Minoru progress report #2

I haven’t got on quite as well as I had hoped with my jacket – it is only as far as it is because I have imposed a deadline! Working on it over the weekend was a good idea as I have had no time to work on it through the week. Unfortunately I got distracted on Saturday by Bewdleys Wassail. Yes, I thought that too.

Dancers in Jubilee Gardens

Dancers in Jubilee Gardens

Dancing despite flood threat

Dancing despite flood threat

Bewdley was full (or so it seemed) of dancers in remarkable costumes giving their all before the Wassail ceremony on Saturday afternoon to bring luck and a good harvest to the fruit trees in the community orchard inn Jubilee Garden. All great fun and terribly pagan. Mr Styles, who sells my favourite apple juice  was there so I stocked up on my favourite Bramley and Cox juice. Someone else was selling fabulous sausage rolls so I added them to my home made Celery soup and lunch was sorted.

I really fell in love with the willow chicken that Bewdley Willow had brought along as part of their display – if anyone sees The Management suggest one for my birthday!Isn’t it fabulous. They had photographs of some of their other work which was wonderful. Anyway, you can see how anyone would have been distracted. And also what a bizarre town I live in!

Bewdley Willow statues - I love that chicken!

Bewdley Willow statues – I love that chicken!

 

Looking good so far -the back view.

Looking good so far -the back view.

Raglan seams sealed

Raglan seams sealed

Back to the jacket. I sewed the body together and sealed the raglan seams with some waterproof tape from Pennine Outdoor to try and make it a little more rain resistant. The tape was fairly easy to use – simply iron into place and leave to allow the glue to set again. I hope it will help, but as it is something I haven’t used before I will have to report back after wearing. I also used the tape on the seam in the hood. It seemed like a no brainer to have it at the very top of the garment that would be hit be rain first. Lets hope it works!

I made the welt pockets in the front pieces before I stitched the body together. Nothing really to report on the basic welt pocket – however the actual flaps/welts are a little different. I used a method I first saw in Threads magazine many years ago from an article called ‘No-bulk Envelope Welts’ (pause whilst everyone charges off to check their magazine stash – you have to go to February/March 1998 ladies!) . This looks complicated but isn’t, and whilst it wasn’t essential in this fabric you can imagine the difference it makes to a thick wool pocket.

Pocket support

Pocket support

Bulk Free welt flap patterns and samples.

Bulk Free welt flap patterns and samples.

If you click on the pattern/sample picture you can enlarge it to see the principal involved. By making the seam at the end of the flap (which would normally end up four layers of fabric deep when turned) into a mitered corner in moves the bulk from the seam away from the very end. This makes the pocket much neater, and also easier to sew in place as you aren’t quite so likely to be falling off the end.

Inside the pocket I attached a strip of scrap to the top of the pocket bag and attached it to the front of the jacket so that the pocket will be supported by the seam when it is all finished.

I’m pretty pleased with the jacket so far, it is fitting pretty well although the sleeves are too long at present. Once I have the zip sewn in I will start on the lining/Thinsulate interlining. I think that should take less time than the main body as there are less details to be sewn so I really want to finish it next week.

All I have to do is keep up with customer deadlines. So far so good, but more are ringing now. Aaargh.


Introducing ‘Harriet’

Not much sewing been done here this week (well, not for me) but I have finished the cardigan I have been knitting. This is ‘Harriet’ from the Kim Hargreaves ‘Quirky’ book. I used Rowan felted tweed in a colour I think was called Avocado which almost exactly matches my sofa – didn’t realise that when I bought it!

Harriet Cardigan

Harriet Cardigan

I was very fortunate to find the lovely little brass (real metal) buttons in one of my button tins. I even have one left over as a spare – how often does that happen! The usual state of affairs when you find the perfect button in the tin is that there aren’t enough there. Happy Hoody!

Love those buttons!

Love those buttons!

The sleeves are, I think, a bit too long and it will take some thought as to how to shorten them retrospectively. I may just learn to live with them. Lazy cat. Apart from the sleeve niggle I really like this cardigan, and I have the perfect dark blue cotton velvet (yes, I know it is almost spring but it is lovely) to make trousers. Maybe jeans style.

