Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Wedding sets

Set 1: Kwik Sew 3716 now lined jacket, Kwik Sew 2694 top, Kwik Sew 3003 bias lined skirt.
Set 2: Kwik Sew 3716 now lined jacket, McCalls 6247 View B top, Kwik Sew 3003 bias skirt.
Set 3: Kwik Sew 3716 jacket, Butterick 4132 cowl top, Kwik Sew 3003 bias skirt. Each piece is lined.
Set 4: Kwik Sew 3716 now lined jacket, Butterick 4132 cowl top, Self drafted elastic-waist lined skirt. This gold set was a test set that works for warmer weather.
Set 5: Kwik Sew 3716, Butterick 4132 cowl top, Kwik Sew 3003 bias skirt and all are lined. I wasn't able to get the matching mocha fabric so I bought the brown instead for the skirt.
I'll post up the real life pictures after the wedding. You could say these are Petite plus styles.
Mum now has 3 new jackets, 4 new skirts and 6 new tops.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

That project list...

In May I developed a projects list for June:
  • Computer bag McCalls 6410
  • Gloves Butterick 5695
  • Jacket for Mum Kwik Sew 3716
  • Update the fit of 2 winter work jackets
  • 1912 ladies spring mantle
To date I've finished the gloves before winter hit. You read how easily my attention was diverted and I made lined trousers and a matching pleather jacket for the gloves, pjs because of the cold but I did start the wedding clothes for Mum, although none of these were on the original list. Yes, June was last month :))

I now have 1 week to finish off Mum's wedding ensembles (fingers crossed). Two new knit tops are done and I've cut out the matching skirt for the bronze jacket. I have another skirt and top combo to cut out. I'll post these up when I finish them.
This was my 3 step approach at the end of June
Step 1 - Make Kwik Sew 3916 in the day fabric I had originally planned to use. That way, she has an everyday jacket that she can get used to wearing so the evening version is familiar to her to wear. (tick)
Step 2 - Make an easy skirt and top ensemble to keep me motivated. (tick)
Step 3 - Make the evening jacket. This should take less time and fit well. (tick)

Researching for Mum
As you've seen, I completed the jackets first and then I did a stack of pattern research on PR and bought enough top/skirt pattern options from Lincraft and Spotlight for Mum. I can now see the end of Mum's project on the horizon. I also read the PR topics for petite plus and menopause because I thought that was the best way to figure out what the best patterns and pattern adjustments would suit Mum. I still haven't read similar forums on Stitches guild because time is zooming by.

Easily led
Again, I'm being led (Renata, Sharon and Alison) to make a bag next month (PR 2-week challenge) so the computer bag may get made. I might update those 2 winter jackets for myself. I could fit in the 1912 ladies spring mantle for the wedding as a special piece - but these are just some thoughts.

My wedding outfit options
The other small issue I'm thinking about for this wedding is:
a) do I make a new dress for myself (I hope so but what do I pick),
b) do I make it formal length or cocktail length dress (I'd love a formal length number),
c) do I make a formal trench to get me through a winter wedding (yes but am I nuts for considering two time consuming pieces??)?
This will all become a treasured family memory once the wedding is over. Did I tell you we have another wedding next year?

Prioritising sewing doesn't work
I have a new test dress up my sleeve made from Pitt Trading garbage bag remnants ...

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Winter sewing week

That's the only heading I could come up with because this week I had a head cold - and everything that comes with a head cold. That meant I couldn't do a fitting with Mum and get her wedding skirts and tops finished this week, so that'll happen next week.

While I was confined to home, I decided to make up a few more winter pj bottoms so that there I have no flannelette in the house come spring.
When I originally made pjs, I bought enough fabric for 2 pairs. The blue plaid belong to DH and the animal print and bike print pairs (from Spotlight) are for moi. DH agreed the bike print pair were more my style than his.

We both realised the original pjs were big and roomy so this time DH has medium size and mine are small. I've put a pocket on both sides instead of the left side only.
There's nothing fierce about winter pjs, they just do their job and keep you warm.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Pattern tests

Hooly dooly. I'm all pattern tested out.
Kwik Sew 2694:
The test fabric is a bolt of poly knit from Tessutis that is see through but if this works, I'll line the bodice. I've used the overlocker and coverpro to sew this up in XL size. I've also used seams great for the shoulder seams.
McCalls 6247 View B:
Same test fabric and I've used size 14 but added to the width of the front and back bodice pieces. The neckband was a new skill for me and it worked. I've used seams great for the shoulder seam stability and I've cover proed the hems.
Butterick 4132 View E:
I bought this pattern yesterday at Spotlight (50% off) because I didn't have a size that suited mum's measurement and I can't waste time adjusting my existing patterns.
Here's where I overlayed the two tops to check the cowl depth against the McCalls v-neckline.
This fabric is also a test fabric and I really do like it for formal occasions. I bought it from the fabric place that was at Burwood but closed down last year. It has a crushed look to it. I've used steam a seam lite2 for the hems and french seam finishes.The skirt is a test and no pattern used, just the fabric width, waistline casing for 30mm width elastic and overlocked hems, for now.
Kwik Sew 3003:
Here's a bias skirt with elastic waist that will work for the bronze woven skirt. I've used a suiting fabric and lined it with chiffon. The seams are overlocked and 30mm non-roll elastic was used in the waistband. Using steam a seam lite2 for the hem and a twin needle made this an easy skirt to neatly finish.

