Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Interfacing and Bindings, Oh My!

The Simplicity 3708 is coming along.  I decided to use some gray wool/polyester blend I had in my stash.  This is a medium weight material that is easy to work with.

I found a picture of what I am hoping my jacket will resemble.

While searching for this picture, I learned the button etiquette for three buttons. Starting from the top: Sometimes, Always, Never.

Here is the pattern picture.  A little baggy, and not a good lapel roll.  Hopefully mine looks better.


I had a hard time deciding on interfacing, but I finally used some fusible ultra-weft on the fronts of the jacket.  A trick I learned for making a good lapel roll is to have two pieces of interfacing.  One for the body and one for the lapel, so there is a slit between the two.  This makes a "hinge". Also a slit in the interfacing so the dart will be flat.
Fusible interfacing and bias binding 

 Then I used a sew-in interfacing on the facings to get some experience with it.  I also have a seam at the roll line here.

Sew in interfacing and bias binding center back

The pockets didn't call for lining, but I lined them with a light gray polyester lining.  I didn't interface the pockets because I felt they were firm enough.
Fronts with princess seams and pockets

Back and facings

I was going to flat-fell the center back seam. But the fabric was a little thick making it bulky.  So I used some turquoise bias binding on one edge and folded over the other.  I used gray bias binding on the other seams to give a finished look to the inside.

This jacket has two rear vents.  I watched a couple of videos to see how to make them look best.  In my next update, I should have vents and some assembly finished.

This is still a learning process for me.  However.  a jacket should be coming to life soon.

I also machine embroidered a new kitchen towel this week.



Thanks for stopping.



Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Sewing another Jacket

I was going to make the Butterick 6022 again with some changes.  Like princess seams and sleeve vents.   After drafting some changes and getting ready to make a muslin, I found Simplicity 3708 online.

This is the jacket pattern I have been looking for.  It is unlined, has princess seams, and sleeve vents.  It is more like a coat than a jacket.

I bypassed it once, thinking it was a hooded jacket.  But on second look, I saw both models were wearing hooded sweatshirts underneath.  Quite strange when one would think the detail of the collar and lapel should be shown.

I like that it says "Easy to Sew".

After measuring the shoulders, I decided size medium would work for me. However, I made a muslin and it was baggy around the arm holes and other areas.  Just like the model!

All pattern markings on muslin helps fitting.

I tried adjusting it, but trashed it and made a size small muslin with medium shoulder width. 

A major fitting point with jackets is the shoulder and armhole area.  The seam of the armscye should mimic the attachment of your arm to your body.  The bottom of the sleeve should sit as tight to your armpit as possible, without restricting movement.  If great attention is not given to this area, large wrinkles will appear. 

As seen in the first muslin, the armhole was too big for me.  I added an inch of fabric under the arm for a better fit.  I also adjusted it as shown.



   I  lengthened the body one inch and the arms two inches.


Here is the muslin with my adjustments.  It is a three button jacket which I have pinned shut and shoved in shoulder pads.  

I think I made a good decision trying this pattern and not redesigning the other.  I'll call it a learning experience either way.

Now to decide what fabric to use.

Thanks for stopping.


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Getting Closer to a Wearable Jacket!

I have been working on jackets since December.  I haven't made one work until Butterick 6022 from 1988.  Even though it is very simple, it fits me.  This pattern is size small, I lengthened the sleeves, but not the body.

Should I look for more Eighties patterns?  I think this was a fluke, so probably not.  Since this era of pattern is noted for being over-sized.

I used a cotton twill fabric I bought online from Fashion Fabrics Club.  A little prone to wrinkles, but looks nice.

 I made lined pockets, flat fell seams, and added interfacing to the cuffs.  There was a choice to use shoulder pads, but I think it looks better without.  Also, this jacket has no chest padding.

 Even though this pattern has "very easy" on it, I am happy I have had experience with jackets, since they are not easy.  This did go together in a week, so rather quick for a jacket.

I sewed this with my Wilson Rotary Sewing Machine (made by White).  This showed me again how great, vintage straight-stitch machines handle any job.


Here I am in a total made by me outfit.









I think this is definitely wearable.  A little adjustment to the facing to prevent the front from curving in and a little material taken out of arms would perfect this pattern for me.

I have not decided what my next project will be, but it might be another jacket,  with a lining and a chest piece.  I will be sure to share some of the techniques I have learned.

Thanks for stopping.






Tuesday, July 12, 2016

I am a Glutton for Punishment

My Neue Mode Coat 22424 is completed.   I have decided since I have made three jackets and over a dozen muslins, maybe more, since December, I am a glutton for punishment.  Or maybe just biting off more than I can chew.  I hate clich├ęs,  but these fit.

