I Hate It

My little cropped jacket has been a learning experience. I started by redesigning one of my Bernina My Label patterns. I experimented with drafting a three piece sleeve from a two piece sleeve. Then I stitched a muslin and finally this jacket. There are several things I will do better next time. I will still wear it, but not as proudly as I had hoped. I enjoyed sewing it. The fabrics are all stretch fabrics and my Pfaff IDT really came in handy. I have been sewing with my Pfaff Creative Vision for a year and a half and I have not used the embroidery arm yet. I am really looking forward to incorporating machine embroidery in my future creations. I'm a bit disappointed, but it's late and tomorrow I'll feel better I am sure. I really wanted this jacket to be perfect...

V1183 - the back

Vogue - V1183
Here is a picture of the back of the Kay Unger dress I finished recently. I love the fit of this dress.  My husband took this picture before we left for work this morning.  I am still working on a cropped jacket to layer over the top.   The fabric is a delight to work with.  I do not usually sew with knit fabrics, but I am quickly learning to love sewing knits!  I can't wait to show you the little jacket!  Soon.....

How my blog helps me sew

I posted a page where I can upload images of my fabrics. Now when I am shopping for patterns or fabrics, I can whip out my iPhone, pull up my blog, click on My Fabric Stash in the left hand column, and be reminded of some of the contents of my stash. Here are some of the scans I have put up so far. Those of you who blog, what clever ways do you use your blogs to help with your sewing?

Vogue V1183

I went on sewcation last weekend! I made Vogue pattern V1183 designed by Kay Unger. I used my Bernina My Label princess dress pattern to help me fit a mock-up. I did a post about it here. My dress is not quite finished, but I am wearing it anyway.
I still want to custom fit the skirt. I think the darts are unnecessary, but it's too late to take them out, so, I will lengthen them instead. Also, the hip curve needs tweaking. I did not use the Bernina pattern to fit this portion of the dress. I only used it to make sure I would have enough fabric to cover my body. I think the hip curve on a fitted garment needs to be custom fit for each garment. I may decide to use my French curve to record my changes, but I am sure each new garment will require its own tweaking to adjust for fabric drape.
Most of my sewcation was spent doing hand work. I used tricot to line the bodice and finish the neckline and armscyes. I used machine stitching to thread mark the lining pieces along the front and back princess seam lines. Then I assembled the lining in three pieces, leaving the princess seams unstitched. I machine sewed the three pieces into the dress right-sides-together along the armscyes and the neckline. I pressed, graded and clipped the seam allowances and turned the three lining pieces to the inside. Next, I understitched the lining in place at the neck and armscyes using hand backstitches to tack the lining to just the seam allowances. Then I slipstitched the tricot lining together on the inside along the princess seams. I did this by folding one side under and butting the fold against the other seamline. The machine stitching made this easy since the fabric wants to fold around those threads. I left the bottom unattached for now. I will finish it with a ribbon and secure it with thread chains to the midriff seam allowances after my final alterations.
Next up is a matching jacket! I have done the mock up already. You can read about it here. I decided to use two fabrics for the trim, both of which I will have pants made from. One is a sand colored Italian tropical wool, and the other is the olive colored wool fabric used for these pants. I cut bias strips of the olive wool to use as flat piping, and I cut wider strips of the tropical wool to use as binding. I have already sewn the overarm seam on the sleeves. I inserted strips of the tropical wool in the seam. I am psyched that this jacket will match a dress and two pairs of pants when it is finished. I can't wait to post pictures! I really like what is happening to my sewing now that I have pattern drafting software that is working for me.

ETA (December 07, 2010): Click here for updated picture of the back view after alterations. 

Inspired By Mondo

Mondo really knows how to flatter the female figure. I'll bet I am not the only woman who wants this dress! But how many of us can sew her own custom fitted knock off. Oh YEAH! That's what I'm say-in!

Yes, I know, I need another project in the queue like I need ... But but but I have to have it. I can start with a princess seam dress pattern and make a few small changes. I'll have to lengthen the sleeve and remove the style ease. I even picked out the perfect fabrics! I think I will eliminate the patent leather wide piping between the side and front side pieces.

