10 May, 2012

Meeting the 1.1 meter challenge

I traced and placed the pattern for BurdaStyle 10-2008-131 on my fabric, and I can hardly believe it.  The jacket's pattern pieces actually fits, with oh so much room to spare (none, actually!), on the yardage - er, one point one meterage - that I have.  I haven't trimmed all the seam allowances yet, but they'll be 0.5", which is half the nearest distance between any two pieces.  

The fabric appears to be a uniform beige-cream herringbone, but it actually has pastel colour lines in both directions: pink and yellow lines run horizontally while purple and green run vertically. I used these colour lines to pin the fabric "true" together correctly, and to align the grain lines of the pattern pieces with the fabric. 
I managed to get the back, back pleat, front, pocket welts and front facings matched with respect to the location of the yellow and pink stripe...

....and, as shown above, the sleeve fronts are matched with sleeve backs. 

Even the collar and collar stand (aka collar band in Burdaspreche) fit.  The under-collar band is on a bias with a centre seam.  The under collar, also with a centre seam, is on grain, because that's the only way it could fit in the the only space left:   in that area outlined in blue between the two sleeve pieces.

So, yeah, I'm kind of tickled.  I did of course have a plan b...and c.... there are plenty of simple collarless jacket patterns out there - but it's nice to have Plan A start out so auspiciously.

A little tip for these tight to fit fabric demands:  I found making a pattern piece for Every Single Piece (except the undercollar, which is drawn in), no matter how trivial, even stupid little belt loops, was really important.  Otherwise I'd have been guaranteed to goof somewhere along the line by spacing this or that too generously, or forgetting to make room for one item or other.

So the cute little jacket is cued.  Yes, cued - because I have to  finish this colour-blocked dress that's been hanging around for, oh.... how long?

Six weeks. Awful of me, right? It's edging dangerously close to UFO territory.  I don't like UFOs - time not well spent, and all that.  Lucky for me this little number just got a little motivation to get finished.  

My great conflict of interest, though?  My garden is finally awake.  And when it's sunny I do NOT want to be indoors.   Outside, there's always something fun going on: 

Chipmunk with peanut and hosta

Black and white warbler

Pine squirrel aka chickaree
Once the garden comes alive with these and lots of other cuties, slaving over a hot sewing machine and an even hotter steam iron demands psychological oomph.  Stucktuitiveness is the word of the week!

03 May, 2012

Spring colours

It's looking less and less likely that my trench coat will happen this spring:  once the snows melt here in mid-continental Canada, the season springs into summer in an eyeblink.  No matter, I still have a lightweight (purchased) trench that wears like iron and will easily last another season or two or ten.  And, honestly, I prefer to make day clothes.

To that end, I've fallen off my no-fabric-buying wagon, and grabbed a few little pieces recently.  First, a little bit of a "super-duper" tan-grey wool from Fabric Mart. Expensive, yes! amazingly expensive at first glance, but I've seen how this kind of superfine wool wears:  your grandkids will inherit the garment - in my case, a pair of slacks - that you'll make out of it, and that's no joke.

Then I grabbed a little bit of a wool-silk blend, also from FM, literally for a song. So things average out, right?  Unfortunately by the time I put this lovely cream-tan herringbone in my shopping cart, there was only a yard left - gulp!  Ok, I thought, so I'll make a llittle summer skirt out of it.  

How do the two separate purchases connect?  Well, once I had both of them at home, it became blindingly obvious that they were made for each other. The tan of the super-wool and the tan of the silk-wool mini-houndstooth are perfect together.  Even if my camera's digital response to the two doesn't quite show it,  IRL the wool at left is a good match to the houndstooth's tan.

I like the two of them so much, they can't both become bottoms..  The tan wool will definitely become slacks. So my miniscule little bit of silk-wool has to become a top of some sort.  A jacket? a miniscule, cropped, teeny tiny jacket?  Luckily my 1 yd (0.9 m) purchase arrived as a hugely generous 1.1 m. I'm thinking that if I use remnants of the superfine wool (after the slacks are made) for undercollar, facing, and/or cuff or hem facings, I might even be able to eke out a jacket with a collar out of it. Gosh how I'd love to get just a teeny bit more of it - would't it be just amazing if FM found another yard, or even half a yard, lying around begging for a loving home?!

There's one more reason why the silk-wool houndstooth would be a great top:  it has a rectangular check pattern on it. The weft check is spaced 4.75" apart, and is yellow and pink, while the warp check is spaced at 4", and is green and purple.   It's a soft, subtle, and delicious check, nearly invisible in these pics.  I'm not going to work hard at matching the jacket pattern to the check, but I'll definitely refer to the colours for whatever tops I'll be making to go under it.

At this point, with the pattern not yet traced, so this is still a bit pie in the sky, I'm hoping to eke out this little jacket:

The jacket is BurdaStyle Magazine (formerly Burda World of Fashion) pattern 131 from October 2008. The collar and facings may make fitting this particular pattern onto 1.1m quite a challenge.  Next step: trace and find out!