29 July 2016

The Outfit of Opposites

I call this the "outfit of opposites" because it illustrates the word 'opposite' in every sense. 

Old vs. New:  The jacket is Simplicity 2341 (OOP) and the skirt is McCall's 7253 (released this year).  

When this jacket first came out, I was unimpressed.  Though the pattern envelope leaves much to be desired, I bought it anyway because it had front and back shoulder princess seams.  I figured I could use better fabric and leave off the shoulder fins shown in view D.  This is an example of relying heavily on the line drawings and the Internets to bring out inspiration.

The skirt has pleats and can be sewn with or without a waistband.  Views A and E have contrast bands.  I just noticed that the zipper is placed at the center back.  I completely missed this while sewing and placed mine at the left side seam. 

I stayed away from pleated skirts for a very long time until I saw people with a similar shape sew and wear them.  So I gave this pattern a try and happy with the look.

Structured vs. Free-flowing:  The jacket has very defined lines by nature of its military style.  I used metal buttons on the front panel and denim topstitching thread along the princess seams, collar, and hem.

 (hmm...need to resew that third button on the right (facing) side)

The skirt, by contrast, has eight pleats that give it lots of volume and flow.  I roll-hemmed the skirt because hemming this joint any other way gave me fits!  More on that in a moment.

Stash vs. New Purchase:  The denim is from the stash and the animal print cotton voile is not.  I bought the voile with the intention of making a pleated skirt and to pair with this jacket.  I had an image in my mind and am happy to see that it worked.

Lined vs. Unlined:  After making the Jamie Christina coat, I had NO desire to line another jacket.  

 (poly fleece sleeve head)

The skirt, however, is flat-lined.  The voile is very sheer and definitely needed lining.  Again, more on that in a moment.

Neat vs. Hot Mess:  The jacket looks as good on the inside as it does on the outside.  I used my serger to finish the princess seams together before topstitching and used the serger to finish the raw edges for the side and shoulder seams.

The skirt, on the other hand, is a mess!  At some point, I lost track of which way I pressed the pleats, so they're going in all kinds of directions on the inside.  Fortunately, it's not too obvious from the right side.

So about flat-lining and the rolled hem...

Usually I cut my skirt linings the same length as the skirt and then hem the lining after I've hemmed the skirt.  It's not convention, but it works for me.   While I LOVE flat-lining, I ran into an issue with how to hem the skirt and lining.  

In flat-lining, the garment and lining are treated as one unit once attached.  Since the width of the skirt at the hem is SUPER wide and my lining shifted during sewing, it was nearly impossible to turn up the hem and blindstitch.  IMPOSSIBLE.  After stitching and unstitching many times, I gave up and rolled hem the skirt and lining separately.


It is not pretty at all!  There has got to be a better way to do this.  I'm thinking that if I intend to flat-line, then I should cut and hem the lining first and then proceed as normal.  That way, the lining is finished before the side seams are sewn.  Hmm.  


Sewing/Fitting the Jacket:  I started with a size 16 jacket after comparing it to other princess seam patterns I sewed.  I made a 1" swayback adjustment and added 0.5" to the bust area tapering to nothing above and below curve.  I did not make a muslin.

Everything else was pretty straight forward - except for the front button panels.  The instructions have you cut only two pair of panels (one for each side) and stitch them to the front.  There is no mention of how to finish the edges or if they are to be turned under or remain raw.

I did my own thing.  I cut fusible interfacing using the same pattern pieces.  Then I stitched the interfacing to the panels, right sides together, using a 1/4" seam allowance. 

After trimming the seam allowance, I clipped the curved area, turned the facing to the inside, and pressed into place - taking care to roll the interfacing to the underside.

Doing it this way ensures that the panel is interfaced and the raw edges are finished.

The sleeves are freakishly long.  I guess the line drawing shows this, but still.  I didn't expect them to be this long.  After pinning the length I wanted, I lopped off 1.5" from the bottom and then sewed a 1.5" hem.

I didn't include the front zippered pockets or the back tab.  I cut and sewed the tab, but didn't like how it looked.

I sewed the buttons to the front before attaching the facing so that my stitches didn't show.

