Tag Archives: jackets

new tools 😁

It was 85F last Sunday, with humidity high enough to make it feel like 90.

Needless to say, I decided not to work on flannel trousers. Am leaving that for the weekend, when a cold front traveling cross-country should arrive.

Instead, I completed a little sleeve lengthening project I’ve been meaning to get done for… um, several years. Ever since friend Ali sent over some gorgeousness from John Lewis haberdashery.

The jacket is a cotton linen made in 2013 from Folkwear’s Middy Blouse. It hasn’t gotten much wear despite my liking it very much. The weather just hadn’t cooperated, or I forgot about it, or whatever. I still need to re-sew those facings down more firmly, and then I’ll iron it.

Which brings me to hand sewing. I’d quite gone off that, but after reading Karen Ball’s The Little Book of Sewing (click the pic to go to the U.S. site) decided to try it again and realised several things. Mostly that I needed a proper thimble.

But what’s “proper?” Online research landed me on Karen’s blog, where I read fascinating comments about different kinds of thimbles for different kinds of hand sewing.

Since I only had two decorative thimbles sent by my dear Midlands friend (you know who you are, Lovely), and a too-large metal one, I decided it was time for some additions.

They arrived today, along with an ergonomic seam ripper and thread wax, both of which I’d been meaning to acquire.

Will report my thoughts, and there’s already another item I’m hunting. Will keep you posted. 😉

So, Dear Readers, any thoughts on thimbles?

time for a change …

playing with heavier weight cotton batik fabric… how to use?

As you see, I’ve changed themes.

Hope nothing has been lost along the way.

If you spot anything gone walkabout, do let me know so I can fix it. Thank you!

Decided a couple of weeks ago to get out this cotton batik from Vogue Fabrics. (I got the end of the bolt last year.)

It has niggled me since last summer. Heavier than I had anticipated, I had put it aside to think about how to use it.

Finally decided there was nothing for it but to make it up as a duster for when (if?) the weather moderates to the sixties instead of the nineties. It would make a good duster to pull on over something else.

(My duster pattern is very vintage & consists of pieces copied  years ago. Unfortunately, I’ve no idea what company it was.)

But what about the “else” to go under prospective duster??  Not wanting to create an orphan, I took some time thinking about what else from stash might work with this busy batik.

maybe wearable with the batik?

Perhaps a combination of teals?

I have a bit of yardage in that solid-coloured rayon – am thinking maybe trousers.

Already have a top & cut-offs from the patterned fabric.

yesterday, almost at the ta-da! stage . . .

This was taken yesterday before front facings were sewn and wrists hemmed. Decided, as the fabric was distinctly not floaty, to leave long slits on either side to allow whatever floatiness might be possible. I cut the back with no centre seam and a slight flare.

To be completed today are the hems. As the sides  are slit 12″ each there are three sections to hem (back and the two fronts).

Then to decide how to tack down the (un-interfaced) facings. I am not a fan of hand sewing, but might have to do it anyway. We’ll see…

On past duster versions (last year’s) I didn’t use facings, in keeping with the very light weight of the fabric. However, I decided to use them this time. Why? Don’t exactly know. It was just a feeling. Know what I mean?

books

Finally finished my latest Durrell volume, Birds, Beasts and Relatives. Have deliberately tried to make it last as long as possible as am having trouble finding a good but inexpensive copy of the last of his Corfu Trilogy, Garden of the Gods.

(No false economy, as the reissued Trilogy over here has been more than the three separately.)

As always, I found Durrell’s writing highly entertaining, educational, nostalgic in the best sense, and humorous ~

“Now winter was upon us. Everything was redolent with the smoke of olive wood fires. The shutters creaked and slapped the sides of the house as the wind caught them, and the birds and leaves were tumbled across a dark lowering sky.” first sentence in chapter, “Owls and Aristocracy,” Birds, Beasts and Relatives.

❤     ❤     ❤

monday snaps

A few photos of what’s been doin’ round here lately.

Caution!  If you’re hungry, have a snack before continuing. 😉

click any photo to read full captions

unseasonable weather wardrobe?

NewLook 6871
NewLook 6871

“Winter” made a brief visit last weekend, and might show up again this coming weekend as we put the clocks forward.

Meanwhile this week’s forecasted temps are an infrequent constancy of low 70’s.

How do you select a wardrobe for weather that jumps from the 30’s to the 80’s each week?   For me, a bit of everything seems to be the only solution.

Is there a couldn’t-live-without garment? Yes, but it might surprise you.

It’s NewLook 6871 pattern gifted by Ali with the top lengthened to mid-thigh, and made with lovely blue embroidered cotton from Anne.

