Friday, April 29, 2011

Don't get too close to me...

I've been busy killing off my appliances one by one. I was briefly thrust back into the dark ages with the loss of both my washing machine and refrigerator in the same week. Please excuse the drama but this is a big deal when you have a five year old and two four year olds.

But my sewing machine is fine so it isn't all that bad. On to more jackets!
McCalls 5525 has been frantically trying to get my attention. I figured it was time to give it try while I was on my jacket streak (if you consider two jackets to be streak.) These pictures were taken with my phone because my camera has jumped on the malfunction bandwagon.

I chose a soft grey suiting (mostly polyester, I think) and a bright fuchsia lining. It's not quite done and I hit a few snags along the way (you might notice my jacket will button opposite from the one shown on the envelope.) Despite the snags I love it! I just need to hem it and add the buttons/buttonholes.

A peek at the lining in the pocket. (By the way, the pockets in this pattern are ridiculously shallow - if anyone plans to sew this one I would definitely recommend making the pocket bags twice as deep!)

Happy weekend everyone!
Jackie :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Nice and easy

I almost feel silly sharing such a simple project but I am for two reasons. 1) It is the simplest top I have made in a long time (two pattern pieces!) and 2) it's a great, versatile top that will go with almost anything!
I picked up McCalls 6078 during a sale a few weeks ago with plans to use up some grey (super-stretchy) knit I had already. (Oh, this stuff was a pain to sew with!)

But it made for a really pretty top! (I made view B.) I usually avoid knits because I cringe at the thought of hemming them. But I suppose it gets easier with practice?

I added a band of black organza to the bottom (I had some bias strips left over from another project.)

I sewed the strip to the right side, turned the hem and then top-stitched it down. It weighs the hem down nicely.

These aren't great photos (and I took them prior to hemming) but I'm including them just to give you an idea of how it fits.

I definitely foresee this top appearing in my closet in a few different colors! I highly recommend the pattern.

By the way, I'm still hoping for some takers on the Pay it Forward game!

Jackie :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Can I make something for you?

One of the things I love about sewing blogs (and the wonderful people who write them) is the generosity and sense of community they bring.

I've learned almost everything I know about sewing from browsing the internet and I would be lost without this community. A tutorial on hand-worked buttonholes? Click! Zippers? Gotcha covered! Origami cranes as hair clips? Sure!

This generosity extends to sharing their work as well! I learned about "Pay it Forward 2011" from Oonaballoona and I was so in!

So it works like this: the first five people to comment on this post will get a little package from me containing something that I've made (that you, hopefully, will like!)

The catch is that you must agree to do the same, hence, "pay it forward".

Sound like fun?

I don't tend to get more than a comment or two on my posts so we'll see how this goes:)

Ok, GO!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My most favoritest thing ever...

...that I've sewn for myself so far!

I finished the jacket I've been working on for Sherry's RTW Tailoring SewAlong and I couldn't be happier with the result. I have to (sheepishly) admit that I didn't even come close to taking full advantage of the sew-along and the amazing guidance that Sherry provided. She really went to great lengths to dissect a tailored jacket and explain how to produce a professional result. I knew I wouldn't have enough time to spend on a complicated jacket so I chose a simpler design - no pockets, no lapels, no darts. But don't get me wrong, Butterick 5469 is a great pattern with several variations and I will definitely use it again!

This is the shell before I put the lining in (and before I realized I didn't buy enough fabric for the facings - oops!)

Which is why my jacket has a (sort-of) coordinating stripe inside.

I had completely finished the jacket before I decided that it really needed something to define the edges. I don't know what it is about the print but it just didn't look right so I added the green ruffle after the fact.

I couldn't (didn't want to) take the whole thing apart so I cut 2 inch bias strips, folded them in half, made ruffles, and hand-stiched them around the edges. )If I do this again I'll sew the ruffle into the seams.)

My first fabric-covered button.

It's the look I wanted and it's comfortable, yay! You can check out how the other sew-alongers are doing here.

(Do you like my whale?)

Jackie :)

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Oh muslins. They make life so much easier but so much more difficult. I swear I have sewing ADD and almost never sew the same pattern twice. This poses a problem when it comes to muslins.

But, I'm determined to do this right and it was definitely a good thing I checked my jacket pattern for fit. I've already added two inches to the length so it doesn't button across my boobs (not very stylish, I guess.)

I also added about 1/2 inch to each princess seam in the bust so it lays a bit straighter (as per Sherry's suggestion.)

And I redistributed the ease in the sleeve cap to favor the front, rather than the back, to eliminate the drag lines across the shoulder. I could probably use a forward shoulder adjustment but I've never done one and I'm not quite ready to try.

Other than those issues I love the shape and fit!

I decided to underline the shell pieces with white muslin. The fabric is a quilters' cotton and it's a little too lightweight for a jacket, even with the lining added, and I think the muslin will help it wear better too.

I layered the main fabric over the muslin as I cut the pieces to make sure they were identical then I stitched all around the outside 1/4 inch from the edge. It really gives the fabric a nice weight and feel, and the white behind it also brightens the print.

I'm on to piecing the jacket shell and I can already see an improvement in the fit as a result of the pattern adjustments. Hopefully I'll have more to share soon!

Jackie :)