Monday, February 27, 2012

Ruby Winner!

This has been done for a week, I just needed to find the right belt to wear with it! A nice easy project while I waited for my supplies to arrive for the vintage cashmere jacket...

Vogue 8663

Fabric: Ruby Double Knit from Emma One Sock. 2 yds. I wore this to work today and I got so many compliments! It's funny... now that everyone knows I sew, I get specific compliments like, "I like the neckline! I like the color!" The color was probably what garnered the most comments!

I made the size 14, and eliminated the zipper. It slides on easily, and is still fitted in the waist. I used my serger throughout the dress, but made sure to zig-zag and serger that waist seam, to allow stretch. Construction was super simple, with just 5 pattern pieces (2 skirt, 2 bodice, 1 sleeve) and no facings. I used single fold bias tape to finish the neckline, and a blind stitch to hem the sleeves and skirt. The neckline pleats were easy enough, except the center front one took a little extra work. No biggie.

You'll have to excuse the blurry pics. It was a crazy morning, so Little Miss Princess did these for me after a long day at school. I wore my black booties and the belt is new, just got it from Kohl's yesterday! All in all, I'd definitely recommend this pattern. I'm sure that if I did it again in a few months, in a print, without the sleeves, no one would ever know it was the same pattern! As for the jacket, it's coming along very nicely. The lining is nearly done, and should be installed tonight. I need to recut the center front hem curve, and attach the facings. Shouldn't be too much longer...

Monday, February 20, 2012

Jacket: Under Construction

Muslin fitting proved very useful, as I definitely needed more room in the waist. I let out the back darts completely, and about half the depth in the front waist darts. After those adjustments, the fit was great, but there was still something nagging at me. Something about the cut of the lower front edges... So, I did some research.

The February issue of "People, Style Watch" had a few pages about black blazers (how timely!) and I was so happy to see all these single breasted jackets... with the bottom of the CF having a rounded edge! See my vintage pattern illustration below?

It may seem like a ridiculously small detail, but I think it makes all the difference in the world. Crazy? I purchased my interfacing from Pam at Fashion Sewing Supply, and bought the "Supreme Lightweight Fusible" under her recommendation. The pattern instructions obviously don't incorporate the use of fusible interfacing, so I'll work around them. The facings all fused beautifully, so I am thrilled! With the outside shell done, my next step is to construct the lining (another change to the pattern instructions). I purchased black China Silk for this, with the hope that natural fibers will breathe and allow me to wear this jacket into early spring. My plan (which sounds wonderful inside my head with birds singing, the sun shining, and the jukebox playing "Runaround Sue") is to construct the lining to just below the waistline, as the facings reach up to that line. I will put the shell and lining wrong sides together, and baste the layers together at the neckline and sleeve hems, treating it then as a single unit. Then I can round out the front center hemline and go from there. I think...

Saturday, February 11, 2012

New Project: Vintage Cashmere Jacket

Thanks to all of you that posted comments about my lovely lace dress! I think that it will get much use, and I'm quite pleased with it's timeless, classic elegance! Here's a pic of the back, as requested, along with a pic of the front (unbelted):

For my next trick... I purchased a couple yards of black cashmere on sale at Haberman's that same day. I don't possess a black jacket, and know that it would be a staple in my wardrobe. I've been itching to make up one of the vintage patterns I acquired this fall (from my co-worker), so I dug in the box and came up with this wonderful McCall's 9377 from 1953.

I love the narrow, unnotched collar, and really like the casual look of the 3/4 dolman sleeve (if that's the correct description). I'll be using the same fabric for the collar and cuffs, so it won't have as contrasting an appearance as the envelope. I'm also eliminating those "flaps" stuck in the front waist darts... why would anyone want flaps there?

The previous owner used all the dress pieces, leaving her pattern alterations in place with added tissue and straight pins. It felt like playing with history, handling those pieces! 60 years later, I gently left the pins and tissue in place, folding them they way the way I found them. Those pieces were cut with pinking shears, but all the jacket pieces were present and untouched.

Here is a pic of the jacket instructions, I just love the typewritter font, and direct arrows to each illustration step! Looking at these, I was surprised to find NO LINING! I really want this jacket to hold up to frequent wear, so I'm trying to figure out how to incorporate one (without having to draft it). There are facing pieces for the front center, and for the front and back hem, that reach all the way up to the waistline.

I'll need to buy (or make) some black binding for all those edges. I could just serge those edges, but for some odd reason, I've become pickier in my finishing on these more expensive pieces I've made lately!

You may also notice the bound buttonholes, and thankfully there are just 3! My shopping list includes interfacing, buttons, binding, and lining... I'm headed downstairs to stitch up a muslin first, and check the fit. It's a size 14, bust 32, so I may need to let it out a smidge, and I want to make sure the seam lines/darts through the waist and hips are too tight. Wish me luck! (I just noticed something ironic... the dress featured on the envelope with the jacket has a scallop neckline, just like my lace dress! And this jacket will work very well with that dress! Ok, carry on...)