Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Minoru jacket done

Ta dah!

Armoweft, seam tape, topstitching, inserted zippers, binding finishes, inside pockets, flat felled seam, single welt pocket, binding machine, french seams on  chiffon, gathers, elastic casing waist, elastic sleeve cuff, embroidered edge hood, inbuilt jacket hanging loop, more reinforcing.
I can finally stop thinking about each construction step. It's been doing my head in trying to use the right techniques to make this jacket work the way it was designed using the fabric I chose.
I was originally going to cut the size 6 but I chose the size 8 because I'll be wearing a couple of layers under this jacket in the winter.
Yep. I'm to blame for this monster that's now my favourite weekend jacket. As you can see, I've pulled the jacket to show there's plenty of caboose room. 
  The hood in the jacket keeps the collar up, so there no interfacing needed. 
I learnt lots about:
- self-made binding thanks to my Christmas present from sewing santa, and how to use binding
- how to use zippers and where to source them online (zipperstop).
- single welt pockets and how to unpick and sew them
- how to adjust a raglan sleeve
- measuring before your cut (resewing outside pockets using a 6"/15cm zip not a 4"/10cm zip).
Now I'm wondering what about putting a hidden zip pocket on the lower or upper sleeve. Just joking.
Thanks to Tasia for having a sewalong otherwise I would never have pushed myself to make this jacket. My on the ground sewing buddies Alison, Sharon and Anne were already sorting out their notions and colours before I realised the sewalong was on. This project and the jeans contest kept me in contact with my sewing buddies here and online, while I was working away from home last month, and that really kept me sane. Angie Zimmerman was wonderful in sorting out the fit issues along the way, as she always does.
I can now move onto other projects:))
Have a look at this Minoru jacket roundup by Noile.

Pockets, welts, zips

After admiring a few finished Minoru jackets (Biblioblog), there were comments the jacket might benefit from having external pockets (Rocketsews) on the front. Hidden zippered welt pockets were an idea Alison had so that's what I've done on this trial jacket. As a fair weather cyclist, zippered pockets are a useful feature. I've done inseam pockets before and they are easy to do by don't hold the garment shape that well. 
The jacket now has 6 zippers in it. Yep. 1 zipper for the hood (View A), 1 on front closure, 2 zippers for the internal pockets and 2 zippers for the external pockets. Yes Lena, I've learnt lots and I  really needed to be 'awake' when I attempted this without the full instructions. I did have welt pocket instructions but not with a zipper included. The instructions for inserting a zipper in the collar were a good practice before attempting the external zipper welt pockets.
The pic above is the wrong side view of the inside pocket WIP.

Now the fabric seems shower proof and it has some stretch which becomes annoying attempting to sew a clean line. So I've used armoweft to reinforce the pocket opening and seam tape to reinforce the stitching lines on the pocket opening. There were still slight puckers.

On the left is the finished inside zip pocket.

Below are the initial stitching marks for the welt pocket and reinforcing on the wrong side; welt placement; pocket bag placement and the final result.

The fiddliest part was sewing the zip on before you sew up the pocket bag. 

Get the basic welt pocket instructions before you attempt this at home.
 

Below is welt placement along the welt pocket stitching guide.

Below you can see the two pocket bag pieces. One pocket bag piece is a cotton woven and the other pocket bag piece is the fashion fabric.


Above is the zipper placement, once you've cut open the pocket line and pulled in the pocket bag pieces.
So the end result is a welt pocket with a hidden zip.  Yep, I've sewn in 6 zips. What was I thinking.
Ta dah.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Fitting fatigue - Minoru jacket

There's no way I'll let this jacket beat me. We spent the weekend with Angie's getting the fit sorted. Those sleeve lines don't happen with a standard fitted sleeve but because there isn't the same sleeve head room built into a raglan sleeve, a couple of us had to build in the sleeve head room that was missing. Then I was able to take the 2" out of the collar that I had added previously. Phew. Collars are not the sort of adjustment I'm comfortable making so returning the collar to its original length was a relief. As you can also see below, this raglan pattern is all in one. There isn't a separate front and back raglan sleeve pattern piece so the changes in the Big Red book Fitting and Pattern Alteration: A Multi-Method Approach to the Art of Style Selection, Fitting, and Alteration (2nd Edition) didn't help.
So the sleeve has been cut and spread 2"/5cm to add in the additional sleeve head room. I've also readjusted the length so it's only 3/4" longer at the top of the arm. Now that I've had a fitting expert check the raglan twist (Angie), the solution was to add more space at the shoulder head. So we cut and spread the pattern open and added at least 2"/5cm at the shoulder head and graduated it back to the original size at the wrist.
 

