Monday, August 31, 2009

Chanel Jacket 1

I am sewing a Chanel jacket for the Chanel Sew Along blog. I decided to use Kwik Sew 3258. I have made up two muslins and now I need some opinions. First I made the S based on my waist measurement. I have a narrow back but wide-ish shoulders and I figured it would be easier to snug up the back. Wrong. Today I sewed up the XS. It fits much better.

This is an XS fronm the shoulder to just below the bust. Then it goes out to a S. Then, I took in 1/4" on the side seams on both sides. This style does not overlap in the front. I'm going to put a zipper in at CF. I only drew the grainlines and pockets on one side.

The armhole finishes about 2.5" below my armpit.

What do these back wrinkles mean? I'm thinking I need to take in the back just a little bit more below the armcyse. Overall, I'm thinking it's pretty dang good. If I can fix those back wrinkles, I think I'll be in bid-ness.

We had spaghetti and the girls were supposed to be washing their faces. I decided to check on them when I heard the words, "No, I not be Santa. You be Santa now. Ho, ho, ho!" There were making beards out of bubbles. Inventive little soap trouble-makers.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

My New Shoes

Dear Puma;

I find your shoes really comfortable. I love how the heel area cups my heels and helps me fight that pesky tendonitis I've battled for years. I love that they have a roomy toe box for my wide, man toes. I love the cushion, love the bounce, love the spring in my stride when I wear a new pair. I bought a new pair yesterday. I buy the Complete Magnetist III because that is what I prefer for road running. The box alone is really funny. There's the bar code that is twisted and torn apart from the "puma" jumping out of it (har, har). There's the size comparison chart on the back (my foot is larger than a chopstick but smaller than a small french stick -- what's that??) which I think is pretty funny. Then there's the odd, but funny, message on the inside of the box about how I should recycle this box by using it, "as a container for useless stuff you really should have chucked out by now." And then the label on the inside that states, "We know what we're doing. People in magazines wear this stuff. Fashion people, sporty people. People who don't have to wear a suit everyday. So, we know it works." This brings me to my point. How can such a funny company make shoes this unattractive? Are you working too hard in your advertising and shoe-fitting departments to hire a dude to check the color schemes? Below is a photo of the current Complete Magnetist III. It's actually much more neon/hot pink and the silver really sparkles. I'm mentioning it to you, Puma-people, because I'm sure you didn't see this or you would have never let it out of the warehouse. Please don't send any more of this shoe to Alaska and if you do, make sure that Skinny Raven Sports also buys the other color ways. And, if you should need a quality control tester, color analyzer, or bad-colored-shoe killer, let me know. I'm probably available.


The new and improves Complete Magnetist III. Yipppppppeeeeeeeeee. Now I'll have day-glo pink shoes and no one will hit me with a semi. And yes, that's silver faux reptilian pleather. What isn't pink is silver reptile skin. They really are comfortable, and hysterical. It's funny that I bought them too. It makes me laugh every time I see someone when I run. They must think I'm crazy.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Simplicity 2603 - DKNY Cozy Knockoff

First off, my pictures are a bit funny this time because my martini-wielding neighbor was mocking me on the lawn. He wasn't currently wielding a drink but he was mocking me. There aren't nearly as many shots as I wanted to do but you get the basic idea with these photos. Deepika started a Cardi Sew Along at and I just had to join after seeing the super cozy, um, cozies.
This material is fan-freaking-tastic. It's one of the knits my husband brought back from Houston. It's a superfine merino wool.
The pictures speak for themselves.


I never serge the necks/shoulders of tops like this because you have to sew precisely to match the neck and the shoulders. I hand sewed (I know!) a bias strip of purple duppioni to make the seam pretty. I should have used a knit because this will not stretch much. It seems okay though.
With this design, you see both sides of the fabric. The wool is heathered on one side but it looks fine with this pattern. It just gives it more texture. I also hand sewed the entire hem. I know, holy shit, right? One thing the couture class taught me is that you need to treat nice fabric nicely. I have a serger and could have done a rolled hem but I always have problems with that on the seams and corners. This is not a fine rolled hem; it's pretty large. I think it looks alright though.

I have to do a bunch of work sewing but then I have a whole list of things that need to get cranked out. I hope to be done with the work stuff by Sunday. Stay tuned.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Vogue 8481 - Couture Shaeffer Jacket

The last time we talked about this jacket, I was done with it. I was frustrated with the slow progress, I was pissed off at the arms, I was angry that there was some weird back fitting issue. In a nutshell, I was not happy. I wasn't about to chuck it but I was about to leave it unfinished and let it die a slow painful death. A few days ago I realized that I was being impatient and stupid. Yesterday, I strapped on my girl pants, ripped off the right arm, tore out the back and did it right. Today, I finished the rest of it. So, without further adieu, here it is.

I like the look of it when it's unbuttoned. I love this light blue shirt; it's from Old Navy. It's one of the few blouses that fit me well. The color really matches my eyes and makes them glow. I think it looks great with this jacket.

It also looks nice buttoned.

I LOVE the lining. It's a fabric my husband brought back from Houston. I'm about to crack up because my neighbors (not the crazy ones) just walked out on their deck. They are eyeballing me and then they ask if I wanted a martini. We often drink martinis in lawn chairs in the cul-de-sac with their other neighbor. They are used to my flasher ways.

