Monday, December 03, 2007

knitting and sewing

Saturday night, matched and ready to cut - pending some sleep. Sunday AM I checked the match, it still looked good, it got cut.

I’ve been absent lately from posting.

  • Part of it is just LIFE getting in the way, well, that’s just life.
  • Part is that I vary from knitting to sewing to Other. Because I don’t try to maintain 2 blogs, I feel that when I post about sewing, I pretty much lose my knitting friends, and when I post about knitting, my sewing friends go away, and then, when I post about Sailing, everyone’s eyes glaze over ;) I was chatting with Toya about this very phenomenon the other week, and she ended up putting up a poll on her blog. Interesting that the feedback she’s gotten suggests people most enjoy reading a mix of crafts and personal. Maybe that’s when they all reside in the same post??
  • Part is the fact that lately I’ve been hesitant to post process posts. And I got to wondering why. Because the blogs that I try to make sure that I get to, to read, are those that are most detailed about process. Tany’s (with her exquisite workmanship), Summerset’s, the Diva’s, Marina, just to name a few. So why do I think you’re not interested in my process shots?

So, I think I'll go back to posting progress and technique posts, and try to get back in the habit of posting. (ok Carolyn??)

If your eyes start to glaze over, let me know. OK?

On the Knitting Front:

Mitten knitting continues, although at the moment, 2 prayer shawls have taken precedence. Each stitch contemplative, each stitch murmuring prayers, each prayer a question, a plea; for solace, for healing, for acceptance, for relief, for healing… Each should be done next week.

On the Sewing Front:

A long ago promised post on the Muslin.

There is a lot of discussion among sewists (sewers – are we repositories for all the flotsam and jetsam draining from the city streets, I think not) about making a muslin.

I make a muslin when:

  1. I’m sewing for someone else
  2. I’m sewing something for me that is out of the ordinary, or something where the fit is absolutely crucial to the wearing of the garment – where fudging it just won’t do
  3. I’m using really expensive or rare fabric and am hesitant to cut into it

And, unlike a lot of folks who like to make Wearable muslins – I prefer to use a muslin fabric. One I can write on, one I can slice into when alterations are required that require insertion of more fabric, one that I can ultimately cut up and use as Pattern. Have you seen the muslin Phyllis has been working on lately for her silk dress?

The muslin I’ve been working on since Friday is for the Donna Karan pattern See Oct 18

Fits 2 of the above criteria – the fit must be impeccable to wear a jacket with that wide a portrait collar and not have it slide right off, and the fabric is expensive -

Rnd one: too small, I’m bigger than I used to be. Time to hit the gym, but I digress.

Rnd two: good enough to work with.

Fit changes I made: Added 2” to the hip, then took in about ¾” in the back at the waist. I ended up changing a bit of the angle of the raglan sleeve seam that goes into the large yoke. Adjusting the yoke so that it sits right at my shoulders. If the muslin sits ok, with all the structure built into the jacket, I should be fine.

Style Changes:

-Added 3” to the length of the jacket. This pattern was exceedingly short – shorter I think than it appears in the picture.

- I also decided to make the sleeve bracelet length with a conventional hem, as opposed to full length with a rib knit cuff.

- I’m eliminating the contrast welt pocket that was set in the front dart.

It’s really hard to tell in the pattern photo, but the jacket construction is deconstructed – with all seams lapped and raw edges showing – I’m not a fan, so I’m constructing using more conventional methods. and inserting the contrasts as piping


You've already seen the fashion fabric, the houndstooth check boucle

I'm underlining with white cotton batiste, and that is the point that I'm at now. I'm handstitching the underlining to the boucle. Because the boucle is so malleable, I'm not even concerning myself with Turn-of-Cloth. If anything, already the boucle has outgrown the underlining, so I don't need to worry about the underlining bubbling up a bit inside.

Contrast: I'm using a black cotton velveteen that has been sitting around here long enough. I'll use it to pipe the seams where DK inserted the raw edge contrast she used, and I'll use it as the second layer collar that sits under the first collar.

Lining: Because the top collar sits on top of the 2nd collar, and that one is black, I'm going to use a black silk to line the collar, but I don't want to use black to line the rest of the jacket.

Back in the mid 80's - the era of Linda Evans shoulders and Dynasty inspired fashion, I had this black/silver animal print dress. It really was spectacular, it needs a body in it to look like anything. Anyway, it'll never see the light of day on anyone again, but the silk is really nice stuff. I'm thinking about using the silk to line the body of the jacket. Hubby thinks it's too busy. But, the lining is never going to be seen, unless the jacket is on a hanger or at the dry cleaners. It's not the kind of jacket that gets worn undone. For that matter, it's not the kind of jacket that gets worn with anything underneath. I've cut up the dress, and the lining is sitting on top of the check on my cutting table. What do you think? The alternative is a solid white silk. I've checked in various light, and there doesn't seem to be any show-through with the print, although I might have to check that again after the jacket is basted together.

my parting shot today:On order. Bye Bye to my old trusty lovely Sussman Iron. Hello Naomoto.


knittinbrit_in_wi said...

