31 August 2013

Indygo Junction 740: Back Lining Photos

If I work really hard (i.e., work at all), I might be able to finish the coat this weekend.  Instead of bagging the lining, I will let it hang free.  I figured it would be pretty hard to try and pull such thick fabric and lining through a small opening in the side seam.   In the meantime, here are some photos of the lining.

I bought some seafoam green piping a few years ago simply because it was $0.25.  I had no idea what to do with it, but figured it might be useful some day.  When I saw that it was a close match to the green in the coat fabric, I decided to use it as a border between the lining and front/back facings.  

This is my second time working with piping, so I don't know if what I'm doing is correct; I'm just winging it as I go along. =)  I do know that I need to remove the piping from the shoulder seam allowance to reduce bulk.  What I don't know is if I should have inserted the piping all at once with the front facing or do it in stages as shown above.

Today, I hope to finish the front lining, insert the piping, and attach the facings.

I am thinking about redoing the collar.  It's pretty bulky right now and I think I may have some issues sewing through all of the layers once I attach the facing-lining unit.  I have enough fabric to cut the upper collar and can cut the undercollar out of lining.  I'll think on that a bit more.

Until next time, peace!


29 August 2013

Kasha Called and I Answered

I am a lining snob.  There.  I said it and I own it.  I have to use Bemberg, Kasha, silk, cotton, or silk/cotton. 

I bought some cheap polyester lining to see how I would like it in my coat.  It took all of ten seconds for me to realize that polyester was not happening.  It was hot, sticky, and full of static.  Um....nerp. 

Besides, I bought the Kasha lining specifically for this coat.  There is no need to be afraid to use it.  Deepika (from PR) once told me, "There will always be more fabric.  It is time we must preserve."  Agreed.  I cut the Kasha today and will post another update soon.


26 August 2013

Indygo Junction 740: First Photos

The shell of the coat is complete.  Next is to cut and sew the lining.  I'm still trying to decide what type of lining to use:  Kasha or polyester.  I'll think on it a few days before proceeding.  In the meantime, here are some photos.


The design is remarkably symmetric throughout the coat.  I did not intend to do this and tried not to put circles near the bust.  Having it sewn together, the circles on the front aren't as bad as I originally thought.

Until next time, peace.


25 August 2013

Indygo Junction 740: Lining Pieces

The pattern doesn't include a lining, but I want to add so that the coat goes over my clothes smoothly.  I'm still trying to decide if I want to use the Kasha flannel-backed satin lining or something else.  My fabric is not only thick, but heavy and adding the Kasha lining will make it even heavier.

In the meantime, I decided to follow the instructions on Tilly's blog (Tilly and the Buttons) to make the lining pieces.  Tasia from Sewaholic wrote a tutorial on how to turn regular pattern pieces into lining pieces.  For skirts, I normally just cut out the same pieces in lining fabric and proceed.  But for jackets/coats, Tasia suggests small adjustments to make the lining fit more properly within the garment.  She explains how to do this in great detail here:  Sewaholic tutorial:  Drafting a jacket lining.  Here are the adjustments I made to each piece.

Side Front:  I added 1/4" up and 5/8" out from the armhole point, tapering to nothing away from the point.

Front:  Since my pattern has shoulder princess seams, to follow Tasia's tutorial I pinned the side front and center front together at the seam allowance.

Then I placed the facing piece on top of the front coat piece and proceeded with the instructions.  I used the grainline on the side front to establish one of the front lining piece.
side front and front lining pattern pieces
Side Back:  I added 1/4" up and 5/8" out from the armhole point, tapering to nothing away from the point.

Back:  After correcting the back facing (discussed in a previous post), I traced the facing on the back and added two seam allowances as suggested by Tasia.  I also added a 5/8" seam allowance along the center back and a 1" ease pleat. 

Sleeve:  The additions here are the same as on the side front and side back.  Add 1/4" up and 5/8" out from the armhole point. 

Lower and Sleeve Bands:  The only thing I did was remove a hem allowance of 1.25" from the bottom.

