I have succeeded in my goal of wearing a minimum of one ‘Me-Made’ garment every day so far. I have not been so good at getting photographs – and some of the ones I have got are pretty awful (what can I say – the management is great at his job. His job doesn’t involve taking photographs).
Day 1 was a self drafted T-shirt and a cardigan I knitted some time ago. The PJ’s were made from and old Vogue pattern for the top and the shorts were a self draft. The pattern is MIA but when I find it I will edit this post. I wasn’t sure whether I should include this for the 1st or 2nd so they are in both.
I wore this JAM 2011 jacket to the cinema with my friend ‘L’ (Salmon Fishing in the Yemen since you ask – much better than it sounds and it has Ewen McGregor).
A day spent sewing for clients so this SAM and the Patrones jeans were just what I needed as a comfortable outfit I didn’t mind crawling the floor in. Pinning hems is not very dignified. Check out the sparkly silver Converse Hi-tops! I love them.
Another day sewing – but no clients so I made a very lazy choice and repeated the Patrones jeans with an M&S t-shirt. Comfy but not all that great. I have decided that this jeans pattern needs tweaking.
Avoided a failure day by wearing the PJs that I made. I love my comfy PJs.
These jeans were from the same Patrones pattern as the lilac jeans – they are now an even worse fit than the lilac. I have been following a running plan (again) in an attempt to strengthen my bones. (Mother and Granny both had/have osteoporosis). Whilst I don’t think my weight has changed my body shape definately is. Because of that these are now strictly gardening jeans. And I hate gardening.
And the 7th. Sorry can’t show you. Top secret. It was the Lean on my shoulder top that I made to try a pattern for Rhonda. When she gives the OK I will be able to give you all the info. Until then – sorry!
Going well so far – and I may even get better photographs for some of the future days. But not for today (8th). Didn’t get one. And I am already in my PJs (yes – Me-made) because it’s my birthday so I can do what I want today!
… ate too much, drank too much, did no sewing at all. As planned. I am now feeling a bit guilty for all the non activity and feel like planning the next move. But I haven’t shown you the Christmas prezzys I made yet! (Don’ t get too excited – it was a last minute thing – as usual).
Looking back on 2011 I haven’t done as much sewing for myself as I would have liked but I have made some real steps in other areas. I took over ‘Material Matters’ fabric sales from Pamela in April and hope I have been able to serve my customers as well as she did. I am still on a very steep learning curve but hope to find next year easier now that I have some things set up on computer to ease the process. That was next, I have completed a computer course this year (and now have a Nationally recognised qualification to show for it!) which I did not find easy. All the knowledge gained is being put into use and I hope that I will continue to improve (watch the website – I am working on another tutorial online which may show some benefits soon!). I have failed miserably to complete 12 jackets in the Jacket a Month challenge – but I have 3 more jackets than before so I win anyway!
I worked this afternoon to tie up the last details on the McCalls 5860 Jeans jacket and have finished! I really underestimated the time that was needed to finish yesterday – but finished today within an hour. I am very happy with the jacket (though looking at the photographs I see I am going to have to move the bottom button a little). There is no-one home to take a photograph of me wearing it (but I like it!) so the model is wearing it.
The pattern was very easy to follow – although I did change a couple of details. The collar and cuffs have been done slightly differently to the recommended instruction but overall I think it is well described, with clear instructions. I think I may make this again – but not for a little while as I think it would be good in a summerweight fabric.
I am thrilled that I can move my ticker on to the ‘3’ marker – pathetic though that is. I might get started on a 4th jacket but I think that will be my limit this year. I will be sure to keep up the ‘last half hour a day for me’ routine as it is working really well.
Bessie: So Kim, you should finish the jacket today?
Kim: I hope so Bessie – there’s not too much left to do.
Bessie: What exactly is left to do?
Kim: Sew on the collar and cuffs, facings, um, topstitching, buttonholes and buttons!
Bessie: All to be done in an hour – impressive.
Kim: Oh! I didn’t realise there was so much!
