Green Suede Jacket!

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It’s finished! This jacket is one of my favorite projects of all time. Despite often sewing projects requiring more skills than I possessed since 2009, I never made a real jacket (not counting Grainline’s Morris). I was intimidated, and also thought I didn’t really like wearing jackets. Well, lately I’ve been gravitating to the jackets in my closet, and when nothing else called to me in the January 2017 Burda issue, I decided to give it a go.

 

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What really sold me on this design was the top stitched elbow patches and back panel. What almost stopped me was the thought of sourcing all those zippers. I ended up just buying the one zipper for the front and leaving the rest off. It’s made in a sage green faux suede that has been in my stash for some time. I’m glad to see it go!

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Part of the joy of this project was all the topstitching. Having an edgestitching foot makes all the difference! So easy and SO satisfying.

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The color is nearly impossible to photograph, and ugh, photography. I have finally figured out a good set up to take my own photos, but they turn out terrible. I’m not sure if my phone isn’t focusing right, or light is bad, or what it is. When I take the photos on my dress form they turn out okay. When I take them with a remote they are grainy and out of focus. Sigh.

Photos aside, I’m so pleased with this jacket and the process of making it! There will be more jackets in my future, I’m sure!

The perfect work dress

Well, I’m still working on that jacket, with just the hems to finish! I swear I’ll finish this weekend. In the meantime, I finally wore this dress, which has been almost finished since August and finished since December. I knew it would make its debut at a board meeting, and it finally had its chance in February.

 

I love this dress. The fabric is interesting but subtle, the fit is spot on, and it has stretch so it’s also quite comfortable. The pattern is Burda 9/15 #116. I caught my breath when I first saw it in the magazine, and knew I had to make it. Now I have to make it again in a fabric that actually shows the seaming! This fabric is by Halston, via Fabric Mart, a stretch poly suiting with an interesting pebbly texture.

 

Okay, after all that praise, there is one thing I don’t like, and one thing I acknowledge isn’t perfect but I don’t care about. I flat out dislike the flare in the skirt back. I had a RTW dress with this shaping years ago, and didn’t like it then either. Totally forgot about that! If/when I make this again, I will change the back to a plain straight silhouette with a vent. The other quibble is that the color isn’t the most flattering, but it’s not too terrible.

In the end, it doesn’t matter and I love the dress anyway. It’s sure to be a go-to for quite some time!

February Plans

The month is half over and I’m still working on that motorcycle jacket! I swear I’ll finish this weekend. I’ve said that the last three weekends, but I mean it this time. Of course, we do have other things going on, like making this beautiful Ikea-hacked light fixture!

On to February plans. The February Burda was only okay, unfortunately. The only piece that grabbed me was this beautiful coat! I don’t have much need for a knee length coat in SF, though, and I don’t like the shorter versions. This one is destined for my Someday list. I may try to make the boucle jacket if I can find suitable fabric in my stash. I’ve been enjoying wearing casual zip-up jackets to work quite a bit lately and this has lovely, classic lines. If not, maybe the skirt. Meh.
I also took a look at my Someday list to see if anything grabs me in the moment:
Lots of buttons! I’m leaning most toward the DKNY dress upper right. It’s been on my to-sew list for ages!
Finally, knitting. I’m almost finished with the front of my Stonecutter, and need a break. I’m weary of cables, and am definitely not knitting a complex design in black yarn again, ever. Mark my words. I wanted something easy mindless, but instead cast this on earlier this week:
It is easier, though certainly not mindless, and the bright blue yarn is a welcome change. I love knitting again, which was really the goal!
Happy February!

A Cape to Match Aster

Here it is, the December Burda Cape! The cape that may have pushed me too far into crazy pet lady territory. I made Aster’s rain jacket first, in desperation, last winter after we brought him home and life was endless puppy walks in the rain. I used a coated cotton that had been in the stash a long time, and had enough left to make me something as originally planned.
I debated making the long version of the cape, but ultimately thought it would be too much lightweight fabric blowing around. I think that was the right choice, but I do wish I had added a few inches.

I left off the patch pockets and did not seam the arms, though I think I may go back and do it. I envisioned wearing this to work with my bag tucked up dry inside, but it’s really too short (my sweaters poke out!). If I’m not wearing it to work, a bit of anchoring would help–it’s windy up here on the coast! The other major design flaw is that the roomy hood blows off in the slightest breeze. I’ve put another snap right under the chin, which keeps it on pretty well.

