Thursday, August 14, 2008

Shannon Gifford's Stitch and Flip Method and the Loes Hinse Milano Jacket

I recently had the pleasure of taking Shannon Gifford’s Stitch-and-Flip Jacket Construction class at, and boy was that both fun and informative.

After wasting weeks agonizing over which pattern to use (my only TNT pattern being the Advance jacket below, which is not well suited to the technique), I settled uneasily on the Loes Hinse Milano Jacket. I include that "uneasily" part because her sizing is so different from the Big4 and Advance sizing, and I’ve only sewn with Big4 type of sizing below. So I did a few uneducated flat pattern measurements, wrestled my fears to the ground, took a stab into the barely illuminated dark, and went for a combination of XS-S sizing.

Shannon emphasizes the need to make a muslin. It’s in her SNF class notes, and it’s there at the bottom of every email she sends. Staring me in the face. But I was short on time, did a tissue fitting, all looked well, and I proceeded to boldly cut out my fashion fabric (ff) and proceed with this lovely technique. The rest of this entry is in the format of a PR review, which is not yet finished. I’m posting it to get feedback from a few key people (thanks Mom), and I’ll post finished pics ASAP.

Loes Hinse Designs Pattern No. 8002 Milano Jacket PR Review

Pattern Description: Fitted princess line jacket with 7 vertical seams. View A has a two part sleeve. View B has a bell sleeve with elastic. Bust ease is 3”, hip is 5”.

Pattern Sizing: Petite through Plus (XXS, XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL), I used a combination of XS and S, mostly S.

I typically use a size 12 in the Big 4, with a ½” FBA for a C cup adjustment, ½” sway back adjustment, and ½” upper wide back adjustment (but size 10 shoulders in front, working on getting this right).

For this Milano pattern, I started by tracing XS in the shoulders to S at the bottom of the armscye. I then tried to avoid doing an FBA by incorporating the ½” bust increase suggested in FFRP on the pattern pieces joining the center front and center side seams in the bust area. Unfortunately, this is not a true princess seam in that it doesn’t go over the bust point, so I should have done a real FBA. The final picture on me will tell the story, but right now it looks a bit odd. Maybe I’ll fill things out, I have outgrown my dress form. Sadly.

Fabric Used: A rayon/polyester/lycra (“RPL”) that ended up beefier than I expected so it does not drape as elegantly as I had hoped for. This is a common problem of mine. Fabrics that look fine to me on the bolt almost always ended up being too heavy for the garment. I hope to improve my eye for this as I continue to sew.

Here are the recommended fabrics per Loes Hinse: Wool, rayon, velvet, raw silk, microfiber, linen, double knits, fleece, boucle, and blends. I probably should order fabric directly from per Loes’ recommendations until I develop a better eye for fabric/pattern matching. Wow, there are some beautiful sweater knit fabrics on that site, must resist.

Here are the recommended notions: 1 pair shoulder pads measuring 6 x 3 ½ x 5/8” (15 x 9 1.5 cm). 1 strip of Velcro 5” (12 cm). One button measuring 1”. View B 28 inches of 1” wide elastic. Hmmmm, what is the Velcro for? I missed that in the instructions. Maybe for attaching the covered shoulder pads? I haven’t gotten to that point yet. The pattern includes pieces for covering the recommended shoulder pads.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? The lines look the same, but my RPL fabric was not as softly drapey as the beautiful cream pattern photo. Next time, I’ll make it with one of the recommended fabrics. This time was for fit and for use during Shannon Gifford’s latest Jacket Stitch and Flip class at PR. Seven vertical seams! Lots of practice with the SNF technique, although it is very easy to learn under Shannon’s tutelage.

As noted above, I have two sewing shortcomings: fit and appropriate fabric choices. Not minor issues. The problems that I had with my jacket are related to one or the other of these shortcomings, certainly not the pattern design itself, the pattern instructions, or Shannon’s SNF technique. Really, I’m happy with how the jacket is shaping up when I see it on my dress form. It’s when I slip it on me that I get all sad, especially when I compare it to the elegant cream jacket on the pattern folder.