I've begun assembly and will post in-progress shots and a quick update soon.  Initially, I was going to hand-tailor the coat with hair canvas, padstitching, etc.  But I decided to save all of that work for two other coats that I want to make before December/January. 

Previous posts on this project:


22 August 2013

Indygo Junction 740: Altering the Upper Collar

In my last post, I commented on number of mistakes that exist.  While inconvenient, the mistakes are minor and easy to fix.  Having a collar that in NO WAY fits the neckline is a problem.  Big problem.

This is not a traditional notched collar as the line drawing appears to suggest.  PR member Nancy2001 explained that the collar on this coat doesn't have a gorge line that is sewn to meet the lapel.  When I compared the collar and center front pieces of this pattern to that of the Jalie 2559 and Kwik Sew 3558 patterns, it totally makes sense.  In the Jalie and Kwik Sew patterns, there are clear stop & start points marked so that this gorge line is sewn correctly.  Now it could be that these markings are missing from the pattern and this really is a traditional notched collar.  I don't know.  

I decided to view this as a non-tradtional notched collar and forget about the gorge line.  Doing so didn't fix the fact that the neckline seam is too long by THREE full inches.  o_O  

In this photo, you can see that the neckline seam extends almost to the edge of the lapel.  I could have continued sewing, but stopped because I thought I was supposed to.  Unreal.  I didn't know the best way to fix this problem, so I tried a few things.

Fix #1: Lop off 3 inches from CB seam
This didn't work because I neglected the fact that the upper collar is cut on the fold.  Removing  three inches actually results in six inches total removed.    
Result:  Collar neckline seam is way too small.

Fix#2:  Lop off 1.25 inches from CB seam
This was close, but not quite correct.  I could ease the neckline to fit the collar, but why do that when I could take out more width?
Result:  Collar neckline seam is still too big.

Fix #3:  Lop off 1.5 inches from CB seam
Perfect...almost.  Taking off 1.5 inches from the CB seam was the right fix.  The shoulder notches finally matched and the seam length was correct.  However, there is a new problem:  the outer edge is now too short.  Removing 1.5 inches (3 inches total) from the neckline also resulted in the same loss on the outer edge.  This caused the collar to not sit properly on the neck.
Result:  Collar neckline seam is the correct length, but the outer edge is too short.

The picture below shows the original collar (beige) and the three fixes mentioned above.

Fix #4:  Lop off 1.5 inches from collar neckline, tapering to nothing at outer edge
At first I thought about taking the whole 1.5-inch wedge all at once.  I figured this would substantially throw off the grain and make the collar all kinds of wonky - thus requiring a fifth fix.  Instead, I shortened the collar neckline in the same way I would contour a straight waistband.  I removed three 0.5-inch wedges spaced one inch apart.
  1. Starting one inch from the CB seam, I marked three vertical lines, spacing each line one inch apart.
  2. On each side of the vertical line, I measured and marked 0.25 inches. 
  3. I constructed a dart by drawing diagonal line segments from each mark to the outer edge of the collar, matching the end of the vertical line.
  4. Finally, I made a fold on each vertical line, matching each dart leg.
Here is a picture of the adjusted pattern piece:

Here are pictures of the adjusted collar on the coat:

Result:  Collar neckline seam is the correct length and the outer edge of the collar sits properly on the coat.

While the pattern doesn't include a separate under collar piece, the instructions do suggest trimming the side and long edges 1/8" to help turn-of-cloth. (This article in Threads discusses turn-of-cloth very well.)  Rather than use the same piece, I copied the upper collar pattern piece, drew in the bias grainline, added a 5/8" CB seam.  Then I removed 1/8" from the outer and side edges. 

I cut out the shell pieces and have started to assemble the coat.  I might change the name of this coat to the T-n-A coat for reasons that will become all too obvious when you see pictures.  I'll give you a hint:  Big colorful circles tragically strategically placed in all the wrong (or right) places.  I couldn't have planned this more perfectly even if I tried.

