Thursday, January 22, 2009
I saw Diane E's version of Vogue 2991 live and 'in person' this past spring. It looked really nice on her, so I bought the pattern at one of the Joann sales.
How do you decide what project to make? For some, the pattern is the first step...then the fabric and notions are chosen. That's an orderly and linear method, but I never do it that way.
For other people, a need (gap in the wardrobe) is identified, then a garment created to fill that need. Are you kiddin' me? Well, when I'm feeling "diligent", I think something along the lines of, "I need some black pants in my closet". Next, I tell myself, "I think I'll make myself some". That thought lasts two minutes max. I don't bother making what I "need". I go buy that stuff.
For me, the buttons or fabric come first, then a design is dreamed up to use these to their best advantage. I look at my different fabric, then, maybe, think about my buttons. (I have a large inventory of fabric, but not so many buttons.) My mental creativity is sparked from the fabric. My hand might caress a fabric ten times over the months or years, until that fabric "speaks" to me and, essentially, tells me what it wants to become. That's of course, how I decided to make a cropped jacket from this 1 1/2 yards of gorgeous cashmere, bought from Jomar's Whitaker Avenue outlet. I bought the end of a roll, so I only got a little over 1 1/2 yards. This jacket was perfect for that exact amount of fabric.
I love the look of bound buttonholes on wool, so that's what I put in. Bound buttonholes do not take much more time for me than when I mess around with the sewing machine trying to get the machine buttonholes looking halfway decent. I only needed two buttonholes, as I had only two vintage bakelite buttons, which, I thought went perfectly with the style of the jacket and the fabric. I placed the buttons together at the top of the jacket, thus creating a 'flyaway' look. My husband, Nick, as usual, served as a wise design consultant at this phase in the project.
The buttons are bigger than those called for in the pattern design, so I added 1/2 inch to center front, thus accomodating the overlap needed by the larger buttons. I often refer to Roberta Carr's book, "Couture - The Art of Fine Sewing", when I need to refresh my memory on how to think through details things like this. I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Carr a few years ago at a PACC conference in Baltimore. I knew she would be there, so I brought this book along with me and she kindly signed it for me. She wrote, "Barbara -- Sew. Enjoy. Admire. Roberta C. Carr, October, 2005".
The jacket is fully lined with silk. The pattern only calls for a partial lining, but I like my jackets fully lined, so I made my own lining pattern using the main pattern pieces. Not hard.
I "bagged" the jacket lining, which is an easy technique used in the garment industry. This method allows one to install the entire lining using all machine stitching. Instructions on how to do this are in many sewing references on the market.
The jacket is supported by twill tape at all curved edges, cotton batiste in the upper back, a chest shield of armo-weft, and tricot fusible inserted at the hems. These steps, especially the twill tape, will, it is hoped, serve to make the jacket hang well for many years, without stretching.
Fremont, my Vice President for Operations, is shown here with me, last night, before I finished the jacket. She is on the pieces of my next project, which is always her favorite sitting spot!