In an effort to address these areas, my first photo shows the unhemmed jacket with Nancy Erickson’s thicker shoulder pads with little caps.

At first I thought the jacket hung better on my dress form than with the much thinner crescent shaped pads that I had on hand. But after putting on the jacket, I realized that the bigger pads were trying to make the jacket into something it is not.

The first picture, with the hem done, shows it on my dress form with the thinner pads pinned to the form. I now think these are better but not quite right. I just got some NU-Foam at Joann's experiment with making shoulder pads per Shannon's bonus instructions. This is one of the reasons every project take me so long: every step is a learning process.

Doesn’t the hemmed jacket look better after I put a brassiere on my dress form? And a little cotton shell. Please ignore the color differences, neither is quite right. I'll work on that with the final jacket shots.

Another thing I noticed after looking at the unhemmed photo is that, even though I hemmed the sleeves by only catching the interfacing, those catch stitches shone through the right side as little bumps. I had to shorten the sleeves anyway, so I removed the fusible interfacing (as much as I could) and this time followed Shannon’s bagging technique to the letter, just attaching the 2” sleeve hem at the seam lines on the inside. This was in two places. I may experiment on scraps with a double-sided fusible ¼” tape just to make sure that things don’t move around, but it looks much better now. All of the interfacing standards go out the window when making an LH jacket, one of the reasons why I used this pattern for the SNF class even though I didn’t have time to make a muslin, as Shannon very strongly recommends. She’s right!

Yet another thing that I didn’t like in the unhemmed jacket photo was how the sleeve cap fabric looked puckery, due to the rippling of the seam allowance material underneath (it was pressed towards the sleeve cap).

I tried a bit of steam shrinking per Bobbi Carr’s DVD; it worked beautifully for Bobbi, who was using an all wool sleeve to demonstrate, but RPL has far less shaping possibility. It look just a tiny bit better afterwards, but still bumpy.

Then I remembered that Shannon had some instructions for basting in a sleeve head (there are all these little extra tips in a Shannon Gifford class). And I remembered that I had found and bought some beautiful lambswool (cream and black) at Greenberg & Hammer in NYC this June, so I tried that. Beautiful! I’m not sure if I’m doing it the right way, but it sure made a big difference.

This works beautifully with the sleeve bagging method of the SNF technique, all of the lambswool and seam allowances will be safely covered in the final project, only the shoulder pad with be outside the lining. And that’s okay, because I can change it if needed, or even remove it entirely if I wear the jacket with a blouse that already has a shoulder pad.

Here's the lambswool, very neat stuff, I ended up using two layers:

The pattern calls for one 1” button, and I thought for awhile that one was not enough. Now I’m leaning back in that direction. Any thoughts? Please take a look above at the jacket with one button pinned to the front, and the shot below with two buttons pinned. I'm leaning in the direction of one button, per the pattern envelope pic. Loes knows best.

Here is a picture of part of the inside with the SNF lining and a Hong Kong finish around the facing. I need to finish the sleeve bagging by handstitching the top of the sleeve lining to the armhole (Shannon has given me some tips on how to do that) and another row of blind hem stitches around the Hong Kong seam at the hem. Make the buttonhole (maybe two, one for each side so that I can interchange buttons via the "cuff link" method), then I'm done.

P.S. My mother likes one button too. She and Loes are like this (fingers twisted together visual). Unless I hear strong protests, one button it is.

Advance 7894 Jacket - Almost Done!

I'm almost done with the jacket that goes with the skirt below (it's actually further along than this, all done except for buttonholes and insertion of shoulder pads, I just don't have a more recent pic), and have been almost done for almost a month. For a good part of that time, I was heavily researching various methods to make bound buttonholes. One is supposed to get better with practice; mine got worse, no matter which method I tried. Somehow, despite all of my research, my eyes glanced over the best method -- for me.