Up next:  Lining Pieces

Until next time, peace!


Indygo Junction 740: Pattern Errors

This pattern has many errors.  Although it's cute and has interesting views, at $12 it should be proofed much more carefully.  So before I talk about how I made the lining pieces, I'll discuss the errors and my corrections.

Notches are either missing or mismatched.  Most of the missing notches don't pose significant problems in constructing the coat.  I just added notches where I thought they were needed.

The sleeve is missing a notch that helps to distinguish front from back.  With the pattern face up, add an additional notch on the left side.  This will be the back of the armhole.  This correction appears on Indygo Junction's website.

Front & Back Armhole 
Both bodice pieces are missing notches in the armhole.  I didn't view this as a big problem since I know that a sleeve is eased above the notches and not eased below the notches.  As long as the sleeve and bodice match at the shoulder seam/dot and underarm seams, setting it in should pose no problems.  I didn't mark additional notches on my muslin and didn't have an issues putting in the sleeves.

Back Facing 
The shoulder seam on the back facing is too long and thus doesn't match the front facing shoulder seam.  To correct this, I just pinned the pieces together and trimmed off the excess.  One PR member said that she took off a full inch.  I didn't take off this much in my case.

Lower Bands/Sleeve Bands 
The pieces that aren't cut on the fold don't have grainlines.  The pieces have one straight edge and one angled edge.  I used the straight edge as my grainline.

Seam Lengths 
Another PR member said that some of the seam lengths don't match.  I didn't see this in my muslin, but I do remember reading this in a Threads magazine review of this pattern.  The mismatched seams might occur later in the construction process and I don't know about it yet.

I don't know what to make of the sizing.  The difference between sizes isn't consistent through the pattern.  In the bodice the difference is about 1/8", but on the lower bands it can be 1/2".  If you want to make this coat, I definitely recommend doing a muslin.

The collar was so much more involved, I wrote a separate post about it and will share it next.

Until next time, peace!


20 August 2013

Indygo Junction 740: Sizing & Alterations

This pattern has been on my radar for years.  YEARS.  Shortly after I bought the pattern, I found the exact same fabric at Hancock Fabrics.  It's a medium to heavyweight upholstery fabric with a crinkled texture and very soft underside.  I bought enough for the shell and corresponding bands. I don't know what took me so long to try this, but the time has now come.  The whimsical couch coat is in the works!  

source:  http://www.indygojunction.com/shopping/sizing/
Based on my full bust measurement, I started with an XL.  I didn't use the HB measurement because I wanted to have extra room to wear over fall/early winter clothes.  I lowered the bust fullness 1" and added 5/8" in width at the bust line.  The muslin felt a little snug and since my fabric is thick, I figured I needed the extra room.  If I need any more room, I think taking smaller seam allowances will be enough.

Since I started with an XL, the shoulder seam is too long.  I will take larger seam allowances on the front and back princess seams, tapering back to 5/8 above the bust. 

Since my fabric has a pretty sizable print, I decided not to add a center back seam to do the sway back adjustment.  Instead, I took out 3/4" of length from the center back and added this amount to the bottom.  This shortens the back-waist length to match mine but keeps the side back seam length the same.

The bicep area of the sleeves was a little restrictive.  I added a 5/8" fish-eye wedge; hopefully this will be enough.  Again if I need the extra room, I can take smaller seam allowances.

Up next:  Creating the Lining Pieces

Until next time, peace!


18 August 2013

Gracious Giveaway from Down Under

I don't enter many blog giveaways and have only held one of my own.  When BeaJay of On the Road to Sew Wear asked readers to guess which of seven statements was not true, I thought it would be fun to guess.  I didn't expect to win anything - especially since my guess was not exactly the correct answer!  BeaJay was kind enough to enter the names of those who selected the 'sort of not true' statement and mine was picked.  I was totally excited because, like I said, I hardly respond to blog giveaways and thus never win! When I came home from being out and about on Monday, I was happy to see a package from Australia in my mailbox.

