Friday, February 28, 2014

Named Jamie Jean & My First Contribution to The Monthly Stitch

This fabric was very difficult
for Mr. Toad to photograph.
I know, you thought that today I would be showing you my finished safari jacket. Nope. That was too much to finish in time, so last night, I decided that that I would go ahead and make a pair of jeans to submit for the February Challenge on The Monthly Stitch and as my entry into the Pattern Review New to Me Pattern Company,

I had originally planned to make Mr. Toad's dress pants and submit those. Well, I have had to just roll with the requests and various demands in my life. This meant no dress pants--for now--and continuing the safari jacket next week.

Well, I love my new jeans. I've been wearing them since I finished.

I have to admit buying jeans is a nightmare. The Ready To Wear Fast keeps me from being lazy and just replace my sagging jeans that I have been shrinking out of.
I love to sew jeans. I have made several pairs of the Jalie 2908 stretch denim jean. I've just had to start modifying to make them fit and be more current. I started hearing about this Named Jamie Jean and wanted to try it. 
This pocket is what attracted me to the Jamie Jean. It is
easy to make with their directions and the front seam.
The Jamie Jean is a skinny jean. Named Clothing Co. is in Finland. This is a downloadable pattern, but only has 16 pages with 2 sizes per page. When you buy it, you get all six sizes-34-44.The instructions are in a separate file. 
I used a cotton/poly/lycra jacquard with tone on tone black zebra stripes. I bought the fabric while on a very quick trip through my local Joann's. I was there to get thread for another project and told myself that if they had a tone on tone stretch denim that I could get it to make the jeans. Well, they had it and it was on sale! I only spent $15 for the fabric!
Inside details. Sorry for the fuzzy. The pocket linings
don't show at all from the right side. I would recommend
putting the right/design side toward the body.
I really enjoyed sewing this pattern. Once the 16 pages were assembled, it had to be traced because the pieces were overlapped. It also had the seam lines printed, along with another size. It was a little disorienting at first, but it was easy to trace because I used tissue paper. I wasn't sure about the pattern.
There were a lot of pages in the instructions, but the real instructions only had 9 steps. Some of these were broken down into smaller steps. I did try to follow directions, but I also like to serge multiple pieces at a time. This caused me to jump around a little. I also ended up sewing the back pocket a little different than they did, but it is on and I'm not taking it off. 
A little baggy in back. I'm not going to
work out the problems because
I am still losing weight.
The majority of the instructions were great. The order of the steps were logical and explained well. Unfortunately, the instructions for the zipper left me--with a lot of practice putting in zippers--confused. Once I figured it out, the zipper went in well, but it wasn't very straight forward.
I really like the top stitching on the front seam and inseam. It really adds a subtle high end detail. The front pocket is also different than the standard western jean pocket, which requires the front seam. I'm not sure if I am a fan of the front seam yet. It feels a little odd, but since I like the jean, I might try harder to get used to it.
I made no alterations to the pattern. In fact, I haven't even hemmed them. I usually wait a few washings before making a final hem because of shrinkage. I hate it when I love a jean and it ends up too short because of shrinking.

The top stitching and other details. Clicking and enlarging
will show more. This is a horrible to photograph fabric.
The fabric I used doesn't have much stretch and it really made me nervous as I was getting closer to finishing. It was looking small. I still have this image of me being heavier. When I tried it on before putting the waistband on, I was pretty happy. It looked like it was going to be a perfect fit.
Well, after finishing, it turns out, that I may need to try the next size down. I have a little baggy in the back and thigh. But I still like them!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Taking a Break at Step 27 of 96--Safari Jacket

Pad stitching on wrong side--this will be hiden inside the fabric.
I like pattern instructions with 5 or 6 steps, even say...30. I again have a long pattern with 96 steps. Vogue 8732 is definitely a challenging pattern.

This is day 5. I am wondering if I will finish in time to enter it in the Inspired by the Movies contest on I have three days until the deadline to enter, so I will try to make this quick.

Yesterday, I left off having just finished the welt pockets and the flaps, basting the front shoulder pleats and stitching the front waist tucks, I have now done the pad stitching on the lapels and taping the front of the jacket.

Pad stitching sounds scary, but having just pad stitched the lapels six times--twice that I finally liked--I can tell you, it is actually easy. Why did I pad stitch six times? Well, twice I had no clue. Third and fourth, I didn't think they were even enough. Fifth and sixth were just right.

