Thursday, April 15, 2021

Interfacing progress on Jasika Blazer

I have basted the hair canvas to the fronts of the jacket. And also cut a chest shield to double up the interfacing in the upper shoulder area, this often collapses in a tailored jacket unless you have big pectoral muscles. Since I had already basted the hair canvas to the fronts, I had to baste the extra shield piece carefully by hand to the interfacing only, taking care not to stitch through to the jacket fabric. This could have been machine stitched if I had thought about it beforehand. I have also catch stitched the hair canvas to the shoulder seam. Now I am ready for the pad stitching which should take a bit of time.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Jasika Blazer progress

Getting ready for the big step of pad-stitching. I sewed up the darts in the front and sewed the front jacket pieces to the side panels. I want the hair canvas to be one piece, extending under the arm. Now I am ready to baste the hair canvas to the fabric so that it won't shift during the pad-stitching. And I have to mark the roll line for the lapel. I am also going to sew an extra piece of interfacing at the shoulder to prevent the "caving in" that often happens with jackets in that area. I have also fused a square of interfacing over the area for the welt pockets. This linen is ravelly and I can't see making welt pockets without some fusible there to hold everything together. When in doubt, interface!

Friday, April 2, 2021

The Jasika Blazer

My daughter Rebecca took up sewing in earnest about 2 years ago. I had tried to interest her when she was a young girl of 12, but it didn't take. However she has always loved clothes and fashion, and now being a stay-at-home mom who home-schools her three children, she needed something to challenge her mind and give her something creative to do in her spare time. I suggested she try sewing again. Well, she took off like a shot and made a Vogue blouse as her first project. It wasn't long before she made herself bras as she said store-bought ones are never comfortable. Since then, she has made at least 20 dresses, and about 6 pairs of jeans for herself. This year, she made her husband jeans as well, and then dress pants.

She has also taken up knitting which she loves. Being a mathematician, I think all that counting appeals to her right (left?) side of the brain. I can't count how many sweaters she has made in the past 2 years.

Well recently she said she wanted something challenging and I suggested we sew the same pattern together and encourage one another in the process. We were trying to decide between a tailored jacket and a casual anorak jacket, and the tailored one won out. Rebecca has been readin the blog of Julia Bobbin with avid interest and Julia has discovered traditional tailoring with hair canvas, pad stitching, welt pockets, handmade buttonholes. Her work is incredibly beautiful.

Julia Bobbin

Both of us are impressed with the patterns of Heather Lou of Closet Core Patterns, so Rebecca picked out the Jasika Blazer as our together-project.

Jasika Blazer

So, first off, the muslin. I have some fitting issues, not too many, but some that need to be tackled. So a muslin is always a good idea when making something that requires such an investment of time. I made alterations to the pattern. Shortening all the body pieces by 2 inches as I am only 5'1" tall. And shortened the sleeves 2" as well. The rest can be altered at the hem if needed. I cut size 16 at the shoulders and neckline, and graded out to size 18 for the bust, waist, and hips. I cut size 16 for the sleeves, as my arms are not a fitting problem and the size 18 would be too roomy for me.

I knew that I would need more ease over the tummy area. And I found the greatest alteration on another sewer's blog, she had also made this pattern and found the alteration she needed in a site that deals with alterations for men. Her alteration consisted of slicing up through the pattern from hem to bust, then cutting on the side, and spreading the pattern to give another inch or so across the middle. The cut on the side will allow you to overlap the pattern as you spread it and then you add back any needed length at the bottom of the side seam. This is the same alteration that you make for a fuller bust, only you are doing it at the middle of the pattern instead of at the bust line. It's "bloody brilliant", as the Brits would say.

Unlikely Nest

So I have sewn the front, side and back together. I will add the collar and sleeves later today, but I can see that this is a good muslin already. The only change I have to make is to move my shoulder seam back at the neck. This is something I always need to do, it is the reverse of a forward shoulder seam alteration. I seem to need less length on the back neckline than the pattern gives.

