Friday, March 21, 2008

SWAP Sidetracked

SWAP sewing got sidetracked this week for a jacket challenge. The Fashion Focus neighborhood group of the local American Sewing Guild (ASG) chapter is having a jacket challenge. The challenge was inspired by an article "One Jacket, Six Ways" in the Dec/Jan issue of Vogue Patterns magazine The article featured a Sandra Betzina’s jacket pattern, Vogue 1024, made up in 6 different combinations of fabric and style modifications. The group decided to do the same thing by having participants make the same pattern in their choice of fabrics, notions, etc. and have a show and tell at one of the meetings. We did selected two jacket patterns because the SB jacket did not suit everyone. The other pattern is a Marcy Tilton jacket, Vogue 8454. The jackets are to be shown at the meeting in early April. Since I will be on vacation next week, returning shortly before the meeting, I had to get my jacket done now. I chose the Marcy Tilton pattern because it was already in my pattern stash. I had fun using the decorative tucking technique that was one of the pattern options. I will put a small picture of the jacket details as a teaser, but I will wait until after the meeting to post the finished jacket, so as not to spoil the surprise for other group members.

I also finished a Burda World of Fashion magazine top that was an impulse project. It is a tank top style with horizontal seaming that is gathered to rings in the back.

I was looking through my BWOF’s for SWAP inspiration. I have over 15 years worth, including some from the 1970’s. I came across a top I had marked several years ago but never made. And on the table in front of me were some black and white knits from Timmel Fabrics. I wondered what if I used the fabrics for color blocking, and just decided to do it. Within an hour I had the pattern traced and cut out. The top was easy to sew, but what took me the longest was relearning how to set up and adjust my Huskylock 936 serger, which I use only as a coverstitch machine. I am determined to conquer this machine. Or admit defeat and trade it in for one that is more user friendly . Grr. My main pet peeves 1. When coverstitching along the edge of a garment such as sewing down the turned under hem of a neckline or armhole, the edge of the fabric is underneath the humongeous pressure foot and there is no good way to guide the fabric to ensure the stitches are an even distance from the edge. The little tick mark on the front of the pressure foot is inadequate. 2. And this machine skips stitches at the slightest change in fabric thickness, in other words at every seam intersection. So if you have a wonderful coverstitch machine I would love to hear about it.
Do you ever get obsessed with a trend or fashion detail. For some reason making this top triggered heightened sensitivity to items featuring rings. They are everywhere, swimsuits, tops, purses, and shoes. I decided to see how easy it would be to find the rings to duplicate some of the looks. The fabric stores carry limited sizes in different metal finishes, and they are relatively expensive (2 for $6.00). They are called "O" rings. I swear I saw them labeled "vanity rings" when I bought some at G Street Fabrics several years ago, but an internet search of that term did not turn up any. So on a recent shopping trip I deliberately looked for other sources of rings. I actually found quite a lot. The thrift store had two purses with 5 " ring handles Each purse was $4, so each ring was $2.00. K-Mart had belts with interlocking rings. The idea was to get the belt cheap and cut it up for the rings. One white plastic belt with metal rings was on sale for $ .50, so each of the 10 rings cost 5 cent. The other, with plastic tortoise shell rings was $8, so each of the thirteen rings cost less than a dollar. Walmart actually had tubes of colored (turquoise, cobalt, white or pink, orange, white) plastic rings with instructions for making the very same belt K Mart had. The tubes had 12 rings and cost $2.00. I was surprised how many types and sizes of rings I found. Then to show just how bad my obsession was, today bought a black one piece Michael Kors bathing suit (on sale) that has twenty four 1 " gold metal rings. 10 down each side seam, and five on the center front below the bust. It is a compromise for me between accepting that dark colored one piece bathing suits are probably best for my 50 year old figure, but still wearing a suit that has a little "look at me factor". It might be a little much for the neighborhood swimming pool this summer, but for vacation next week it will be just fine.

Go sew fellow swappers! I will have to catch up.


  1. Wow the back of this top is really nice! It's an excellent choice! My! Even being sidetracked your swap is getting along well, I wish I could say the same ;o)

  2. Great top and I love how you mixed the fabrics