Pad stitching--This is under the lapel and on right side
of fabric. It is hidden under the lapel   
I had trouble trying to find out what the outside was supposed to look like. So I am going to show it. Please remember that this is hidden under the lapel, but still on the right side of the fabric. I'm not sure if all pad stitching will look like. I think it is usually less obvious, or even all inside of fabric. I just don't know yet.

To do the pad stitching, I worked in rows parallel to the roll line, which is marked in my disappearing ink fabric marker and stitched with small diagonal stitches. With the right side up, I folded the lapel over my fingers on the roll line.

Now I would make 3/4 inch (1 cm) perpendicular stitches toward the roll line inserting the needle closer to me and out closer than the roll line. They were 3/4" (1 cm) apart. I would make these in a row. They would look like the stitches were diagonal on the top and straight lines underneath.

In the outside corner triangle, which is 1 1/4 inch (3 cm), the stitches become smaller and are now perpendicular the rest of the pad stitches. This is supposed to help the corner roll softly toward the chest.
This is after the pad stitching. See how it forms a gentle roll?
Oh, that is one of the finished pockets, and the front shoulder
pleat that I finished yesterday.

I did all of my marking with my purple disappearing ink fabric marker, which I did test. I marked the seam allowances and the little triangle. The other markings you see is my thread tracings in a red that I am trying to use up and my beige cotton basting thread. I like using the basting thread because It breaks when when it is caught under the permanent stitching and can be removed without damaging the other stitches.

I am pretty impressed with the final results. The lapel actually rolls gently from the roll line and the corner gently continues the roll.

After the lapels, I used the selvage of my fabric to tape the fronts edges by basting. Then stitching the edge to the tape and the tape to the interfacing (I used organza for the interfacing, because it is light and very stable).

I am now on the step where the front yoke is sewn to the front. However, after sewing them on, I realized that I had basted one of the pleats backwards. So, I will be unstitching, unbasting, and then rebasting and resewing before I can move to step 28.

I think the rest should be straight forward and should start going a little more quickly. I think....

Monday, February 24, 2014

Safari Jacket Progress--Vogue 8732

Vogue 8732-Safari Jacket
With only one kid at home on Friday and Saturday night, I had hoped to get some good sewing time. 

What was I thinking? 

I had something even better! 

I had some great one-on-one time with Youngest Son!

We hung out, ate bad for us food, and watched some movies. 

The pocket pieces for 4 pockets.
I did get some sewing started. I cut out the tissue for Vogue 8732 on Friday night and read through the instructions. 96 steps. Couture instructions only. 

Pocket flap--thread traced, basted interfacing and right sides
basted--ready to be machine stitched
Vouge 8732 is a safari style jacket and is part of the Claire Shaeffer Custom Couture Collection. I really get sucked into these couture projects. I'm using a polyester/rayon linen look from Hancock Fabrics. I wasn't sure if I liked it, but after washing (abusive washing to simulate Mr. Toad helping with laundry) it came out great. It doesn't press as nicely as linen, but it is not linen.

The progress on this has been slow. I didn't make a muslin. I thread basted all of the markings because there is no lining. I might change that if I can't pretty it up a little. 

I must really be trusting to put this out in public!
This is my hideous buttonhole. No where near my sample.

There is a lot of hand stitching and the I love the techniques. I just don't have the patience right now after just finishing my LWD less than two weeks ago. I have even cheated a little.

Buttonhole hole, basted shut
The pocket flaps are supposed to have hand stitched buttonholes. I made a couple practice and did one on a flap. Well, I didn't have any buttonhole twist or embroidery thread that matched the fabric, so I tried using two strands of my matching thread and waxed them together. I also ironed them to set the wax.

Not only were my buttonholes hideous, they wouldn't fit my buttons that I am planning to use.

Buttonhole stitched over basted hole.
I wasn't sure if I wanted to spend a couple hours, cutting the fabric and interfacing, basting and trimming the interfacing, and stitching the flap again. So, I carefully removed the hand stitched buttonhole and basted the hole shut. I then, used my machine to make a regular buttonhole on my machine that would fit my button. 


Buttonhole completed--It still needs to be trimmed.
I did a little happy dance and got back to work. I then made the welt pockets with the flaps. I basted and basted and stitched and basted and back stitched and tugged and adjusted and basted and slip stitched for many hours. The hours turned into days.

