Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Chop Chop

The last week or so has been a frenzy of sewing prep: pattern fitting, adjusting, redesigning, laying out and cutting. Whew! Even with good lighting and my excellent cutting table I spend a lot of time going around and around it, arranging and rearranging to get a hopefully straight grain and the most efficient layout. It’s like a real-life game of Tetris! I’m up to a count of 6 garments cut out now which is perhaps a third of my current list. Yeah, I know. Ambitious, aren’t I? Well, I’ve got the fabrics including a few from deepest stash, so why not? I’ll just keep going while the momentum holds. Right now I should probably get sewing on what I’ve got so far – just for a chance to sit down for awhile if nothing else.

The most stressful piece of fabric to cut out was the fine Italian wool that I bought in September at the Mill End Store in Portland, OR. The selvedge had a woven-in label so I could look it up: Guabello. It’s apparently been around for 200 years and I had 3 yards of the second-finest (150s) pinstriped suiting in their collection. Who knew? It was pricey at US$28.99 per yard but not ridiculously so. And yes, I went at it with the rotary cutter. Brave damselfly. I’ve used both patterns before so I had a pretty good idea of fit.

The first one was Marcy Tilton’s Vogue 8709, View A:

Line Art

I’ve made View B before as a vest after lengthening the bottom by 3”. The only differences between A and B are in the collar and the sleeves. This time I added another inch, moved the bust darts down more and shortened the sleeves. Although the sleeves on the model are not full length, they probably still will be longer on my little “tyrannosaurus rex” arms! The pinstripes will add interest to the shirt/jacket as they are horizontal (sort of) on the peplum and meeting in a V on the bias-cut back.

There was still fabric left over so I decided to make a vest from Katherine Tilton’s Butterick 5891 View C, the jacket (not the vest):

Line Art

I modified this quite a bit by using only the front right side piece to cut both left and right, thus eliminating the asymmetry. I also used only one quadrant of the collar pattern and repeated it to make a more simple collar. However, I ran out of fabric pieces big enough to cut it so I had great fun piecing together bits with the stripes running every which way. Of course then I had to make matching pieced patch pockets instead of the inseam pockets which don’t hang very well in the draped sides anyway. When I was done, this was all that was left of the original 3 yards:

Mostly selvedges! And wee scraps not even big enough for a pocket. Did I mention that when I brought this yardage home I actually washed it in the washing machine on gentle with Orvus and then held my breath and threw it in the dryer? It came out completely wrinkle-free and hardly shrank at all. Perfect. I was glad I’d stitched a line of straight stitches across the raw edges though because it ravels quite easily. Now I don’t have to dry-clean the finished garments because I hate dry-cleaning with a passion. I’ll just wash them on gentle with Orvus and hang to dry on a padded hanger. So much cheaper and easier and Orvus smells much better than toxic dry-cleaning fluid. Excellent tightly worsted-spun wool. Gotta love it! Now I just have to sew all the rest of the pieces together, right? Right.

What else is new? Halloween was fun but the fireworks were a bit much. They kept on and on long after we went to bed and were trying to sleep. Ghouls and demons for sure. Then yesterday was of course my birthday. Hah, I’m an official Old Person now! Can’t even fake the middle-age thing anymore, can I? Oh well. Now I’m looking for seniors’ discounts instead. Somehow there aren’t as many as there used to be though. Too many of us Baby Boomers are retired now and used them all up. So how come I still feel about 25 in my head? Where did that last 40 years go anyway?

So I have a knitting FO to show you too but right now it’s suppertime and I’ve gotta go cook. Back soon.

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