This is the first installment in a series that will outline my entry for this years Timmel SWAP contest.
But before I get started - looky what I just got in the mail from my friend in NYC. (across the river really, but who's picky?) Many thank-you's m'dear.
It was wonderful to spend time with my sister. And, as always, there was way more on the slate than was feasible for two people who also require food and sleep. At least some of each in the space of 3.5 days.
The result in the sewing room is Chaos. I would say "organized chaos", but I'd be lying. I cannot, in good conscience, cover all that is in-process in one blog post...it would be inviting you into the chaos, and no one needs to go there.
So let's go to the "I'm so pleased" part of the sewing first...and one of the more time consuming garments included in the wardrobe.
SWAP installment one: A Top.
This is a "top" for the purposes of the wardrobe plan. It can be worn alone, without a top underneath, yet can also be worn as a jacket IRL.
the pattern, Vogue 8369 is a Claire Schaeffer design
You may remember The muslin:
The fabric is a synthetic blend boucle, very lightweight. Lightweight enough to wear in Florida.
If I were using the traditional Chanel technique of quilting the boucle to a silk lining and then constructing as a cardigan no underlining would be necessary. However, I'm using more traditional construction techniques, which means this boucle needed support.
lightweight boucle with light shining through Boucle block fused
After some evaluation, I chose a fusible weft-insertion interfacing, and block fused the boucle. Notice that the grain of the fusible is in-line with the grain of the boucle.
After block fusing, I cut apart the muslin and used it as pattern to cut the fashion fabric. I cut with 1" seam allowances. Good thing, as we will see in a moment. Next, the body was basted together. I love the extra long basting stitch on my Bernina - it takes the 5mm long stitch and only forms stitches on every other feed forward, so in effect I end up with a 10mm basting stitch. LOVE IT!
first fitting: notice how the princess seam angles out to the shoulder. What you also can't tell here from the angle of the pics, and the fact that it's boucle - is that the shoulder seam actually angles off in the direction of the back. In the second picture you'll see that I moved the princess seam over 3/4" on the right side, (compare it to the left side and you'll really see why it needed moving) leaving 1/4" of seam allowance on the side front and 1 3/4" on the front panel above the bustline moving up toward the shoulder. I also released the shoulder seams (fancy word for ripping out), and changed the angle of the shoulder seam, moving it as far forward as possible at the armscye - which is still too far back but it is what it is.
Then I transferred all this information to the muslin.
from the side: if you click on the pic and make it larger you'll also see that all that excess fabric at the back waist is gone, due to the horizontal fisheye dart taken out of the muslin.
Next, it was time to make decisions about trim.
I'd found a ball of ribbon ladder yarn - there is a word for it that is escaping me right now - while in Chicago last December, and picked it up. It's a variegated yarn, and the colors are 100% right on for this fabric. I thought Maybe we could use it to make trim.
Denise spent a LOT of time playing with yarn and some other bits and pieces including beads, trying to come up with a way to use it. Nuh uh. Not happening. Below is the ribbon yarn, gathered onto a solid black narrow ribbon, then scrunched up, and placed on a piece of the boucle. We tried unscrunching it a little, and a lot, and it just didn't cut it. Various more tries are on the flickr album which you can access by clicking on the photo below.
So we went shopping. First, we found the buttons that, if you look closely, you'll see on the boucle. They are the ball buttons in black made of the knotted soutache braid. They are perfect.
Then we went trim shopping.
two braids, layered, and attached to each other by black beads got the nod of approval. The beads are coming from an 18" length of bead fringe trim that I had leftover from some long ago project.
The first attempt at bead spacing ended up looking a bit high and "flowery".
By spacing the beads closer together, they sink down into the lighter pink braid, and look more like an integral part of the design, rather than something stuck on the top. This is the trim choice that got the final nod of approval.
The left side princess seam has been moved now too, the back princess seams moved to match the front, and the shoulder angles changed.
I've toyed with the idea of supporting the neckline and front band of this jacket with extra interfacing. I've still got to sample some more, but right now, in the interest of Not adding too much structure, I'm leaning towards Not using any.
The lining is a silk twill from Fabric Mart - that famous tie lining they were selling in December for a ridiculous low price. There was a burgundy/black crossweave that is Perfect.
I'm thinking that the silk twill and the boucle supported by the fused weft insertion interfacing is going to be plenty of jacket without adding more structure.
Next comes setting in the sleeves
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An unstructured jacket (more or less)
6 hours ago