After all the basting and stitching, I have the four pockets finished, two basted pleats and two front tucks.

I now need a break before working on the front where I will be working on the roll line and some pad stitching.  I'm starting to wonder if I will get this done this week.

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Couture Dress class review

Online Sewing ClassThose who have been reading my blog are aware of the Little White Dress that I made for a contest on Pattern Review. I made the dress using couture techniques that were taught by Susan Khalje in her Craftsy class The Couture Dress.

This was the first class that I bought that was over a year ago. I was so excited to make the dress. It came with a pattern, Vogue 8648. I don't think I would have bought the pattern if it weren't for the class. The way the dress was drawn didn't pique my interest right away. Actually, most of the patterns I like most don't have artwork that makes me want the pattern.
Vogue 8648 was include in the class.
It took a week or two to get the pattern. I continued to watch the class while waiting for the pattern. I was trying to decide what view and what fabric. I didn't have a need, so it ended up waiting. I kept the pattern where I could see it and finally I had a reason to make the dress--the Little White Dress Contest!

I didn't enter the contest to win. I don't think many of those who enter are expecting to win, but instead do like I did and used it as inspiration. The contest required a classic dress that could be styled up or down and last many seasons. This pattern was an obvious choice. I would finally get to use the pattern.

The muslin made from the direction
given in the class

Susan Khalje has a wonderful reputation and she earns it. She teaches the class like you are the only student. While I never asked any questions, those who did received excellent responses.

The class is long. It needs to be to cover what is covered. It does not go into fitting. But it does go into fabric choices, interlining choices, and lining choices. She teaches a very in depth method of muslin making and marking, how to mark the underlining and basting the underlining and fabric.

Hand sewing is very time consuming and she explains how to do all of it for basting the dress, catch stitching seam allowances, zipper insertion, hemming and lining insertion. I'm sure there is more, but the class is so extensive.
My Couture Dress
One complaint I have read is that the class is so long. Another is that she makes a dress that many aren't making. Both of these could be valid, I personally enjoyed the details. Ms. Khalje was making a beautiful green wool plaid dress for her daughter. The design modifications and plaid/pattern matching packed more information into the class.

I have watched the class many times, especially areas that I wanted more detail. I believe that I will watch it more in the future. What I learned has carried over into other project than in the dress and other non-couture projects before I actually sewed the dress. I would recommend this class to those who would like to take their sewing up a couple of levels.

My only complaint about the class is that I now want to take her workshops more than I ever.

A Little Machine Embroidery

Mr. Toad's dress pants were sidelined so that I could do some quick projects for their snow camping trip--brrr. So far I've shown Mr. Toad's long johns and Middle Son's fleece hoody and pants. This is the last project. The award ribbons.

This was the project that scared me. Mr. Toad had requested that I create award ribbons and I had no idea where to start. So I brain stormed. Middle Son and I found some rip stop nylon at Hancock Fabrics. While there I grabbed some printable fabric that I didn't use after all. I really didn't know where to start.
Award Ribbons. I purposefully blocked the organization.
Well the brainstorming eventually lead me to the computer to scan some images into my embroidery software. I didn't like it and played around and added some depth to the "rocks" using gradients.

Once I had a picture, the words were no big deal, except they needed small scales. I used some cut away stabilizer and made sure everything was very secure before stitching with a small needle. I then folded it in half, folded under the edges and stitched using nylon/invisible thread. After folding the top, I some grommets in my stash--why do we think our stash is such a bad thing?

Overall, I'm pleased. So is Mr. Toad and Middle Son. Now, I need to worry that I'll be asked to do more!

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Quick fleece hoodie and pants

Kwik Sew 3773--View A
It was actually relaxing to make Middle Son a very basic and easy pattern. This is Kwik Sew 3773 sewn in fleece from Hancock Fabrics. I think I paid $12 for the fabric.

I finished his fleece pullover and pants last night. It would have been earlier, but I ended up sewing one of the legs inside out and needed to remove the serger stitches that were nearly invisible buried in the pile of the fleece. I also had to have him try on to get the hems right.

I don't sew with fleece often. This fleece is different than the Polar Tech that I used for Mr. Toad's long john's. I did make some blankets with it for Christmas. The extent of my sewing with it has been rolled hems on the serger and turned hems on the sewing machine. I really like that it doesn't unravel and pins were not necessary to cut out the fabric. I just laid the tissue on top and it stayed in place.

