Thursday, September 18, 2008

Working Woman

My day job has hijacked a huge chunk of my sewing time this month. Software upgrades on weekends, including the 4-day Labor Day holiday weekend, and business trips related to development projects during the week. DH is working on a project in Indiana. We make sure one of us is always in town, but we passed each other in the airport this week, one arriving, one departing. The boys went back to school in early Sept. so even when I am home, evening sewing time has becomes none existent, I become the logistician and transportation manager for sports practices and games, music lessons, and Boy Scouts, and the head homework "enforcer". But to keep a positive view of the situation, the job finances my hobbies, and sometimes I actually learn something from helping my sons with their homework. DS the younger has an assignment that lasts until election day. Each week he has to pick a newspaper or online article, one for each presidential candidate, and analyze it for media bias. Needless to say, he is having no problem finding good examples of media bias.
I have managed to finish up another version of the April 2005 BWOF jacket that I made this spring in a pastel striped fabric. This time in a cotton/rayon blend fabric, in autumny colors. I started the jacket while on our beach vacation in late July. My friend Ursula and I would get up early each day and spend a couple hours sewing until the rest of the beach house inhabitants started to stir. She was working on a quilt for her son’s newly redecorated room. We had a good time reminiscing about the fabrics she had chosen for the quilt. It is funny how we could date the colors and patterns, and relate them to activities going on in our lives at the time. She probably finished her quilt long ago. Anyway this multicolor jacket goes with quite a few other pieces I have in my wardrobe, in brown, tan, and turquoise.

I started another MSB jacket from issue 145, page 60, again drafted from the undarted sloper. This jacket has a lapel that extends into a band that curves around the bottom front and across the back. The jacket in the magazine is made of a white fabric and the photo is not clear. At first glance it looks very similar to McCalls 5477, but the McCalls pattern front is cut to shape. The design intrigued me because I wanted to see what a striped fabric would look like used on the front band. The inner edge of the band is gathered tightly at the curve and I knew that the weight of the fabric would affect how this looked. The jacket in the magazine appeared to be made of a very light weight fabric.
I approached the whole project as a wearable muslin because 1. First time drafting a jacket with collar from MSB, 2. Possible issues with fabric choice versus design. I chose a ho-hum striped fabric from my stash. Taupe with orange pin stripes, light weight wool. Fabric color really factors into my sewing enjoyment and motivation. This color depresses me. When I switched to orange thread for the garment sewing, it improved my mood somewhat. And the lining is orange and yellow jacquard rayon acetate from FFC. I enjoyed sewing that. I messed up when I drafted the collar. For some reason when I measured the back neck edge, a key measurement used to draft the collar, I wrote it down as 22 cms instead of 18 cms. The back collar neck edge was much too long. I discovered this after I had attached the collar to the lapel. I had to unsew it, recut it and resew those blasted lapel points.

The lighting in these photos is too bright and the collar is unpressed, but hopefully you can see the stripes and how the band works. The gather are much bigger and looser in my fabric, than they were in the magazine garment. Not real attractive in my opinion. The jacket was big across the shoulders. I shortened the shoulder .5 inch and removed almost 2 inches in the upper chest area. I think I will take in the hip area 2 inches also. The back lower band is gently gathered across the back. While I think it balances the gathers in the front from a design standpoint, I am not sure it is the best look on my rear view. To be honest, I am losing interest in the jacket right now. The day I got back from my most recent business trip, the mailman had brought me the Oct. issue of my Lady Boutique ( yes a different Japanese pattern magazine) and the three most recent issues of Patrones. Just what I need, more ideas and projects. But so far I am not scheduled to work this weekend. Yeah!