It gets washed and worn multiple times each week, which is more than I can say for anything else at the moment.

Huge Thank You’s to you both for my favourite and most comfortable lounge & sleep wear!

❤     ❤     ❤

Saw something different in the library last week and brought it home for a look through. They caught my eye for several reasons – crochet is not emphasized amongst all the knitting volumes, and proper sized models are used. Given our temps, nothing appealed, but will try to keep these in mind, just in case.

Have since looked at Ohrenstein’s other 2 books and can say the second has some of the patterns given in this third book.

camellias have been in full bloom since february!

Plants are going crazy with this weather. Talked to men doing landscaping around this complex just yesterday…

All their winter plantings (pansies & white kale) have died and been replaced speedily with spring because it’s been so hot. (As in had to turn on the AC.)

All for now, Lovelies! Hope it’s steady weather wherever you are, and you’re able to enjoy good sewing!

 

fluid sewing thoughts

“Fluid. n. A body whose particles move freely among themselves, and yield to the least  force impressed…

”January isn’t the time for me to be making resolutions, ’cause all I want to do is rest up from a hectic December. But…

There are some patterns sitting on my cutting table, so I’m sharing them with you. They’re things I’ve seen and admired on Ruth’s (Core Couture) and/or Felicia’s (Older Babe Sews Clothes) blogs.

My plans would include lighter weight fabrics, and V- or scooped necklines. And elasticated waists. And pockets, inseam or elsewhere.

So, with all that in mind, let’s look at some piccies, and please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts afterwards!

Vogue 9193 (click to go to pattern)

Vogue 9193       Love the hem on this top & would do whichever version I’ve linen enough for, but sleeveless. Felicia reports problems with those dolman sleeves, and solutions. As I’ve had similar thoughts about similar styles, will have a long think before tackling. Fabric: Linen (summer), knits? (winter)

Butterick 5655 – “Fast & Easy” (click to go to pattern)

Butterick 5655 – “Fast & Easy”    Hm. Am thinking a short version from some viscose in stash. Although it might be fun to play with the sleeves
& that front insert… Hold thought for another season. Fabric: Rayon or maybe linen

Vogue 8813      Still pondering what to use with this one… cannot locate a decent knit is the main problem. Or excuse. 😉

Vogue 8813 (click to go to pattern)
Vogue 8813 (click to go to pattern)

Vogue 1508      Like the shape of the top’s hem very much. Trousers are too slim for my taste, plus the back is contrasting fabric from the front. Not my style. Fabric: Linen

veravenus-cpat
photo of my downloaded pattern page
Vogue 1508 (click to go to pattern)
Vogue 1508 (click to go to pattern)

VeraVenus Cardigan Coat (free)    (Click link to go to pattern.) After seeing this several times on people & reading how comfy they found it, I decided to switch my plans for a mustard wool to this pattern. Have a rayon piece cut out now, to check fit, etc., before cutting into the wool. Fabric: wool (winter), rayon (summer)

Butterick 6377  Will change neckline as I don’t do anything that tight round my neck. Fabric: Any stash stretch fabric to pair with V9193 trouser (above).

Butterick 6377 (click to go to pattern)
Butterick 6377 (click to go to pattern)

SUMMER

Vogue 8975    Liked the jacket on this, but the dress is also a possibility. Fabric: Linen, rayon.

Vogue 8975 (click to go to pattern)
Vogue 8975 (click to go to pattern)

Farrow Dress, Grainline    Have not purchased yet; keep trying to talk myself into it. Needs neckline re-do, but that back fascinates me, along with the longer length. Fabric: Almost anything from stash.

McCall’s 6083 Lounging ONLY, in the green version. Fabric: Rayon from stash

Grainline's new Farrow dress (click to go to pattern)
Grainline’s new Farrow dress (click to go to pattern)
McCall's 6083 (click to go to pattern)
McCall’s 6083 (click to go to pattern)

sunday sevens #12 ~ reflections

view from the porch
view from the porch

Monday was taxes due day over here, and now that’s finished life can go on as usual. Which always seems to be unusual these days.

Shhh! I’ve been downloading & listening to podcasts from BBC4’s Women’s Hour whilst doing mechanical work. Have discovered interesting tidbits, and thought I’d share a few.

Helen Walmsley-Johnson writes about being an older woman in society. Has anyone read her book, The Invisible Woman? Am wondering if it’s worth importing across the pond.

Since I learned how badly some books are edited for American readers, I’ve tried to get original, unedited versions.

Make-up for older women was also discussed here, with how-to’s on YouTube.