This was my first time sewing with a plaid. I didn’t do so well. The pattern did include helpful match lines, but even then I wasn’t careful enough and there is some unfortunate seaming at the back and front bands. I hated it at first, but now barely notice!

I lined Aster’s jacket with a cheerful floral, and added a bit of bias at the cape neckline for a little more subtle matching. But the matching. I love it in theory, but was pretty self-conscious outside the house. It’s a little crazy, right? I think it will work, though. Aster doesn’t like his jacket so I only use it if it’s pouring, and in that case I would probably wear something heavier.

All together, I think it will be a great cover up for dog walking and running, particularly during the foggy days of summer. The fog can be so thick that you can’t really tell if it’s raining or just foggy, but with temps in the 60s it’s too warm for a jacket when exercising.

Side note: The amount of beige in these photos is alarming. This appears to be my photo spot, so I’d better figure something out! Curtains instead of closet doors, perhaps. The cat would like that, too!

January Plans

It’s already halfway through January! I’ve been all over the place with work, and holidays, and goodness knows what, but am still slowly working on my December Burda project:

I just need to attach the hood and do the finishing–almost there!
I hope to complete a January Burda project, though nothing really stood out to me in the 1/2017 issue. Nothing except that cropped motorcycle jacket. I want it… but four dots worth of difficulty? Not sure I want to face that right now! I would also have to go to JoAnn for zippers. Horrors. The sweatshirt is an easy, but not very exciting, backup, or I could go back to the 2016 issue for this sloppily-drawn long skirt.

 

Or, maybe it’s time to take a break from Burda and revisit my neglected envelope patterns. It’s been a while since I’ve looked through them, but I know there are some great ones waiting to be remembered!

To Sew Someday

Last July I started keeping a Bullet Journal, and turns out I love it. The system basically has you set up a custom planner, with the added flexibility of keeping any other lists or collections in the same place since there is no pre-made structure. I keep it pretty simple, but if you do a search on Pinterest you’ll see that some people really go all out!

At any rate, over the summer and fall I sketched out a few patterns that I want to make, but not at this very moment. I always have a running list in my head, but designs are forgotten, patterns and magazines are all in different places, and it sometimes my to-sew list feels totally overwhelming. Putting the line drawings on paper was surprisingly liberating! Taking the care and attention to do the sketch also made me give the design thoughtful consideration. I’ve since had to change notebooks, and last week sketched out some more designs. So far they are all burda (❀), but my envelope patterns are coming up next!

Now I’m putting them all together here so I can really see them in one place, with a tag!

 

 

 

 

 

Ogden Cami

I love camisoles. I’m constantly on the hunt for the perfect thing, both in stores and with patterns. So far, I haven’t had much luck making camisoles, for various reasons. Usually there is something wrong with the neckline, or the finishing, or the shape. There was a camisole in a recent Burda issue that I meant to try, but then the Ogden Cami was released and everyone started making it and it looked great… I couldn’t resist.

I actually like it quite a bit! For this mock-up/test version, I used a loosely woven fabric that I think must be rayon. It was one of those online orders that doesn’t look very good in person, and I assumed this camisole would be pretty much unwearable. Turns out, it looks fine in the finished garment, maybe even a bit elegant! Since the fabric is a little sheer, I made a full lining rather than a facing. By the time I sewed the hems, though, I was running on autopilot and still didn’t believe this was a wearable garment, so I didn’t make any length adjustments. The lining peeks out a bit where the hems aren’t perfectly even, but I don’t really mind it when wearing.
I raised the neckline about an inch, based on photos of others’ projects. It’s the perfect depth now, and I absolutely love the soft v-neck shape. The rest of the camisole is rather swingy, which I like for the most part.
Excuse the rather lousy hemming job. I didn’t think the fabric would work out as well as it did! In a “real” version, I would hand roll the hems.
The project turned out well, however, if I’m being honest with myself I must do an FBA on the next one, as well as most other things I make. I don’t really understand what’s happened over the last couple years as my measurements haven’t really changed (slight bulking up from yoga pushed it over the edge? is that even a thing?), and I’m dismayed, but the truth is that my clothes don’t fit right anymore. I don’t really make resolutions, but a 2017 goal for sewing is to face facts and learn how to do an FBA.
Overall, this is by far the most successful camisole I’ve made, and I’m super excited to make a few in silk!