Sunday, August 16, 2009

So much to talk about....

One of the reasons I have a hard time with regular blogging is that as things happen, I don't really think they are worth-while blogging about (too "normal", too "boring"), but a week or a month later, when I realize it would have made sense to blog about this, I am so far behind I can neither get the details, not the emotions back from the actual event. All of this is to tell you that over the past week, I have actually made some surprising progress in the sewing room, I just failed to mention it this far.

In an effort to catch up:

-the two buttonholers I won on eBay came in and I am so pleased. I have to take pictures to do justice to the wonderfulness of it all and more importantly I need to play with the new toys, but it can wait until after the WiaW. I added a zigzagger to the new vintage sewing gizmo collection, so I will introduce all at the same time. I think I am done with vintage sewing add-ons for now, but I just read about a seperate hemstitcher that used to be available, so I may have to look into that at some point, for completeness only, you understand.

-my always smart and wonderful DH was quite correct in his suggestion to "just start anywhere" and do some actual sewing and not try to get the sewing room "right" first. I decided to try to get some UFOs finished and wearable. Three of them all belong together, jacket, skirt and pants in a fluid, non-crushable mystery fabric in a black pebbly weave. The jacket is from Shirley Adams 300 series (set-in sleeves jackets). It has a bust dart, but is otherwise lose through the body. The idea is to shape it via a belt that is routed through the top extensions of the pockets. It's a bit hard to see, due to the somewhat crummy lighting in the room and the black fabric, but I do have a picture:

I used a contrasting belt for this picture to show that the top extensions of the patch pockets are actually the channel for the belt, but it doesn't really show up. I think I need to go back to Paint Shop Pro and work on this. Anyway, this jacket was started a long time ago (more than 5 years, but less than 10). All went well until I got to the set-in sleeves and then all went someplace in a handbasket. After I learned about the tie-interfacing trick for sleevecaps from a Peggy Sagers class (best tip, ever!), I conquered the sleeves. Unfortunately, with one thing and another, this jacket just kind of lingered in the 90% done stage for years. It is now officially 98-99% done, with the only things missing being some binding around one armhole lining (old design choice, who knows why, lol), a bit of seam binding on the bottom hem of the jacket and the label. I actually wore it to work last week and was very pleased with it.

The matching skirt (matching fabric, that is, the pattern is unrelated, a Simplicity I think, will have to look up the number) was almost more finished than the jacket (missing hem, some clean up around the waist band and a hook and eye), it is now done except for hand sewing the closure and the label.

Finally, at the time, I must have decided the fluid fabric would lend itself nicely to a pair of Louise Cutting's One-Seam Pants, so one pair was cut out and ready to go, except, as some double checking confirmed, they were just exactly not the correct length. I added faux cuffs and called it a design feature. Since I made my first (and until now, only) pair for OSPs, DH has gifted me with a great serger (more on the tools some other time). It is amazing what a difference a serger makes in the construction speed and quality of these pants. Doh! What can I say, I am just now overcoming my sergerphobia and am constantly amazed at that machine (mostly amazed, sometimes frustrated). Anyway, all that is missing in the OSPs is a label and fixing a tiny gaping issue where the elastic is inserted. I think I will have to plop in a movie sometime next week and get all of that handsewing done.

-I decided to join the Chanel Sew-along, but that is a separate post.

-For the prep week of the WiaW, I made planned changes to the jacket pattern (lengthend by 2" and changed to front pieces to a different cup size) and cut everything out of the fashion fabric. I carefully cut out the tunic, to preserve the symetry of the print as much as possible and I cut out the pattern for the skirt. I will get another chance to work on it Thursday (I work 12 hour shifts between now and then), when I expect to finish cutting out the skirt and cut out the pattern as well as the fashion fabric for the dress. I do need to get some lining for the skirt, I overlooked that somehow, but with a little luck I may be able to pick that up at G-Street Fabrics on my way home on Wednesday evening.

-my DH installed a ceiling fan/light fixture in the sewing room, solving the joint issues of gloom and heat/stuffiness very nicely.

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