“Whether or not God has kissed your brow, you still have to work. Without learning and preparation, you won’t know how to harness the power of that kiss.”

Twyla Tharp

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Using What I Have!

I decided that I wanted to be a bit disciplined and use some patterns I already own and some fabric I already own -- go figure! I decided on V8300, View C.

I cut it out in a medium, filling out to a large at the bottom. I'm not sure it was really necessary since the jacket is open at the bottom, but I like the way it flares out a bit. I tend to like structural things so it works for me. I needed to move the dart down about 1 to 1 1/2 inches and to do that I used the Palmer & Pletsch Real Fit For Real People method of marking where the dart should fall, drawing a square around the dart, cutting it out and moving it down on the pattern piece. Tape it where it belongs, pointing to the new bust point and then go back and tape some tissue or other filler in the missing space. Reshape the side of the pattern to fit the new dart. I had to think about it a bit, but I do think I like this method. It seemed to work well for me.

For my fabric I got to use some beautiful silk suiting. It feels like silk noil, but slightly heavier, as though there is a touch of wool also. My mother had purchased it years and years ago and passed it along to me recently. It's cream and black, but also has a nice line of dark green and another of dark blue, so you have a few different colors you can pair it up with. I do love it. There's a bit of matching and this time, to make certain I was accurate, I used my fabric pieces to cut from. For example, after I cut one front, I left it on the tissue and flipped the whole piece tissue side down onto the fabric and lined it up exactly where it belonged (visual below). I think you can get the idea from the first picture, but I've added a second with some paper in between the two layers so it's a bit clearer. I know I've learned this trick from a fellow sewer rather than one of my books, so apologies that I cannot remember so I can give credit.

In my case the front and back of the fabric is the same, so you have to be careful to mark which is which before you transfer your markings so you don't end up with two right fronts. (Can you tell I've done that one before??)

It calls for loops, but I didn't think loops would look good with the plaid fabric. The fabric would just get lost. Since I'm pretty sure my buttons will have some black in them to make the jacket more versatile, I decided on black cord/rattail instead and I think it's probably a good choice. It seems to stand out the way I want.

The pattern doesn't call for a lining, but I prefer a lining and the fabric definitely needs the body of a lining. Unfortunately, it doesn't have a back facing, so I've turned to Connie Long's Easy Guide to Sewing Linings. The link I've included is for the E Book, but I have the paper copy, which is definitely my preference -- I spend enough time looking at a computer! This wonderful book has step by step directions for making a lining for all possible situations. In this case, it will be easiest if I make a back facing to attach my lining to and, of course, there are directions for how to do that and it's quite easy. I'll also use her directions for cutting lining pieces, since none come with the pattern. I'm using black ambiance rayon bemberg for my lining.

I've promised myself I'll quit before I get tired, so I'm done for the day. Next step is interfacings, collar, facings, sleeves, then lining. I've sent away for my bemberg so that may hold me up for a bit.

By the way, I saw the Iris Apfel exhibit yesterday at the Peabody Essex Museum. It was truly inspiring! You'll want to throw away everything in your closet -- it will all seem so unimaginative! My mother gave me and my sister a wonderful present of the book, Iris Apfel, Rare Bird of Fashion, Thank you!

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