mojo in high gear :)

I have 2 new blogs to introduce you to:

Sarah Veblen
Sarah is an amazing teacher (and an amazing person!). If you ever have the opportunity to work with her I assure you that you will not be disappointed. She has so much knowledge to share. She has classes on Pattern Review, Taunton press now has several classes/DVD's to offer and be sure to check her website for her sewing workshops. 

Wendy Grossman
Wendy is a friend that I have made in Chicago. She is in charge of the Sew Chicago Neighborhood group, works on the Haute Couture Club fashion show, is a very talented sewer and now has started a blog. Stop on over and check it out she has some very lovely garments that you can just see the love and hard work that went into creating them!

I hope you will check out both of their blogs! 

Happy Sewing!