I have a suit from the '50s, and I was stubbornly determined to recreate the bound buttonholes in that suit. None of the methods I tried looked like it. Then I saw Ann Steeves' tutorial on her blog, Gorgeous Things. She discusses the method in the context of welt pockets, but it is the same method (only smaller) for buttonholes.

My first one came out perfectly, as did the next three or four. And it looked just the the ones on my '50s jacket! But I was still too traumatized by my previous experiences with the other methods to cut into my beautiful Advance jacket. And I had registered for a couple of PR classes so I worked on those. The jacket awaits. I'm almost done with my SNF jacket, then I'll finish this one.

If you must suffer all of the agonies of the various techniques, some of my research is posted on Artisans Square here and pasted for your convenience below (but go to AS to see what others had to say, it was fun):

Since my last post, I have been doing extensive research in various buttonhole styles, all without having to leave my house or order another book from Amazon. Because I already have most of them. At least two of them mention machine+hand finished and provide detailed instructions, so I'm all set to practice that.

Those books and others gave many different ways of doing welt buttonholes, and I think I'm going to practice a few of them also on scraps with fused interfacing. Sooner or later, they'll come in handy. I already have the scraps with interfacing from my interfacing tests.

"Tailoring: The Classic Guide to Sewing the Perfect Jacket" by Creative Publishing International discusses both approaches (welt and machine+hand) with detailed instructions and very clear illustrations (pp 116-119). It also says to do welt buttonholes before you sew on the facing, do machine+hand afterwards.

"Vogue Sewing, Revised and Updated" has multiple ways to do bound buttonholes (five-line patch method, organza patch method, one-piece folded method, two-piece method, and options to add cording to each) at pp. 266-270. I found these more confusing because there are far fewer illustrations, and they are drawings instead of photographs. It says in the first sentence to make bound buttonholes before attaching the facing.

"Sewing Secrets from the Fashion Industry," edited by Susan Huxley, addresses one type of bound buttonhole, using a folded patch at pp. 92-94. This is the same approach as in the "Tailoring" book above, and also has lots of nice pictures plus some helpful tips on how to approach each step. There is a page that goes into completing the facing with a slash, or eye slit, finish (p. 95). There is also a page on completing the facing with a windowpane finish, for that uber-couture look (my phrase, not SSFI's). My jacket is designed to wear open, so I'm not so worried about how the inside will look, probably would settle for the slash finish just to have a hope of finishing the JCC in time.

Adele P. Margolis in "the Complete Book of Tailoring" at pp. 307 through 315 discusses both the one-strip method (her term for the folded patch) and the two-strip method. I had just been wondering which was better, and there she says right on p. 311: "This one-strip method of making a bound buttonhole is basic, easy, and practically foolproof." She could be talking to me. She then goes on to say in the next paragraph: "In all honesty, however, one must admit that in very heavy or very sheer materials it is very difficult to handle the tiny strips produced by Method I. For such Fabrics, the two-strip method of making a bound buttonhole is preferable." I love the way Adele P. Margolis writes. She still feels vital today, and this book is dated 1978. I believe it is Kenneth King who pointed people towards her, saying that so much of what is being written today is derivative of her work. I was sad to see that Ms. Margolis states authoritatively on p. 307 that "Bound buttonholes are always made on the garment before the facing is turned back or attached."

Shannon has a nice tutorial on the two-strip method, and I'd be interested to hear from her if she has used both and prefers one over the other for various types of fabric, or sticks with the two-strip method.

Now, I've admitted that my facing is attached, so why am I still reading up on bound buttonholes? Because I want to try them on this jacket. Fools rush in, etc. etc.

