Haphazard progress

Lady Grey---side view

So, I have now stitched up the bodice of my mutant Lady Grey. In a way, it’s good, as it works something like another iteration of muslin for the pattern. In particular, it’s highlighting how my severe swayback alteration is playing havoc with the peplum (and still needs tweaking), but anyway.

Lady Grey---Back

I opted for topstitching. Lots of topstitching. This adds a bit more structure to the sweatshirt material, and will also (theoretically) make the inside a little neater since I’m not planning on lining it at the moment and my serger is still MIA. Lining would probably have been a good  idea, but I don’t have any fabric suitable for a stretch lining in the stash.

The lumpiness in the upper back is mostly show-through from the layers underneath; there might still be a bit of extra fabric there, but I think it’ll be fine for this version. As you can see the upper part of the swayback is fitted very nicely, but it all kinda goes to hell below the waist. I suppose the peplum is designed that way, but I feel like a gentler flare at the back would work better for me. However, it won’t be happening in this version as I did all the topstitching before I sewed the side seams to try it on, and I’m not particularly inclined to pick it out at this point

Bust curve, with topstitching

Almost as an afterthought when I was mussing with the pattern, I flattened the bust curve a little bit (very unscientifically) and I’m quite happy with the result. I don’t have quite the cups Colette is drafted for.

(Also, doesn’t it look cute with a contrast puff and then a narrow sleeve? Kinda Shakespearian…)

Speaking of Colette’s draft, I was ogling my Ceylon pattern again the other night. I have a sinking feeling, however, that it’s going to require some serious muslining, as it will need both a major swayback and, I’m rather sure, a small-bust adjustment.  Again, I’m torn whether to make the size 0 (which matches my bust and hip sizes), or go up to a 2 and do an SBA. Which didn’t seem to work particularly well for this coat. Grumph. Maybe I won’t tackle that until after I have a duct-tape double to do fitting tweaks on. Also, I was planning to grade the waist panel from 0 (or 2) at the top up to my actual waist size (6) at the middle, but looking at the pattern pieces that would actually give me a convex waist! I’m rectangular, but I’m not literally apple-shaped (yet, anyway). The waist-curve on the pattern is definitely a bit extreme, but I don’t think I can go up more than one size. And then there’s the darts to think about (ugh) and whether to add a center-back seam (I’m told that’s the way to go when swaybacks are in the air). /sigh. Anyway, a lot to think about for that pattern.

Why, yes, I will cheerfully insert fly zippers ’til the cows come home, but double-ended darts send me running for the hills.

Next step: collar (I think I’m going to cheese out and do a straight band, like a traditional kimono collar), “obi” wrap, and how to finish the #%$# hems.



Filed under Sewing

10 responses to “Haphazard progress

  1. This looks comfy! I can’t wait to see the end result. It brings to mind a friend’s jacket that is like a classic biker jacket, with all the zippers and snaps, but made of heavy sweatshirt jersey. Familiar and yet unexpected.
    Carry on!

  2. This will be so comfy in jersey!
    I wonder if the grainline on your back panels is with the bodice or skirt part, that will affect the hang. I know that’s not helpful once it is cut! I think you can safely trim some of the CB flare away still – only one topstitched seam to unpick!
    I’m working on my sway back post. It should be up in a couple of days, and I’m really keen to hear your opinion re some of my conclusions!

  3. CGCouture

    I think double-ended darts are one of the evils of sewing. They rank right up there with invisible zippers. I think the coat is coming together nicely, and I’m not sure you couldn’t just take bigger seam allowances in the peplum and smooth out that line a bit. It’s not terribly off, just enough that you notice it….but probably only if you point it out or are talking to a fellow sewist. 🙂

  4. Marie-Christine

    Ah, this is stretchy. Good thing :-). Maybe you should think about the sleeves? Those wrinkles look like not enough room to bend your arm to me.

  5. I love that you are making this with sweatshirt material. The flare is really dramatic on this pattern. I’m having some issues with that myself.

  6. There’s nothing to fear from double ended darts. Don’t let them have that power over you! Start at the widest part of the dart (the middle), sew to one pointed end, do your regular dart thing. Then take it out of the machine, turn it around, and repeat. (Starting from the widest point, overlap with your first dart, then make a dart like normal.) Seriously, nothing scary about them.

    Don’t get me started on how invisible zippers are neither hard nor upsetting. There’s just too many bad instructions out there. (Pressing the zipper? Seriously…they’re made curled on purpose.)

    • So you say… trying to tempt us into sewing blunders and disasters! I’m on to you!

      Seriously, I think its a combination of my odd waist shaping (swayback + prominent belly) rarely cooperating with the darts as indicated on the pattern, plus my difficulties with precision—in the past they’ve often ended up asymmetrical. But I’m much better about marking and fitting than I used to be, so perhaps I should try them again. I did once install an invisible zipper, but I had my mom’s help and I don’t even remember what I did. It wasn’t perfect, but it worked and the skirt is still one of my favourites.

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