Bessie: Optimism is wonderful but a bit of reality wouldn’t hurt Kim.
Kim: OK Bess.
P.S. The jacket is almost done. Just topstitching,buttons and buttonholes. May be finished tomorrow. I hope.
I am still making slow but steady progress in my half hour slots on the McCalls 5860 jacket .
I have pressed the interfacing onto the main fabric where needed – I used Supersoft Superior (you can get this from The English Couture Company). The photographs show how I sewed the pieces onto the facings before pressing in order to get a clean finish. Nice and easy.
The collar was a place I varied from the pattern slightly. Rather than cutting two identical pieces I cut the under collar on the true cross and trimmed about 1/8th of an inch off all wound the outside edge to ensure it sat behind the top collar when turned.This was a process in one of the wonderful ‘tip’ boxes on this pattern – if only all patterns offered this sort of advice. I have left it sitting round Bessies neck to cool having been steamed.
There doesn’t seem to be a lot left to do on the jacket – maybe if I allocate an hour tomorrow I will be able to finish? I hope so.
The plan to sew a half hour for myself at the end of my client work is probably something I should have started ages ago. As predicted the progress is terribly slow – but even slow progress is better than no progress.
Since my last post I have been able to sew the pockets and flaps onto the body of the jacket (now pressed and topstitched). As I am working in a tweed I backed the pocket flap in the satin lining to reduce bulk which I think worked well. I even remembered to sew the buttonhole before it was sewn to the garment – not rushing does have its advantages.
I sewed the sleeves and tried them on my arms as they looked fairly large. I felt they looked a bit ‘flappy’ on my arms so I reduced the circumference by 3cm simply by resewing the underarm seam to 3cm rather than the 1.5 allowed. This looks much better in my opinion. I dislike ‘fat’ sleeves as even if the rest of the garment fits really well they are inclined to make me look larger. I did a little adjustment on the body to comensate for the now smaller sleeve and they sewed into the holes perfectly.
My last job was to sew a complete body and sleeves in lining which are to be sewn to the shell of the jacket before the collar and facings. I will try the jacket on before I sew the lining to it to check the finished length is right. Once I am happy I will machine sew the hem edge, right sides together, which will give a clean finish.
I am intending to cut and iron the interfacing to everything that needs it in my time today, and get the collar sewn tomorrow. I have the buttons ready and I am very happy with them. All that stands between me and completion is time – and I am finding that in bits!
Following my last post I spent about a week circling the fabrics. I changed my my about which colour velvet to use for the McCalls jacket about every half hour. Eventually I made up my mind. I went for the beige tweed – bet you didn’t see that coming! I checked the wardrobe and decided that if I used the tweed I would be able to use the jacket with stuff I already have. But I still want to make trousers in the almond velvet.
Having finally made the choice I prepared my pattern. I hadn’t used a ‘Palmer/Pletsch Perfect Fit’ pattern before so was surprised to find a whole sheet dedicated to preparing the pattern.There was lots of good, encouraging information on the sheet which helps to get the best fit possible. Just follow the words and don’t try to overthink and you will get the desired result.
I cut the size 16 and made a full bust adjustment before shortening the body and sleeves a little (I am 5’4″).I was fairly sure that Gigi had mentioned that this jacket was a fairly close fit but I rarely wear thick jumpers with a jacket so I was happy to go with that ( I have checked her blog and can’t see where I saw that – maybe I imagined it!). Having sewed the backs and fronts together I can confirm that it is a close fit but I am happy with that.
I will be lining the jacket so that it slides more easily over t-shirts etc. and was delighted to find in a little ‘pro tip’ box the instructions for doing it. The suggestion is to simply cut the backs, fronts, and sleeves and baste to the jacket before sewing the collar, cuffs and hem Simple and effective. There are a number of these little tip boxes in the pattern which I think is really good.