Burda trouser trial

Burda trouser trial

I have made a start on the Burda/Patrones trouser trial.  I haven’t made trousers from both magazines to compare previously so they are both very simple styles. Burda is first and is currently in pieces in my work room. I hope to have them finished in a couple of days – providing I can clear the essential customer work that should be possible. I will cut out the Patrones style in the same sort of fabric so a true comparison can be made.

 

 

My new Threads magazine arrived today. I have only had a quick flick through so far but I just  LOVE the dress on the back cover. I think the flounce is just gorgeous. I really would like to try this (and I think it might do some favours to my tummy region) but I am thinking – Is this a step too girly for me? Clearly I wouldn’t be going floral – there are limits! Opinions would be welcomed.

Fabulous dress!

Fabulous dress!


Ooops, Threads did it again….

Sing that to yourself in a Britney style if you want to.  It seems that although I thought that my subscription confusion had been sorted out after a ‘live chat’ on the Threads website it all happened too late to stop the next issue from being sent out. Twice. This confused the bejesus out of me and after another ‘live chat’ I have been told to offer the duplicate magazine to you. Again.

 

If you would like to have the opportunity to look at a Threads magazine, to decide if you want to buy more, please leave me a comment and I will draw from the replies if there is more than one of you.

Coat update.

I had my Patrones 285 coat all cut out and ready to get on over last weekend and had really hoped to make good progress. Do you ever get the feeling that you have a ‘blighted’ project?

As you may remember I really wanted to make the cape from this fabric but there wasn’t quite enough. I interlined all the necessary pieces in my 30 minute slots on Monday and Wednesday (I missed Tuesday because of an unscheduled trip to Birmingham to buy fabric for a client) using fine sheer fuzing. This was better with this cloth than the Supersoft Superior interlining that I thought would work but meant that I had to let each piece cool and set on the board before moving as it does have a tendency to ‘un-stick’ if you aren’t careful!

I eventually started sewing after work today. I thought it would be a great idea just to work the pockets and then see how far I got after that. Not far was the answer. I very carefully sewed a beautiful bound pocket – on the wrong side. See what I mean about a blighted project.

After unpicking the pocket strips I decided it would be in my best interest to leave it all until tomorrow and start again. It shows that no matter how much experience you have you can foul up big time. I’m hoping for a more productive day tomorrow. Wish me luck.


More travel, and a decision made.

I know. I should have reported back and told you what I have been doing (or not doing more importantly).I got back from a week (yes- another week) in Northumberland visiting family. I’m sure everyone will agree that you never take the opportunity to enjoy your own patch while you live there so we spent time visiting places as well as relatives. I can’t believe I never visited Housesteads on Hadrians Wall before. I have to say how sorry I feel for any poor centurion who was looking for a nice warm billet and ended up there – lovely though the view is!

Hadrians Wall - Housesteads

How it would have looked – allegedly

Hadrians Wall - Housesteads

Nice view – but COLD!

 Just imagine coming from Rome. To Northumberland. Ouch. No amount of under floor heating would take the sting out of that! And you only got the heating if you were important enough. Poor cold foot soldiers. I worked out that I would have been born north of the wall had it stayed in place so would have been one of the ‘wild men’ (or women) of the North! Nuff said.

After we had spent a bit of cultural time visiting National Trust properties with both mothers we ran away by boat to Amsterdam. For the day. I know – we took longer getting there and back than we spent in the city – but it was well worth it and we will certainly be going back. I might even get to visit Kantje Boord for bra making supplies if I have enough time! (Since the management wasn’t even able to visit ‘The Night Watch’ I didn’t feel I could push the point). We did visit the Ann Frank house which was very moving. It’s ages since I read the book so I will have to get it and re-read.

Amsterdam

Lots of tall, thin houses

Amsterdam

A bicycle built for …4!?!

Amsterdam

Pretty huh?

‘Now, what about sewing?’ I hear you ask.

I have been sewing. Honest, M’Lud.

