Sunday, November 26, 2017

Dress and jacket combo

I could start by noticing how neglected this blog has become but I won't. It records my projects, and they have been few and far between since my last post. The blog is accurate.

We went on a European holiday. It was wonderful. We came back. It was busy. It still is, come to think of it. So my sewing and knitting have taken a back seat to other things. But I am still sewing and knitting. I just have a lot of WIPs.

But today I finished a dress, and last week I finished its coordinating jacket. Or at least I hope they coordinate. I will wear them together anyway.

Both are patterns I have made before. I feel like I have less time and energy for fitting new patterns. So I am turning to ones I have made before and still wear, so I know the fit is OK.

New one
Old one
The jacket is a Burda Fashion Magazine pattern from 2006 - the August issue from that year was a winner. This is pattern #108 from that issue - the zipper jacket. I made it some months later, in the spring of 2007. The version on the right is 10 years old (link to Pattern Review)! I still wear it! I have enough stash to make a million new things, but I still like, and wear, the things I made 10 years ago. This is why I have reached SABLE (stash accumulation beyond life expectancy).

But the new one - the lovely, wooly, tweedy, rosy new one. It is so different from the old one - the smooth, muted, understated old one. I love them both.

I got the fabric in one of my favourite Montreal fabric stores - Couture Elle on St. Hubert Street. I know I was shopping with sewing friends. They encouraged me. I am glad they did. The tweed is predominantly rosy but has lots of warm brown, and undertones of blue, grey and green. It is surprising.

The sewing was uneventful. So nice to make a pattern that doesn't have to be second-guessed.

Jacket innards
Inside, I used fusible interfacing on the front and facings, etc. and underlined everywhere else with silk organza.

I made shoulder pads from hair canvas (top layer), cotton quilt batting (bottom layer) and wool quilt batting (in between). I just wanted a bit of lift at the sleeve cap seam and nowhere else.
Zipper facing

To the right is the zipper facing construction. I like this method. Basically, you set the zip into a window in the facing, with the back of the zipper nicely framed by the window (as shown in the photo). The right side of the zipper is concealed at CF. I sewed the zipper in by hand because I didn't want a line of machine topstitching. I also sewed on the pockets by hand for the same reason.

To the left is the inside. I had this nice patterned Bemberg in stash that coordinated well enough.

All the materials for this jacket came from stash. I even had the thread. SABLE (sigh).

The jacket is lovely and warm. I wore it with a brown tweed sheath dress (7 years old) last week because my other project - a coordinating dress - was taking longer than expected. 

However next week I will be able to wear it with my new dress - another version of V1183, a Kay Unger dress pattern. I see I made it almost exactly four years ago. But if you read the whole story of that dress, you will see I first got the pattern in 2010! Things do move slowly chez The Sewing Lawyer. Sigh.

The fabric could have been a light coat, it's so dense. Is it weird to make a sleeveless dress from such a fabric? I decided not, especially since this piece came thanks to the second-hand shopping chops of my husband. The piece was at least 4 metres and I think he paid $4 for it all. The dress is practically free!

I won't go into the sewing process, since I wrote about it last time. I did the same again to make sure that I could fit at the side seams if needed. It wasn't, but it sure was satisfying to outwit Vogue's instruction writers, once again. I used the triple straight stitch on my machine. It is not perfect but I count on time and distance to make it seem perfect.

I had to buy two spools of thread since I was short on magenta/fuchsia thread. Otherwise, again, it was all stash. I had a good colour zip in the right length and the lining stash also came through.

Bodice lining
This dress is a party on the inside, as you can see at right. I had this amazing LOUD fuchsia flowered silk brocade (husband again) which I used to line the bodice, and a plain red Bemberg for the skirt.

Faced hem
I wanted the skirt to be as long as the cut pieces and so I made a faced hem using a cross-grain strip of the silk. I folded it lengthwise and sewed a 1cm seam at the bottom edge. The folded edge of the strip is then hand sewed to the skirt. The fabric is so thick the stitches disappear.

I will try to take modeled photos next time I am at home during daylight. That could be a week from now. November - not my favourite month!

It is now time for my annual Xmas sewing/knitting to commence. I had my bulky machine out experimenting this weekend. Talk later!