Sunday, November 27, 2011


Remember the pink zipper?  There is a tiny bit of method at work.  The Sewing Lawyer has a new pink top to match.  Actually, it makes the zipper look a little ... dull.

For anyone who was at PR Weekend Montreal, the pink fabric was purchased at Suzie Stretch.  It has a nice smooth jersey face and a loopy wrong side.  I'm hoping that makes it a little bit warmer than simple jersey.

But will somebody please remember to remind me to check the direction of most stretch BEFORE cutting?  This top (Jalie 2682) has a double layer upper front and it's straining a bit.  I think it would have been more comfortable cut on the crosswise grain.  Since I have two more vivid colours of this same fabric (turquoise and bright yellow!) there is a chance that I'll get to test this theory out.  I like this pattern a lot.

The jacket got retrofitted with a little underarm gusset to help with the mobility problem.

It went curling on Wednesday.

I'm pleased to report that the gusset works and the jacket was cozy warm.

I'll try it with the pink top this week.  Maybe the vivid colour will psyche out the opposition!

In the meantime, The Sewing Lawyer finished this lacy scarf and is itching to try a new knitting project.

What do you think of this sweater/jacket?  I love its texture and structure.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


This is vaguely-a-test of the pattern provisionally earmarked for The Sewing Lawyer's next leather jacket project.  It's #107 from the famous September, 2010 edition.  It's in progress only (as you can see from the pins).

But this fabric bears NO resemblance to leather.  It's a quilted knit, quite stretchy (and annoying to sew).  It can't be pressed.  It won't lie flat.  The seams are all topstitched with one of the amusing utility stitches built into my Pfaff sewing machine.

I fear this jacket will not be long for the world.  The fiberfill between the two layers of this fabric occasionally pokes through.  I had been cutting the resulting wispies off but to my horror this led to at least one (found so far) little cut into the outer fabric.  Guess where?*

I'm only persevering with it because I have the feeling I will actually wear this curling and schlepping around the house.  It's kind of cosy.

Both the fabric and high-contrast zip were chosen for stash-reduction purposes.  Do I get extra points for using bulky space-consuming stuff?

I only noticed that the right front is about .25" longer than the left when I looked at this photo.  I am not going to fix it since this would require unpicking the topstitching and I fear making more little holes.  I am pretty sure the fashion police won't bother with me about it.

Dratted too-low armscye
I am going to make a Q&D muslin in a woven fabric to be sure before cutting the leather that this is too big and sloppy in the body, and too low in the armscye, and to find out what the collar will really look like.  For the armscye problem, I am going to (carefully) unpick the lower armscye and insert a gusset.

*  Centre front.  Nice one, Kay!  I'm under the perhaps-delusional impression that my fix will not be noticeable.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thanks Paco!

I was pretty excited to see that Paco Peralta was offering a free pattern for a draped top to anyone who ordered from him in November.  I placed an order at his Etsy store on November 1 and my package arrived today.

I ordered the cape and skirt set.

I received the draped top, as promised.

But to my surprise, the package also contained ...

The portefeuille skirt.

He wrote "It is my pleasure - I'm sure you will make a beautiful version of this skirt."  Paco, I hope I can live up to your expectations!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Making fabric takes a long time

Lace scarf in progress 
I wanted to see if I could do it.  Evidently I can.  (However, see if you can find the mistake.)

I'm on the fence about whether I want or need a yellow wool lace scarf.  However the yarn was in stash (and is a lovely colour) and the pattern is easy enough.  

And now ... back to my regularly scheduled craft.  Sewing.  I'm testing a pattern which I traced more than a year ago as a possible alternative to the Material Things Fearless Jacket pattern, when I was having so much trouble with it.  But then I persevered and this one got left behind.

I've got it cut out in a strange quilted knit which might (or might not) make an interesting jacket on the curling rink.

It might also tell me whether I want to commit to this pattern for my brick red lamb leather.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

I want to wear these forever

What's that, you ask?  The curling pants are finally finished.  And even though they haven't been tested in the large fridge that is the curling rink, The Sewing Lawyer predicts that they will be quite up to the task of keeping her warm, and not gapping or binding while the curious posture required in curling is attempted.

I've been wearing a pair of cast-offs since starting to curl a couple of years ago.  They are RTW, ripstop nylon lined with some kind of black synthetic knit fabric with a plush surface.  These pants sport a gathered elastic waist and cuffs, and have side zippers.  Ick.

Last year at Fabricland, the great Canadian chain store, they had a rather nice and very beefy ponte-type knit.  I couldn't resist and a pant length came home with me.  In stash, a mistake from on-line shopping years ago at Wazoodle, was quite a lot of of black synthetic (supplex nylon) knit fabric with a plush surface.  It's softer than the lining of my RTW pants, by a factor of 10 or so.

I muslined the interesting pants from the December, 2009 issue of Burda Magazine.  Here's the line drawing.

The curved seam goes around to the back where it incorporates the dart shaping needed, and makes a little yoke.

I left off the pockets.

The biggest challenges in making these were to ensure the seams would stay flat and smooth in both lining and outer fabric.  I sewed the pants entirely on my sewing machine, using a 1.5x1.5mm zig zag stitch which is stretchy but thin enough to press open.

For the outer layer, I topstitched using the same tiny zig zag stitch before trimming the seam allowances.  In the lining, I flattened the seam using a 3-step zig zag, and trimmed the seam allowance very close to the stitching.  This worked really well.

It's hard to take a good picture of a really black garment, and the camera finds every bit of lint!

To keep the waist and fly front relatively bulk-free, I used a cotton woven fabric for the waistband and fly facings, and the fly shield.  I also interfaced the outer waistband to reduce stretchiness almost to zero there.

Pretending to skip
This pattern has a nicely contoured waistband pattern with side seams and CB seam for fitting. I used my fold before stitching, always-perfect waistband technique, illustrated here, except this was the quick and dirty (i.e. not couture, no hand-sewing) version.  After the facing is pressed and folded as illustrated in the earlier post, pin it securely to all edges, and simply topstitch around the entire waistband by machine.  I used the little zig-zag again for consistency.

A jeans button (hammered in, no sewing!) and machine sewn hems through all layers completed these pants.

They are warm.
And they are SO COMFY!
I'm ready!