Tuesday, November 19, 2013

See & Struggle B5699, continued

Remember these photos from a few weeks back?

A week or so ago, I had high hopes that this See & Sew B5699 jacket was going to be fairly easy.  I had made a toile, was headed off to see Allison at Bits of Thread, and thought I'd have a nice  pattern all ready to cut out by the time I got home that night.  I was so wrong.  

A bunch of problems presented themselves.  Allison did not agree with me that the fit was almost there.  I ended up cutting & re-cutting 2 more toile versions, trying to a) get the fullness out of the waist, and b) trying to get rid of the floppy collar. 

I again (foolishly) thought I was close when I left class that night...

No, that's not blood, but it sometimes felt like it!

But a full week of modifying, darting, & re-darting every night hasn't got me any closer (as these photos illustrate).  I moved darts, added darts, re-sized darts, and did everything I could think of and still...I don't think it looks correct.  

Starlet Suit jacket
In fact, the latest version of the toile looks too small. But I don't really know because I lost the back pieces (which did fit perfectly), so don't have anything to sew the front pieces to! However, just pinning it to Helen it sure looks too small.  So how did that happen?  

I had to put it all away for a while & start a quick knitting project! But what I've done is dig out the pattern pieces for the Starlet Suit (from Gertie).  That finally fit me, as you can see here.  However, those are princess seams, and I was hoping to get a jacket with a different pattern (why I bought See & Sew B5699 to begin with).  

I find these extreme fitting challenges to be extremely upsetting.  First, I wonder if my body is totally weird; why does one part of a pattern go easily and the other is so painful? And sewing does make you look at yourself pretty closely (and measure yourself), and I don't like doing that at all.  

There does seem to be a bit of hope:  Gertie recommended this FBA tutorial page, from Sew L.A., and I've followed the instructions to the letter.  More on the test version of that jacket (in cotton) next time!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

See & Struggle B5699 +

Leaves, Blue Sky at Silver Lake
Hello; gorgeous fall weather here; wanted to get this posted before we take a long bike ride. 

I wanted to mention the Fashion & Textile Museum in London has an amazing exhibition coming up: Artist Textiles from Picasso - Warhol, running 1/31/2014 - 5/17/2014. The exhibit is going to tour--hopefully it will get to the US. If you see it, do let me know.

We saw a Matisse textiles exhibition at the Metropolitan back in 2005.  It was mostly his paintings with different textiles in them, however there were a few samples of real textiles that had belonged to Matisse.  Here's the book from the exhibition, The Fabric of His Dreams.

Back to the reality of fitting now...

Surprisingly, it's an epic battle to fit the jacket from See & Sew B5699.  I say surprisingly because the dress (from the same pattern), in size 12 fit perfectly, is flattering (I think) & really didn't involve many modifications.  

This was my great deal of the day from Mood, the lovely woven navy wool was $10/yard and the silk/rayon lining was $5/yard.  It is fully lined & really comfortable.  I've been wearing it with an Anne Klein jacket I found on sale at Macy's, but really want to finish a matching jacket from the pattern, as pictured above...but without that floppy collar!   

I had a little trouble lining it (the zipper), but after I figured that out it looks & feels great.
Okay, that was all very successful; I've worn it to work twice & have received a lot of compliments.  So what happened with the jacket?!  Stay tuned for more.

Monday, November 4, 2013

What's Going On?

I am still smocking away, but also still working on See & Sew B 5699.  The dress came out really nice & I need to get a photo up.  The dress has a built-in wide waistband that is really flattering.  I wore it to work w/ a different (ready-made) jacket & got lots of compliments on it.

I like the jacket, too, it has a really neat long slash dart up through the pocket, which makes it fit me SOOO well.  But I don't like the wide collar, and want it to be a little less big. I have tried twice to change it (even using a finished jacket Mohammed made for me as the template), but I did not get it right.  
You can see the toile here; the fit is just right (mostly), but the collar? Bleccch! So I'm headed over to Bits of Thread this afternoon to get Allison's help.  (BTW, I buy old sheets at the thrift store, wash them & use them as toile fabric; I think it works pretty well.)  **Of course the fitting was NOT easy...2 hours with Allison + a week later = almost done!  (More in the next post.)**

What else is happening?  Well, sewing-wise, I'm still smocking away.  

Below you can see 3 actual cushions I've made up with smocked covers.  (I also learned how to make a lapped-zipper.  Not that hard, but now I'm getting good at it...thanks, Allison!)  
This was made with some upholstery fabric I found in the Bits of Thread recycled fabric shop.  I think the "cobblestones" smocking pattern is pretty effective here.  If nothing else, the Roommate really liked it!  

There were 6 pieces of 36" square upholstery fabric, so I'll definitely be making more cushions covers from those. Now we need to get a couch to put them on!

And the other two pillows were also made with scraps from the shop.  The brown is cotton velvet, really nice, and the blue is fake suede.  I think the smocking is quite effective on these, too.  

However, the bows pattern on the brown cushion really distorted the fabric.  So much so that I really had trouble getting a rectangle or square out of it.  I took a close-up of the cushion so you can't see how messy the edges are!  

I really like how the smocking brings texture to the fabric; it makes the cushions look much more luxurious than they are.  Honestly, the covers are cheap (just the price of a long zipper, mostly), it's the cushions that are expensive.  I've been using coupons whenever I can at Joann & Hancock so I can get the nice down-filled type.  

What else is going on?  I'm excited by the Saudi women who are pushing the country's laws about driving.  They've been posting videos of women driving on the web.  They are so brave and I wish them luck.  

Here's Marvin Gaye singing "What's Goin' On?" from 1971.