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Paris in November?

Started by Susan in Saint John, December 01, 2019, 04:36:45 pm

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Susan in Saint John

The theme of my proposed SWAP is 11 garments suitable for a real or imaginary visit to Paris in November 2020.  The inspiration is a garment that I made almost 20 years ago which is a bit of an orphan.  It is a Chanel styled jacket made in a Susan Khalje "Little French Jacket" course in Halifax in 2005.  And yes, it still fits me!  It's a wool tweed/boucle in various warm browns [dark chocolate to caramel] with some red in it.

This jacket will be a garment made before the start of SWAP 2020.  My plan is that it will go with all of the other garments in the SWAP.

The second garment made before the start of SWAP will be a Loes Hinse Italian Blouse made from the same fabric as the lining of the jacket.  I am planning on changing the buttons on this blouse to self-covered as I'm not happy with the current plastic buttons.  This blouse was made several years ago and it is also a bit of an orphan.

The remaining 9 garments will be a combination of trousers and tops.  Although a dress and/or a second jacket/vest are possibilities.

I plan to sew from stash.  The coordinating fabrics that I have on hand include 2 pieces of menswear suiting for trousers.  One is the darkest brown in the jacket and the other is a medium brown.  I do have another rusty brown which would work for trousers but it is heavier and would need to be lined as it's a bit scratchy.  This might work for winter at home but would be too hot for Paris.  I also have some linen.  I have several pieces of silk dupioni for tops or perhaps trousers.  I have a piece of caramel silk charmeuse and a piece of caramel Thai silk for tops/shirts.  I have a length of kind of striped Bali Batik rayon which could work for tops or a dress.  I also have a piece of red flecked with peach wool blend which could be a jacket.  I do have some RTW in my closet which coordinate.

The available fabrics would be dressier than I'd usually wear at home but would work for a big city trip or for some activities at home.

Susan in Saint John

A lot of what I wear is lagenlook.  This doesn't necessarily work so well with the theme jacket. However, trousers with bottom details like some of the Sewing Workshop patterns or Marcy Tilton patterns will work.  Mostly elastic waist and pockets are essential features.  As this will be a travel wardrobe, I'll be making security pockets copied from some Tilley men's pants.  I don't have a TNT pant pattern so some trouser muslins will be required.

I think that knee length tunics with hem interest may work with the jacket and trousers.  I made a Lynn Mizono https://voguepatterns.mccall.com/designer/lynn-mizono test garment and I think I can morph the skirt onto the Springfield top [add sleeves?]

I am going to build on my TNT Springfield Top as the jacket is warm enough that sleeveless tops will work and some of the pieces of fabric from stash may not be long enough for sleeves.  Developing a TNT top with sleeves is one of my priorities and SWAP will be an incentive to do this.  I would also like to make the Harrison Shirt [another Cashmerette pattern].

Susan in Saint John

Now the tough question is what will I do for a new technique?  As I've been sewing for decades, there is not a whole lot I haven't tried.  I would like to improve my bias facings as I haven't mastered getting them to lay perfectly flat.  Welt pockets with a zipper in trousers is something that I've not tried so that may be my new technique.  As I work away on SWAP, I may come up with something else.

The extent of my plan is to basically make bottoms and tops from a group of fabrics from stash which coordinate with my LFJ and develop a TNT trouser pattern and a TNT top pattern with sleeves.  Completing that by April 30 would make me very happy as would a trip to Paris in November.

Susan in Saint John

I have some leather that coordinates nicely with my fabrics.  I've never sewn real leather so I might find a place where I can use some in this SWAP.

Susan in Saint John

I've signed up for Brooks Anne Camper's skirt course which starts this week.  I expect that one of my bottoms will now be a skirt although I rarely wear skirts.

Making pants that actually fit my son is on my to do list.  He gave me a pair of pants which he likes but need to be replaced as a sample.  They have an elastic waist detail which is also used in some Tilley men's pants.  It has an invisible section of elastic in the waistband which runs from the edge of the slant pocket into the back waistband.  I remember seeing this expandable waistline pocket detail in Threads a long time ago.  I'll search the Threads archives to see if I can find it.  I think now that this will be my "new" technique.

