Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Floral 80s Blazer

I love this blazer.  Absolutely love it.  Gaudy? Yes.  80s? Yes.  Look like I'm 75 and going to a business meeting in Honolulu?  Maybe.  And Gary has reminded me frequently of these facts.  But I don't care, I love it!

At the Japanese Friendship Garden in beautiful Balboa Park. 

I've been a fan of blazers for a long while, particularly boyfriend blazers.  I have a white one, but I don't wear it much as I'm afraid of getting it dirty.  I ordered this fabric and I just thought it needed to be a blazer!

This fabric was a dream by the way.  It's a "floral jacquard stretch suiting" from Fashion Fabrics Club. I think it's mostly polyester.  It's fairly heavy, but not bulky.  It doesn't wrinkle and it sews nice and presses nice.  Just a dream to work with.  The lining (not pictured) is orange acetate. I hate acetate, but the price is right.  Not so nice to sew with, but slippery fabrics never are.

Sewing a blazer is hard.  There, I said it.  I used Simplicity 2340. I think the directions assumed that you had made a blazer before, and I haven't.  It took a lot of puzzling, especially the collar.  I redid the collar probably like 5 times.  I was carefully matching the small dots and large dots as instructed, but on the wrong pattern pieces because there are a million large dots and small dots!  I finally got that more or less figured out, but I never did figure out the back vent and I'm sure I did it incorrectly, but I don't really care, it works. However, if you have sewn a blazer before or have a reference book it's probably not so bad, and it wouldn't be so bad a second time around, if I were crazy enough to attempt it.

I'm not crazy about the fit either, which I think adds to the 80s-ness of it.  According to my upper bust measurement I'm a 12, but I went down to a 10.  I did a tissue fitting of the 10 and it was a bit snug, but I went ahead with it anyways.  In my sewing class my teacher said that a garment will grow about a half inch when changing from tissue paper to fabric, so I didn't worry about the snugness.  But this grew way more than a half inch.  If I were to make this again, I'd go down another size.

One last thing- the button.

Gary hates the button, says it puts "the finishing touch on the granny look".  I told him granny chic is in, but he never listens to me!  Plus, this really is a granny button.  When my grandpa's sister died at the ripe old age of 82, I ended up with a hot pink, faux fur, mod 60s style coat with these buttons. (No idea if it was from the 60s or just a replica.  She was a good seamstress herself, I'm pretty sure she made the coat) I parted with the coat, but not before snagging the buttons.  It only took me about 10 years to find a use for one of the five buttons, but at least they can finally see the light of day!

Mahalo for reading all about my crazy jacket and aloha! (and I mean that in the goodbye sense)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Colonial Day

It's been slow sewing lately.  I had 2 wadders recently, which is disheartening as always.  But my mojo is still flowing strong.  I've seen a lot of cute outfits I'd love to recreate on pinterest, and I also bought way too much fabric when Fashion Fabrics Club had their anniversary sale, so I'm ready to push on and keep sewing!

But of course I've had one success this month.  My Colonial Day dress!

My school does Colonial Day every year with the 5th graders, this being my first year joining them.  The students rotate through the different teachers and do different activities.  The kids danced the reel when they came to my station.

A kid took this picture, and I ended up looking like an amputee!  Note to self: don't put arms behind back!  But I'm including the picture anyways because you can see the whole look with my mob cap. :)

So on to the dress details.

I used McCalls 6139, mostly View A.  I added lace into the princess seaming and I added ribbon to the center bodice piece.  The bodice back was oddly drafted.  I'll put more details about this on pattern review.

This dress is by no means perfect, but I think it's fine for what it is.  Most of the seams aren't finished, I never ironed the skirt fabric, the zipper doesn't match, and the hem is totally wonky.  But I will wear this once a year at most, and I'll probably never wash it, so I wasn't motivated to be that careful or meticulous as I worked.

My non-matching zipper.  This is what happens when you're on a deadline and the local store doesn't have the perfect brown!

My departing thought: I used about 8 yards of fabric for this dress.  As I trimmed the 10 foot hem (!) I thought to myself: If I had to make this fabric myself, I'd be wearing a damn mini skirt!

All tuckered out.  Those kiddos wore me out!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Quit before you get more behind

I've been working on McCalls 6512, a Melissa Watson pattern for blouses.

That's the line drawing.  I've been working on view A, the short sleeve with front pockets and the tabs on the sleeves.  This isn't my usual thing, and I bought the pattern for view B, but the more I stared at the envelope the more I liked it.  It's actually a very interesting pattern, in both views.  It's drafted in a unique way.

Anyways, I had this yellow polka dot rayon shirting, which feels like challis to me, in my stash for like a year.  It was one of those things that I loved so  much I never risked cutting it.  Can you tell yet that it's going to be a sad ending?

It came along just fine.  I worked really hard, especially on those $@%! front pockets.  It was so hard to get them not only even, but also symmetrical with the other one.  The pattern has you place the pockets toward the beginning and then continue sewing the shirt.  In my tissue fitting, this was a fine placement, so I went along with it.

Well, once I sewed the rest of the shirt together, I realized the pockets are WAY too low.  Laughably low.  My fabric is so soft and drapey that it has a lot of give to it, and I think the pockets just stretched out the fabric and dragged it down.

Picking out the pockets isn't an option, you'd see all the holes on this fabric.  At first I thought I could power through.  "Maybe when I add the collar..."  But the more I tried to power through, the more sloppy I got.  I started having the attitude of "What's the point if it isn't even going to work out?"  So I finally just made myself stop.  It's done, it can't be saved, and I just need to move on.

I did like the cut of the shirt though.  I have some pretty rayon challis from which I'm going to make view B (no pockets!).  I do recommend the pattern, just be careful with those pockets and a drapey fabric.

Crappy picture, I know, but I refused to spend any more time on this doomed project!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Winter Dress

I love winter dresses.  Throw on a knit dress, leggings, and boots and you're good to go.  It's so comfy and you never risk showing anything you don't want to show as you're covered neck to toe.  And while you're completely conservative, it looks cute, sassy, and is entirely work appropriate.

That being said, I've had my eye on this pattern for a while:
This dress requires a double knit, and I've had a hard time finding reasonably priced double knit in an attractive color, or even a print.

But one fateful day, Gary was driving me home from work.  We were on Morena Blvd. and I said, "I heard there's a good discount fabric store around here..." and he's such a good boyfriend that he helped me track it down and was very patient as I looked around.  And lo and behold I found the perfect fabric:

I actually found a patterned double knit!

For textile nerds: In actuality, I think it's more of a novelty knit.  I think it was a double knit, but they dropped some stitches to make the pattern, so it's not a true double knit, but it's stable and worked well for this dress.

Anyway, at $4/yard, this gorgeous piece was cheaper than the yucky, shiny, polyester crappy double knit at Joanns, so I was very satisfied with the price. :)

And my final product:

Hurry up and take the picture Gary! Oh wait, that actually came out pretty good...

Overall, I'm happy with this dress. It's really comfy and I think the simplicity of the design lends itself to fun fabric or other cool details.  But I did have some fit issues.  I have an *ahem* full derriere and the fabric pools at the small on my back.  I read that somebody else on Pattern Review had the same issue, and she ended up inserting a waist seam and back darts.  I'm considering pinching in some back darts, but I like the look and idea of a just simple/easy T-shirt dress.

Anyways, here's the pictures of what I'm talking about:

Any thoughts?   I don't think it's as bad when it's in motion and I purposely didn't adjust it since I wanted an honest photo.  I think I just need to wear it again and ask a friend's opinion in real life!