Monthly Archives: March 2013

Sewing with Linen

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A New Jacket For Springtime

jacket front view

Generally I don’t use Kwick Sew patterns much, not for any particular reason, I just am not that familiar with them.  Earlier this week while at the pattern counter in my local fabric store a helpful clerk  thrust the latest Kwik Sew book into my hands and was insistent that I look, so I did.  I don’t know if this is a new pattern or an older one, but I liked the look of and am happy to say it’s a breeze to sew with.  It couldn’t have been easier to put together and it fits nicely.

jacket pattern

The fabric you see is the photo is a great piece of linen I bought four or five years ago.  At the same time, I also purchased a yard of the striped fabric not knowing exactly how I would use it, but it picked up the colors in the main fabric well and I figured it would come in handy.

 I’m not a huge fan of the deep angled line on the front opening, so I adjusted that to be more traditional.  I also decided to apply simplified techniques I learned when sewing with Vogue American Designer, Adri.  For those of you who may not know of her, she uses simple elegant finishing techniques that are perfect for unlined linen garments.  I eliminated the two front facings in favor of the bias bound edge and used French seaming techniques for all the seam to add to the clean look of the interior.

French seam finishes

I removed 5/8 inch seam allowance (except for the hemline) around the entire jacked and applied the bias binding made from the striped fabric around the raw edges mitering at the corners.

bias binding

Because I eliminated the facing I had to add some stabilizer for the button and that was done by sewing a small interfaced square to the inside of the left side of the jacket front.

stabilizer for button

I was pleasantly surprised by how compatible the pattern was to the fabric.  They both have a bit of an Asian feel and I hadn’t really noticed that about the pattern until it was completed.  I’m thinking maybe I’ll make another in solid black.  

jacket back view

ECVA’s “Holy Women, Holy Men”

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I am very pleased to share this bit of success with my followers on Sewville. I received the welcome news today that a piece of my fabric art was included in a juried national exhibit with the Episcopal Church USA.

RemnantWorks

National Recognition of Fabric Mosaic Sacred Art

Holy Women, Holy Men

Hildegard of Bingen exhibited in Episcopal Church USA, national juried art show, March 25, 2013.
ECVA’s Eastertide exhibit, Holy Women, Holy Men is a ‘representation through the visual arts of mystics,  radicals and revolutionaries who serve as bridges to the One who is the light.’                Bro. Karekin M. Yarian, BSG, Curator

Hildegard of Bingen, Holy Women, Holy Men ECVA Exhibit

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Chanel-Style Jacket

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Streamlined Couture

Applying Braided Trim Tutorial

I’ve been working for the past week or so on a Chanel-style jacket to go with the skirt I made recently.  I studied Vogue designer Claire Shaeffer’s pattern with the wonderful couture details, but decided instead to use the much simplified Vogue 7975 which has the Chanel look without all the extra work.  I thought for my first effort at making a Chanel jacket choosing the easier pattern might be the best option.

Chanel jacket

I used the same fuchsia boucle that I used in the skirt I made recently; I’m thinking Spring suit.  Easter comes early this year and the prospect of shivering in the cold made a wool suit seem like practical, if not entirely seasonal, option.  Finding a suitable trim proved to be a challenge.  I began with one that unfortunately didn’t provide the look I wanted bringing about a full scale city-wide search for the perfect Chanel braid.  I lucked out by finding this particular piece in the home decorating department of Fabric Depot on a clearance rack. Clearance is good as it takes in excess of 5 yards of braid to complete the jacket.

fuchsia boucle and trim

After studying the pattern, I decided that I preferred the look of two square pockets on each side as shown in Vogue 8804, so had to make size and placement determinations.  I interfaced each pocket square and then pressed the 1 inch pocket facing.  Before stitching the facing in place, I determined trim placement taking care to pre-shrink the trim first.  Some trims stretch out quite a bit from being stored on cards or spools; a good shot of steam will draw up the slack and avoid unwanted puckering.

braid placement on pocket

Using a basting stitch, I attached the braid to the pocket and then permanently attached it using two rows of back stitching.

applying braid by hand

back stitching braid into position

After securing the braid into position, I completed all four pockets and hand stitched them into position on the jacket front.  Lining them up was a little tricky, but after measuring like a Turkish tailor, I finally got it.

completed pocket

I decided not to apply braid around the bottom of the jacket, because I had made the longer version and preferred not to draw the eye to the hip line.  If I were to make the shorter view, I would definitely put braid all the way around.  To my surprise, this jacket has no shoulder pads and wears more like a sweater than a jacket.  I also want to experiment with the sleeves,  I really like the braid on Claire Shaeffer’s vented sleeve and will be experimenting with adding a vent to the basic design sleeve pattern… the next time I’m feeling adventurous.

finished jacket after a final press

I highly recommend this pattern and intend to make it again.