Saturday, May 17, 2008

This Week's Work

I'm lumping a lot into one post. I've been on a mission this week to complete the project, taking lots of pictures. But by the end of the day after the kids were in bed, I was just too tired to post. Be alerted: this is a long post!

The collar and cuffs are made from the dot dress fabric. Initially, I had some concerns about how the slightly stiff but lightweight fabric would handle the curves. I didn't need to worry, it sewed up beautifully. For the collar, I made the facing piece out of the linen/silk jacket fabric and used fusible interfacing. For the cuffs, both the fabric and the facing piece were the dot fabric and again, I used fusible interfacing for the facing piece.

After seaming the two collar pieces around the outside edge, I pinked the seams. It was easy to press the seams out prior to turning. The pattern didn't call for understiching. Even though the dot fabric pressed out nicely, I wanted the collar to keep it shape so I understitched anyway. When I pressed the finished collar flat, I was pleased with the smoothness of the curves.

Attaching the collar to the jacket was straight forward. Everything lined up perfectly and there wasn't any fussing to ease at the back neckline. After seaming, I graded the layers when trimming, longest layer being the one closest to the garment.

The next step was constructing and attaching the facings. The front facings were attached to the back neck, the middle back was attached to the back sides, which were attached to the side of the fronts! It was one big loop and I had to keep checking to make sure I'd sewn them together properly!

The pattern didn't call for finishing the edges of the facing that would be attached to the lining. I gave them a quick zig zag...

Then I constructed the cuffs. As with the collar, there were no instructions to understitch after the cuff and facing were seamed on the outer edge. After trimming and pressing out, I understiched the facing side.

For attaching the cuffs, the instructions called for the jacket sleeve to be sandwiched between the cuff layers, kind of like cuffs on a shirt. Because the lining would be pressed under and slipstiched, I sewed them on right sides together instead, then turned and pressed the seams up towards the sleeve . I understitched AGAIN on the sleeve.

After this, I did the buttonholes. It was during this that I had a mishap that I'll call The Blue Chalk Incident. It was my Token Project Incident, which I have come to expect with every project. In fact, until said incident occurs in any given project, I get uneasy, feeling that my project will spontaneously burst into flames. Once the Token Project Incident has taken place, I feel as though order has been restored in my sewing universe. Said project has survived and I can carry on to completion.

I was hesitant to use blue chalk because I didn't want it to stain the ivory linen/silk. Against my better judgment, I used a wee bit to lightly mark the lines of my buttonholes... well, I don't really want to relive this so the basic story is that after marking the lines, my phone rang. In a rush to answer the phone, I placed the chalk down on top of the jacket (cringe)... It just so happened I bought a new iron and my old iron was sitting on my cutting table next to where the jacket lay. In the haste to grab the ringing phone, my hand knocked over the iron right on top of the chalk, which broke into many pieces, leaving blue marks all over the front of my jacket.

I nearly cried, realizing that I'd have to wash the whole thing. So that ended my sewing for the day. After washing the jacket (and yes, the blue chalk came out) it lined dried over night. What a buzz kill!

Then I had to iron and press the whole thing out the next day. This set me back time wise, but as far as mishaps go, I was thankful the jacket wasn't ruined. By the time I finished pressing, I had fully recovered from the Blue Chalk Incident and moved on to the lining, after tacking the facings in place.

Although the instructions called for the entire lining to be hand slip stitched on, I machine stitched it in along the fronts, between the top of the darts, and around the back neck edge. This was so much quicker and efficient. I then slip stitched the sleeve linings.

After the sleeves, I pinned the bottom lining edge in place. I treated it a bit like a hem, measuring from the bottom of the jacket up. I wanted to avoid pulling and puckering from an uneven lining.
Almost finally, I decided to make matching covered buttons out of the dot fabric. I had two packs of covered buttons lurking my stash and when I read the instructions, I saw the easiest pattern EVER! The button pattern provided on the packaging is a circle that says "Button Pattern". I thought that was hilarious! Having said that, I was thankful that they took the guesswork of what size to cut.
Because the dot fabric was thin, I interfaced the circles with fusible... Four dots fit perfectly on the front of each button. I just needed to be mindful of placement so that they were all uniform when complete.

I got the buttons sewn on right before dinner. I still need to sew on the snap and that's it! For all practical purposes, it's finished!
Overall, I'm pretty happy with this project. The only thing I wish was a bit different was the ironability of the linen/silk. It is difficult, and nearly impossible, to get some creases to press out, much more so than pure linen.
Nevertheless, the end result is nice. I'll get pictures tomorrow, post them and then write up the review on PR for the Vintage Contest.


Bunny said...

Talk about the "Blue Chalk Blues"! This is looking gorgeous. Your collar is perfection. I can't wait to see the done deal. I am really excited about this one but all of your work is wonderful.

CharityinAlaska said...

Acckk! What a scare! I'm so glad it turned out okay. That would have been a heartbreak after all your work. The dress looks fantastic on you. Perfect fit. Gorgeous construction. Great job and good luck with the contest!


2BSewing said...

I just had to post a comment...your buttons are perfect! And so is your jacket! I love the fabric combination. I am really impressed with the buttons.

ChristineB said...

I hear you about the "Project Incidents". I think I would expire from shock if I were ever to complete a project without SOMETHING (often minor, and usually recoverable from - but not always!) going wrong.