Saturday, March 26, 2011

Jacket #3

Whew! I don't know why this jacket too so long, but it seemed to linger forever. Granted there was a week with grandchildren visiting, but even so. I began this in the last week of February and it has taken a month to complete a relatively simple jacket.

I had thought I would put silver or pewter buttons on the jacket, but then thought I would be most likely to wear it with a white blouse and black pants, and the silver buttons would be fighting for attention. A trip to the local fabric store netted some buttons that mimicked the pattern of the brocade, they were the same red with black squiggles on them, and I knew they were just what I wanted the minute I saw them. Back home to quickly make six buttonholes, sew on the buttons and give the jacket a final press. As we say with so many projects "thank goodness, that's over!"

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Update on Jacket #3

The collar is on, I have just the hem, cuffs, and buttons and buttonholes to do. Then jacket #3 will be done, probably not for a week as daughter, husband and five grandchildren arrive for a week's visit on Saturday. Five children under the age of eight! and four of them are boys! No more needs to be said.

Now that the collar is on, this jacket is showing its shape. It looked pretty shapeless before. I am pleased with the results so far. The flannelette underlining has given the jacket some heft and it feels substantial now. I will pick silver buttons, as I wear black and gray much of the time and gold buttons just aren't in my scheme. I think the jacket needs a bit of sparkle.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Beefing It Up

This brocade really did need some substance and I debated whether to use silk organza or cotton flannelette. I opted for the flannelette and I am glad I did. I sewed up the front and back in flannel, then inserted them into the jacket with the seams facing inward to avoid any bulky impressions on the outside.

Jacket turned inside out, the sleeves have been basted in. No underlining in the sleeves, they don't need it.
Next will be the lining, which will be placed wrong side to wrong side of jacket, then the collar and cuffs will be applied. These will be applied over the lining, encasing all the raw edges. The only unfinished edges will be the edge of the front facings and the hem, and I may opt for Hong Kong finish on those. I am much happier now that I have done this.
I had thought this would be a quick jacket, and certainly stopping and re-thinking about the underlining has turned it into a longer project, but I know I will like it better for the extra work and it will get worn much more.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Progress on Jacket #3

A little bit of sewing going on here. I decided to use the newer jean jacket by Palmer/Pletsch as it is more fitted and not boxy like their previous one. The pattern has princess seams, the front has princess seams from the armhole down. They can be a challenge to ease in, unlike shoulder princess seams which are a piece of cake. I even recut one front as I just couldn't get rid of the puckering. I shouldn't have worried so much, as today I put on the pockets and realised they cover up the very area where the puckering was visible.

This fabric is tricky, it must have a lot of rayon in it as it frays like the dickens and also picks quite easily. I will have to be careful when wearing it, not to snag on anything. The pattern calls for no lining, but I will line this just to cover all those fraying seams and give the fabric a little bit more weight. I must also photoshop these pics, as the fabric looks more orange than red, and it is actually a deep wine colour.

I have the front and back constructed, on to the sleeves next. Then I will insert the lining at that point, simply placing it wrong side to wrong side, and then applying the collar and facing afterwards. A bit of a cheat for lining, but simple and quick; also the method Pati Palmer advises in the pattern.

One thing I did differently was to use Peggy Sager's advice on the corners of the pocket flaps. Most sewing books tell you to stitch with small stitches to the corner, then take two small stitches diagonally across the corner, in order to help with turning the fabric. Peggy once said in a seminar I attended that this is not the method used in factory construction; instead, the machine operator stitches right across the seam to the raw edge, then crosses it in the other direction (this is what you can see in the photo), then folds the seam allowances back on themselves, holds them with her finger and flips the corner right side out. I had also read this in a Threads magazine years ago, in a column by David Page Coffin, and it made a lot of sense to me. After all, by stitching diagonally and then trimming the seam allowances, you are then trying to shove them all into that corner and that puts bulk right where you don't want it. With Peggy's method, the seam allowances are tucked into place, not shoved into the corner with a point turner, and they actually give the corner some body. Now, I am not sure how this would work in a very thick fabric, but it certainly works very well in lightweight fabrics and I was pleased with the results in this brocade type.

Gigi made this jacket in a silvery-metallic type fabric. I have to admire her skills; all her work looks so professional and her finished garments are darn near perfect. You can view her version here - the jacket is her 7th jacket, McCalls 5860. That fabric must have been difficult to work with. Kudos to Gigi.

Interesting note: seeing the photo of the jacket front here makes me think I need to reinforce it somewhat. I mean it is draping like a blouse, and is supposed to be a jacket. I think some silk organza might just be making its way into this garment, the front at least. Opinions welcome.