Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Stippled Jacket Taking Shape

Meanwhile, I promised myself a sewing weekend, and it has more or less been one of those.
On Friday afternoon, after working on the bamboo shirt, and the taupe fasteners, and drafting a pattern for my final shirt, I got a call from the instructor of the jacket course. The cancelled class is to be tonight -- I guess I'd better get all my ducks in a row and finish sewing on that pocket to cover my faux pas with the stabilizer. So that is what I did with the rest of the afternoon, then took a break so as to be bright and fresh for the evening's work. Yeah, right.

During the class, I got the jacket pieces cut out, and I cut some lengths for binding. The instructor was not impressed with my choice of binding color, and suggested that I should use the same fabric as my "green" side rather than the burgundy I had chosen. I am color-challenged, so I accepted this as a great idea, except that I did not have enough leftovers and had to cut straight strips for the straight seams, and would no way have enough for the bias required for the bottom edges.

Trotting to the local quilt shop Saturday morning, I learned that they no longer have that fabric. Fortunately, however, they had another green with little charcoal bits in it that exactly match the "black" side of the jacket. Serendipity for me! This I will use on the edges, and I have enough green to bind the side seams, sleeve seams and shoulder seams. (Later: Now that this is done, I am delighted with the result, and I know that the burgundy would have been a big mistake. I love having one side of the jacket all the same color.)

There are 4 participants in this class, and they all brought their machines into the class except me. I knew if I watched, I would be able to do it at home more comfortably, and I wanted to learn all I could about binding, and the necessary techniques. Fitting was not a problem as I had already made a muslin, though the instructor suggested I should add a bit to the side seams, and leave a bit along the front edges due to the bulkiness of the stippled layer. As it turned out, this was not necessary, and if anything, the jacket is a bit big, especially through the shoulders.

Yesterday and moreso today, I worked at the jacket without too much going wrong. My machine acted up a bit here and there, and of course, there is always a bit of restitching to be done, but as of this moment the sleeves are in, the shoulder seams are done, and the collar is on. One side/sleeve seam is finished and the binding stitched down.

I am happy that small errors and inconsistencies get lost in the stippling, and I think the overall jacket will look quite nice when completed.

I am disappointed that the fabric is so stiff. I had expected it to end up much softer. I think I will need to bunch it up and wrestle with it for awhile to make it have any drape at all. The lack of drape makes close fitting impossible. To me, the jacket looks too big across the shoulders, and the sleeve seems too dropped for attractiveness. That should teach me not to use a fleece muslin for a pattern that is going to be made out of something resembling cardboard.

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