All it took was one reference to give me hope. Claire Shaeffer, who discussed the patch method for bound buttonholes at p. 87 of "Couture Sewing Techniques" and the two-strip method at p. 89* says on page 86 the following: "In home sewing and ready-to-wear production, bound buttonholes are made on the garment section before the garment is assembled. In couture, the buttonhole locations and even the buttonhole size may not be finally decided until after the sections are sewn together and the garment's finished length is determined. . . If the garment is already machine-stitched, it's somewhat more cumbersome, but the buttonholes can nonetheless be completed without difficulty." Ahhhhh. That describes my whole approach to this jacket -- although "clueless" is probably a more accurate description of my work method than "couture". The facing is easily folded out, so I continue to consider this approach. Accuracy in marking will be the difficult step.

* Claire goes into much more detail on the two-strip technique, with pictures, in the book, "High Fashion Sewing Secrets from the World's Best Designers" at pp. 105-108. She has you complete each step for all buttonholes, before proceeding to the next step. Claire also discusses the windowpane opening in this book at pp. 60-62, which had me furrowing my brow in confusing. Maybe it would be clearer with practice.

I'm going to practice the patch and two-strip methods, and if I go down in flames, I'll do machine+hand buttonholes. Although I must admit that machine buttonholes just scare me. It feels so out of control.

One last option: The inimitable Roberta Carr presents another approach to the bound buttonhole. She discusses the "Spanish Snap Buttonhole" at p. 187 of her lovely book, "Couture, the Art of Fine Sewing". Here is what she says enticingly about the Spanish snap buttonhole:

"Frequently used by the designers, this buttonhole has very thin lips that can hardly be seen, I like to call them "invisible" bound buttonholes. The advantage of a Spanish snap buttonhole is that it can be made very small -- as one might use on a silk blouse. On the other hand, Spanish snap buttonholes are equally effective used on a tweed or nubby fabric with the lips made from wool flannel or worsted."

So I'll practice those too, using the making the lips from both my fashion fabric (a rather light linen/tencel blend) and from the navy ambiance that I used for the Hong Kong seam finishes. Unless someone warns me away from either, or suggests a third, superior alternative. What about navy organza, which I happen to have?

I hope that this summary is useful to others, I know that I am really interested in trying at least three of these approaches on scraps (patch, two-strip and Spanish snap), and perhaps if one looks nice, then I will recreate a strip of the front with facing attached, and practice on that. If I can get them looking halfway decent, I'll move on to my jacket. If not, machine+hand.

I did make significant progress on my straight linen/tencel skirt today, which fits quite well, so I still have a chance of finishing the JCC. I need to cut out the lining, but first I have to figure out if I will stick with the pattern directions (separate waistband) or do a faced waistband with lining hanging from the facing. I'm also interested in elastic in the back to help with changing waist measurements. Lastly, I may want to add a top to the lining/skirt for structure and not having to think in the morning about what to throw on under the suit. I can also sew dress shields to the top part of the lining. Claire Shaeffer shows a gorgeous example of this at p. 102 of her "Couture Sewing Techniques" book but without how-to instructions. Does one make the one-piece slip (top and skirt) and then attach the skirt to the waist?

Thanks again everyone for taking the time to read this thread and offer me your thoughts. I thought it was really neat to read them and see them echoed in my books; you bring the books to life.


P.S. Just in case anyone is interested, "Tailoring, Traditional and Contemporary Techniques," has very nice discussions of three types of "fabric" buttonholes (which they acknowledge are traditionally called "bound" buttonholes but are really piped or corded): (1) the five-line patch, (2) the butterfly with a faced opening, and (3) the corded trips. They give some suggested variations and discuss the advantages and limitations of each method. Essentially, I could spend the rest of June exploring just the stuff in pp. 155-168 of this book. They provide four guidelines, including "complete one buttonhole at a time". But two other references said to work on all buttonholes at once, doing each step on all buttonholes at the same time for uniformity. The latter makes more sense to me, any thoughts?

Monday, June 30, 2008

JCC - Two Pieces Done

Only three more to finish in 27 minutes! This isn't going to happen.

