Friday, February 20, 2009

SWAP Diary Feb 20

Stitcher’s Guild published SWAP 2009 Posting and voting guidelines last week and a mild panicky feeling started up in my stomach. Only 2 months to go. If I am going to complete this SWAP, I need to get into production mode, to
"motorvate" as my kids say. I actually sew faster than I blog about sewing. So far I have 6 items completed. 1 blouse wearable muslin that I have decided to include as a top, 3 other tops, 2 pair of pants and wearable muslin of the jacket that could actually be used as the SWAP jacket in a pinch.

Items remaining: brown jeans, skirt, official SWAP jacket and two tops.

Blouse No 3 is fitted with multiple vertical darts front and back, and a “V” neck trimmed with ruffles. From the Nov 08 issue of Lady Boutique, page 251. Another fitted blouse drafted this time using the angled bottom sloper. The magazine picture shows it made up in striped shirting fabric. I liked the use of striped menswear type shirting, for a fitted woman’s blouse with ruffles.
I felt confident enough about this blouse to skip the muslin. The front is rather clever, the outermost ruffle starts just above the waist on the right side, goes around the neck and back down the left front to end 4 inches above the right side. At the center front there is a band between the outer ruffle and the inner ruffle. It narrows to nothing as it approaches the shoulder seam. In the front, the band and the offsetting of the ruffles causes them to overlap from alternating sides and they lay fairly flat. Along the back neckline the two ruffles are sewn one on top of the other and they stand up. It is hard to describe, Hope the picture show it. I really like the blouse, though it might be a bit too frilly for some.

I have also completed a pair of teal wool gabardine pants from one drafted pattern and a pair of brown wool flannel from another. I will post on the "adventures" of pants pattern drafting and fitting later.

The proposed SWAP jacket is a basic style with princess seams and a collar (Oct 08 issue, page 237) This jacket is designed to accommodate removable fur trim, between the outer fabric and the facing, around the front edge. I wasn’t quite ready to mock up that detail in the wearable muslin. The fabric for the wearable muslin was a teal and black wool tweed. During the time I was planning the jacket, I read a couple of blogs where the writers were using silks from silk bundles.
Shannon to line a skirt and Renee to make ties for her friend. Post showing ties is on her old blogspot blog,which she did not replicate, sorry Inspired by them, I decided to use two pieces from my silk bundles, a teal gold stripe for piping, and gold jacquard for facings on the turn back cuffs. The jacket fronts butt up to each other which means the piping on the edges would be next to each other. I wanted the stripes on the center front piping to be mirror images of each other. To do that I had to cut strips of the striped fabric at 45 degree angles from both selvedge edges. So on one side the stripes went from left to right and the other from right to left. I assembled the bias strips so that the stripes were symmetrical around a seam that would be placed at the collar center back. I hand basted the piping to the garment front and collar to control the placement of the stripes and to prevent stretching, and then attached the facings.

I tried on the jacket bodice and it appeared to fit fine. But once I inserted the sleeves and tried it on again with shoulder pads. I discovered the shoulders were too wide and so was the back width between the armholes. Sure enough, in a comparison to a RTW jacket, the SWAP jacket shoulders was 1 inch wider and so was the back width.
I took the sleeves out, including sleeve heads (grr), moved the armholes in ½ inch on each side, and inserted the sleeves again. It was worth it. The jacket fits much better. But know I am not so sure it will be my SWAP jacket. The style just seems a little boring.

I hope to sew a this weekend, but Saturday I am assisting with a packing tape dress form double class for 10 members of our ASG Fashion Focus neighborhood group. It should be fun for me and hopefully worthwhile for the participants. I find my packing tape dress form double, Verite, invaluable for working out pattern fitting issues. She is my second custom dress form. Back in the early 80’s my mom wrapped me in plaster impregnated cheesecloth to create a dress form. And plaster releases heat as it cures. Hey mom, remember that? I think there are some pictures stored away somewhere. I had the same basic body shape (notice I did not say size), including the asymmetry, forward shoulders, etc. when I was in my 20’s; pre kids. So the theory that carrying kids on your hip, and a career spent hunching over computer keyboards changes your bone structure is not valid for me.


  1. I don't know about anyone else but I love the ruffly blouse...and ruffles are HOT for spring! LOL at the it's plain comment on the jacket...okay maybe in your world but in mine it has just the right amount of the binding and turn back cuffs.

  2. Gorgeous blouse! The stripes totally make it. It is definitely not too frilly. Nice work.

  3. The blouse is lovely. And under the jacket I think It would be prefect.

  4. I agree. That blouse is fabulous! I love the simplicity of the jacket but the details you used. Great job on both.

  5. I agree with the other ladies: the blouse looks awesome!

  6. I love the blouse. I have been meaning to make a ruffle blouse. I love teal green/blue too.

  7. Thanks, Audrey, to explain the ruffles. Details like these are good know if pattern drafting. And - I like the blouse a lot!!

  8. I just found your blog and have been going through it drooling over your wonderful outfits.

    Please tell me where you find this magazine! I found one on eBay, read on PR that Borders sells them (but did not find it on the website) and the web address on the cover of the magazine won't load.