Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Step 2-Cut It All Out

This past Saturday, I took another step in making an ensemble to wear to Carole and David's vows blessing ceremony.

On Wednesday of the blizzard, I called the Daily Herald and had them stop the papers. I couldn't get to any papers tossed into the yard and there was no driveway open so it seemed like a silly thing to have newspapers delivered. Still, I wanted to read about the storm I was currently shoveling from the drive so I asked Pam to save me her papers.

Last week, she asked if I still wanted them and did I want her to drop them off. That turned into a "Why don't you bring the fabric over and we'll cut out the jacket?" event.

I like to sew. I'm part of that generation where Home Economics for girls and Shop for boys was part of the curriculum in school. I learned to sew when I was 13 and it's a skill I have used quite a bit throughout my life. I made a lot of Carole's dresses when she was growing up. Pants have given me fits over the years. I love fabric stores and have 2 boxes of material I haven't turned into creations.

While I love to sew, I hate the pinning of the pattern. I'd almost pay someone to do that part so I could get right to the sewing part. Having a friend to talk with, plus her gigantic dining room table, would make this onerous part easier.

We measured the pieces and decided the jacket needed 3 more inches on the bottom. The pattern comes with 2 jacket lengths. I was not making the long version, which is a couple inches above my ankles. I was making waist length. But it was just a bit short for comfort and looks. So, what you see is me measuring and marking the pattern to add 3 inches to the bottom of the jacket. The hem on this is just a small "turned under and stitched" hem.

Once the pattern was altered, I spent about 10 minutes looking at the fabric and deciding exactly where the piece should be placed for the best lay of the design. Where did I want the flowers to land? We also had to consider matching the motif so it lay the same way on both the left and right sides.

I cut out the first piece, the right front of the jacket. This photo really doesn't do justice to the fabric. The shine picks up light and depending upon whether it's incandescent or natural, turns the background gold or cream. Of course, with a black tee shirt, it's hard to gauge how it will look in the final product, but I am so thrilled with this choice of material. It looks elegant and that's exactly how I need to look on my daughter's special day. (Just so you know, she vetoed jeans, even brand new jeans.)

Here are Pam's hands helping position the right back piece after cutting the left side. There is a center seam to the back and while we weren't looking to match the pattern, as you would with a plaid, we were trying to decide where to put the piece so the motifs were similar.

We talked. We laughed. She gave me Dr Pepper. When I do this at home, I have a table and a cutting board I can use. I also have inquisitive cats. It was not uncommon to have someone jump up on the table and plop themselves down in the middle of your project. Tissue paper and cat claws are not a good mix. Being able to do this without having to repeatedly move a cat was lovely.

Here I am, down to the next to last piece, the sleeves. They are plenty long, just as I like, with that small 5/8ths inch rolled hem. I didn't have to add any length there. The only trick was picking a section of fabric that was similar in design for both sleeves. 

There is a cut on the bias (meaning stretchy) neck facing left to do. I have extra fabric if I want to make something else. You can see here that the fabric has an equally elegant back. It's really just that muted hot pink with cream flowers. The green barely shows up on the back.

I will have to finish all the seams to prevent raveling but, mercifully, I picked a pattern with very few seams. I  haven't checked my thread stash to see if I have the correct cream colored thread to sew this. I need to make room on the kitchen table for the sewing machine. It's probably a day's work to create, which isn't long at all.

Another benefit to going to Pam's besides just the fun of chatting and laughing and the help and the Dr Pepper, was the memory trigger that she was going to loan me a cream colored purse for the wedding. She got it to go with her dress worn to her son's wedding. I knew I would have to get something more elegant for whatever I chose to wear but she's got the perfect thing.
It's the right size and it matches. I do need to get shoes as I don't have any in the right color but that's a small price to pay when I've saved a huge amount on the outfit and purse. 

It was a good way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Now on to Step 3-Sewing. 

Beverage:  China Black tea


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