Looking forward to the next step in this journey, cutting out the good fabric and then we are on to the interfacing: hair canvas to be hand catch-stitched at all seams and then pad-stitched to create the lovely roll line of a tailored jacket's lapel. There is something incredibly satisfying about doing something like this, involving slow sewing and taking lots of time to get things right.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Update on winter sowing

Hooray! yesterday I was doing some cleanup in the garden, and checked on my bottles. A recent high wind knocked about 10 of them onto the ground and those look a little beat up. I don't know if the seeds will be able to make it through the soil now, as they were knocked around and are not near the surface in all likelihood. However, one bottle had a little sprout! this was Bachelor's Buttons, planted on Feb 14. And today, I noticed a sprout in the lupins bottle sown on Jan 25, another sprout in a second bottle of Bachelor's buttons sown on Mar 8, and 2 sprouts in the bottle with wild flax sown on Feb. 28. This is exciting. We have a couple of chilly days until Saturday when the temps will warm up and all of next week looks warm, plus the nighttime temps are all above zero. I expect there will be more sprouts coming with the warmer temperatures.

Monday, March 8, 2021

Landscape quilt finished

I have finished all the sewing on my second landscape quilt wall-hanging. I can see lots of things that need improving, such as using fusible web when applying large pieces of fabric. The bird house and the window would have been better if I had done that, less rippling would have occurred. But I figure it is all a learning curve and I am content to leave this one as is. Things that I see could be improved will be incorporated into my next and subsequent efforts. I already have another one in mind. It is interesting that the part I found the hardest, the leaves, has turned out to be my favourite aspect of this. Perhaps it is the colour, but I just love the leaf section.
The project is still mounted on the styrofoam board that I used to work on it. This also serves for blocking my knits. Such a useful piece of styrofoam. I will hang this wall hanging on a wall, once I figure out where to put it. It is called "All in the Family" because that is what the original artist called his painting.

Friday, March 5, 2021

Winter sowing

Boy, I sure hope this method works! 55 bottles sown so far, with a variety of annuals and perennials. Most containers are duplicates, as I plan on giving half of these to granddaughter Hannah who is hoping to grow a cutting garden this summer. She will sell bouquets at the local farmers' market and at a cottage resort where she works in the summertime.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Dawn jeans finished

All except for the hems which I will leave until I am sure all the shrinkage is out of this fabric. Too often I have hemmed pants and found them too short after a few washes. So these will just be rolled up for a month or two until they have been washed a few times. As usual, I have trouble with the waistband. You struggle to make pants fit and everything is going fine, you finally get them fitting as you want and then you attach the waistband and it all goes wonky. This happens to me so often, that now I baste on the waistband and wear them around for a day before doing the final stitching. I also left the interfacing out of this band, as I just didn't want any more stiffness. The fabric is a heavy twill and I don't think jeans commercially made are interfaced in any area. So why should I interface my jeans? Besides I always wear my teeshirts and shirts out, not tucked in, so no one will ever see this band. My waist is not something I want to show off.
I had made a few pairs of jeans years ago when the Vogue Calvin Klein pattern was released. This must have been 35 years ago. And I seem to recall that it was the outseams that were double top-stitched. All of today's jean patterns do this double top-stitching on the inseams now, and the outseam is only single top-stitched down to the bottom of the pocket and then a bar-tack is done at that point. Not sure I like this, the top-stitching is not very visible this way, and why go to all that bother if it's not going to be seen? I think, the next pair I make, I will top-stitch the outseams instead. I remember doing this with difficulty as the legs were sewn up and you had to stitch down inside the tube. But it would be simple to leave the inseam to the end and then you could top-stitch the outseams while the legs can be laid out flat. All in all, I am pretty happy with this pattern. It fits me much better than the Ginger or the Morgan jeans and I do prefer non-stretch denim. Also, I obviously prefer a high waisted pant. Mid-rise or low-rise pants always feel as if they are falling down and I am constantly tugging at the waist to pull them up where I want them to be.

Interfacing progress on Jasika Blazer

I have basted the hair canvas to the fronts of the jacket. And also cut a chest shield to double up the interfacing in the upper shoulder a...