I almost finished the jacket, but my fourth ff covered button has disappeared, and I took that as a Message that I shouldn't try to make my first set of bound buttonholes in a jacket (or anything, for that matter, outside of practice scraps) tonight. Tomorrow, after a bit more practice.

I did get the skirt finished, and my daughter made me a beautiful matching necklace. Here is a picture in terrible lighting, with my loyal hound.

I'll take better pictures when I get the jacket done. I couldn't find an invisible zipper in a coordinating color, so I tried a hand stitched zipper and was really happy with the results.

This has been a great experience. I have learned a great deal and had lots of fun. I'm also participating in Sarah Veblen's underlining class at, and that has given me much to think about for coordinating skirts and tops. So this skirt and the finished jacket will only be the beginning.

My favorite piece? The necklace that my daughter made to go with this capsule wardrobe.


Friday, May 30, 2008

Meme! (I guess it is called that because it's all about "me".)

I went to visit Claire's blog at to catch up with her sewing and related thoughts, and found that she was so kind to think of me to tag for a meme, so here goes.

1) What was I doing 10 years ago?

I was working as a slave, I mean "associate", at a law firm doing round the clock projects while my daughter repeatedly watched the entire Star Wars trilogy (the three good ones) and had pizza with the staff, then went to sleep curled up at my feet. This was fine until she started school, so that was the year I stressed about what to do. It all worked out.

2.) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order):
It is 9:32 p.m. here in beautiful Connecticut (truly a lovely day) so, like Claire, I shall focus on tomorrow:
a) Get allergy shots without having a strong reaction and taking out the tv set on which the kiddies are watching Jiminy Cricket sing Xmas songs in that annoying voice (I kid you not, this happened two Saturdays ago at 8:30 in the morning -- me not happy).
b) Go to the barn and hand graze my horse then do rehab with him for 30 minutes (walk/trot work with a few bucks thrown in because I won't let him canter) while my daughter has a riding lesson. Then I get to walk as she rides her horse around for a nice relaxing trail ride because mine still can't be ridden for more than 30 minutes. Grrr. Soon!
c) Go to Joann's to get clear elastic because I'm sure I'll need it for something; I just read about using it with knits and slinky fabrics.
d) Work on my June Capsule Contest jacket! I just got the acceptance PM from Elizabeth.
e) Make sourdough bread/brie/fig jam sandwiches for my daughter's harp recital on Sunday.

3) Snacks I enjoy:
Dark chocolate Snicker's bars. Found them a Joann's
Callebaut bittersweet chocolate cut up in chunks
Dried, unsweetened mango slices

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
Send my daughter to the college of her choice.
Buy that 1000 acre estate in a temperate climate and raise Lusitanos and greyhounds.
Have a lot of help around the barn named Raoul and such.
Invite all of my friends to visit whenever they want, for however long they want to stay.
Travel, travel, travel.
Intense study of couture, fabric, etc.
Donate to WWF, alternative energy projects.

5) Places I have lived
Pennsylvania, Chile, Puerto Rico, New Caledonia, Australia, Connecticut, Colorado, the Middle East, Connecticut.

6.) Jobs I have had:
Since 16:
Restaurant hostess (was a cocktail waitress until they discovered I was only 16)
Dental assistant (boy it's fun assisting a dentist when the patient is wrapped up in chains and giving you that fanatical, homicidal glare while the cops watch every twitch)
Assistant at geochem lab
Writer at technology consulting groups
Author (under a different name)
IT consultant at large insurance company in Connecticut
law clerk at Connecticut Supreme Court
associate at law firm
now in house attorney at large Connecticut energy company (energy prices are only going up, baby -- see above alternative energy plug)

7.) 6 peeps I wanna know more about
There are so many people I'd like to know more about, but have they already been tagged?
Alexandra at because I so admire her style, especially her use of scarves. I'll be copying her there for my JCC entry.
Gigi at because she seems so nice and beautiful and I've found her tutorials so helpful.
Kathleen Fassanella at because she's Kathleen Fassanella -- always interesting.
Elizabeth ("ejvc") who came up with the JCC at and because of her wit. I suspect she is a bit sleep deprived.
Dawn at The Secret Pocket. Her Little Prince coat is gorgeous and her work is impeccable.
New people that I "meet" every day in this fantastic online sewing community.
And of course, Claire, who is a joy to visit fabric shops with. There is a woman who knows her fabric, and how to pull them together. I need to stop buying the same stuff, but how can I when she goes unerringly for the best wool doubleknits? I can't tag her again, but the thought remains.