Because I have been very busy with client work I decided to do 1/2 hour at the end of each day to make this jacket. That means it will take a while – but at least it is progressing from the little pile of pieces it has been for about a week. Yesterday I managed to sew the body together to check the fit again and I plan to sew the pocket & flaps, and sleeves today. I will report on progress as I can.
As you can see this didn’t get as far as the ironing board before being flung on Bessie to be photographed – I will be pressing the seams before they are topstitched. Hopefully it will look more presentable next time!
Yet again I am the lucky recipient of not one but 2 Patrones magazines! My dear friends came back from Spain with these issues last week and I have spent hours poring over them.
I absolutely love the neck detail on the cover picture of issue 308, and the grey dress on page 11 (2nd down, first column on the middle picture) is simple but lovely. I am also looking at several pairs of trousers to try a pair in a wool tweed to go with my next planned jacket – but more if that later!
The other issue was a ‘Patrones Extra Tallas Grandes’ Issue 8. Not quite so much in this issue that I really liked until I got towards the back. Pages 42-45 looked appealing – but also strangely familiar. I trawled my past issues and, sure enough, found these designs in Issue 274 (Especial Fiesta).
Same model, same garments – actually same photographs. Did they think we wouldn’t notice? I love Patrones magazine but this does rather cheat its buyers don’t you think? I still like the first and last tops in the pictures and may make them at some point – but I still have the patterns from Issue 274.
Enough of that – I have finally got to the end of my computer course and passed the exam (Hurrah! I hear you say – perhaps the quality of the blog will improve! – don’t hold your breath) so I have a bit more time to sew for myself. I have long planned to make McCalls 5860 – which I first saw on Gigi Sews site. Gigi made a lovely version of this jacket and I lusted quietly after it – silly really since the pattern was available and I could make my own (not quite as good as Gigi’s) jacket. I thought this would be a very useful ‘anytime’ jacket – the sort you can throw on to go shopping or dress up to go out. The fabric I am intending to use is the stretch velvet I have in the winter collection. Now all I have to do is decide if I want blue or almond…….
Bessie: How many months are there in a year Kim?
Kim: 12 Bessie, everyone knows that!
Bessie (Sighs): Really Kim? And how many jackets have you made for your JAM this year?
Kim: Hurrah! 2 now! OH! Now I see what you mean…….
Bessie: Yes Kim. 10 left. Not 8. 10.
Bessie: Better get a move on then.
I have spent time this week finishing off the birthday jacket (Vogue 1263) which I love!
On monday I trimmed the under collar so that it would sit properly in the fairly thick fabric I am using (you can see how much difference the ‘turn of cloth’ makes on the photograph) and sewed the lining together so that it resembled the whole jacket made again in lining with just the facing in fabric.
I installed the lining by the ‘bagging out’ method – machine sewing the sleeve linings to the already hemmed sleeves and sewing the hem in two installments. As I had cut the lining pattern myself I knew that I wanted to sew from the front seams towards the centre of the jacket by machine and close the last little bit by hand. The lining is obviously the hem depth short where it joins the facing but by pinning the lining, level with the hem from the first dart toward the front seam, it is possible to show how much of a wedge needs to be trimmed away to make a neat turn when you reach the facing (which is now sitting at an angle), whilst also allowing it to fold a little with the lining. The last thing to do was to topstitch around the fronts and collar – not so much for decoration in this case but to give it a ‘stiffness’ on the very edge that just finishes the whole thing.
The pattern was described as ‘easy’ and I would agree with that. The only thing that I would change is to put a simple in-seam pocket in place of the one provided. I know I didn’t help by using lining fabric for both pieces, but I feel that it is not lying as well as it could. If you just follow the instructions and dont line this jacket it would be a very quick and easy project – I love it!
I took photographs of the front and back on Bessie as I wasn’t expecting to be able to have a photograph of me wearing the jacket – doesn’t it show! Now I need to decide what to wear with this jacket for our theatre visit.
(Hurrah! I can move my JAM counter on to a whole 2 jackets made for me now – only 8 behind. I have discovered a new enjoyment in sewing for myself again so I think I may have got my mojo back).