18 March, 2016

Black and white and, um, pink??? yellow??? reddish??? all over

As I was starting the above title, I was naturally reminded of an old Communist era joke, what's black and white and red all over?  Pravda (the official  newspaper of the Soviet juggernaut).  And that of course brought to mind the quip that there is no news in Izvestiya and no truth in Pravda.  Tee hee.  Shows my age if nothing else.  But I digress....

Velvet trousers and lace top, accessorized with silk scarf and bass flute.
Photo by the lovely Kyoko of CorgiMark Photography 

This has been an eventful couple of months.  After an absence of two and a half years, I've returned to work, so my available sewing time and after hours stamina have both taken a huge hit.  Guess why I haven't had time to post?

Since I have to be reasonably presentable at work, I suddenly began to feel most keenly the lack of clothing that actually fits the me that I am today, 25 lbs less than a year ago (and that's after regaining quite a bit).   It's shocking how awful one looks in trousers that used to fit but now sag off  jutting hipbones and flap around skinny thighs.  Never mind all my lovely jackets that are several sizes too large - one wants to weep.  But hehey, I am svelte with a vengeance.

So I decided that this sorry situation needed to be rectified in a hurry.  Out came my Jalie trousers pattern 2908, redrafted down from my previous V to a crazy small P, and a couple of trouser-weight black wools from stash.  One, a very nice somewhat beefy twill with a little stretch actually started out grey, but such an ugly utilitarian grey that I promptly threw it into a pot with some Jacquard acid dye and turned it black, the best colour of all.  Grey, btw, is the hardest colour of all - it's never absolutely neutral, there's always some colour cast on it or another - purple, green, blue, impossible!   Add to those two a beautiful stretch poly velvet on sale at my local store, and in quick order I had three pairs of black slacks, two for work, one for my musical evenings, from the same pattern.  

Before sewing these three I made an executive decision:  no front fly on any of them, thank you.  I put a center back invisible zipper in the two work-worthy wools, and made the velvet slacks on an elastic waistband.  You can imagine how very much this simplified construction, can't you?  All feel great in wearing, and I love their smooth feminine fronts.

Photo by the lovely Kyoko of CorgiMark Photography 

The lacy top is based on the Jalie tee pattern 2805.  It's hard to see the neckline in the above photo, but I basically cut it a teeny bit wider than the pattern and then just turned the raw edge under and stitched it down with a zig zag;  I didn't want the headache of using self fabric binding (very uneven, being a stretch lace) nor a heavy binding overwhelming the lightness of the fabric.

So, an easy black and white look that can - and does - take me anywhere.

As a little teaser of what's coming, I'm working on another fun little Jalie zip jacket, pattern 2795 (zip front jacket and hoodie), out of a very funky wool knit from Emma One Sock.  I made some changes to the pattern:  basically, since I wanted to preserve the design of the knit to the utmost, I combined the centre and side pattern pieces of both front and back.  Today, I spent the afternoon prepping two front zip pockets:  first I created two narrow rectangles using silk organza, then hand stitched the zippers and trim into them.  This fabric has beautiful selvage, which I used to its utmost along the CF next to the zipper, and as trim for the pockets.  Here's what the lower fronts will look like:

Cute, right?  Before putting in the lower sleeve/side seams, I'm also going to add hidden zip pockets to the insides of these fronts.  I made one of these inner pockets - yes, just one, on the left - in the last version of this pattern I made, and  it's been invaluable.  Money, passport - close to my heart and utterly invisible and inaccessible.  Every easy wear jacket you intent to travel with needs one of those.

Working away!