Next blog entry: My JCC plans based on the Advance pattern below. With pleas for help. Please check back tomorrow!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Fitting & Alterations - Help Needed

It became evident early on in my Timmel SWAP 2008 attempt that I need some serious help with fitting. As Claire notes on her blog, 50 is the new 30 (making me 27), but my figure hasn't recognized this basic fact.

Apparently, I need a broad back adjustment (probably from trying to hold in my 17 hand warmblood), a sway back adjustment, and a full bust adjustment. This I learned in my first fitting class, what will be discovered if we complete all six?

Sadly, my local sewing center closed just two days after that first class, but a few of us have contacted the teacher and will try to carry on. Now that I know how much help I need (yes, ignorance is bliss), I really really need to finish this course.

Predictably, I took about 15 patterns with me to class and chose one of the most complicated as my first effort. Because it is a very fitted vintage style, it demands these alterations. As our instructor said, I probably wouldn't need all of them with a less fitted pattern, but then I need fitted or I look frumpy.

At left is my pattern. Doesn't she look so happy? The joie de vivre, the grace, the cool insouciance (noun the cheerful feeling you have when nothing is troubling you).

Ah, this is why I sew. It really isn't about fit. It is about feel. In this suit, I will carry some of this attitude into work with me, and it'll show.

If I can get it done. First I have to cut off the peplum sleeves to do the FBA, according to THE BOOK. This scares me. At least I traced the pattern first, it is safely back in its envelope.

Until next time,

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Can't Get Enough Plaid

Someone started an interesting thread at Stitcher's Guild with respect to skirts and plaid. Naturally, the topic took off and soon we were discussing everything in plaid.

I even found a dress that I had made over fifteen years ago, which I was so proud of. Then. Now I look at it and mutter bad things to myself, like "80s shoulders" and "bad plaid placement at bodice". Oh well. I still like it.

This got me thinking about plaid, and the wonderful article with great pictures on how to sew with plaids at Timmel Fabrics.

So now I am basing my entire Timmel SWAP 2008 around a swing jacket in a plaid fabric, cut on the bias. I need to take it apart again to use a nice fusible interfacing on it, to keep it from stretching out too much so it will be awhile before I post pictures. In the meantime, I've begun a little library of my own, of pictures of plaid garments for future reference.

My favorite, at the moment, is this one:

Monday, February 4, 2008

Sixteen Years Ago

Yesterday I got up to work on my V2989 top some more, but I got all distracted and ended up taking pictures of a couple of things I made over 16 years ago. I've asked for a critique of the blue suit at Stitcher's Guild, and I'll repeat that request here:

Hello, I would appreciate comments on this suit, which I made over 16 years ago.

I've recently gotten back into sewing and I'd like to avoid some of my mistakes as I move forward.

Having said that, I can't believe I made this. Even a welt pocket! I was too afraid to put one into DD's hunt jacket, and I had already made one. The flaps were messed up, but the actual welts were fine.

I over pressed with a bad iron, I didn't use much interfacing, and cheap pellon where I did (buttons show this), I made my own lining for the skirt and it is too small, plus I sewed the hems of the skirt and lining together. Not sure if I'd do that again, it is doing funny stuff around the hem. This was before I realized that wool can shrink even if dry cleaned, no pre-shrinking in those days. I think that may be some of the problem.