Kwik Sew 3773--pants
The pants would have taken about 30 minutes had I not incorrectly sewing one of the legs inside out. This was a result of texting and sewing. Don't do it. I should know better. It isn't the first time that my sewing has been affected by this type of distracted sewing. I spent more time fixing the leg than sewing the whole project.

The top took less than an hour. Some of that hour was trying to track down Middle Son to get the hem right on the sleeves. As you can see, this fleece picks up any thread, lint or animal hair within ten feet.

Middle Son says they are warm and cozy. He hates his picture being taken, which explains the expression. I made these for his snow camping trip. Brrrr.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Snow Camping Trip Detours Dress Pants

Kwik Sew 3773 View A
As I was struggling to figure out the front pocket facings, I found out that Middle Son needs (yes, I used italics to emphasize this need) non-cotton fleece pullover for his camping trip. Ugh!

I also was asked by Mr. Toad to make some award ribbons. He figures, I can just whip up some art, make a design, digitize it and embroider it. Hmmm. My family really thinks I can do more than I can. My Super Mom cape has been in the laundry pile and I can't be Super without it. Maybe if I catch up on laundry, I can wear my cape and get all these things done.

So after his consultation with an orthodontist, which is only blocks from a Hancock Fabrics,Middle Son and I decide to make a quick trip to grab some fleece. Like most fabric shoppers,  I have a way of looking for fabric. I do a quick glance over everything, do a walk through--of course I'm touching what grabs my eye--get a cart and start choosing what I think I want. Middle son has a different method, random aisles and bouncing from fuzzy fake fur, to rip stop, to fleece to denim, to sparkly stretchy sequin stuff. Oh, and he calls out "Mom, look at this....Mom, I need you to make ______ for ______." 
Named Jamie Jeans
This will fulfill two projecets:
The Monthly Sttich Pants &
Pattern Review New to Me Pattern Co.

I finally convinced him that he didn't need multicolored shaggy fake fur for a Halloween costume in February. So off we went to find his fleece. He settled on a navy blue while I grabbed Kwik Sew 3773, a basic no-zip hoody and sweat pants. I also wanted some fabric for a wearable muslin for Mr. Toad's dress pants. 

We also found some rip-stop in all three colors for the ribbons that Mr. Toad thinks I can create. I've also been trying to find the right designs to come up with an idea for the art work on the ribbons. The text is easy. I'm just not a graphic artist. I am also a very novice beginner at digitizing. 

So, for those of you waiting for the dress pants, it will be replaced by a pair of boring sweats, some attempts at making ribbon award thingys, and a pair of jeans.The jeans will be the replacement for the dress pants that I was making for the February Challenge at The Monthly Stitch

Thank you for joining my detour into guy clothes and maybe a little digitizing, embroidery and some craftiness. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

21 piece pattern--for pants!

Vogue 8890
School is out for the week so the kids are home. I decided this would give me some time to sew without having to run to pick them up. Ha. What was I thinking?

Well, we sat down yesterday morning to watch some shows together. I used the time to start cutting out Mr. Toad's pants pattern.! Yikes. 

Since he is a 34 in the pants--per Vogue sizing--and 38 in the waist, I decide to cut a 34 from the hips down and 38 above. After 45 minutes of glorious tissue cutting--while  blocking small dogs from jumping or stealing the tissue, I started marking the seam lines. I did this so that I could give larger seam allowances for adjusting. 

Vogue 8890
I am going into uncharted territory for Mrs. Toad. Men's dress pants and tailoring. I am making a muslin. Mostly for sizing and maybe practice the back pocket with their instructions. 
Seams lines marked. I use a thin Sharpie, because they do not
bleed or rub off after they are dry.

I am using Vogue 8890 View D. The muslin is the short version just to save on muslin. In addition to the the pattern instructions, I am also using Classic Tailoring Techniques: A Construction Guide for Men's Wear (F.I.T. Collection) and Making Trousers for Men & Women: A Multimedia Sewing Workshop. I have had the first for two and a half years and the second for three years. That is how long it has taken me to get to this. Procrastination? Fear? Intimidation? 21 pieces? I have used the David Coffin a lot for sewing pants for myself and the boys. Just not for Mr. Toad.
Machine thread traced seam lines. The colors are meaningless
I use whatever I have that I want to finish.

Once I marked the seam lines, I started laying out on muslin. I decided I am not doing the waistband on the muslin. If I make the back pocket, I will do one. I will do the front pockets because those will effect the fit. I may or may not do the fly. 

