Tag: silk/linen

Creative Finishing…or Making it Work?

Things were going so well! I have done some of my best sewing in years, and then this…..


Can you see it? My bound buttonholes are literally on the edge! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I pinned the facings, so I pulled out the pattern pieces to look again. They were correct.  I studied the markings still in view, and I have no idea what I did to make this happen (other than the obvious screw up of not marking correctly)! I admit it really took the wind out of my sails, but after sulking for a day, I gave myself a lecture and we moved on. After all, there was no fixing it, so there is nothing to do but keep going! Yes, the life lessons learned while sewing. It doesn’t matter how old you are or how much experience you have…humble pie is part of the deal, thankfully not too often.

I decided a break was in order, so left the coat and moved over to the dress, which had three main pieces. I decided that I would pin baste the organza to the linen and serge the edges. Not the best way to handle it, but I needed to move a lot faster, and that would save some steps. The potential for error was there, but thankfully, no mishaps, and the small bit of overhang will disappear when I fold up the hem.


The darts were straightforward. I marked the organza , then thread basted on the drawn lines and sewed them, tying knots at the points. The invisible zipper went in smoothly, good thing, because my choices were gray or white. I  bought the gray, but didn’t really like it when I pinned it in. The smooth application made it a non issue, because it is invisible. I’ll use some nail polish on the tab to lighten it up.

The most challenging part of this dress was attaching the facing to the lining. I thread basted the curves, they were pretty crazy! I decided to top-stitch everything down once it was pressed, just to keep everything in place. Another round of crazy curves and understitching to get the armhole and neckline, as well as the back straps, which were surprisingly straightforward. Finally, I could actually put it on, and …..it fits! ­čśů

In between, I did bits of hand stitching of the coat, so it didn’t just languish. After a quick DSCN0917check in with the graduate to be, I gave it one more push before I called it a night and took up my knitting needles to try to finish MIL’s birthday shawl. Today I tackled the nasty business of dealing with the buttonhole facings, and have determined that of course now my buttons are not going through those holes and will have to be downsized. However, I don’t anticipate buttoning the coat next week, so I think I’ll just go ahead with my oversized buttons for now. That leaves me with only the coat lining hem and the actual dress hem. Having the silk organza will make the dress hem a snap, no worries about it showing on the right side.

So, in spite of the nasty discovery that I’d made a huge mistake, with no option to change it, I still think I have a great outfit for this coming weekend. Back to the ironing board! Next time you see it, I’ll be wearing it!




Summer Coat Love

My coat from Vogue 1537 is in its final stages! I have been outside as much as inside the past week or so, but have tried to make sure I complete at least 4-5 seams each day, so the progress continues. 

As you can see, there’s been a lot of cutting that doesn’t pertain to the  coat, but to the dress! I plan to just keep sewing, and a good thing because we are now about 2 weeks away from leaving for CA. 

I am loving the linen contrast, and now that the pockets and sleeves are on satisfactorily, I have enough fabric to make a little clutch purse if I want. I solved my button dilemma…I’m making covered buttons. The front ones will be the pink, and those on the tabs may be plaid. In this photo the collar looks white; that’s just the interfacing on the undercollar. This pattern actually calls for the collar to be attached to the facings and lining, then sewn together…an interesting take, but I’ll try it this way and see.

While I am calling the linen pink, it is really somewhere between lilac and  a dusty rose. It definitely has some purple in it, however, I think that may be what allows it to work with the coat fabric. It is not a juvenile pink even though it may look that way in the photos. 

The past few days I have worked on the facings and the main body of the lining, which is now ready for the sleeves. Yesterday I attached the main body to the facings, and then added the collar and undercollar. I hope to have the sleeves set in before the day is out, then I will be ready to attach the two coats and make them one. 

I will still have quite a bit of hand work to do, tacking the neckline, underarms and shoulders, hems on the sleeves and on the coat, facings for the buttonholes, as well as making and attaching the buttons. I have the coat sleeves basted, and the button supplies purchased, so if I devote myself to a little bit of hand stitching during my lunch break the rest of the week, I should have much of the list completed before the weekend is out. I can still have a good start on the dress, which is only three pieces in the main body. I am looking forward to getting that started now that my silk organza has arrived in the mail!

How are your big projects coming along?

Sewing Silk/Linen

DSCN0819My coat fabric is unique. It has the look of a raw silk with a lot of variance in the threads, yet it has a definite linen quality to it as well. The nicest part about this blend is that it Does. Not. Wrinkle. It is also machine washable!! My original cut was probably 3.5 yards, but I used a large chunk for a jumper back when my girls were babies. That jumper went into the wash often to remove the typical infant fluids, and it washed like a dream! I probably won’t do that with this coat, but it is nice to know that’s an option should I need it.

I am using some of my dress fabric for the back side of facings, etc. to have enough of the plaid for the pockets and tabs. It will be a rose colored handkerchief linen (#3)from The Sewing Lounge, and I can’t wait for it to get here. The samples I received were wonderful, and I really wish the melon colors were good with my skin tone, but alas, I am an atypical redhead that has pink toned skin instead of the more usual peaches or olive, so the melon and coral, though beautiful were not for me. The winter white wool crepe, (#2) however, was drool worthy, even if it was $55/yard. I wish I dared make white pants….that would be something with the Peace Sweater…but I digress.


My biggest challenge thus far has been planning the layout to work with the fabric I have available. The tricky part has been matching the plaid. DSCN0825In some cases it isn’t possible, and in others I’ve opted to either go with the dress fabric, or jettison a design detail. I hope to make it all work, without glaring omissions or obvious faux pas. My first issue was the bound buttonholes, which had to be constructed of scraps. They ended up being off on the vertical, but the punk is so faint, I hope it isn’t noticeable. The fabric is quite tweedy, but isn’t raveling, and it is a dream to press!┬á

Thus far I haven’t had to rip much, and Ms. Necchi, tuned up and back to form, is handling the plaid well. The main body is now complete, the next challenge will be working out the sleeve layout, hopefully leaving enough fabric for matched pockets.

My fabric arrived yesterday!!!! DSCN0826

Sewing for Me!

Yes, I have made a decision about the first thing Iwill sew   for our graduation trip to California….and the winner is….the Kay Unger dress and coat! Now there is some altering to do on this dress; it needs to be longer, and I think that the back may be a bit wild for a daytime dress.  

Now for the fabric…I have two fabrics in my stash that I would consider, but both require finding a match, so the hunt is on! Girl #2 says that the temps could be in the 90’s, so I definitely need to consider that! 

My first choice is to use this for the coat. Unfortunately,  there will not be enough fabric to do the entire thing, so I’m going to need to be careful and creative. This fabric is a silk linen blend, really great texture, with a faint window pane plaid. I am trying to decide my best course of action, assuming that it will be impossible to match the blue. There is the white of course, along with a thread of pale pink and melon running through it.

After spending the afternoon cutting about 40 pattern pieces, I believe that I can squeak most of the coat out of the silk/linen. I think the pockets will fit, leaving me option of adding just a bit of something like a floral print, maybe for the buttonholes and the tabs on the sleeves. 

I have also found a pink linen that looks like a decent match, but maybe that’s too silly for an old mom? I would love to do a floral, but I think that may be too much. Or I could go with plain white and put a band of color or floral on the bottom…ugh!

Opinions? Advice? Fabric shops?  Anyone with a totally different idea? I’m interested in any and every possibility!