Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Ratty old sweatshirt redux

I try to look decent when I'm out and about, but once I'm in the house, comfort trumps all. My usual at-home uniform consists of yoga pants worn with a favorite tank top, T-shirt, sweatshirt, or sweater, depending on the temperature. Sadly, my go-to sweatshirt is nearing the end of its life. It is still wearable (just), so instead of taking it apart to make a copy, I rubbed off the pattern pieces. Ta-da! I have reproduced the favorite sweatshirt in all its baggy, threadbare, drop-shouldered glory. Okay, not threadbare yet, but it will get there; I have been wearing it for three days in a row now.

To attach the bands, I followed the method described here by Jorth. My neckband sits differently because I wanted the grain on it to run opposite that on the body of the shirt. The fabric (a French terry from Fabric Mart) has very little stretch on the cross grain, so the neckband stands up rather than lies down against my neck. I basted first just to see, but turns out I like it better this way.

I stabilized the shoulder seams with silk organza selvedge to help this top keep its shape. And if the overall shape is a little less than flattering . . . well, so was that of the original.

Audio files: One of my favorite podcasts to listen to while sewing is Slate's Culture Gabfest. Here I go now to listen to the latest one.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A task to gladden a Virgo's heart

Thread tracing!

Look closely to see the chartreuse stitches around the edge of the pattern piece.

This is not the machine tracing that is sometimes done on a muslin, but hand thread tracing that you do right on the fashion fabric to mark stitching lines and grain lines, as described in Part 2 of the Little French Jacket Sew-along. (An explanation of the distinction between the two types of thread tracing by Coudremode helped remove my little bit of confusion about it.)

Performing this step in the construction of the jacket definitely checked off some of my boxes. Come up with an excuse to buy gorgeous silk thread in several bright colors (check!). Learn a sewing skill whose existence had not even occurred to me before (check!). Get to hang out downstairs with my husband and son, and a glass of wine, while making progress on a sewing project (check!).

The pattern I'm using is Burda magazine 02-2013-107, a Chanel-type jacket with a V-neck and a curved hemline.

My fabric is a wool tweed bouclĂ© from Gorgeous Fabrics: black with plenty of blue and gray and some flecks of off-white, green, and ochre. Very soft and pretty, not nearly as "carpet looking" as it somehow comes across in the photographs.

I'm very much enjoying this sew-along. Next up is quilting the lining to the fashion fabric, another new-to-me skill.

A reminder about roasted vegetables, so good at this time of year, at least for those of us in the colder parts of the northern hemisphere: Cut up some of your favorites (here, it's sweet potatoes and turnips, soon to be joined by chunks of onion and celery), douse with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and any herbs you like, and roast in a hot oven until caramelized and delicious.

How's that for getting some color into this otherwise monochromatic post?