Saturday, January 26, 2008

Vogue 2959 Sandra Betzina dress

I tried on Sandra's version of this dress at the sewing camp I attended last fall. I had the pattern already but wasn't enamored with it from the pattern pictures. However trying it on sealed the deal as I found it to be very flattering. I chose to do a similar treatment that she had done with a two-sided fabric, seamed wrong side together. This creates the contrast that highlights the seaming. After stitching the seams I topstitched them in place with a twin-needle. Trimming the excess seam allowance took a lot of time (especially because of the need to take care not to cut the garment fabric!!). If I hadn't done this, the dress would be rather quick to make and easy too.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Vogue 2949 Sandra Betzina Jacket

Finally I sew again. I wanted something quick and easy to get me jump started. I had a stack of patterns set out that I had in mind to sew, back in September before things got out of hand. Trouble was I couldn't remember what fabrics I had in mind for these patterns. I had to prowl through my stash to get a handle on this. Project ideas began to come back to me and I recalled this fabric/pattern combination.

This wonderful boiled wool had a fringed selvage that I wanted to use. I first thought I would use it for the hemline of a jacket. However this pattern called to me and I realized I could use the fringe for the center front edge which extends up to the collar edge. The opposite selvage had a smaller fringe which I used for the sleeve hem. I would have used the longer fringe but I didn't have enough yardage for the sleeves. So I laid the pattern sideways to use the selvage fringe. That worked great and I'm thrilled with my new jacket.

I spent a few hours fiddling with my serger, experimenting with edge finishes (blanket stitch, overcast, etc.) but nothing worked very well with this thick fabric. In the end I decided to use no edge finish, just rotary cut edges. The seams are stitched right sides together and topstitched open with a wide double needle. The construction of the jacket took less time than the serger fiddling!

I cut out but didn't use the bands at the bottom of the jacket. Sandra suggests in the pattern instructions that, if you are on the petite side, you consider leaving these off. I liked the look and length without the bands so, no bands.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Home again, again

Once again I have been gone, this time to visit our son, DIL and adorable grandbaby in Jackson Hole for the holidays. I've been frantically busy since our return from India with preparing for Christmas, ordering furnishings for our recently purchased town house in Jackson Hole, packing everything we could possibly fit into our SUV for the long drive to Wyoming. We had a very white Christmas there and I learned to drive on the snow. Our trip home was delayed a bit by the huge storm that hit the west and closed several of the highways on our route. But we made it home to California safely only to find the power had been out in our house for a week so all the food in the refrigerator/freezer has spoiled and smells. Plus the storm dropped branches on a faucet outside and it was flooding so the water had to be turned off. Maybe after a few days of dealing with all this chaos I can start sewing again!