I use thread snips ALL OF THE TIME!  I have one by my sewing machine, one by my serger (both machines sit on the same table) and one on my cutting table.  Despite having three snips within close proximity of each other, I can't find one when I need it.  Thank you!

Tweezers are necessary to thread my serger and coverstitch machine.  I just can't do it without them.  My tweezers have learned how to walk and regularly take short trips in and out of the sewing room.  How cute are these?

I've never seen pins like this before.  I am anxious to use them to see how they hold fabric when sewing and serging - especially when sewing knits.  I think this would be great in easing sleeve caps without the double row of ease-stitching.

There have been a couple of reviews of this pattern on PR.  I love how it looks and am happy that I have the chance to try it!  I can see this in a nice navy wool suiting. 

OMGosh!  What a tremendous help these fabric cards will be!  Now I don't have to guess how much fabric I need to make certain patterns - especially if they're out of print.  The cards give information about standard pattern sizes, body measurements, as well as how much extra fabric to purchase if your garment length/volume is mini, average, or maxi.   What a great idea!

I have fabric very close in color to both the peach and sky blue buttons in this package.  This could not have been more perfectly timed!

I don't think BeaJay knew this, but the bubble wrap is a gift in itself.  If bubble wrap ends up in my hands, it will certainly be rendered useless.  I don't buy bubble wrap just for the sake of popping it.  But if I get it in a package, I won't be reusing it.  Must.  Pop.  Bubbles.

Aww shucks BeaJay!  Thank you so much for this wonderful package of goodies.  I will put everything to good use.  Thank you!


13 August 2013

Quick Trip to Toronto (very photo heavy)

Growing up in Detroit, going to Canada was like visiting a friend who lived across the street.  Not including time spent at customs, going to Windsor, Ontario takes far less driving time than traveling to Lansing or Ann Arbor.

I needed to get away this summer and narrowed my choices down to Chicago or Toronto.  Since Toronto is closer to Detroit than Chicago by an hour, Toronto won.  I hadn't been to Toronto in over ten years and wanted to visit again.  I spent four and a half wonderful days in July touring the city and taking in lots of sites.

I arrived at the hotel around 2p.  After parking my car and checking in, I set out to find the fashion district.  I took the subway to Queen St West and walked from Yonge to Spadina.  It wasn't that bad of a walk considering I was driving for the last three and half hours.  My goal wasn't to buy anything, but to survey what was available.

I visited the Royal Ontario Museum to see the Big Mega Textiles & Costume exhibit currently on display.  

The exhibit featured garments and textiles centered around big ideas:  fabric, time, size, event, etc.  I was particularly mesmerized by Tom Ford's sequin masterpiece for Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Dior's Passage #5 Coat Dress. The Dior coat dress contains over 166 meters of fabric in total and took over 500 hours to construct.  There is a video accompanying the display showing ateliers at the House of Dior working on the coat.  It was fantastic.

Below are photos of the Tom Ford sequin dress.  This dress is simply beautiful. Upon studying the style lines, I was a bit shocked to see that the pattern is rather simple.  It has a curved high waist, mandarin collar, high bust darts, skirt darts, left-side drape, center back invisible zipper, and piped hem.  I think this dress would not be too difficult to knock off.  Carolyn, Kristine, Sheila, Faye:  you're on!


I also visited the gem and rock exhibit.  I've always loved geology, but actually never took a class in it.  

Never judge a book by its cover!  What seems to be an ugly rock turns out to be a marvelous work of natural art on the inside. 

After a long day at the Royal Ontario Museum, I made a quick trip to the St. Lawrence Market to pick up some fresh fruit for my room.  A cold breakfast buffet at my hotel was 17CAD day.  Yeah.  I wasn't paying 17CAD per day for some fruit and a croissant.  In addition to the fruit, I bought some instant oatmeal, nuts, and orange juice at the local Shopper's Mart and had breakfast for a week for 15CAD.

