Yay, sewing!

All the bits.

We got to start sewing today! YAY!

First, of course, I fused some more. I cut lengthwise strips of more of my white armoweft and fused the edges of every single piece of my fray-prone fashion fabric.

Trial buttonholes

Yesterday, I spent a few minutes messing with buttonholes. I used Sherry’s tutorial (might as well be consistent, right?), and it worked much better in this fabric than the super-duper thick boiled wool of my last try. Unfortunately, even with the use of felt marker to draw on my fabric, I can’t seem to get the buttonholes to come out straight. As usual, my precision falls short of Sherry’s.

I did some samples with my machine’s indifferent buttonhole function, the one that tends to choke on anything thicker than shirt fabric. It actually made fine buttonholes (remarkably). The lower one is corded (I used dental floss) which is a lot better looking than the regular one. I would prefer the bound buttonholes, but that’s pretty darn slanty :(.

Sherry made a comment in her post today about efficiency in stitching. I must admit I am not a terribly efficient sewist. Most notably, my ironing board is on a different floor (not room, but floor) than my sewing machine. I also tend to migrate where I cut things depending on who’s home and what surfaces are free of clutter at a given moment. All of which contributes to my husband’s general exasperation with my sewing hobby. For whatever reason today was particularly bad—I couldn’t decide which pieces I wanted to stitch, then when I did one had invariably gotten left downstairs at the iron board, or I needed a pattern piece to re-mark a pleat, or… Β well, you get the idea.

Facing and back lining (not stitched together yet, mind you)

Despite the fun of actually getting to stitch (YAY!), there’s still a long way to go. My favourite touch so far is my piped facing, which I think will be such a nice, fun, secret peep (since I don’t have a fantabulous lining like Patty’s spring coat). I’d just like to point out that I am NOT knocking off Patty’s coat. We came to our (very similar) inspiration entirely independently, darnit! Β Also, hers is made out of wool and silk, while mine is mystery synthetic fabric and known synthetic fabric. I’m not going to do uber-crazy covered buttons, either.

I didn’t like how the CB pleat in the lining of my 30s knockoff jacket fought with the pleat in the fashion fabric, so for this go I moved the pleat to two side-back positions. Hopefully that works out.

So far I have most of the “bits” together—princess seams stitched and pressed, pockets attached to skirt seams, pleats marked and stitched (where appropriate) and pressed. But skirt pieces are still separate. Somehow I don’t really feel like I’ve accomplished anything until I have side- and shoulder-seams stitched. Also I’m a bit scared of my sleeves (well, the cuffs). And the collar.

In an interesting construction note, I was dissecting my old winter coat (in an effort to copy its minimal shoulder pads), and noticed some nifty construction details. Aside from fabric strips linking the hem and lining hem, it also had strips of raw lining fabric anchoring the lining above and below the armscye (stitched to the sleeve seam allowances) and a similar attachment holding the mess of thin interfacing and foam that was the shoulderpad in place. Unfortunately, the shoulder-pad was so messed around and deformed that it was impossible to get much info out of it, so I had to wing my own—I’ll try to remember to photograph them next time. They’re just two layers of felty interlining, cut to a vaguely half-moon-sorta-shape with a small butted dart for shaping. Hopefully they’ll provide a reasonable compromise between smoothness and bulk…


Although I have no intention of turning this into a style blog, I felt like doing an outfit photo today, as I’m combinging my Businesswoman Pants, 30s Knock-Off, and black JJ blouse, which I think work quite nicely together. I seem to get really good customer service when I wear this jacket, or perhaps they’re just staring. At any rate, Hubby and I snuck off for a lunch at A&W (classy, I know) and I don’t think I’ve ever had such good service at a fast-food joint.

I have to take my joy where I can since this was the scene we woke up to this morning:

My back yard. Again.

Actually, this was mid-afternoon, when a fair bit had melted. The accumulation this morning was more like this photo.

Fortunately, it’s not actually any colder than yesterday, when it wasn’t snowing.

Did I ever mention that children are crazy?

Nuts, I tell you.



Filed under Sewing

27 responses to “Yay, sewing!

  1. I love your piped facing! It’s the little things that make me happy, really:)

    I am so glad to hear that I’m not the only un-grounded seamstress. My husband finally banned the sewing machine from the kitchen table so I would quit taking up both the table AND the counter with fabric and notions. (But he’s out of town now!) And, my ironing board is on the level between my “sewing room” and the kitchen where I do all my sewing.

  2. i am so in love with that piped facing! Also, I tore apart three thrifted wool suits a few months ago – i did it to use the wool, but it was super interesting to see the various construction bits. Alas, one of the suits was previously owned by a serious chainsmoker or something along those lines – egad, the smell!

    tee hee – a&w date! Dan and I frequently go on Ikea dates – it’s 10 minutes away from our house!

    • Oh, God, if we lived ten minutes from Ikea, I don’t think we’d even need a house. Which might be a good thing because we’d spend all our money on Ikea junk. They do have Good (cheP!) food, too!