I thread traced the seam lines and dart lines. Then I played around with the pieces to see where they fit together and how I could add some room to the waist. These are a flat front pant, so eliminating pleats won't work. I finally decided to make one dart between the two original. 

Lining up the pieces to see how it will go together.

Some of these decisions are based on when I can get Mr. Toad to try the muslin on. Not easy. I think that is the hardest part of fitting others, especially men. I think women like to try things on

 After referring to Classic Tailoring Techniques: A Construction Guide for Men's Wear (F.I.T. Collection), I found that the back seam is where it wants you to add the extra. 

I decided to make one dart instead of two to add two
inches to the waist. 3 more to go!
Since Mr. Toad will not be available to try these on for a while, I've decided to practice the back pocket. Then I'll sew these up and wait for him to try these on tonight.  

If I finish before he tries these one, I will start to cut out the pattern for my safari jacket that I'm trying to finish to enter into the Inspired by the Movies Contest at Pattern Review. I think I must like juggling projects. I always seem to have two or more going at a time.

Expensive, but
it is full of information
on men's tailoring and fitting.
Men's clothes are definitely
built differently than women's,
I just found out that
I can get a Kindle version
for $2.99 because I
already have the print version!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Mr. Toad's New Long Johns

Mr. Toad and Middle Son are going on a Boy Scout snow camping trip. I find it difficult to believe anyone would actually plan to sleep outside in the snow. In fact, they are driving from our unseasonably warm weather to the snow in order to get out of a nice warm car, set up a tent, eat canned food, and sleep in the snow. Not really my idea of fun. While they are out "having fun," I'll be home sewing, eating nice healthy food and sewing.

Jalie 2328--only 5 pattern pieces for the long Johns
Jalie 2328--Long Johns
The front fly panels with the trim attached an stitched down
While I knew about the trip, I just found out that Mr. Toad needed a new pair of long Johns. Since he looks uncomfortable in the pair he has--you know the saggy rear, too short, bunching in the crotch--I didn't want to go out and buy another ill fitting, uncomfortable pair. Beside, I already had everything in my stash. Isn't that why we have a stash?

The panels layers and ready to attach to the back panel
I started out this morning searching for the pattern that I knew was already printed. Of course I couldn't find it, so I printed it again. That is the beauty of having a downloaded pattern. That and that it is fast to get at 2 am, or whatever time one decides they must sew something.

This pattern is 64 pages--two sheets of 32 that needed to be taped together. Not fun. I was able to get half done before leaving for church. I managed to keep the rippling to a minimum while I traced the pattern. While I was tracing I decided to also trace the additional piece for making these as the boxer briefs as well.

Front and back panels attached and ready to be attached to
the two legs
Last year, I made Middle Son a couple of pair of long John's for a different snow camping trip. He doesn't like snow, cold or dampness, I don't know why he thinks he wants to do this. I tried two thicknesses and loved both. Unfortunately, I only had the regular polar tech from left. It is thicker than the long John's I can buy locally and I haven't looked too much online so I really don't know what is out there.

Inside front-the lighting made them look lighter than
the solid black that they are
The pattern is pretty easy to put together. The front fly is baffling, but Jalie makes it simple. Words don't do as well as their wonderful illustration in the directions. I actually used the serger to attach the trim on the fly and the sewing machine with the stretch stitch it stitch it down.

Once the trim pieces are stiched on the fly, the fly pieces are attached to the back panel, by sandwiching the back panel between the two front fly panels. Then, the inseam is sewn and the panel is sewn to each side.

Inside back
That is just about it, except for adding the leg cuffs and the waistband. This is a really quick sew. unless your serger is having a bad day and you need to change threads several times. and have to undo all the serger stitches because the threads keep unraveling, and if you don't put one of the cuffs on inside out. All of which happened to me.

This has taken me less than 2 hours to pull everything out, thread the machines, cut the fabric, sew, and clean up. Today took a little longer because of these minor issues, but only an additional hour.
Jalie 2328--back view
Manny's legs end at the knees 

It is difficult to do this shot tastefully
but it is necessary for this pattern.
I hope I don't offend anyone.

Jalie 2328-Long Johns Front View
This picture makes me laugh.
It is just comical to me.

I don't feel comfortable putting Mr. Toad's picture online in what is basically underwear. So, Manny and his half legs will have to do for this project.

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