Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Great British Sewing Bee - BBC 2

Great British Sewing Bee on Youtube Episode 1

You may or may not have heard about this show produced by the BBC, but if you sew, it was a treat to watch.  It is only 4 episodes and available on Youtube, happily it seems that there will be another season.
It was a group of sewists brought together in a competitive format, given sewing projects to complete with time constraints.  It was a blast to watch, as I recognized the dilemmas the individuals faced working against the clock.

Here are the projects.
A Line skirt with invisible zipper 3 hours
Neckline Alteration 1 hour
Dress 6 hours
Men's Zip fly trousers 3.5 hours
Add patch pockets to a skirt 1 hour
Silk blouse 6 hours
Child's dress 3 hours
Dress Alteration 1.5 hours
Tailored Jacket 7.5 hours
Hand Embellishing a purse 1.5 hours
Evening dress 8 hours

I might have to try this to see if I can finish any of these projects given the show's time constraints.

Women's Seersucker Blazer

Why not?  Summer is coming and I've always wanted one.  There was one I remember seeing in my distant memory that I loved.... but time ravages the details that had me lusting after a particular one.  It was fitted, it had flap pockets with a top welt, 3 I think, can't remember if it had grosgrain trim, but I do remember the inside seams had a Hong Kong finish, and a two piece sleeve with vent and buttons.  Unless you are searching Juicy Couture or LL Bean, there are no upscale seersucker jackets to be found, so we begin the cobbling together of available jacket styles to pick and chose what I want the final product to look like.

This is a men's version, but I like the pockets, but would drop the chest pocket, and I think I'd like the collar and lapels to be narrower.

Here's a women's version but it's a Little Boy style from Brooks Brothers and it looks like they ran out of fabric, so I want something that looks more generous.

Another men's version with the grosgrain ribbon, if done in a dark color could actually be slimming. The horizontal stripes are not me, but it there are some details that I can definitely use here.

Check back in a few months for the reveal!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Learning from the jacket.....the lined patch pocket

Here are some of the details that I found interesting about the men's wear jacket recently completed.

Pity I don't have a men's form.  I love an inky black fabric, it's just so slimming.
What you can't see is the breast single welt pocket and the two patch pockets.  At this stage I considered keeping it (I know evil!).  What was amazing about this process is how terrible it looked throughout with all of the basting in place (see pic below), but once it was pressed, it really came to life.

The Lined Patch Pocket


This was an interesting pocket, it looks like any other patch pocket but the lining is a pocket, that is attached to the fashion fabric.

Here is the Pocket wrong side with a fold back facing and interfacing attached.

Flip it over and attach the first lining piece.


This is just the first piece of lining attached.

Then form your pocket attaching the second lining piece.


So now you have a pouch out of lining fabric and the fashion fabric patch pocket.

This is what it looks like from the right side.

Here I went back and took the inside lining in a bit more so it would sit smoothly inside the edges of the pocket.


You don't actually have to turn the pouch inside out, this is just to show you what it looked like.


I had to mark these left and right because there was slight shaping to each pocket.
Here I just cleaned it up a bit and did some basting to make sure I wouldn't catch the pocket bag in the edges of the stitching for the patch pocket.  From here it is attached to the body of the jacket at the point where the lining is folded back.  The remainder was placed on the jacket, basted and hand stitched in place, you can see that in the pic above showing all of the basting lines.

This method is very clean and helps the pocket keep it's shape, so there's no worry if you drop your keys in here, they won't mar the patch fabric.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

I Don't do Menswear

or so I thought.  What do you do when a loved one wants to recreate a favorite jacket and you've never done menswear?  Of course you say yes and then sweat out the details later.  Taking every precaution this project has been a mine field.

The Fabric
- First we swatched, 2 weeks later decide on the fabric and went to order it and they had sold out.
- The fabric arrives and it smells like wet dog

The Pattern
- He provided me with a beloved beat up jacket

The Fitting
- Delays on both ends made only one fitting possible, and I would receive only pics of one shoulder that "the client" was not happy with.

On pins and needles I commenced working on the pattern using the old jacket as a base.  Interesting that once you turn off the internal dialog, you start to learn.  I really have to hand it to whoever made the original jacket, it came with fold back hems and facings which I have never seen on a pattern before. There are three welt pockets, two patch pockets, two back vents, a tab collar and mitered corner details.  When we started this project I was told, "Oh it's really a simple unlined jacket"..... beware those who give you a project that haven't the first clue what is involved in it.

Here's what I perfected with this project, and what I will use going forward.
- Mitered corners, which I can do in my sleep now.
- Fold back facings - which I will use as much as I can in future projects.
- Interfaced hems - which I have used before, but were really important on this project
- Molding the lapel curve
- Collar tabs
- Embroidered buttonholes

I am very pleased with how this jacket looks now, and am keeping my fingers crossed that the recipient is as happy with the result.

Here are some of the good, bad and ugly, pics.



These of course were ripped out, there was a lot of ripping out of buttonholes.