      Boo on the stinky suit, but yay on construction dissection πŸ™‚

      • Oh man, I love Ikea food. I’m so glad I’m not the only one.

        I have my ironing board right next to the machine, at a sitting height. Once I did that, I greatly increased my speed and efficiency.

        Brrrrr, now I need to go sew me some coat lining!

  3. pied facing?? oh i can’t wait to see pictures!! i don’t have a sewing room, i have a sewing corner in the living room. this means i routinely leave the ironing board up and against the wall behind the couch and if i’m cutting i move the dinette table over to my corner and leave it up behind the couch as well. bottom line, if i’m hardcore sewing, i have fabric everywhere!! one of these days i’ll take a before and after picture πŸ™‚

    • I used to set the ironing-board up by the patio doors (next to the computer desk which is where my machine lives. It was very efficient and drove my hubby absolutely nuts. So now it stays in the basement. If I ever get around to getting an actual sewing table, I’ll move everything downstairs…

  4. I was dying to start sewing too, and couldn’t stop myself yesterday! Can you line the buttonhole welt along the grainline when you sew it, or not? Really like your fancy facing! Great idea for your back pleat too.

    • In theory I can. The problem is definitely with me, not the fabric (or the method!). I will maybe try a few more tests and see if I can improve… 😦 I would really like the bound buttonholes.

  5. How is it that it’s snowing like crazy wherever you are, and yet we have spring in Winterpeg? We haven’t had snow in weeks, honestly. *knocks on wood* I keep waiting for the Spring Snow Storm to come through.

    You’re not alone in the inability to sew straight button holes. Granted, I haven’t tried bound buttonholes yet, but I can never get the machine sewn ones straight, especially on my Grandma’s sewing machine (I’m staying at her place right now). Good luck working those out!

    p.s. I love the shape of the facing! So creative!

    • Hmm, I don’t know if this one will make it as far as you. I know Saskatchewan’s getting it today…

      You guys will just get the floodwaters when it all melts ;).

      • Already flooding. *headdesk* Although I heard something about it maybe snowing tonight, so maybe I’ll wake up to the same snowy view tomorrow. The wood I knocked on turned out to be particle board, so it’s entirely my own fault for jinxing us. πŸ˜›

        Shhhhh don’t tell anyone!

  6. Jeanettec

    Love the piped facing. Very cool idea. Your coat is coming along beautifully. I’m still a few lessons behind. As for the ironing board being on a different floor, HA! I’d never get anything completed. I’m too easily distracted. Hence all the UFOs in my sewing room, dining room, craft area, family room… Need I say more? πŸ™‚

  7. mmmmm A & W……. did you have a root beer float? onion rings? mmmmmm

    Those children are crazy, and it appears they have also been rendered as cartoon characters in mint green chalk, at least one of them anyway.

    Oh right, sewing, whoo hoo!

    • Yeah… Because chalk washes off, y’know, so they can write wherever with it. πŸ˜› those scribbles have been there all winter. Once it warms up I’ll make them wash it off…

  8. Sewista Fashionista

    Oy, I can’t believe you still have snow! Your armoweft looked very professional and precision cut. Fusing the edges sounds like a bit of work.

  9. Joy

    Our favorite get-away is the quaint burger joint. My rustic soul really enjoys that more than a steakhouse.

    Ugg, that snow is coming our way.

    The coat is coming along nicely! Great details.

    • We get really fancy (like, steakhouse fancy) about… well, twice so far in almost 12 years. πŸ˜‰ Today was nice (er) but there’s more snow in the forecast over the weekend, albeit not a big accumulation like the last one.

  10. no.

    i must firmly say, NO.

    to several bits of your post:

    1. how ridiculously awesome your lining & facing looks.
    2. your ironing board locale.
    2. feet in snow.
    3. feet OF snow.

  11. The one with the floss looks great, but I bet you could rock the bound ones if you were super anal about it. You are a great seamstress.

  12. You’re going great guns with your jacket. Very jealous! The piping on the facing looks very professional. I’m still trudging knee-high through the muslin. I’m starting to get all a bit over it. Luckily, my fabric hasn’t arrived in the post so I can’t be tempted to start cutting until I’ve got the muslin right.

  13. Piping #swoon# going on here but the flushed face is being countered by the strangely icy feeling I’ve got going on in my feet! I can’t wait to see what other details you bring to life πŸ™‚

  14. I love the shape of your coat so much – with all these beautiful details it’s going to be pretty fabulous when it’s done! Funny to hear you and so many others have these sewing location battles – I had them too when I was using the dining room, but luckily I was able to then set up a camping table and take over a corner of our study / junk room :-). The sewing bug still really annoys my partner and kids though…

    By the way thanks so much for your feedback on my jacket muslin some days back… this fitting business takes a bit of work, but all your comments were spot on and very helpful!

    • So glad I was a help—I often worry when giving fitting advice as I’m not that knowledgeable either! (Somehow that never stops me from opening my big mouth, however…) Your jacket is going to look fabulous, though πŸ™‚

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