If you are reading this from my blog (and not Google reader or another RSS feed reader) you can click the images for an expanded view. Look how I reshaped the neckline. I'll use leather there and on the cuffs and at the hem as well - if I can find the right leather. Otherwise, I'll find or make a trim. I am not quite sure if I should go with a rayon burnout for the center or silk twill. All the fabrics are Vogue Fabrics from the Fall 2010 swatches. Aren't they gorgeous. I always like the Transition and Fall swatches the most.
Where would you put these fabrics? Should I use them all? Any ideas for a handmade trim?

Over-the-Knee Boots

You may recall that last year I wanted to purchase a pair of thigh-high boots, but I was in doubt about whether or not they would be appropriate for the office, so I deliberated until they were no longer available. Well, I saw them this year and I snapped up a pair before I could think twice. I figured the ivory color, instead of the black that I originally wanted, was a more subdued choice. Here I am heading into the office wearing my new boots with a Ralph Lauren silk jersey dress. The heels are 5 inch stillettos with inch-and-a-quarter high platforms. They are extremely stable and comfortable to walk in. I have recieved compliments from the women in my workgroup and I may even have sold a pair to one of my coworkers who does not usually wear heels! If you love them, they are available on line at bakersshoes.com. Search for Farah. I tried to crank the "sexy" down for the office. What do you think? Too much for daytime?

Another BML Success

Here is a wearable mock-up of a Vogue pattern I have been itching to make. I used my Bernina My Label princess line dress pattern to help me fit the pattern. I think the fit is pretty good. The mock-up fabric is a moderate weight knit fabric. I bought a nice ivory knit from Waechter's Fine Fabics a while back. I plan to make this dress with a little Chanel inspired cropped jacket. For the trim on the jacket, I will use an Italian tropical wool that I plan to make pants from. If it comes out really well, I will also make a Linton tweed cropped Chanel inspired jacket. I may even make a second dress and jacket pair from a beautiful black cashmere knit I got from The Fashion Sewing Group last month. Such ambitious plans...

Three Piece Sleeve Mock Up

I know I am supposed to put BOTH sleeves in and have a look, but I got so excited after just one, I had to post pictures! Look how nicely it fits!!! If you click to expand the pictures, you will see I have pinned the sleeve vent shut. I can get my hand through the sleeve without opening the vent. I think I am going to make it tighter at the wrist and possibly all the way up to the shoulder. I have other alterations in mind as I morph this Bernina My Label jacket pattern into a cropped Chanel. I'll take pictures as I go and keep you posted. Here is a kind of before and after to whet your appetite.

Drafting a Three Piece Sleeve

I am pretty sure I want to use a 3 piece sleeve for my Chanel jacket, but the problem is I have a custom drafted two piece sleeve and I am not sure how to convert it to three pieces. I searched my pattern stash, and it turns out, I have Vogue 8529 which has a three piece sleeve. I examined the pieces, and the three seam lines appear to go along the outer arm and about an inch to either side of the underarm. Perfect. Now, I just have to make my two piece draft into a three piece draft.

Here is what I did last night. I started with my Bernina My Label jacket sleeve which is a two piece sleeve. I traced it without seam allowances onto tracing paper and marked the grain line. Next, I marked a line perpendicular to the grain line on each piece a little below the curved section at the top of the pieces. I laid the overarm piece on top of the underarm piece wrong sides together and used the angle to help me add a seam line down the outside of the arm.

Next, I split the underarm piece so that my new underarm piece is only two inches wide - the same width I will use for my side panels when I alter the jacket side-front and side-back pieces. This left me with four pieces. The next step is to combine the overarm back piece with the underarm back piece.

This is where I got stuck. How do I combine the middle two pieces? What happens to the sleeve dart? I am thinking it converts to ease at the underarm seam and the top of the sleeve where it is set in. I think I am going to cut that third piece at the perpendicular line and flip the bottom portion from left to right so that the dart leg becomes the underarm seam when I merge the pieces together.
I think that looks right. I will make a sample and report my results. In the meantime, my daughter has asked me to make her a pair of jeans. I am trying to decide whether to go with the Jalie 2908 pattern that everyone loves so much, or use Bernina My Label. She's 17 with no figure problems. Any advice?