Sunday, May 27, 2018

Pink Minoru - done!

There's nothing like a little peer pressure to get me sewing efficiently. I'm off to Pattern Review weekend next week and I decided to make this jacket. It might rain...

Crazy quilting cotton pockets
I like the finished product but there are some strange things about this pattern.

Can we start with the serious problem that it had no pockets? Well, it had 2 inner patch pockets, but that simply won't do. I drafted slant pockets with a zipper closure.

I did not realize until I was making the sleeves how weird they are. The cut of the actual sleeve is gorilla length but spider width. I exaggerate. I do have short arms but I took at least 6cm of length out, between shortening the piece, whacking some off at the end during construction, and using narrower elastic at the cuff.

But the real weirdness is the cuff. I have never seen a coat with elasticated cuffs that are actually wider than the sleeve hem itself. Huh? I guess they look ok but a wider sleeve gathered into a cuff looks better to me than a wider cuff gathered into the sleeve.

Zipper shield
More minor adjustments were to line the hood and to insert a zipper shield because who wants rain coming in a straight line right down their front?

I made only one of the inner patch pockets, and sewed it slightly higher than designed (to be clear of the waist elastic).

I used a longer length of elastic at the waist to make it less tight.

The outer collar is a retro-reflective fabric. Nobody will miss me in this bright jacket, day or night!

I think it's pretty. 

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Barbie-pink rain jacket in the making

I recently found a good chunk of waterproof nylon in hot pink at the spring Fabric Flea Market, which is held in my neighbourhood. $10. How could I resist?

Parenthetically, it was fun to go to the event. I hadn't been for a few years (trying not to buy) and it was much bigger than previously. So many of the vendors were familiar from my days of running the fall Fabric Flea Market (even bigger, longer running). I ran into so many neighbours and acquaintances! I didn't buy much because (a) SABLE* and (b) so many of the vendors were selling fat quarters which to a garment sewer is just tragic. But it was definitely worth the $2 admission. I found this fabric and a fabulous African batik print!

I have had the Sewaholic Minoru jacket pattern in stash for so very long. I'd get it out and ponder it periodically, then put it back. But suddenly, I figured I should make a hot pink Minoru. With mesh lining and added pockets! (What was she thinking in not putting outside pockets on this jacket?) I'm making the hooded version and am lining it with scraps of colourful quilting cotton. (The pattern should really include this too!) The collar is cut from a scrap of retro-reflective fabric.

I was nervous about fusible interfacing on this fabric so I fused the interfacing to quilting cotton which I'm sewing in (gives some softness to the front bands).

Gotta go. It might rain at PatternReview Weekend next week and I have to be ready...

* Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Patterns from my past - resurrected

This Willi Smith pattern has been in my collection since it was brand new in (cough, cough) the 1970s. I seem to remember a pair of pink cotton pleated pants. Very summery, I'm sure.

I also vaguely think I made the jacket at some point but the details have faded from memory. 

I pulled this pattern out as a contender for a "camp shirt". I'm attending the PatternReview weekend at the end of May, in Stratford Ontario. Among the many delights of this 3 day fabricalooza is a camp shirt contest. I understand a camp shirt to be a loose fitting shirt with a convertible (rather than stand) collar. This pattern seemed close, although it has a back yoke. The simplest camp shirts wouldn't have one. 

It also has nicely curved shirt tails rather than the straight hem mentioned in the Wikipedia article. What do they know?

Anyhow, my shirt. It is loose. It is made from a woven rayon Hawaiian print that I got from a lady who spent 6 months of every year there, happily buying fabric to the point where she was well beyond having enough time to sew it all up. It's a wonderfully exuberant floral, don't you think?

It should be nice and airy for the hot days to come. 

Can you spot the yoke with pleats? I thought not.

The curved shirt tail hem is always a challenge, I find. To look nice, it has to be turned twice, but each bit to be turned up is bigger than the bit above it, making it hard to (a) press and (b) topstitch the hem so it looks nice and lays perfectly flat.

Behold the hem. I controlled the fullness by running a line of basting just below the hem line and another in the hem allowance, and easing the hem in (twice). It was a bit of a pain but the result looks pretty good, if I do say so myself. 

Serendipitously, I had perfect pink buttons in stash. 

How many ways do I love Vanessa?

Proving that the Vanessa pants pattern from Jalie is very versatile, here is my third version from the pattern. This time they are dressy, made from black wool crepe and lined to the knee. (Previous versions were drapey rayon woven and cotton knit PJ pants.)

I was very happy to get these cut out of a leftover piece of wool crepe. I had two pieces in stash but the other one is big enough to do a dress, or at least something more elaborate than these pants. It waits its turn.

The lining is also a remnant from other projects. It's bemberg, my favourite lining fabric. I didn't have enough to cut the front and back in the same direction. The back hem is actually the selvedge whereas the front hem is serged and turned/stitched.

I cut the lining to the notches on the leg seams, figuring that was the knee point. It makes the pants very nice to wear.

I also cut these longer than the pattern, by about 5cm (2.5"). It turns out that is a bit too long for these narrow legs. The finished pants are 2.5cm longer than the pattern.

I decided that the back (left) needs adjustment to remove some fabric in the seat area. I've already done a small flat behind modification and cut out another pair (in ponte knit).

To the right is a close up (and very lightened) shot of the front waist, showing details. The stitched down elastic waist is very comfortable and because the CF is flat, also flattering (or at least not extra lumpy at that point). Because my elastic is white, I fused the waistband pieces with a very lightweight black interfacing so there would be no show-through.

That's all - this was a quick and satisfying project.