Fabric shopping!  After figuring out how to use the trolley system, I was well on my way to Queen St and Spadina.  My first stop was King Textiles on Spadina. I didn't buy any fabric, although this navy 100% mohair coating kept calling me.  At 40CAD/meter, I couldn't do it.  I don't think I would ever cut into it and it just wasn't worth the cost to have it sitting around.  So instead, I bought some more elastic for belts and lots of petersham.  The petersham was only 1 CAD/meter and I should have bought more.

Next I went to Fabric by Designers on Queen St.  There I found Kasha lining at...wait for it...8CAD/meter!!!  Kasha lining at Vogue in Chicago sells for twice this amount.  I snapped up between 2 and 3 meters of 3 different colors.  This was a bargain that could not be beat!

I went to several other stores and picked up a really nice wool double knit and various other notions.

On my last full day in Toronto, I toured Casa Loma (I didn't know Canada had castles), the Textile Museum, and the Gardiner Ceramics Museum.

The castle was built by Canadian businessman Henry Pellatt in the early 1900s. His business acumen in the electricity industry made him a wealthy man and he built a castle to show it.

A bidet from back in the day.
The pictures  below are taken from atop one of the many towers.  Next time, I'll be sure to bring a permanent marker. 

One of the many secret passageways led to the stables.  I know this castle is empty, but it still smelled like horses in there.  Hmm...

Next I toured the Textile Museum of Canada.  The museum featured two exhibits:  (1) Ancestry and Artistry:  Maya Textiles from Guatemala and (2) Shine.  The first exhibit is pretty self explanatory; there were many examples of clothing and textiles from Guatemalan communities.  What struck me most is the wonderful use of color and intricate embroidery.

The Shine exhibit featured how reflective materials (metallic threads, sequins, beads, insect wings, etc.) can be used in clothing and art.

The chandelier below is made out of old scratch-off lottery tickets.  No winners.  I checked. 

This mural was made out of the material used to hold some of the objects it depicts!  Whoever did this is crazy talented.

Finally, a pair of artists made casts of every-day metals out of a single sheet of aluminum foil 9 meters long.  Can you spot some of the items?  I couldn't photo everything.  Well, I could have;  I just didn't. =)


The last of my museum stops included the Gardiner Museum of ceramic art.  Y'all know I like to get my pottery on, so I had to stop here.


The collection largely features ancient ceramic works of art, but as you can see there's some contemporary stuff there too.

At the end of the day, I used the last of my energy and walked down to the lake front to rest a bit.  On my way, I ran into a concert venue headlining Justin Bieber.  Oh. My. Gosh.  That area was unbeliebably crowded (yeah...I actually wrote that) with screaming tweens, teens, and adults. O_o

Before making my way back to the States, I set out to meet the wonderful KayoticSewing of  Gently down the seam...  We had delicious Thai food for lunch and could have easily sat and talked for hours.  She is a very kind, gentle spirit and meeting her was the perfect way to end my trip. 

Before meeting for lunch, I also stopped at a local Fabricland and hit up a great sale they were having.  I bought several pieces of fabric and notions.  GodsgirlT, I'm blaming the polka dots on you! =)


From the top:  orange double knit, orange striped knit, multi-colored rayon knit, purple ITY, purple sweater knit, magenta striped knit, pair of buttons for an upcoming jacket, polka dot cotton shirting, elastic for belts.  I have plans for the magenta striped knit and polka dot cotton shirting.  Stay tuned!

In all, I had a great time and definitely needed the break.  I enjoy visiting Toronto and hope to go back soon.  It would be great to join one of the sewing blogger meet-ups.

On the sewing front, I have begun work on a new project, Indygo Junction 740.

I intend to make the coat on the left since I have the EXACT same fabric for both the body and bands.  I made a muslin, pattern adjustments, and separate lining pieces.  As soon as I figure out how to attach the collar, I will begin cutting out the pieces.  I will document sewing this coat in since I plan to add quite a bit of tailoring.  

Last, but certainly not least, I want to thank everyone for their support.  It means more than words will every convey.

Until next time, peace!




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