The jacket is from Vogue 2538, a Christian Dior pattern (I'll post it as soon as I scan it in), and the skirt is from Style 4784.

Here is a link to my Picasa web album, with many shots of the jacket and skirt:

I'm self-taught, and hope to get to a class soon. They tend to be held in the evening during the week, which is difficult for me to make. Until then, I would appreciate comments and suggestions. Thanks!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Making Progress!

And not just on my pretty Storyboard. Although that has changed:

Last night I fused interfacing to my V2989 top and Style skirt facings (very deep because it is a raised waistband). It is new interfacing and I was afraid of it, but remembering that "the perfect is the enemy of the good" -- or, in my case, "the done" -- I forged ahead and all was well. In fact, I love both interfacings. I was so happy.

Until I draped the V2989 top against me and realized that it is going to be pretty tight. The pattern calls for 5/8" seam allowance, think it'll work if I do 3/8" on the side seams, and adjust the arms accordingly? The fabric is a cotton/lycra blend.

Oh, and I cut my Textile Studios Madison Avenue Dress out one size too small, what was I thinking? It will be perfect for DD, but I want to wear it. So, I'm thinking 3/8" side seam allowances instead of the 1/2" the pattern calls for. That should be just enough, especially if I keep doing yoga. Any thoughts on how this will affect the drape, etc? Here's a pic in case you don't already have it in your pattern stash:

I do want to be able to wear it to work with a soft jacket. Someone at PR lined the back of their dress to prevent see-through. I have lots of Bemberg eggshell that is the right color, but no stretchiness. Any thoughts on what to line an ivory cotton/lycra dress with?

These are all in my wearable muslin fabric from so nothing to cry about, except for the time involved. DD will be able to wear anything too small for me, and look great in them.

Further cutting into my sewing time is a trip to Chicago this Sunday. I'll be landing at about 5:00 p.m. and staying at a Hilton in "the Loop", in meetings Monday morning, and possibly free Monday afternoon. My plane leaves at 8:00 p.m. Anybody available for a quick late lunch or early dinner, and possibly a snoop shopping expedition?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Hunt Jacket - Suitability 5004

This is a hunt jacket made from a Suitability pattern. I made the Women's version. It was my first foray back into the world of sewing after a 15 year hiatus. A bit over the top for a first-time-after-awhile project, especially because it was more complicated than anything I've made before, but much easier than I expected. The Suitability instructions were superb, everything went together perfectly, and the result was more than I had hoped for.

This has to be the most worn UFO on the planet. I literally finished sewing on the snaps (the buttons are "temporarily" sewn on the front of the jacket) before throwing it on my daughter, who then leapt onto her horse and rode into the ring to win her class. An equitation class, where looks do count. I like to think that this jacket played a small role.

Anyway, no lining either, the pieces sit in one of my drawers waiting to be sewn up and inserted. A nice Bemberg fabric. It was wonderful to be able to make her a beautiful, fitted, lightweight jacket out of a lovely wool/rayon blend. Unless you go for top of the line, the riding jackets tend to look very stiff and be as hot as ovens. Even the expensive wool jackets are lined in polyester, unless you go very top of the line.

Now I have to make another for me because she won't let me wear hers anymore. And I need to make us each a dressage jacket. Grrr.

But first, back to my Timmel 2008 SWAP stuff!

Timmel SWAP 2008 - Stage II (sort of)

Wow, this is fun! Here is my Stage II board, although as mentioned below it looks as thought the blouse and dress from V2989 (my original wardrobe pattern) may make it into Stage I. Back to cutting.

Timmel SWAP 2008

Inspired by all of the sewists at and, I'm jumping (late) into the blogging thing. I hope to spend more time actually sewing than laboring over this blog and otherwise thinking of sewing, which hasn't been the case up until now, and hopefully this blog will be one handy place to track my journey.

For now, here are my SWAP Stage I and II plans, always subject to change. In fact, I seem to be moving towards V2989 for two of my tops (blouse and dress). The fabric spoke to me.