I was sick off and on most of February after some IGNORANT woman coughed in my face when we went shopping one day in early February. I don't like being on immune suppressants and avoid crowds, high times for restaurants and especially sick people. But when you walk to the restroom in a department store and some idiot walks out spewing infected sputum in a ten foot radius, all over your face - Well, what can I say? And just like clock-work I got the crud and suffered. I always feel better by sewing and creating when I'm able.
I was looking forward to the Sewing Expo but wasn't sure how well I would be. By the time I decided it was OK to go, all the hotels were booked up. It's only a 3 hour drive from Asheville, just down I26 and then I 85 so my husband and I decided to do a day trip. We had snow and freezing temperatures the day and night before so we had to be sure the driveway and private road was passable before leaving. I had been feeling depressed from being sick and said to myself that I was GOING TO SEW something beautiful to wear to the Expo. Then I sewed not one, but 3 jackets last weekend and Monday. The hardest part was chosing the fabric.
The Sewing Workshop Pearl Jacket
The first was this Pearl jacket from The Sewing Workshop Pearl and Opal jacket pattern. I am on auto-ship and liked the lines of these jacket. I saw two Donna Karan signature jackets at Neiman Marcus Last Call in drapey silks yesterday that were sisters to this Pearl jacket that I made out of a microfiber raincoat fabric. I used the same fabric for a TSW Carnellian coat that I lengthened and used for a raincoat. I hadn't worn it in years and it was too oversized, so I just cut it up for this new pattern and used the fabric remnant I had saved for the rest. I cut it out and sewed it up in an afternoon. It was so easy to sew and looks fabulous over other pieces I already have. Microfiber isn't the easiest to press and that was the most time consuming. I didn't use the same grain on some pieces because I was recycling the fabric but it doesn't show. My intent was to have a layering, windbreaker type jacket and this fits the bill. It is also posted on the Sewing Workshop's gallery for this pattern.
Note that these jackets are more fitted than older TSW patterns. TSW is now publishing finished measurements on their patterns - THANK YOU! So I cut both these jackets in size Medium vs the small I usually make in their patterns. More details on the Flickr Set - link above.
The Sewing Workshop Opal Jacket
The next was the Opal jacket . It is a semi-fitted, curvy jacket with seams and shaping in the back. I used an Italian paisley stretch denim/twill fabric from Emmaonesock. I bought this, and another piece of the same fabric in different colors a few years ago. I didn't want a garment that screamed PAISLEY! so I needed to be careful of my choice of pattern and lines. This pattern and fabric were made for each other. The pattern instructions include great finishing techniques and all are easy to achieve. I stabilized the front darts with cotton twill tape because of the stretch factor and used the tape as a design element. I used petersham ribbon as my button/snap stabilizer vs the self fabric placket in the pattern. This jacket has 3 large snaps instead of buttons and like the way it looks both open or closed. I wore it while shopping in the Neiman Marcus across from the Gwinnet Center in Duluth yesterday and got lots of complements. No photos of me wearing it but here it is on the manniquin.
My Swing Set Jacket
Then last, but not least, I sewed my version of the My Swing Set jacket in the latest pattern by Louise Cutting. After measuring and deciding how I wanted this jacket out of this fabric to fit, I cut the XS in the top and sleeve and graded to the S at the sides. I also had to shorten the XS sleeve length.
This chunky knit Eileen Fisher fabric in a gray/purple that worked out so well. Depending on the light it looks more gray or purple. It's a very drapey, chunky knit with a lot of rayon in it. I bought the rust/black Babette SF cardigan jacket pictured above this winter. I like the cut-on front placket and the stand-up collar. To get the same look from the MSS jacket pattern I eliminated the horizontal seam in the front and just folded back the front pattern pieces at where I wanted my fold line to I interfaced a 2" strip down the front and used the selvedge at the edge. I then used a partial front neckline facing and sewed the rest of the jacket and stand-up collar per the instructions. I interfaced the front fold-over placket and collar/facing sections with a designer light-weight interfacing that gave the knit just the body and stability needed for the stand-up collar and front placket. It worked out perfectly and is soft and cozy to wear. I love the big snaps. These are plastic, not metal so they are very light and don't drag the fabric down.
I wore this to the Expo yesterday over the gray Textile Studio gray stretch wool Soho pants and Monaco T top. I don't look so great, but that's the real me after dealing with a month of illness. And you can see the snow on the ground and deck rail. We always seem to get plenty of snow in March!