Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Back sewing

This is the reason why I haven't been sewing for over a year! Georgia was born on Christmas Day 2010. She is an absolute joy to have and a very placid, easy baby.

I have almost got back to the size I was B.G. and I am itching to get sewing again. I love a SWAP (Sewing With a Plan) and I have been inspired to join the Artisan Square 6 piece Autumn Wardrobe sew along. The idea is that you sew 2 garments a month in August, September and October, all of which coordinate to form a mix and match wardrobe. Georgia goes to bed at around 6.30pm so I am hoping that this should be completely do-able. I am returning to work in September so I am planning a "career wardrobe". I have chosen 5 fabrics so far:

The two on the left are for skirts, the white is an Italian shirting, the black is a spotted chiffon for a tie neck blouse and the blue is a stretch wool mix for a tailored jacket. I still need one more fabric for another top but I will decide on that later.

Now I need to venture up into the loft for my patterns.....

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Remember the Chanel?

It is a new year's resolution to complete my unfinished projects and, from then on out, only have one project in cue. My UFO's include my in-progress winter coat, faux fur stole/cape, and, of course, my Chanel. Now I don't want to make excuses about my year long love/hate with my Chanel, but I am convinced that you can't make Chanel, with Chanel techniques, without a dressform. As soon as I got my Ivy for Christmas, the Chanel has been coming along..I love it. I have my jacket on the dressform while I handsew. I have so much control which I didn't have before. Presently I have all the fell stitches of my vertical seams and shoulders completed and I have catchstitched the hem and around the neck and opening of the boucle. Next up, hand stitch the lining to the hem and neckline. I really need to be working on the sleeves...can you tell that I am avoiding them?

I have been playing around with trims too-

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

~slow progress~

All those rows of quilting have caused progress to be quite slow on my Chanel-style jacket - the thread ends need to be unpicked and restitched back into place after the shell seam has been sewn - and there is a lot of thread ends! Next time I will definitely take a more minimal approach to my quilting!

Here's what I did:

Unpicked the quilting threads, cut the panel seams (being careful not to cut the threads), and sewed the seam by machine:

Pressed under the seam allowance on the centre back panel, and lapped it over the seam allowance of the side back panel:

Handsewed the lining seam using a fell stitch with 3mm spacing:

This is how I sewed fell stitch:

Proof that I completed a whole seam in fell stitch! Now all those threads need to be stitched back into place:

I backstitched the ends in place, following the needle holes from the previous stitching, and it looks a little bit hand done, but close enough to the machine stitching for me:

Of course, on the right side there is an equal number of thread ends to be handsewn back into place too.....

And that is just one side back seam! I have completed the other side back seam, and will start work on the side seams shortly. See you next month.....!

A couple of things I learnt through trial and error:
  • Leave long thread tails when machine quilting.
  • Overlock panel seams once cut, to prevent fraying. (although backstitching the quilting threads does help to stabilise it quite a bit)
  • When machining the seam, make sure that not only the checks/plaid matches, but the quilting lines match too - I was half a quilting row out when I sewed my second seam.....

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

~my chanel jacket - the beginning~

Hi everyone! I'm Sherry and I've just begun my Chanel-style jacket, after having the fabric for a few months!  I hope to share it with you here as well as on my sewing blog pattern ~ scissors ~ cloth.

As you can see it is going to be a fairly standard shape, so I started from my existing jacket block with a princess line, which is a standard NZ size 10, and I graded it up to my measurements, which are a mish-mash of sizes between 10-14!  I made a quick calico toile, and it fitted perfectly - I just need to rotate the sleeve forward slightly. I am after a cropped fitted look, so I will shorten the body to high hip level and the sleeve to 3/4 length.

Luckily I happen to have perfectly matching silk/cotton in my stash, and I will use this for the lining. I have 5m of this silk/cotton, so might even make a matching blouse just like Chanel used to do!

I played around for ages experimenting with trims - I unravelled threads from the cloth and plaited them, crocheted them, and mixed them with existing trims I own. But have finally settled on simply using the selvedge like in the above photo. The fabric reverse has a lot of black threads so it provides a bit of contrast, and the selvedge is pretty cute. The left and right selvedge is slightly different though, so I won't be able to use them together.

And I couldn't help myself, I had to immediately cut out the back blocks and start quilting to see how it would look!:

I machine quilted in the lines of every second check repeat, which amounts to quite a lot of quilting! But I quite like the effect - just like a Chanel handbag ;)
So I imagine I will be seeing straight lines for the next few days!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Chanel progress

This jacket is taking shape slowly but surely. For a more detailed progress report see my post at My Fabrication

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

And eventually everything went together

I reported the stitching lines on the fabric with basting thread and on the lining with tailor's chalk and then I cut the fabric and the lining keeping large seam allowances.
Then quilting the lining was easier than expected. I used a walking foot for this.

It is really important to keep the quilting lines an inch away the stitching line or it would be really challenging to sew the jacket by machine (don't ask me how I know....). To sew the pieces together, the lining seam allowances were kept away from the stitching line with pins.
Once the pieces were sewn together, the lining was sewn by hand, concealing the seam allowances.
And finally the hem and the facing were hand sewn:
I did most of the hand stitching during a looooooong phone call.

My jacket was almost finished:
I just had to choose buttons and braids.

I wanted to go for contrast, and I fell in love with a red braid that I bought without thinking twice. Once at home, I pinned my lovely red braid to the jacket:
The result was not exactly the chic jacket I had in mind... so I did not stitch the braid to the jacket and kept thinking about it...

Since my husband has a kind of "Chanel eye" for buttons, I asked him to choose some buttons for my almost done new jacket. I would have chosen white pearl buttons... he came home with black buttons instead. But he was right and I finally chose a black braid to complete my jacket.

Here you are my Chanel style jacket, what do you think about it?
A detail of the sleeve vent, the buttons and the black braid:

I love this jacket and I have been wearing it a lot during past two months!!!
You can't see the matching red shoes in this picure...

Friday, April 23, 2010

My jacket is finished

I've worn it this afternoon. I can say it is very pleasant to wear and light as a feather. What I like best is the lining ...

and the functional sleeve vents and hand buttonholes

Nevertheless,though I made a muslin and I am not happy with the sleeve heads. I supposed it is because the sleeves are not from the same pattern as the bodice. The shoulders shoud be shorter I think, too bad realy. Another explanation is perhaps that the shoulders seams elongated because they have not been staystiched. This has just occured to me. Anyway I will have to do with this. I will try not to think about this when I wear the jacket. Here is what it looks like seen from the back