Friday, October 16, 2009

Oh, the Shame of It!!!!!

It is with great shame that I am posting pictures of my sewing room and adjacent annex.

Ever since moving last June, I've not really ever managed to get it set up in a way that works and flows well. However, with the latest furniture shifting, I think I this layout may be close.

The sewing annex section (over the garage "bonus room") houses not only sewing stuff, but other craft supplies and all of the vintage jewelery, accessories, games, toys and pop culture things I covet. With no structure in place, it's turned into a dumping ground.

I've made a few efforts over the last several months to sort it out by purchasing little shelves for under my sewing table and long shelving racks on the low/apex walls of the annex section (DH hung those for me).

The whole area is stifling me. I've done nothing this last week because I walk in and don't know where to begin. AND, my fabric haul from Louise's auction isn't even in here! It's been sorted into categories on the big table in my basement until I can wash/treat it and bring it up.

Hopefully these shameful pictures will motivate me into getting my back side in gear. I've just printed off labels for plastic storage bins that need sorting through. I thought that would be a good starting point.

I also need to address lighting, but I'll do that after it's organized.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Red Twill Coat

This coat was a mixed bag. Some parts were easy, other parts gave me fits.
I had issues with the topstitching - it was loopy underneath. I adjusted the tension, used a topstitching needle and thread, used cardboard to keep the fabric flat (chunky SA)... it helped a little but still wasn't perfect.

The instructions would have you sew the bodice lining to the fabric. I skipped this because I bagged the lining. It is so much faster. If you've never bagged a lining before or need a refresher, here is a great article in Threads - How to Bag a Lining.

I continued with the construction of the jacket. Next were the sleeves which gave me great fits. I'm not happy with them. I've never had problems with set in sleeves until this coat. There was a huge amount of ease at the sleevecap. I could not for the life of me ease it in without sewing in pleats. It took me three attempts to finally sew it without pleats, but it is still puckered at the top. I think this is due to the twill because when I did this step on the lining (a softer, more pliable fabric), I had no issues. **I'd be interested in anybody's thoughts or experience about this.

The skirt construction was straight forward; more topstitching along the waistline seam. Here I didn't follow the instructions that have you topstitch through the fabric AND lining. I was already having issues due to the thickness so I topstiched before the lining was added. Same issues.The lining was constructed the same as the jacket, then bagged. I understitched all along the top neckline and front edges.

Because of my topstitching issues, I decided to not topstitch along the top, front and bottom edges. The twill provided structure and understitching preventing rolling.The sleeve edges (fabric and lining) were pressed under and slip stitched into place. I blind machine hemmed the lining and hand blind hemmed the coat fabric. I've grown to love hand hemming!!!

Then I made French tacks at the three seams. It was my first attempt at French tacks, which didn't turn out well. I do something weird with thread (and things like appliance cords) and always manage to twist them. (DH curses me when he pulls out the vacuum.) My tacks were more like French twists... or French tangles! Maybe one day I'll redo them...

After that was done, all that was left were the buttonholes and buttons. Thankfully, the end of the project went smoothly! I used fun buttons that blended from black to gray, to add some contrast and interest. I envision wearing the coat with these colors. The buttons will bring outfit and coat together.

This coat has many flaws and imperfections. But I still like it. Projects are funny like that. Sometimes a garment can be perfectly constructed, but it doesn't send you "the love." This coat, on contrast, has issues that I wish it didn't, but I will still wear it and have fun doing so. It's a great style and I love the vintage red twill. DH said that it looks very retro, like something off of the set of Austin Powers. My DS 11 y/o said it's futuristic! I say it's got style either way!