Below is a rough combo check.

That's it until we do the first fitting. My crash test dummy isn't as wide as mum so I can't just finish these items off without checking. Then I can update the patterns and finish off Mum's combos next weekend. At least I've learnt how to construct these new patterns.

Future patterns
I also bought Kwik Sew 3659 for the cowl and neck tie versions and
Butterick 3886 for a blouse and cardi for her.
Mum is definitely a Kwik Sew size 16 but my height so I'm getting used to doing her fit adjustments.

While looking at the pattern books for Mum, I felt like a real geek because I was doing a PR review check for each pattern for technique issues and fit problems. There weren't that many using these style but the reviews that were there were truly helpful reviews.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Possible skirt/top combos

So the second formal jacket is complete and I'm thinking of the skirt and top combinations.
The jacket has three rows of topstitching and I'm thinking of doing three rows of topstitching along the jacket and sleeve hems. Maybe topstitching on the sleeve hem might be enough to balance this feature.
 Mum still needs to try these jackets on for a final fitting before I finish the hems properly.
The button loop is made from two rows of the braid edging I've used on the lining. I've zigzagged two rows of the braid edging and the stitching is keeping the button loop in shape.
McCalls 6247 V-neck top: This style uses a knit fabric with a print as the contrasting top with the combo. Knits will provide Mum with movement so that's a good thing. What I might add is a chiffon scarf tie to this top from my Jalie pattern.
New look 6609: I like the jacket pattern and I would convert this to a top - maybe. On second thoughts, I might just stick to the v-neck knit top and Kwik Sew cross over top that I've made for her before.

The skirts will be straight with elastic waist but I might add two vents at the back so Mum can walk easily. I'll make all of these decisions when I start working on each piece.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Finished - Kwik Sew 3716

These new lining pieces were drawn from the existing jacket pieces minus the collar and back neck facings. It's a drag to trace off but necessary. The centre back has a 2.5cm vent for movement.
Then I decided to add bias edging at the join between the lining and facings. I figured - why not. This jacket is going to be well worn so I decided it should better than RTW too.
This practice jacket way makes it less stressful making the formal jacket. These pictures will  will prompt me when I'm sewing later on.




This was the right shoulder adjustment.
Here are shots of the formal jacket. I have one more formal jacket to complete and then it's on to the skirt/top combos.




My sewing room rant:
My main sewing machine has lost the lighting mechanism but I'm used a desk spotlight to get through this lot of sewing. The replacement globe didn't work.
Then the overlocker went on the fritz. From the corner of my eye, I watched a sliver of lining wafted out of the catcher into the overlocker base and 'splat', the looper threads broke. And the threads continually kept breaking with each rethreading attempt until I gave up for the night. Next morning I grabbed the hairdryer from the bathroom and menacingly pointed it into the overlocker base and gave it a good shot of cold air to clean out the base and the offending lining sliver and its accomplices disappeared and are no where to be seen. The stitching and looper threads are back to normal. Seriously, I think the full moon had something to do with this strange overlocker kerfuffle.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Jacket test - Kwik Sew 3716

Here's a road test of this unlined jacket for Mum. This is a semi-fitted jacket with pockets in the front seams. The collar is built into the front piece and there are side pieces that join the front and back bodice pieces.


I've made the shorter View B length with the pocket features of View A. The pockets are placed so they don't hang passed the jacket hem.
I've used a similar stretch woven fabric to the intended fabric and with the feedback from Kathy on PR, I've closed the neckline dart and the collar sewed in easily.
I've sewn 5 parallel rows of topstitching on the collar edge because Mum's RTW jacket, this is replacing, has the same feature. Mum has worn her RTW jacket a lot and really needs replacing. The RTW jacket has a patch pocket.
Below is a closer view of the collar detailing.
I've added some reinforcing bar tacks to the pocket opening for durability.
This fabric is washable but I know I'll be dry cleaning it for her.
I prefer a lined jacket and Mum commented that the jacket felt cold ie, the jacket needs lining, so that's my next step.
To do list: 
- shorten the sleeve length
- adjust the right shoulder
- add shoulder pads
- add lining. I've already traced out a front bodice lining piece. I now need trace the back bodice lining piece, using the existing facing piece.

Then I can get the real formal jacket started - and finished.

Also on my food blog I've added 4 of Mum's recipes that you might enjoy. I'll keep adding her recipes up as I road test them. Yesterday I road tested the lemon slice - which is wonderful to enjoy in summer.

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