Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Of paper, patterns and tape tape tape - Starlet Suit

It's like Xmas wrapping around here tonight.  I began my Starlet Suit today, mostly just doing prep work; no fabric cutting yet.  And of course as soon as I give any indication I'm heading for the sewing room, there comes Bella--to offer encouragement & make sure she's in the middle of things!

So I pre-shrunk the lining & iron-on facing by soaking it in warm water  'til the water cooled, then letting it dry overnight.  And I pre-shrunk the wool fabric by steaming the heck out of it with my iron.  You may remember that I bought enough for 2 suits last week--so that was 8 yards of wool I ironed by hand today.  I'm sure it builds character.

One thing I've been wondering about since I signed up for the course is because it's online and we're not using a standard pattern, where does the pattern come from?  Would they mail it to us?  I eventually realized it would involve some type of printing & pasting, but have to say I was a bit shocked that it was 56 pages!  It took my little printer about 15 minutes to print it all.  Fortunately I just changed my cartridges & bring home lots of scrap paper from work, so there were no glitches with that portion of the project.

One thing that Gretchen recommended in the instructions for the pattern, though, was to check the pattern print test square to be sure it is 4".  Then you can adjust your printer a bit to ensure the pattern is printing correctly.  But there were no notes about which page that square was on.  I flipped thru some of the 56 pages looking for it, thinking, "I'll print that page first, if it doesn't come out 4" I'll fiddle with the PDF file a bit & try again."

I never found the test square, though, so ended up printing the whole thing...and there was the test square--finally--on page 5 or so.  And, of course, my test square was NOT 4"!!  It was 3-7/8".  So what do I do? Print it all again? NOPE!  Not me.  I'm making a muslin first and will hope for the best.  I'm going for the size 10 pattern, but will cut it out as a 12 for the muslin & see what happens.

So, I started cutting & matching & taping.  So far I've spent about 90 minutes just putting the pieces together.  I think I'm over halfway--though I haven't been keeping track.  So plan on that if you're thinking of taking this type of class...and be sure you have enough tape!  (Later...another 20 minutes or so & I'm finished.  So almost 2 hours for a new type of pattern-piecing.)

I have never been able to leave a pattern or recipe alone; I always have to fiddle with it a bit.  Change the neckline, shorten the sleeves, add turmeric along with the cloves, whatever.  So, of course I can't just do exactly what Gretchen says: I really don't want to use her skirt pattern!  I've dug thru my stash of patterns (vintage & otherwise) and will come up with something cool.  I'm going to do the jacket first, so I make sure I have enough for that, then I can use the leftovers for the skirt.  I think that will be the grey w/ periwinkle pinstripes.

And I am also thinking I might try to make a pair of pants for the other suit...that will be in the greenish wool.  I have a few skirt-suits that I wear to work a lot, but it's the pant suits that are more comfortable & warmer when I'm at the reference desk.

And one more change since I can never leave things alone.  I don't like even numbers of buttons on jackets!  I just think 3 or 5 looks better and fits better.  So I bought more buttons than were recommended, so I can rearrange the buttonholes a bit & get 5 in (or maybe just do 3).  I'm expecting a lot of this poor muslin!  ;-)


  1. Exciting! I shall watch your progress. I've also enrolled, but am nowhere near scheduling the time to make it...have the Bombshell to make too. Good luck with this - sounds like you know what you're aiming for too. Excellent

    1. Yes, very excited, SB! Started the toile today...


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