While DD was visiting, we completed a muslin of a top with sleeves.  This particular top will not fit into SWAP because it's a tunic with an asymmetrical hem but it will fit into my Winter 6PAC.  I'm going to work on it today.

Susan in Saint John

Found the "expanding pocket" is in Threads #144 and there is expanded detail on David Coffin's blog DPC on Making Trousers -- scroll to the bottom and read up.

Susan in Saint John

It's going to be Portugal in November as I've put a deposit on a November Douro river cruise.

Today, I put the lagenlook dress/tunic on the dressform and the go with everything Little French Jacket over it -- not a good look!  Scratch that!  It could work in my winter 6PAC but I am going to concentrate on garments that will work in both.  Today I finished a shoulder princess tunic which works in my winter 6PAC but not in SWAP.  However, I now have a TNT shoulder princess top with sleeves.  I spent some time in my pattern stash looking at top patterns [avoiding trousers!].  I do plan to copy the successful sleeves to the Cashmerette Montrose but first I came across an older Peggy Sager's pattern which is a shoulder princess with a curved button opening in the centre panel.  I've drafted a new centre panel.  I need to trace off the remaining pieces and then cut it out.  I have some washed silk dupioni with a permanent centre crease line which I can work around easily and I did find some OK buttons in stash.

I have started the Brooks Ann Camper Skirt Skills course.  She is strongly encouraging us to make a pencil skirt.  I hope I can nail the fit because such a skirt would work will in this SWAP and I have 2 pieces of menswear suiting which are long enough for a skirt and trousers.  We'll see how the skirt evolves.

Susan in Saint John

I have the modified Silhouette pattern #675 blouse cut out in silk dupioni.  One of the odd things about this essentially double breasted pattern with a curved opening is just how to arrange the buttons so they don't look weird.  Conventional thinking would be that the buttonholes should be either on the lengthwise grain or the crosswise grain but the curve makes the spacing uneven.  Yesterday, I realized that I could actually make curved bound buttonholes evenly spaced along the curve which would solve this problem.  You see curved welt pockets sometimes and bound buttonholes are actually mini welt pocket openings.  This would be my new technique!  The only thing I've changed on this TNT shoulder princess with sleeves pattern is to add this curved opening to the front panel so I decided that a muslin should not be necessary.  I may regret this!

The Brooks Ann Camper Skirt Skills class is progressing and I finally got caught up watching the videos.  I think my skirt is going to be a straight/pencil skirt below mid-knee with tucks instead of a dart in the front to give me much needed room to sit.  When I was researching men's trousers, I found an article on Gentleman's Gazette on how trousers should fit which explained why pleated trousers are the best option for "portly" shapes.  In the class, the 3 demo skirts all have shaped waistbands or yokes.  I need to add some elastic for sitting room to my waistband so I may opt for a conventional 1" waistband with elastic for the waistband interfacing.  Pockets are essential and I don't want them to gap/gape.  Conventional trouser pockets may be OK.  This skirt will need a full muslin, I think.

Here we are at the end of the first week in February and I still have not completed 1 new garment for my SWAP.  This is somewhat discouraging but I now have a sleeve (and armhole) that I can use.

Susan in Saint John

Well, here we are in the first week of March.  I spent 5 days last month at a bra making course.  I came away with 1 wearable bra -- could this be my new technique?  I could wear it under all my tops as part of my outfits -- would it count as a garment for SWAP?

The silk dupioni blouse is nearing completion.  I decided not to make curved bound buttonholes.  I carefully plotted out the buttonhole locations around the curve, thread traced the locations, and made narrow machine buttonholes which because they are relatively small follow the curve.  I just have the sleeve hems to finish.

I have kind of lost interest in doing a skirt as I rarely wear them.  I do need to come to grips with making trousers!  The Sewing Workshop West End Pant -- really a culotte is a possibility and may be relatively easy to fit.

While rummaging in my stash looking for bra making supplies, I found another bin which contained several fabrics which may work in this SWAP.