Hope I’m not the only reader/sewer around that finds both subjects of interest…

 

Sunday 7's

In a valiant attempt to catch up with as many photo challenges as possible, and considering this represents a whole week of piccies, here are those challenges ~

 

a sewing tale: the path to morris

path
in sewing, the path to completion is sometimes a long & windy road

No, it isn’t a town somewhere. It’s a jacket pattern, from Grainline.

When it was first published last year there were lots of wonderful versions online, including this, and this.

Nice, I thought, very nice! But what fabric to use? That was the question, because I was living in a fabric-free zone, and very leery of online ordering any knit I couldn’t handle before purchasing.

Then Jen, Grainline’s designer, featured this version on her site, and the fabric was still available from Mood in NYC. After that  perfect recommendation, I ordered some.

Then it sat and aged a bit whilst I thought about it, as one sometimes does. . . you, know, to consider all one’s options.

this denim skirt, remember? click the pic for original post

And realized I should do a toile before cutting into the gorgeous green.

And wondered if I really wanted a jacket. The fabric would make a perfect….. (insert favourite style).

Then I watched a marathon of Stacy London & Clinton Kelly of What Not to Wear, and noted how much jackets/blazers added to one’s wardrobe.

That did it. I remembered some heavy stretch denim used for a long winter skirt several seasons ago. There was plenty left over. It’s heavy, but it passed the stretch test. Besides, it was for a toile that, if wearable, might go well with my denim skirt (right).

Then I moved house and put everything on hold.

Fast forward to a completed jacket, and end of this path.

Thank you for walking along with me, and special thanks to my patient prodder, who knows who she is. . . . .

Changes included:

  • lengthening the sleeves (I don’t like 3/4 length)
  • no interfacing used (fabric was heavy enough; boy, did that take a while to decide)
  • I stitched in the ditch behind the collar (to anchor the facing)
  • sleeve hem facings were both short, which might have been caused when I cut the sleeve longer (but didn’t actually widen the sleeves)
  • couldn’t decide how to finish seam edges (tried overlocking in contrasting white but couldn’t decide, so haven’t done them all)

And that’s all I can remember at present. Am basically opposed to front facings not sewn down (they flap), but there’s no way this heavy denim is going to be hand-stitched in place. Am keeping my fingers crossed.

Hope everyone has a restful weekend planned!

 

Also submitted for the 52 week photo challenge.

quick catch-up

Ripon & Fountains Abbey
Antiques Roadshow on telly & I’ve had time to look it up on my old map (2013, Ripon’s Fountains Abbey, North Yorkshire – lush setting!)

Hello again!
Long-time, no-write.

Got a great part-time gig working at home, but with interesting hours. 😉
Lots of yummy (esoteric) research & reading, so all I’ve had time for is keeping up with everyone else.

And doing the odd bit of sewing.
My Morris is almost done, just finishing up facing details which I hope to complete shortly.

I’ve cut out a new pattern. It’s sort of a sweatshirt, but I’m using jersey.
Meanwhile, enjoy your weekend!

PS/ Just realized there’s a bit of a secret here. Anyone guess what it is?

Submitting for the 52 Week Photo Challenge.

question about my morris

IMG_8001
gathering stitches in place at top of sleeves & 1 seam already unpicked

How snug are your sleeves?
Can you comfortably wear a long-sleeved tee underneath?

If you can, then I need to do some recalculating.

Admittedly, I’m experimenting with shoulder size in this toile. My current fix is the change from a ½” to a ¼” seams.

Otherwise, am progressing well, with the PDF instructions and the online sew-along.

Those online photos helped get good corners done, as you see below. 😉

This fabric wouldn’t take any of my usual markers, so I finally used a pencil, and made big dots. Too big.

Not a good thing.

Seeing how she held the fabric showed me just how much play there should be, and where. That, plus knowing the dot was supposed to be ½” from both edges made the fix easy. Three stitches removed on each side, and everything lined up perfectly.

Now about those sleeves . . . he-e-elp!

is there a morris in there somewhere?

cutting table & morris pattern pieces
cutting table & morris pattern pieces

Slo-o-o-wly I’ve been working on adjusting the pattern for my first Grainline Morris blazer to go with my stretchy denim midi skirt (you might remember the pockets here)

From measuring off a favourite RTW jacket I’ve used a size 10 shoulder, tapering out to a 14 around the armhole.

Does that sound weird? Would you do it another way?? Suggestions gratefully accepted!

I measured for a FBA and keep coming up with a 2” difference, which doesn’t require it, so haven’t tried one.

a bit of extra fabric . . .
a bit of extra fabric . . .

My saving grace is extra fabric. If I can remember to use basting stitches and something needs to be re-cut, I should be able to do it easily.

If life will just leave me alone long enough to finish tracing these pattern pieces . . .