Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Corduroy Jacket

My all-time favourite sewing is to make a jacket. I have more jackets than I can count, and some have not even been worn. It is the making of them that I love.

Two weeks ago, I decided to clear out some stuff in my sewing room, and opened a container to find these three fabrics in there plus a pattern and thread. I had bought this over a year ago, with great intentions of making this up right away, then got side-tracked. When I saw the project, my interest rekindled and I cut it out that afternoon and got working on it.

The blue is wide wale corduroy, the plaid is a flannelette sheet bought at the Sally Ann store (much cheaper than buying flannel fabric) and the print is a quilting cotton bought at the local fabric store. The flannel was stitched to all the print pieces on the wrong side, so that it forms an interlining for the jacket. I wanted a jacket that would be useful in fall and early spring, when our temperatures dip and the winds can be quite cold.

Close up of a button. A square of the lining fabric is stitched to the outside and the buttonhole made through the four layers. No need for any interfacing in a jacket like this.

The entire jacket is put together by stitching the flannel to the lining fabric, make the outer coat, make the lining, place them wrong sides together and then bind the entire jacket with bias strips made from the lining fabric. I have bound more jackets than I can recall this way, and my preference is for double binding, cut 3 3/4" wide, pressed in half, then stitched to the right side of the jacket, wrapped around to the inside and stitched in the ditch to catch the binding. It is extremely quick, gives an even binding, since you use your seam allowance as the guide.

The pattern used is this one, Butterick 5532, still currently available. The only thing I had to buy to complete this jacket was six buttons. And I have a metre of the corduroy left over, plus enough of the print to make a sleeveless top.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Source for Swimwear Fabric

Can anyone help me here with a source for good swimwear fabric?

I regularly attend aquacise classes (3X per week) and bathing suits don't hold up very long in the chlorine. So I am thinking of making my own.

I am looking for fabric that will withstand the pool water for longer than the suits I have bought so far. Most suits are nylon/lycra and they either bag out or simply shred after about a month in the pool. The TYR suits sold at Sears are 100% polyester and they last, but right now they are not available in the local store and the ones in the catalog are pricey, plus can't be fitted in advance.

I have sewn swimwear before, so that doesn't intimidate me, but I don't know of any good sources for quality fabric. Please advise if you know of any online sources for fabric. Thanks.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Winter Creating

Whew, it has been quite a long time since I posted anything here. Not that I haven't been sewing or knitting. Actually I have been quite busy with my fingers.

I made a shirt dress in a cotton plaid, no pics of that yet, a cotton skirt plus some knit tops. But I have been knitting more than sewing. I think this is because I have turned into a news-junkie and the news is not available in my sewing room.

Since I can't just sit and watch television, I have picked up the needles and wool and have turned out two sweaters, one to be sewn together, a very long cowl (which is proving tremendously useful as a head cover in the blistery January weather), and am currently knitting a complicated Aran sweater.

The long cowl, probably 50" in length, then joined into a circle; it can be wrapped around my neck twice and I can pull one wrap up over my head as a hood.

The beginning of a sleeve in Cascade 220, sport weight wool

The pattern is Plaits and Links by Kathy Zimmerman. I seem to like everything this woman designs; she loves the look of cables and textured stitches, and that is exactly what I love about knitted projects. I haven't knit anything this complicated since I was a teenager, when I knit an Aran pullover for a friend. I can't believe I actually completed that, given my inexperience as a knitter, but perhaps when one is young, things don't seem as advanced or difficult as they do to the older mind.

I had almost the exact shade of green yarn on hand from a sweater I knit last year, that I then ripped out. It just wasn't right. When I saw this pattern in a magazine, I knew exactly what to do with that apple green yarn. This will be a long project, probably taking most of the winter months, but I am not in any rush to finish as I find it is the process that I enjoy, much more than the actualy finished result.

Link to the pattern on Ravelry