Sunday, June 26, 2011

Mission Accomplished!

The coat had its first outing tonight and I think it has just the right feel - casual rumpled intellectual.  We still need to work on the modelling and the shirt is looking a bit tired.  He likes the coat and conceded that I'd done a good job.  But he's not so keen on the khaki.  Can't get past the military thing and the fact that it is the same colour as my daughter's school blazer.   There are a few little things that I think could be improved, but overall I'm proud of it.

I have recently acquired some OOP men's patterns in my armoury, Burda 6111(parka), McCalls 8409 (shirts) Vogue 8043 (trousers) and McCalls 3363 (pullovers and zip jackets), so expect further forays into menswear. 
Next up I'm working on Butterick 5472 for me.  My mission - should I choose to accept it - Tessuti's sale is on after all - is to make up the dress, top, jacket and pants as a coordinated set using only fabrics from my stash.  Certainly worth a try.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Victory by stealth - Mission underway

The man jacket is coming along nicely, after a wet long weekend in Sydney.  So far, so good.  I did make one fundamental mistake, but not a fatal one.  When I adjusted for a large chest, I forgot to move the dart over by about 2 cms. Not that noticable, just annoying. 

The other minor annoyance is that the my pad stitching doesn't exactly match the turn of the collar.  I had to guess it as it is not marked on the pattern.  I'm sure it would be there on a classically tailored jacket pattern.  No matter. 

Making a man jacket is a great way to explore new sewing techniques.  I've been guided by a great book Tailoring: The Classic Guide to Sewing the Perfect Jacket.  The illustrations and explanations in the book are so clear.   I managed half-way decent bound buttonholes and a bound wallet pocket in the lining.

I also owe the pocket technique to my friend Diana in Canada who posted a great method for adding pockets without top-stitching.  So good I've added a few pictures to explain.  Step 1: attach the lining in the pocket placement position, leaving the top seam allowance open. Step 2: press the seam allowance upward into the pocket. Step 3: attach the right side of the fabric pocket to the lining.  Step 4: pin the pocket in place and hand-stitch in place. 
Overall, I'm happy with my progress. All that is left to be done is to piece together and insert the lining and sew on the buttons. Snappo!  I think my Mojo is back!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Venturing into menswear and mojo sapping projects

Sydney is having the coldest winter in forty years and my dear, daggy husband hasn't a warm coat that is fit for wearing in public.  After a quick perusal of the store offerings, he asked me if I could make him one.  Challenging, yes.  But the positive side is that it may be my chance to change his rag bag ways. A coat here, a shirt there - victory by stealth is my plan.
Fitting and pattern preparation was not as easy as I'd planned. Burda Style 08/2009 133 was cut as a muslin and we couldn't fit the sleeves.  Despite a number of adjustments they refused to hang correctly.  So we opted for Vogue 8719.  Fitting was again an issue - partly due to husbie's delusion that he was a size smaller than his measurement's suggested.  Tissue fitting showed that we needed the next size up and several centimetres more in the chest.  Is the male equivalent of a full bust adjustment a BCA (big chest adjustment)?  Fortunately my adjustment worked a treat and with a good fitting muslin, I cut into my khaki green pure wool, purchased from a deceased estate.  I'm using a combination of traditional, custom tailoring and fusible interfacings, as shown in this illustration.  This method is surprisingly quick and quite meditative.  The hand stitching on under collar makes shaping the collar quite easy.  The pattern isn't lined, so I've had to change the front facing piece and add a back facing.  It also has no collar stand or back vents.  Great for ease of sewing but not particularly tailored.

 The red jacket is almost finished.  I've used Simplicity 2313 version D .  This version has strange pintucks to hold the frill erect which I ignored. I'll probably add a few handstitches near the bust point to stop it from flopping down. I need to unpick and redo the button holes which were a bit of a disaster in terms of placement.  MOJO SAPPER NO. 1.

My Chanel style jacket wasn't finished last winter and I fear it may never see the light.  It needs one sleeve to be handsewn into place, the lining hand attached and the sleeves shorted with bands added.  My heart isn't in this project - MOJO SAPPER NO 2.

Rachel came home from Melbourne last weekend for my B'day and asked me to make some t-shirts for laying under sweaters etc.  I made one from Burda style 12/2009 121 using some cheap fabric in my stash which didn't behave under my needles.  The finished tee is fine but it made me cross - MOJO SAPPER NO 3.

But a nice piece of khaki wool and a mission - MOJO RETUNRED!