Sunday, February 16, 2014

Extended Stay

What a week! I enjoyed an extended business trip in Houston, Texas because my return flights, to areas hard hit by the snow storm, were canceled. Then I had to play the alternate flight game to get home. Thanks god for corporate travel services.   DH and I had a little competition to see who could  get home first. He was in Kansas City, KS and he won the race, making his way home through Cleveland, Ohio to Washington, DC, and renting a car for the remainder of the trip on Friday morning. I arrived back in the wee hours of Sat. morning.  On the positive side, Houston was warm and I was within walking distance of a mall with very high end stores, so I did some snoop shopping. I love the fabrics and style details of the clothes in those stores, but oh the prices!    And who knew Houston had palm trees. It is always  interesting to see where palm trees have been "imported for landscaping."
Palm tree in Houston

Once back at home I was able to finish New Look 6226, described as a lined baseball jacket with zipper-front, side pockets and comfortable elastic waist. And contrast collar, and sleeves for added flair.
New Look 6226
  I was attracted to the pattern  because it looked like it would be quick to sew. I could use large scraps ( 1 yard 60" each) of fabric I already had, and the jacket could be a light weight alternative to a blazer. The fabrics used were poly print for the body and lt/medium weight ponte knit for the sleeves and trim.  I did not line the jacket.    The casings are sewn on, which seems like extra work when they are the same width as the garment and sleeve bottom edges.   Why not extend the bodice and sleeve length enough to make a turned up casing for the elastic?  I appreciated that the finished garment measurements and the ease  were printed on the pattern pieces.  For this pattern, ease  was  10 inches over the body measurement. Too much for me in a blouson style jacket.  I used a size smaller than I usually do to reduce the ease.
Pattern Ease

I wanted the jacket bottom band to rest on my  high hip rather than be cinched at the waist.  I cut the waist elastic to the length I needed to achieve that, rather than to the pattern guide

New Look 6226

New Look 6226 Baseball Style Jacket

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Retreating from the Weather

I recently attended my first  sewing retreat. What a wonderful way to spend three cold winter days. Doing something you love in the company of 40 like minded ladies, stopping only to eat and sleep.  There was lots of stories, sharing, laughter and inspiration.   The retreat was organized by the Northern VA chapter of ASG. So  I got to socialize in person with fellow bloggers  from VA and MD.  Jane  Welmoed    Julie  and  Michelle    The sewing room was a lovely high ceiling ballroom with huge windows, in a historic hotel in Winchester, VA. The light was fantastic.  This is the room in the quiet of the morning, as the early risers were starting to come down for breakfast.

Sewing Retreat - Ballroom
 I finished a blouse and two lined jackets at the retreat.  In order to accomplish that in three days, I had to do a massive amount of prep beforehand. Pattern alterations,  cutting out the fashion fabric and linings, fusing interfacing.   I was successful in packing all the threads, notions and sewing supplies I needed. Too bad I forgot to pack my serger power cord and pedal. Duh! Fortunately there was no shortage of loaner sergers for me to use. 

I'll start with the blouse.  The colder than normal weather has motivated me to sew warm wooly fabrics.   And I wanted to up my winter weekend style from wool lumberjack shirt to something

lumberjack shirt

 warm and pretty.  My blouse is made of  a  55% Wool/ 45% Cotton blend fabric from Fabric Mart.  So soft and warm. It doesn’t crease when worn, but pressed and sewed like a dream. The blouse pattern is number 132 from Burda Style, Feb 2013 issue.

Petersham ribbon, in  3/8 inch width, trims the collar and armhole seams and 1” width is used for  the cuffs.  Petersham has a ribbed weave and  a a fiber content of rayon, cotton or a blend of the two.  It looks like common polyester  grosgrain ribbon. But the fiber content makes a huge difference.  It allows the petersham to be shaped and curved while still laying flat.  Try that with poly grosgrain!  I bought my petersham from Vogue Fabrics. It is also available from Etsy vendors and hat making Internet sites. I washed and dried both the wool/cotton fashion fabric and the petersham by machine before making the blouse. Even though the laundering recommendation on the fabric was dry clean.
I like how the trim breaks up the print and draws the eye to the face and shoulder area.