Thursday, April 24, 2014

Spring it On

We have lots of  catching up to do.  Sewing first. So when Mother Nature decided to have a lingering winter, I took matters in my own hand and sewed some garments in the  colors of spring, green and yellow.  The blouse is an old Vogue pattern that I have made before, fitted with a hidden button placket.  The fabric a silk print from Fabric Mart. No surprises or issues.  I also purchased some new wool sweaters this winter. One of them is a bright gold and matches perfectly. The outfit below may be a bit too much color for some of you.  The blouse also looks nice worn with white jeans.


The second item was Vogue jacket pattern 8982. Though I admire them, the unfitted styles of Ms. Tilton don't always work for me and this was no exception.
  As many of the reviews mention, the fit is large especially in the bodice  and shoulder area. I made a size smaller than normal,  but kept the length of my regular size. I also shortened the shoulder width by ½ inch, using the Nancy Zieman pivot and slide method which has the advantage of not affecting the arm hole opening. The fabric is linen tweed. I like the colors but not the characteristics of the fabric.  The open weave made the fabric especially shifty when cutting and I had to resort to single layer cutting.  I added fusible interfacing around the front armhole and center back neck edge which was not suggested in the directions. The fabric was so rough it caught on any tops or pants I wore it over so I ended up using a facing  to finish the outer edges so I could  adding a lining. 

I accented the seams with hand chain stitching rather than the recommended running stitch, with I felt would disappear into the tweed of the fabric.

 The buttons were originally solid aqua with indentations around the edge. I used a brown permanent Sharpie pen to color the indentations. 



  I am not sure this jacket will get a lot of wear. I am just not feeling the love!

My work had required frequent trips to Nashville, Tennessee.  On the last trip I found a gem of an independent fabric store.  Textile Fabric Store  The hours are Monday –Sat from 10-6 PM. Not wonderful when you are only in town Mon thru Friday and working from 8:30 to 5 PM.  But I squeezed in a 30 minute rush visit, and plan to make more time on my upcoming trip for a longer one.  The store is  very unassuming, located in a strip mall, nearly under the interstate highway.

 But it is large  inside. I focused my visit on the large and wonderful assortment of unique high end garment fabrics, with prices to match of course.

interior view
The atmosphere and staff were very pleasant. I overheard the conversation of a  professional dressmaker talking  about how she was  making  wedding dresses for the daughters of  women that she made wedding dresses for many years ago.  When  I was having a printed, raw silk twill cut to length by another clerk, she asked what  I was going to make from it.  When I told her a jacket, she commented that it looked like a fabric Anthropologie would use for a jacket. We had a lovely discussion about what trim or buttons they would add to achieve their unique look.  So if you are ever in Nashville and need a break from the country music and barbecue in town on Broadway, Textile fabric is a short 3 mile drive south west of the city. And well worth a visit.

Besides business travel, the other  activity taking up my precious  sewing time was car shopping.  I really dislike shopping for cars. They cost a chunk money.  I will have to drive it for a long time, so I better choose wisely. And there are so many makes, models, option packages, and marketing bull crap.  Part of my problem was that I could not clearly define my car requirements.  My current car is 15 years old, the one before that was 14 years old when I got rid of it. When I buy, I commit to a long term relationship. But I expect my transportation needs to change in a few years, from driving to work every day to “Hey  we are retired. Let’s take a road trip to the Wine Festival /Punkin Chunkin Contest"  I couldn’t decide if I wanted a basic, just get me where I need to go car, a pay more now but save the environment hybrid, or a mid-life crisis car.   In the end I went with the mid-life crisis car.  And I am going to blame it on my parents. Who made me learn to drive, 30 years ago, on the hills of Pittsburgh PA, in a 4 speed, no power steering Volkswagen bus.  I failed my first driving test in that car because of poor parallel parking. I am just going back to my roots.  My new car is German, but not a Volkswagen.  It’s a 6 speed, manual transmission, “oops I am going too fast again” car.  And so fricking fun to drive!  To appease my thrifty side, it is used pre owned.  Something totally unanticipated  are the  young men that  come up to me at the Wawa, when I am getting gas, and compliment me on my car. Sigh, not me, but my car! Which my husband thinks is sooo funny.  He better stop laughing or I won't let him drive the car.