Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Wrapup: Part 2B, the Jacket (continued) and Skirt

When my mother came by one more time to fit the jacket sleeve, we discovered that it was too long.  Also, the attempt to make a placket at the midline seam was a fail.  We folded it up and I decided to scrap the placket altogether.  We also adjusted the length of the jacket.

The sleeve with fail placket.
After adjusting the length of both sleeve and jacket body.
With the fit finalized, it was time to start preparing the denim and putting the parts together.

More behind the cut....

I had to crack out my trusty Bernina 830 Record, as there was satin stitching and buttonholes to be done.  It made the apartment pretty crowded to have all three machines set up!

This thing makes pretty darned awesome buttonholes.
I stitched some ornamental stitching on the back of the yoke, with the intention of it resembling the king of stitching you see on the pockets of blue jeans.  It came out great.  And then, completely on impulse, I decided to satin stitch a line of faux trim around the band collar.  It  came out looking excellent!  Well played, I must say.  I also stitched up a pair of epaulets and some tabs to be sewn to the sleeve bands and waistbands, but couldn't get the topstitching to look nice; I decided that I would simply omit them.  It worked out for the best, because they were really unnecessary.

The embellished collar and yoke, as shown previously.
Additionally, the fronts took some prep.  The military-inspired strips across the front were appliquéd self fabric strips.  It took careful marking and handling, but they went on very easily:

The right front, with chalk marks - and Heat N Bond tape to hold the strips for stitching.

The strips are fused down to be stitched on the Mercury.

The front, trimmed and with buttons laid on to show the finished look.

I didn't take a single picture of the construction of the jacket itself, as it follows the same basic steps as your average men's shirt with a yoke.  The only interesting part was the sleeve caps, which hold the gathered caps up.  They were made from self-material, so adding a gathered cap to a gathered sleeve in a denim body made for a very thick shoulder seam.  It was a little dicey to sew through, even on the Mercury - and serging the seam allowance required taking three stitches and then using a screwdriver to stuff the raw edges under the serger's knife.  It was not necessarily proper technique (and probably not good for my serger, but whatever). The sleeves were set flat and the side seams sewn after; I discovered that the sleeves were larger in diameter than I expected from the muslin, but the fix for that was very easy and quick.

The buttons took the better part of an evening to stitch on.  They are shank buttons so must be done by hand, and the satin finish on them is directional; they all had to be carefully oriented in the same direction.  A few of the buttons are a few degrees off.  In theory I should have put backer buttons on them, and may eventually go back and so so.  The neckline actually has a permanent V, so only the bottom three buttons actually button.

I am quite pleased with the finished results - the collar and ticking facings are particularly good.  The caramel topstitching and embroidery, the shiny brass look buttons, the cropped length - these all give plenty of detail and shape to the finished garment.

Sorry for the crappy cell phone picture.

I did also make a skirt.  It is a copy of a Jones New York skirt I already owned; the copy came out looking well but I didn't accommodate the bias very well in construction.  The pieces "grew" a little in width and so the waist was very difficult to ease onto the waist facing.  It came out nice enough to wear casually.  It's fully hemmed, has a side zipper, and the panels are all topstitched.  It came out a tiny bit large, so I'll eventually wash and dry it on hot to shrink it a bit.  Sorry, no pictures... it was a bit of a rush, so I didn't take the time to photograph my work.

At the zero hour, I decided I MUST have a petticoat to go under the skirt.  That came out kind of poorly because I rushed.  I may remake it later; it's just white muslin and a bit of eyelet lace I found in my fabric stash.  I wish I'd made it long enough that it would peep out from under the skirt's edge, and I sewed the flounce on wrong side out.  But hey, it's a petticoat - and it did serve its purpose of adding a touch of fullness to the skirt, as well as keeping things from getting too breezy if you know what I mean.

More tomorrow about taking the outfit to Steamcon, and about the overall experience.

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