The front and back pieces have been adjusted based on the increased sleeve head length (3/4") and all pieces have been shortened to suit my body length (or lack of length).
To come...the trial garment is mushroom colour in a stretch woven shower proof fabric. The lining is a polyester chiffon (lots of movement) that I bought for nix and there's plenty more of it in the stash. The zippers were bought at Ferriers in Fullarton, Adelaide. I'm building in zippered pockets on the front with a single welt and zippered pockets inside the jacket, replacing the velcro opening. I know, who else would be silly enough to ask for more hoops to jump through with this jacket?
February 2013 edit: If you add the wrist band with elastic, there won't be a twisting on the sleeve. The gathers at the top of the sleeve and at the wrist will overcome this fitting issue.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

BBQ shirt for DH

I think DH has been waiting for a shirt from me for a while now. He never asks for anything custom made, I find shirts with a missing button appear in my sewing room from time to time, or a tie that needs mending, but he never asks for new clothes. His eyes sparkled when he saw the fabric I chose for his shirt because he loves to travel, he loves to plan travel and is always ready to do a BBQ.
So I then chose an easy shirt style (Simplicity 5581) that I know DH would wear. Sewsewboy on PR has done many of these shirts in some amazing prints.
 
I did buy extra fabric to see if I could match the patterns but this didn't happen. The patch pocket was not going to work so I ended up opting to put a welt pocket onto this shirt.

The main pattern adjustment was shirt length and as I've now seen this pattern is quiet full so next shirt will be small and not medium. Sewsewboy mentioned this in his pattern review.

As my friend Alison (Goosegreen) knows, it's very difficult to match aqua fabric let alone get the matching thread. She kindly gave me the aqua linen piece I needed for this pocket. The aqua welt stands out and DH loves it. I've reinforced this pocket throughout construction and also finished the pocket edges with a single fold and tight zigzag stitching. Using Sandra Betzina's Power Sewing book and having Angie Zimmerman's guidance at her Sydney workshop helped me get this pocket detail right.
White thread and covered buttons are this shirt's finishing details. I've also used armoweft for the interfacing and flat felled seams because this shirt will need as much reinforcing as possible because it's a bloke's shirt. DH asked for wooden buttons that I'll now start looking for.

At some point, I'll attempt the shorts when I do some more research on sewing for men. What have I created? I think DH loves this shirt.
I'll also add single welt pockets to the Minoru jacket that I've finally cut out after 10 hours of muslim and adjusting the sleeves and collar fit. It's been ages since I've done welt pockets so like fly fronts, the more you do, the easier the result.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Green jeans v8774

While I was working in Adelaide there were quiet times when i just sewed with my travel machine. I took the basics with me and when DH visited, he had more supplies from my sewing room to keep me busy. He's such a good man.
Jeans are part of my pants journey I am enjoying. I'm now enjoying the detailing and getting the fit right. When I'm out and about, I check out the back pocket stitching on everyone's rear. It's just for stitching ideas - truly. I spied one ladies brand new jeans with beautiful stitching but the RTW jeans were clearly splitting at the CB seam. 
Fit adjustments:
1. Sway back adjustment of the centre back seam on the yolk, the waistbank and back pants pattern.
2. Deeper crotch curve
3. Wider back leg length for both legs. My right thigh is wider than my left thigh.
Alterations:
1. Front pocket was extended to the zipper so it also acts as a stay.
2. Belt carriers were sewn at the waist band instead of on the width of the back yolk.
Rivets:
These came from DK Fabrics in Adelaide. They have a slight design on them but they are definitely silver and shiny. So the jeans button is also silver and shiny.
Back pocket stitching:
I've used the Vogue template and a close but wide zigzag stitch.

Topstitching:
This was something I improvised. I've combined two green threads through one needle for topstitching. I wasn't able to find topstitching thread while I was away. By the time I came home, I had to continue to use this method of topstitching.
Bling - nil:
I'm sticking with colour rather than bling. I can sing, but I don't bling.
I love how these fit and hug me. I do expect these jeans will soften and begin to bag over time so I now need to find a couple of tops from my wardrobe that I can team with these. I've been on a green binge for a while.

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