I have spent what feels like weeks making three adorable bridesmaid dresses for a client so I can’t show you the results. All I can say is that they were cuter than should be allowed. And took far longer than I had expected –  even taking into account all of the flounces. They were all like the view on the left.

B4967 Anyway, they have now left the premises and I am left with just the client work that has log jammed behind them. There is a wedding dress to be altered but nothing else has quite such an important deadline so I think I can get back to my ’30 minutes for me’ in the day which has been sadly neglected. I have decided to make the Vogue pattern 1214 in this lovely pin striped cotton with elastane I had in stash. I have already had the belt made by Harlequin – so I feel as though I have already made a little start! I’m still not sure whether I want to add sleeves to the pattern or just wear a  T under it if I am a bit cool. Any opinions? I hope to get this cut out over the weekend and start sewing it next week.

P.S. I renewed my Threads magazine subscription a couple of weeks ago and have been sent two duplicate magazines. After a ‘Live Chat’ with a lovely lady called Debra I have been given permission to offer them here to anyone who would like to see issues 162 and 163. Let me know if you are new to Threads and I will send them to you.

Could be yours!


My mum said….

Bessie wears the trench

Bessie wears the trench

….you should always finish one job before starting another. A message so deeply ingrained I have been unable to start anything fabulous from Patrones magazine until I finished the trenchcoat. I have finally finished the trenchcoat and can at last move the Jacket a month ticker on one space!(About time since we are now in month 4) I will also be counting this as part of my SWAP as it featured several very rusty techniques.

It’s a long time since I sewed bound pockets and I used the ‘Threads’ low bulk flap method (shown in News from the Trenches). There was also a load of topstitching which isn’t difficult but required more concentration that I often afford my own garments. 

I can’t remember a project that has caused as much angst for a long time. I really started off badly when I didn’t check that I had all the ‘bits’ I needed to complete the whole job – something I have learned from and will not do again. 

Proving I have pockets

I like the finished garment but I think I will like it more when it gets more of a worn look. Needless to say the last few days (and the forecast for the near future) have been beautiful spring sunshine. No need for a showerproof coat.

Better get started on something seasonal.

The back.

One of my clients thought the lining looked as though it had goldfish on it – hadn’t thought so until she said!

Goldfish on the lining? (Flasher pose!)


News from the Trenches

Life seems to have got in the way of this project. It’s not that I haven’t been sewing – just not for me (again). Progress has been very slow although I have now tried the body on and am fairly happy with the fit.It looks better on me than Bessie. I have used fine sheer fuzing to interline the cotton – it is giving just enough support as I didn’t want to have a ‘stiff’ coat. 

 I have used a technique from an old issue of ‘Threads’ magazine. In issue 75 there was an article on ‘No Bulk Envelope Welts’. I remembered thinking it looked like a good idea but had never got round to putting it in a garment (although I had sampled it). As you can see it relies on mitres to move the seam away from the sides of the flap so there is much less bulk under the needle when you sew the pockets to the garment. I have done things in slightly the wrong order so that I could get the placement where I wanted which means that I am going to have to work the pockets with the garment almost together.

I would have had to make a major ‘full bust adjustment’ in any commercial pattern but since this pattern was cut from my own jacket block/sloper (Made from the instructions in the Winifred Aldrich pattern Cutting for Womenswear book) I just had to make the darts I needed look reasonably attractive. I divided the volume between three darts in the side/front seam which I am fairly happy with. All the seams are to be topstitched (in classic denim fashion) so I stitched the darts down too.

The other slight irritation at the moment is that I found a couple of buttons in my stock that were just perfect. Except there aren’t enough for this garment. I have searched locally and not found anything I am as happy with so I am going to have to go to Birmingham where the choice is larger. It is my plan to send the belts to Harlequin to have the eyelets put in – they do such a good job I don’t think it’s worth me messing up the work I have put in trying to do them myself. If I can’t find suitable buttons I may have them do edged covered buttons which will look fine.

I am hoping to find some time tomorrow to continue this. Perhaps I was a bit optimistic to think I could finish this in February! (And the curtains…… don’t ask.)

P.S.  Me-Made March is going well but it has highlighted how many ‘tops’ I make rather than skirts/trousers. Will have to address that.