Thursday, April 20, 2017

Cleaning Up

April is the month when cleaning up is happening everywhere in my life.  Mr. Lucky is doing the heavy digging in the garden beds, transplanting plants that I want moved, removing ones that have died and turning old leaves and plant matter in the big compost bins to make more "black gold" for the perennials, new bulbs and some annuals that are coming soon.  In the house I am making a seasonal closet change which is a good time to evaluate items.  Already I have bags of items heading to charity shops.  I am finally putting away my sewing supplies from my recent vacation and winter sewing retreat and relegating some unsewn projects to the "future" bin.  And I am cleaning up my project blogging list by showing you the last of the winter projects.  I'll start with the one making me most happy, this wool double cloth fabric topper jacket.   

The pattern, Vogue 7627, I decided to use was a surprise.  I thought I was interested in making a faux fur lined winter coat and had Sarah Veblen do a coat fitting two winters ago. 

But as I see myself getting bulkier around my mid-section I decided that a fur lined coat was the last thing I needed.  Yet the pattern kept calling me...the lines of the pattern itself are nice....princess seams up into the armscye of the two piece raglan sleeves.  I was thinking of a lightweight wool topper jacket for wearing over the longer tunics I have been adding to my wardrobe.  I'm going for a sort of Eileen Fisher, simple silhouette in a classy fabric and I'm happy with the final result...which is not really my final result quite yet. 
I have had this plaid fabric for perhaps fifteen years, purchased from the long gone Winchester Woolen Mill.  I have debated over what to do with it forever, boring my sewing friends by dragging it out and petting it while asking their advice. 
Auditioning the fabric on my dress form

Finally, as part of my "use it or lose it" theme I decided to try out a pattern.  If it didn't work, at least I would have had some "sewing lessons" and I would no longer be haunted by the fabric. 

It took me perhaps a half day on my dining room table to cut this project out.  It's a subtle plaid and I cut each piece single layer making sure that the hemline was the start of the plaid matching.  
Match, mark, cut a layer....then drink a cup of coffee

I did the cutting out at home then took it as my sewing retreat project.  I hand basted each seam before machine sewing it at the retreat.  I think this might be the first plaid garment I have ever sewn where I cared about paid matching and am proud that it all worked nicely...even if I had to sew some of those seams twice to get them to match.
I took the jacket to Florida for our vacation since I have a lot of hand stitching in my future before this project is fully complete.  This double cloth is wonderful but the seams do not press flat enough. 

I have a heavy metallic royal blue thread selected and I am going to hand top stitch each one of these seams.  I like hand stitching and thought I would get to it but the results would prove me wrong.  Too much fun doing other things in February and March.  So here are the local Baltimore pics of the still unfinished jacket on me.  I'll put shoulder pads in and get that top stitching done and will enjoy wearing it next fall.  

Checking out the weed status
Just long enough to cover that tunic
Still needing shoulder pads and top stitching
Yes, many times my projects need to percolate for many months before they come to fruition.  Then sometimes, they are quick and easy, peasy ones.  At the sewing retreat I whipped up two more Pamela's Patterns Magic Pencil skirts 

The houndstooth one reminds me of a skirt I wore in high school and I got to wear it when visiting with two grade school classmates in the Atlanta area on our drive south.  I love the border print on the second one and only regretted that I hadn't packed a navy top for the Florida trip.  
I did pack a lace RTW top that I enjoy and wore it several times with these latest Jalie Elenore pants when Mr. Lucky and I went out dancing.
Jalie Elenore pants
All of these, of course, are Fabric Mart fabrics.  These pants made me smile while I was doing snoop shopping in Naples during those two months.  A new friend at the dogpark we got to every morning shared how popular a brand of pants were in her trendy boutique.  She said they were flying out the door and sales were better than they had ever had.  Hmmm, I just had to go visit those magic pants.
Turns out they are a brand from Canada, Up Pants Up Pants  When I tried them on, they are basically a pull on stretch woven pant...gee, just like the Jalie Elenore pants.  One cool idea that I will be incorporating in my next versions....rather than use the fashion fabric for the inside of that wide top band, they use heavy slippery stretch power net fabric.  Hmmmm, I think that may mean you could even eliminate the 2" elastic that I currently use and just rely on the power net.  The other difference was that some of the pants had a wider band as seen in the picture below.  Otherwise, my $8.00 fabric cost version looked remarkably like their $120 versions.
Some versions have a wider band at the top for more tummy control.
Moments like this make me soon happy that I sew.  
I did a lot more snoop shopping for my next projects but that post will have to wait.  I have a big family wedding in South Carolina in the middle of May and then two weeks later we will be on our much anticipated bike and barge trip from Bruge to Amsterdam.  Of course these will be fun in their own right but sewing something for each of them will also be part of the fun I am having back in Baltimore.  In the meantime, I hope you are planning and enjoying projects in your sewing room.


  1. I'm not familiar with this brand but what a great idea about the powernet waistband facing! I'm going to look into this and, like you, will consider eliminating the waistband. Thanks!

    Joanne in Montreal

    1. Huh, just looked into this brand and turns out they're from Montreal where I live. Guess it's time to do some snoop shopping!

    2. I bet Montreal has wonderful snoop shopping opportunities so I envy you great inspiration ideas.

  2. Love the jacket ... looks really great. Nice job on the matching. I love that double sided fabric.

  3. Ooh ! I love your double sided coat ! Gorgeous fabric, colour , and plaid matching .Your other garments are lovely too , especially the border print skirt.

    1. Isn't that border print wonderful; I just could not resist buying it when I saw it at Fabric Mart but I have yet to wear it. But seeing people understand that;-)

  4. The Elenore jean pattern is wonderful. Love the fabric you used for yours. OMG, I have that blue plaid knit fabric in my stash. Deep,deep in my stash. I remember it had a wonderful hand.


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