The Great Thread Crisis of 2011

Cropped Jean Jacket---progress report.

It is with some difficulty that I am refraining from titling this post “The Great Snow Crisis”, since it’s snowed, I think, every single day this week. But since I’m trying to keep this blog about sewing, rather than the weather (something it can be very hard for a Canadian to do…), I’m instead going to restrict myself to lamenting about thread.

In particular, my lack of it.

Not just the lack of red thread which is preventing me from

Cropped jean-jacket, rear view

finishing my cropped jean-jacket—that was almost to be expected, since I started the project with less than two medium-sized spools and the triple-stitch topstitching I’ve been using is extremely thread-hungry—but I’ve also run out of basic black, of which I always have at least two and often three or four spools kicking around. So naturally I figured, when I used up my last one, that I must have one somewhere. Apparently not. Even worse, I’m completely unable to rectify the situation as I’m home carless today as the hubby is working, and retaining the car on a day when he’s working requires getting up at an obscenely early hour and driving him halfway across town to work. OK, it’s not halfway, but in any decently-sized city (as opposed to this monstrosity of urban sprawl we inhabit) it would be halfway. Were I in full health, and feeling masochistic, I could bundle up the children and walk down to Zellers, which is my nearest likely source of halfway-decent thread*, but the two-block walk to the grocery store the other day still almost did me in, and the thought of trying to wrangle children all the way to Zellers, in the snow… well, let’s just say it’s unpleasant. Times like these are the only ones where I miss the stroller days, although I never had a properly snow-worthy stroller anyways. Anyway, jean jacket. Frustrating to be so close—although really, I’m getting to the point where “close” becomes “annoying finishing details”… buttonholes etc.

So, details…

Collar attachment

I used Sherry’s technique for putting in the collar, which is very lovely and saved me from hand-slip-stitching the interior, which is my usual fall-back. My only complaint is that her method for tacking the facing to the shoulder-seams didn’t really work with how I was trying to finish the shoulder seams on mine, so I’ll have to tack those down by hand. Otherwise, it’s a treat, though.

See how cool my cuffs will be?

I decided to go a little whimsical for the cuffs because, well, I could, so I’m going for a sort of flared, cuff-linked look. This actually went together better than I thought it might, and the sharp, pointed ends on the cuffs came out much better than the ones on the collar.

The sleeve-caps have a bit too much height for denim (which doesn’t ease for shite), but I think what will be a very reasonable amount of ease for normal fabrics. I did end up taking in the shoulder about 1 cm, which suggests that the original shoulder-length is fine after all (I had increased it by 1 cm when I graded up the pattern after my first muslin). Armscye depth and range of mobility seem to be good. There are a few wrinkles forming to the front of the sleeve, but mild enough that I think I’ll leave them be at least for the moment.

Jacket closeup, with interior shot.

The collar still needs some work. I think the height of the stand is about right as it’s folded (in the upper images), but as you can see in the rear shot the roll doesn’t quite cover this in the back. And I need to give up the dream of sharply-curved front points and just have sharp points… I’m not capable, even with severely shortened stitches, of making such a narrow curve neatly. Not twice, anyway (and certainly not the six times including topstitching on the jean jacket).

One little fact that slipped my mind when I was drafting the front band/facing is that

Interior closeup

since I didn’t subtract anything from the CF for the band, I actually added 3cm across the front. In my head I thought of this as overlap, but of course, only half of it is. My bad. It doesn’t seem to mess with the fit, particularly, so I’m not going to bother with it this time, but it’s something to keep in mind next time I want a jacket with a front band. I imagine you learn this sort of thing in pattern-drafting classes, as opposed to when you just decide to jump in without having a clue what you’re doing.

I’m going to use some of my haul of vintage metal buttons from last week, which should give a nice added bling.

In Me-Made March news,

you can see I’m wearing the 70s dress today. I can get away with this because I’m going nowhere at all, and was hoping to photograph the cowl-sleeved jacket at some point today. I haven’t because I’m still lacking a really good place to take pictures (as you can tell by the poor-light shots of the jacket) and there’s no point in taking a second round of half-ass photos. I will just say that I love, love, love how this dress looks with a cropped little *something* on top—be it the cowl-sleeved jacket, the 50s shrug, or even the jean jacket, which is completely the wrong sort of style for it.

*I find it a bit disturbing that I can buy a sewing machine at at least three different places within walking-distance, but fabric at none of them.

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16 Comments

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16 responses to “The Great Thread Crisis of 2011

  1. oooh it looks so good!! this post *might* be finally kicking me into getting my sewing mojo back after loosing it 2 weeks ago. keep up the inspiration!

  2. I can’t find thread in less than a 30 minute walk. It’s ridiculous. And we’ve had a snow storm this week too. So. FREAKING. Depressing. On the plus side, that jacket looks so sharp. I’m seriously impressed (that’s an understatement) that you draft so many of your own patterns. You are definitely leading with your right brain.

  3. I always marveled at the weird fate which placed me within walking distance of no less than two big fabric stores and a fairly decent haberdasher.

    How do you get your kids to walk with you? I’m trying to get rid of the pram, but sometimes it’s good to just put her in it and walk.

    You’re making me itch to do some sewing. Daaaamn…

    • Lucky you! As to kids walking… Well, you’ll note my youngest is almost eight here. And it still takes a fair amount of wrangling walking anywhere. Kid personality comes into it too… Syo’s actually a better walker than Tyo, for no reason that I can discern except that she’s always been a more active child.

  4. love the red under the collar.

    I have *nothing* within walking distance — well, if I wanted to walk an hour and a half, each way, there would be quite a selection, but doing anything in a reasonable amount of time requires a car.

  5. Looks great! I am looking forward to tracking more of the work you do drafting patterns and such. I’ve only resumed sewing this past month or so, so I am hoping to pick up speed in creating clothes as I want them instead of on how others make patterns for them. Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. Drafting patterns looks so worth it! I am really curious of what will come next!

  7. Your jacket is looking fab! Really beautiful work.

  8. Sorry you have snow! Would you like “its raining pollen” instead? Also, stop pushing yourself while sick, stay in bed for a day!

  9. from here it looks great and finished:)) I couldn’t even tell there’s no red thread, and totally love the red fabric splashes!

  10. I love the cuffs, so cute :)

  11. That jacket is going to be killer finished! I’m curious about the red inside, did you just make bias strips from the red fabric and use it to bind the seams?

  12. I tend to run out of thread all at once as well. This happened recently and my JoAnns was completely out of white thread for almost a week. I thought I would go mad bc of course all the projects I wanted to do at that moment needed white.

  13. Pingback: Apparently I am learning how to sew | Tanit-Isis Sews

  14. Pingback: Baby Steps | Tanit-Isis Sews

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