I fixed the back problem by letting out about an 1" down most of the length. You can see there is a tiny wrinkle in the right armhole but it's soooo much better than it was before. I took the bottom of the sleeve off, cutting into the jacket, and removing a bit of the jacket to make the sleeve fit.I ended up adding both a sleeve head and a thin shoulder pad. It's not perfect but it's really close and it's so much better than what it was going to look like.

The cuffs have a fake sleeve vent.

I had to take a picture of the handsewing stitches because I am so proud of them. Don't they look nice from the right side? I probably won't (no freaking way) handsew in another lining but I'm glad I did it with one jacket. It does give you unparalleled control but man is it challenging. This is the area where the back lining meets the front facing and lining.

Handsewing (attaching lining to facing) from the inside.

Same area from the outside.

There was one thing I could not figure out. I read the directions again and again and again for this section. There is a raw edge on the sleeve vent. It's on the inside so it's not a big deal but I'm sure it's not right.

Whew. I'm done. Woot!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I will never do that again . . .

Did you know that in couture jackets, the lining is sewn in by hand? I didn't know that yesterday but I do know it now. I won't be doing that ever again. There aren't enough pins in the world to help me with slippery charmeuse.

My couture Vogue jacket is completely done. Details and photos tomorrow.



Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Retail Therapy?

I've been bad this summer about staying on my sewing budget. I'm sure my husband noticed but he would never say anything about it. The limit is self-imposed. I haven't gone crazy or anything but I certainly haven't kept track of what I was spending. It's August, school is starting, and it's time to get back into a routine. That includes the budget routine. Even though it's mid-August, this is the first official expenditure. Why? Because I decided, that's why. I'm not going to try to find receipts and tally up my total for the first 18 days of the month. So, there ya go. I follow the rules when it's convenient, I guess.

I'm part of the Chanel Sew Along but don't, as of yet, have a Chanel pattern. I was glancing through PatternReview's catalog and saw this Kwik Sew jacket. I think it's very nice and Kwik Sew fits me well.

Then I saw this Burda pattern. I was unable to decide between them and so I bought both. I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that. I want to try out both patterns and figure out the main differences. I haven't for sure picked out my boucle fabric but I do have some options.

Then, I saw this pattern. I've wanted to try it since it came out and now, it seems, I will.

I'll keep you posted. I'm cutting out the lining on the Vogue jacket. Man, that thing has become the monkey around my neck. I will finish. I will finish. I can't handle something not getting done.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Burda 07-2009 #104 Shirred Shirtdress

I finished this shirt dress a few days ago but haven't gotten to show it to you because of school and the race and all the other hectic things happening in my life.

I thought it was okay, but boring, in the magazine. Then I saw Christina's version and fell in love.

I bought this really fun fabric from the Fabric and Notions coop. It's a beautiful silky cotton print. There is no stretch and I think it's 100% cotton. I had to carefully cut it so that the golden colors stayed near the hemline.

I really like the waist runching.

Near the waist, three buttons are close together. I really like it but, boy, is it a loud dress.

I did not do the petite adjustment that I normally do. My body has been doing some changing and I'm not sure if I'm just standing straighter or if something else is going on. I don't really seem to need that adjustment anymore. I did change the cuffs so that they are folded up and tacked. You are just supposed to fold them but I didn't want them coming down all the time. I left off the welt pockets because I didn't want to break up the fabric.

Half Marathon 2009

Wooo hooooo!

I did it this year in 1:57. That's 50 minutes faster than last years time. Last year I just wanted to finish but this year I wanted to beat my time. I sure did. I'm a little stiff today but it'll get better as the day goes on.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Another Houston Trip

This is my husband's last trip to Houston for a really long time. But, I did score in the fabric department.

Green polyester crepe? He got it in the remnant bin so he's not sure of the fiber content. It's really pretty and drapey. The right is a microsuede. It's kind of like a moleskin but so much soft.

The left is black Sofia knit. The right is a beautiful shirting material. He wants me to make him a dressshirt once I master the David Coffin book.

Left is a 4-way stretch knit. The right is wool challis? I've never heard of challis. Can I wash it? It's beautiful and drapey. I love it. It is so much more beautiful than what the picture shows.

Two duppionis. The left one is a dark burgundy and the right is a checkered one. Very cool.

The left fabric is amazing. It's superfine wool jersey. It's amazing! It's sooooo soft. I make have to jump onboard the Pattern Review Cardi Sew Along. It would make the most amazing wrap. The fabric on the right is wool, silk, mohair , and linen. Does my husband know quality or what? It just looks blue in the photo but it's got texture like you can't believe. I'll have to be doing a lot of thinking before I do anything to that one.

He bought me two boucles because I specifically requested them. They are perfect. He so knows me. He totally gets me. I'm so lucky.

Skirt Facing Tutorial

Here you go. This shows you how to add a facing to a CB or side seam with an invisible zipper. In other words, it's how to make you zipper and facing look nice on the inside. :) All photos should get bigger when you click on them. For reference, SA = seam allowances, CB = center back, RS = right sides, and RST = right sides together.

I screwed up a bit on this tutorial because this skirt has a full lining. So, pretend the lining fabric is sewn to the bottom of the facing. Cut the SA off the facing but not off the lining. I usually make a little pleat on both sides and keep that extra ease in the lining piece.

Remember that there is lining on the bottom of the facing piece. You would continue doing this all the way to the bottom of the zipper.

After I attached the facing, I did go back and attach the lining. You can do it either way but I usually put the lining on the facing first and then attach the facing. I'm not sure why I did it differently this time.

I hope that helps people. This is from Kathleen Fasanella's website. She has a whole list of great tutorials.