I was out today checking out the new fashions for fall and found some very fun shoes. Would have snapped up this mustard jacket in an instant, but my size was not available. Hmmm… maybe I should order it… as you can see, it goes with everything!
From Start to Finish
I recently went through a box in my sewing room marked “winter projects.” The box contained the best of the best projects I salvaged during our sizing down move three years ago. I have always found it difficult to start up work on old projects. It is usually a lack of interest as whatever it was that got my creative juices flowing has long since dissipated and the prospect of picking up in the middle of an uninteresting project seems like work more than fun. Fortunately, that was not the case with this piece. It had been long enough that I had forgotten I had ever started this jacket. The fact that I still loved the red quilted fabric was good and I still liked the striped douppioni… so far so good. After studying the pattern and the pieces that were already cut, I decided I definitely needed a third piece to create additional interest. So off to The Mill End Store I went with swatches in hand.
It’s really quite remarkable that I was able to find a douppioni print that complemented the stripes so perfectly, but not without considerable effort. I was in the store for at least two hours searching, searching, and searching again every piece of fabric at least five times. I was finding nothing suitable and finally decided it was time to surrender. Resigned to defeat, I headed for the exit pausing only to notice a silk display… and there it was. It was exactly what I’d been looking for; the colors were right, the scale was right, it was perfection and obviously meant to be. And so I begin the satisfying endeavor of resurrecting an old project to new life. More to come…
Blogging has been really good for me; I’ve completed so many set aside projects that might have otherwise been relegated to the bottom of the “unfinished projects” bin had it not been that I needed something to write about. This jacket definitely falls into that category. I began it at least two summers ago and got it up to the final sleeve before hitting a road block. I thought about finishing it many times, but I think the fact that I didn’t have any pants to wear with it was part of why I never followed through. Recently I found a nice rayon, that while not a perfect match, complements the jacket quite well.
The jacket is made of a laundered shimmery rayon suiting and accented with the most beautiful silvery-green iridescent Vietnamese Silk. I treasured this piece of silk and held it for a long time before deciding to cut into it. I don’t often see this kind of silk; it’s a rare treat to work with. The front is faced with washed duppioni silk and I used a metal button with a Celtic knot motif for a cultural paradigm twist. Seams are a modified lap which, if I were making again would have been done in French seams (my new favorite technique).
It really didn’t take much to finish up the jacket and I’m quite pleased with the result.
The Season of Casual Comfort
I came across an old pattern in my pattern library from 1998. I remember making the vest and not finishing it, because I didn’t like the fit…or lack of fit is more accurate. I am always intrigued how something I once didn’t care for can take on a new life and become a new favorite; whoever said fashion is fickle was certainly onto something. Rediscovery is always a good thing; it means I’m changing and growing and open to new ways of thinking. I like that!
Making An Invisible Pocket Flap Lining
I’m working on a tailored jacket that has welt pockets with flaps and I’m going to show you how to make a lining that will roll under and be completely hidden from view. (I apologize for the poor quality of some of my photos… think my camera battery may be going).
1. Sometimes pattern guides will instruct you to cut four pocket flaps from the face fabric. I prefer to cut two in lining instead, because lining adds less bulk allowing the finished flaps to be molded into place more easily. This is an individual decision based on whatever fabric you are using and the look you prefer. I have a thing about stiff pocket flaps that flare out… dont’ like that look.
2. Once the lining is cut, trim away the edge at 1/16 inch on three sides making the lining slightly smaller than the face fabric. Do no trim the top edge.
3. Apply light interfacing to face fabric and pin to lining, right sides together. Begin the pinning at the top corners first and then work down the sides and lower edge.
4. Once pinned together there will be a slight bubbling effect caused by the variation in size of the two pieces. This is to be expected and will self-correct when pieces are turned right side out.
5. Stitch the two pieces together, slightly stretching when necessary. Use small stitches as the points for added strength. The small stitched also protect the fabric from fraying in the trimming process.
6. Grade away excess seam line leaving face side of fabric slightly longer than the lining side.
7. Once excess seam allowance is trimmed away, trim corners to a point and clip off the end. This will make it easier to turn and give a sharper finished point.
8. Turn right side out and press. You may understitch at this point if you wish. I generally don’t understitch flaps unless the fabric calls for it (with a heavier coatings, perhaps). I prefer to hand-roll and work the edges under by shaping with steam.
9. Press and shape, rolling face fabric slightly toward the back side. Lining will not show on the front side (see photo 10).
10. Baste across the top of the flap. At this point, if you wish, you may apply top stitching.
11. Finished pocket flap is ready for application to pocket.
I hope this is helpful and if you have any questions, please ask away.