Sewing/Fitting the Skirt:  I sewed a straight 16 - my usual size in McCall's.  At first I sewed the pleats smaller than the pattern since I wasn't sure how it would fit at the waist.  I didn't need the extra width and stitched everything as designed.  I didn't a full seat adjustment nor did I make a muslin.

The waist is finished with 1.5"-wide petersham.

Wut?  That's TWO garments in a row that were made without a muslin.  Somebody call a paramedic.


I am really happy with how everything turned out - messy insides and all.  I was concerned that the military jacket looked out of proportion lengthwise with the skirt.  I wore it on Tuesday and got several compliments.  I felt good and ultimately didn't care about the proportions. =)

I paired the skirt with three other tops and think they're all fine.  Here they are for comparison:

 left:  Kwik Sew 3558 (denim jacket)
center:  New Look 6704 (chambray shirt)
right:  Simplicity 2341

I can see another version of both patterns in the future.  I'm thinking of making the skirt in a light-to-medium weight wool woven for fall and maybe another view of the jacket in something equally fall-appropriate.


Up next:  Burda 6769 and planning for fall.

I've had this on my radar for a while. After seeing Nakisha's version last month, I moved it to the 'want to sew now' list.  I'm almost finished and hope to post a review soon.

I'm pulling fabrics and finding fabrics to begin sewing for fall.  Waaah!  Summer...don't go!


Edited to add:  Thank you for responding to my question about Instagram versus blogging.  I like using both mediums and will likely continue doing so.  My blogging has fallen off substantially for a number of reasons (some sewing-related, some not).  I was wondering if it had to do with my activity on Insta and if others were experiencing the same.  The general consensus is that people like reading blogs for information about projects; so do I.  I enjoy reading details about what worked and what didn't and largely speed past the 'here's what I made' posts that give no information.   I hope to be better at blogging so that I can contribute to what I like to the community that I like. =)

27 July 2016

Instagram vs. Blogging

For those of you that are active on Instagram and also have a blog, do you find that you spend more time on one than the other?

Since joining Instagram, my blogging has taken a serious nosedive.  Coupled with non-sewing things going on right now, I don't take the time to write blog posts as much as I used to.  However, I check and post to Instagram more often. 

What are your thoughts? Do you favor one over the other? 


09 July 2016

Three Days in Vienna

And more trip recap...the next three days were spent in Vienna, Austria.  Unfortunately, I didn't bond to well with Vienna.  The city was nice, but it just didn't capture me the way I thought it would.  It is much larger than Munich and less walk-able.  Though we did walk a great deal, we mostly used the hop-on, hop-off feature of the Big Bus Tour to get around. I am sure there is much more to the city than what I saw.  Perhaps in a future visit I'll get to explore more.


These pictures were taken from the train en route to Vienna from Munich. 

Salzburg was one of our train stops.  From the platform, the area looked very nice.  Maybe on a return trip I'll visit here.

Along the banks of the inner canal, there is tons of graffiti - a lot of it political commentary.  

K and I took a 2-hour river cruise along the inner canal and Danube.  It was very peaceful and scenic.

I've settled on climbing to the top of some tall structure as one of my things to do when I travel.  The Eiffel Tower, the Sydney Harbor Bridge, church bell towers - you name it.  If it's got stairs, I am there.  Of course, I 100% second-guess the decision as soon as I start.  Hah!

This is St. Stephen's Cathedral.  The tallest tower, accessed by 343 steps, stands 136 meters (around 400 feet) above ground.  From there, a nice view of the city can be seen.

Vienna has an area known as MuseumsQuartier.  This area houses several attractions including the Leopold Museum and the Museum of Modern Art.  Timing wouldn't allow us to visit much, though we did go to the Butterfly Museum.  I mean come on...butterflies!


Near the end of the last day in Vienna, we went out to Schönbrunn Palace.  Again, timing did not allow us to tour the palace since we arrived to the site rather late.  Still, it was a nice walk around the grounds.

That's all for Vienna.  Out of the five cities I visited, this was my least favorite.  I don't think I had enough time to see all that it had to offer.  Next time...


Sewing news:  Sewing the coat tired me out, so my sewjo took a little break.  I got back into it yesterday and am almost finished with my second trench skirt.  I also cut out another skirt and a jacket.  Deets later.  Until next time, peace!





Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...