Susan in Saint John

Yesterday, I finished the first top.  I may wear it tomorrow to make sure I like it.  I've been having a shoulder issue and tops with front closures may be easier to manage.  I like this curved front closure and it could be made to work on a dress or tunic.  With some elegant buttons or even self fabric buttons it could look sophisticated.  Finishing the inside neatly turned out to be challenging because I used the doubled fronts as facings and the seam turned to the centre panel.  I may consider adding a shoulder pad to even out my low shoulder as it's more noticeable in the silk dupioni than it was in a rayon/linen blend.

Today, I have been working on another bra but after I realized I'd sewn the pieces together incorrectly, I've decided to move on to something else.  I have The Sewing Workshop West End Pant on the table to determine what modifications it needs and whether or not they are extensive enough that I need to make a muslin.  I'll use some of the things I learned from the Skirt Skills course to assess the changes needed.  The leg circumference is about 34" so it needs a fabric which drapes nicely and will tend to read like a skirt. 

Susan in Saint John

First top is a success.  That makes 3 pieces in my SWAP -- not impressive but now that I'm not going on vacation for 10 days, I do have some more sewing time.  2nd bra was finished and needed a bit of alteration which I completed today.

I've gone down the trouser fitting rabbit hole again.  The West End Pant based on measurements was probably not going to fit.  I took a good look at Silhouette Patterns #3000 -- a basic pleated pant.  Then I decided that perhaps grading up the Loes Hines Oxford pant which fits me sort of might be a more reasonable approach.  My experience with pants is that the fit can be quite dependant on the fabric.  Some fabrics have absolutely no give in the crosswise direction, other fabrics have some give, and then there are stretch women's which I tend not to use because they are synthetics.  The 2 menswear suitings which I am planning for trousers both fit into the no crosswise give category.  I made a muslin based on my last pair of Oxfords in muslin with no give -- had to let them out so I could sit in them!  I also did a Peggy Sager's slash to increase the back crotch length.  The pattern is ready for another muslin or perhaps a test garment.

Today, I worked on my skirt from the Brooks Ann Camper skirt skills course.  I'd drafted the pattern but not made it up.  I found some fabric in stash to make a test garment which will be wearable, I hope.  It is underlined and everything is now thread basted.  Perhaps tomorrow after work I'll baste it together for a first fitting.

Susan in Saint John

A trip anywhere in November is now quite unlikely.  My SWAP sewing is taking some interesting and useful side trips.  Before Covid-19, I did make it to Hamilton, ON to take a 5 day bra making class.  More bra making is in my future but not immediately.

I enrolled in Brooks Ann Camper's Skirt Skills class which is all about custom clothing.  I sort of have a skirt block now but it has some significant issues as I don't really have a defined front waistline.  I did make a skirt that I love but when I wear it it keeps sagging at the centre front.  I think the solution is to make it into a pinafore or dress.  I have learned that skirts are not my thing and will therefore not be including one in my SWAP.

I was much more successful in Brooks Ann's Top Class.  I have a sleeveless block which fits well and I have developed 2 patterns from it which will work in SWAP.  I also have several versions of the Cashmerette Springfield top (also sleeveless) which I developed last summer.  The result is that I have lots of options for sleeveless tops which will work well under my go with everything jacket.

I have made good progress in Alexandra Morgan's In House Pattern Studio Fitting Essentials Class.  The class project is the Kayla Shirt.  The material in this class is extremely detailed.  The objective is to compare body measurements and pattern measurements so you can make most flat pattern adjustments before you cut into fabric.  Balance lines are used extensively and all pattern alterations are made inside the stitching lines.  Yesterday, I had success with the sleeves and also the shirt collar with band.  This week I am planning to make a real shirt (not part of SWAP) and if that is successful, a shirt for SWAP.  This shirt pattern will be a TNT that can be modified without too much trouble. 

That leaves bottoms which will all be trousers.  I am anxious to try the new Cashmerette Calder Pant as it may be designed for some of my fitting issues.

Realistically, I am not going to finish SWAP 2020 by the end of June but I will have made significant progress in developing blocks/TNT patterns.