The hours put into this jacket mania have taught me quite a lot about fitting in general.  Plus how much knowledge and experience is needed to make a jacket.
So, I can look at the positives about this experience.   Even though the results have not been too pleasing

I think another jacket project would probably have the result I am looking for.  All my jackets have pluses and minuses. Maybe I can put all the pluses together.

Version 1

Version 2
The version I just finished is actually a coat.  The only padding is the shoulder pads.  Also, it has a full lining instead of being non-lined like the other two.   It is a different pattern from the first two, but since it is part of my jacket era, I am calling it version three.

Before lining




Some tweaking of the lapels, collar,  and a little stiffer interfacing would make it better, but I am finished with this pattern.

Here is Vogue 8719 I made almost two years ago, August 2014.  Now I realize that was a good pattern.  I had no experience with jackets at all, and this turned out good for a first attempt.  I might try this pattern again.

Vogue 8719

I found three great jacket sewing tips I used in one video. Collars, sleeves, and welt pockets.  Watch it Here.

I am thinking of another jacket project.  Butterick 6022 promises to be "very easy" on the envelope.  This time it will be the simplest pattern, so I should have success.

Thanks for stopping.


Monday, May 30, 2016

Muslin Mania Has Ended

I decided to trash all my coat muslins from my muslin mania blog and start a completely new muslin from Neue Mode 22424.



I used size 36 for this lightweight, but fully lined coat.  The muslin actually fit nicely after I extended the body one inch and the arms three inches.

I interfaced all the pieces with a lightweight fusible interface since the 100% cotton material is so soft and flexible.  It also wanted to ravel badly, but the interfacing stopped that.

The pattern calls for either zippered pockets or patch pockets.  I decided to make single-welt pockets on an angle for a sleek look.
Unfinished front with pocket

Front inside showing interfacing and pocket bag

I have been sewing this with my Singer Touchtronic 2001 using a walking foot.  This has touchpad controls and was made in 1980. Another favorite machine!


The last week has been quite busy.  Besides sewing, Joe and I became parents to an eight week old Westie girl we named Dixie,   She gets along great with our 12 year old poodle, Max.

More sewing and other things to do.

Thanks for stopping.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Kenmore Bargain.

I have some older computerized Kenmores and some really old Kenmores.  But until now, I haven't had a 1970s Kenmore.  These are so coveted by sewists they are rarely found for sale at a good price.

I found my all steel 148.15600 in its case on the floor at my local thrift store.  It had a price of $13.50.  Then I realized it was $3.50 after a discount.  This was definetely a bargain buy.

 I like it has a built-in buttonhole setting and decorative patterns.  One interesting thing on this machine is the front mounted on/off switch.  It controls the power and the light.

I thought this era of Kenmore had high shank and/or left needle position, but this one is low shank and center.
$3.50 Kenmore

This is definitely a keeper.

I have to stop going to the thrift store!  .....Maybe not!

Thanks for stopping.




Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Coat Muslin Mania

 I have been watching a Craftsy Class taught by Kenneth D. King teaching how to take Vogue 8841 and heavily redraft it to make  the "Fly Front Coat".  He teaches how to do a Hong Kong finish, draft and hand sew the lining, and many other details I want to learn.  This coat doesn't have the extent of interfacing a jacket does, so I can focus on other details.

Craftsy Coat

I searched the internet to find a pattern for what I had in mind. No patterns, but I did find a photo of what I want to make.
This is similar to my vision.

I started with the Vogue 8841 supplied with the class.  Mr. King says this is a unisex coat.   Believe me, it is not.

The class teaches how to tweak the pattern to make the style of coat he wanted.  Nothing is said about sizing or fitting.  I attempted to learn how to adjust this pattern to fit on my own.

Muslin one with shoulders "let out"


I narrowed the first muslin two inches by taking in the side seams at the hips and tapering out at the underarm.  I added 1-1/2" to each shoulder.  I opened up the arms 1" in circumference.
Second muslin


For my third muslin I reshaped the armscyces to the largest size on the pattern.

Third muslin


This made the arms fit better, but it still looks awful.

I decided to self-draft a pattern after my disappointment with my adjustments to Vogue 8841.  I took my t-shirt pattern and added ease to make my new jacket muslin.




 It needs some adjustments, but after that I am back to Mr. King's class to add a princess seam,  collar, pockets, and a lining.

The books I am using to help me with all this are Easy guide to sewing jackets and Men's wear tailoring techniques .  These are free to download.

It is a good thing the thrift store had a $3 bolt of fabric suitable for muslins.

Thanks for stopping.