Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Commencing Anew

I used to follow sewing sites and blogs with a passion. Then I got interrupted by a new passion in life, but lately I have been drifting back and reading some blogs and chat sites. And I have found that my old flame has been re-kindled.

The blog of Gigi Louis has always interested me. I discovered Gigi a number of years ago when she was the sewing advisor on Pattern Review. I always found her advice to be very good, and her responses were always kind and never condescending, something that I admire in a person.

About a month ago, I found that she was just finishing up a year of making jackets, one per month actually. She was putting the finishing touches on #11 when I came back to read her blog. And now I check it daily.

And lo and behold, a topic has started on Stitchers' Guild for A Jacket a Month , inspired by Gigi's year of making jackets. Well, I am hooked because making jackets is my favourite sewing project. In fact, I have numerous jackets in my closet, that I have not even worn. It doesn't seem to matter, I just love to sew them. The fitting, the construction, the pressing, the final touches of buttons - it all delivers such a bang for your buck. It doesn't matter whether I wear them or not, someone someday will because, if I don't, I will give them away.

So, I am in. I have been working on a Chanel jacket since November and it is sitting on my dress form, awaiting the right trim to finish it, plus I have to find the requisite chain for the inside hem. Also, I made it a size smaller than usual (I have made this pattern before), because I am seriously trying to lose weight on doctor's orders. So I don't feel any rush to finish this, as it doesn't quite fit yet, but will when I lose 10-15 pounds. And I should have found the trim (or made it) by then.

The pattern is Vogue 7975 and I made the version in the large photo, the one that just meets with no front closures. I had a nice boucle in my stash, from when I was running an online sewing business - I picked up a major stash during those nine years. Twenty Rubbermaid containers full at last count.

While this jacket awaits the finishing touches, I am making up some much-needed knit tops for an upcoming trip to Texas next week (grandchild #8 is arriving and I will be in grandmother role). Meanwhile, I have another jacket pattern waiting for me, McCalls 5191, a jean jacket from Palmer/Pletsch. I made this over the summer in a white denim and it sits waiting for me to sew the buttons on. There is something about white denim that is rather shocking, it is just so white, it needs a complete navy outfit to go with it - aack - more sewing to complete an outfit!

But I have plans for this pattern in a brocade that I bought last month from Fabrics in Vogue. I really like the combination of formal fabrics with casual patterns, that kind of funky fashion statement of putting lace with denim, tapestry with twill, sequins with cowboy boots. Perhaps it is tacky, but there is something about it that appeals to the old-hippie in me. I think those kinds of jackets can be worn with so many things: with jeans, with a linen dress, with a wool sweater, with a classic white blouse.

So that will be my project when I return from Texas. The pattern is out of print, but I believe that you can still get it from McCalls if you request it. Also, a great resource for reading is Pati Palmer's newsletter available free at her website. I have already found two more must-have patterns by reading one newsletter the other day.

Or I might use the newer jean jacket pattern, this one has princess seams and is more fitted. Since I will be in Texas for a couple of weeks, I can probably pick up a lot of new patterns at Hancock's for much less than they sell here in Canada.