I'm not a sewer Marji, but absolutely love reading your posts about your sewing escapades. I think the variety of your interests is one of reasons I always come back to your blog for more.

I love the leopard print lining because it's different and not predictable.

Robin said...

Hey, I am glad I stopped by! What a great post. That is magnificent fabric and a spectacular pattern. And I know you can execute this to perfection.

Enjoy the new iron!

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Where do I start! *LOL* Seriously, I eagerly read both your knitting and sewing posts...the knitting posts with pea green envy and the sewing posts to learn something new. And I do believe that there is a time to make a muslin, that is non-wearable, for many of the reasons that you just cited. I, however, try not to have those kinds of clothing in my wardrobe...*LOL*

The jacket is going to be fantastic! Keep those progress posts coming!

Crystal said...

I think the leopard print lining is a fab idea. It's different, it's not going to be obvious, and it's reusing a piece of clothing you're no longer going to get wear out of in its original form. I think you should go for it! I am excited about seeing this jacket; your sewing is always so beautiful - really an inspiration and something to shoot for!

Vicki said...

Hi Marji, I love process posts too and you are so experienced we can learn a lot from you. So no boredom here. If you post about knitting I do close pretty quickly but I always check to see what you have been doing if there is a new feed. Actually sailing posts could be

I like the recyling of the dress as the lining. I think it will be fantastic. Ooh,you could do a black piping where the lining joins the jacket - mmm nice.

I use muslin fabric for muslins too.

LauraLo said...

Hey, welcome back to blogging. I sure did miss your posts!
Love the post about muslin, it is very useful. And I love the idea about that animal print dress becoming a lining. I don't think it will be too busy

Marina said...

I've still got a lot to learn and so posts about the way things could/should be done are great.

I used to be a sew-er and it's great to see a blog with both knitting and sewing.

Sailing? Not my thing but I would love to read how you prepare for it. I refuse to move to the next State because of all my "stuff"!

Those prayer shawls tell me that things are not quite right. My thoughts are with you & your loved ones, Marji.

jae said...

I like the leopard with the check. Besides, for the most part you'll be the only one who knows since it doesn't show in the wearing. Sort of like fancy underthings :)

Becky said...

I've always enjoyed your sewing posts; I suppose I should post more. ;)

Love the jacket you are making. The lining is wonderful. It's almost a shame to have it inside where it won't be seen. I'd be tempted to save it to line something that would show it off a bit.

latoya said...

wow, this post was such a good read and we had great conversation.
I look forward to you post always.

Nancy K said...

Glad you're back to posting and I love process posts from sewers as experienced as you are. I am looking forward to seeing this jacket take shape.

Nancy K said...

Where did you buy this iron and what made you choose it? I am seriously considering a gravity feed iron and I am interested hearing all I can on them before I purchase.

Tanya said...

You had me at sailing and knitting. While I don't sew and maybe wouldn't be quite as interested in the details of the process, I am a great admirer or those that do sew. Looking forward to reading more.

Mardel said...

Love the post, and love reading about the process. Here I am all scatter-brained again.

Great lining!

I too, prefer my muslins to be muslin for all the reasons you cited, although I have been known to do a wearable muslin, or just a cheap fabric muslin that wasn't actual muslin fabric that surprisingly became wearable. (long convoluted sentences anyone?)

I like your mix of knitting, sewing, and other things. Like Vicki though, if someone writes about something I am just not interested in I just spend less time. The post is interesting because I am seriously considering combining my blogs, but keep wavering back and forth for the same reasons you mentioned.

Kathleen C. said...

I don't mind mixed blogs at all. Of course I do a mix myself... but even when it's a craft or art that doesn't intrigue me I'll skim the post and often come back for more.
I read blogs to learn sometimes, but usually just to enjoy other people's discoveries.

Go for the silk print! I love the idea of a fun inner layer that is known only to you (and us).

Rosemary aka fabricfan said...

I, of course, think all your blog subjects are great. I think it is too hard to keep 2 blogs going. I also think one topic is limiting. That jacket will be great no matter which lining you use.
The other sewing, knitting and sailing blogger.

Tany said...

Wow, great post, very promising jacket and welcome back!!!
First, thanks for mentioning me! As for you posting subjects, I love reading everything you write (sewing knitting, sailing, etc.) because you write in a fashion that makes me feel like I'm sitting right next to you; so no boredom here!
I make muslins exactly on the same conditions as you do and I prefer muslin fabric too (I'm going to try something new though; I found a material similar to sweedish paper, something just like non-wooven fusible but without the glue; I think this material will be great for more structured garments). As for the lining I will like it whatever option you take; this will be a fabulous looking jacket just the same!

PS - I forgot to thank you for the shoulder taping tip on my Phildar jacket; I will follow your advice; though it looks quite stable now, It's better to be safe than sorry ;o)