Thursday, April 23, 2009
So for the conference I ran in March 16-17 I had the idea of maybe making a new suit-like outfit to wear. My time was limited as I was needing to work on the weekends, so I wasn't totally optimistic (especially considering that jacket tailoring is not my usual type of sewing), but I figured I'd give it the college try.
I decided to cut into some really nice fabric I got at Paron about a year ago when I went to NYC to see Xanadu. It's a gorgeous color of crosswoven teal and peach that has a lot of depth. The fabric content is a scrumptious silk/cotton/wool/lycra.
I love the idea of dresses with matching jackets. I say idea because (1) I have never actually made or owned such an item, (2) I never wear jackets unless I'm speaking or meeting with opposing counsel, and (3) I really hate making jackets. There are so many steps involved and it's such a time-consuming project for something that I never wear and resent wearing when I do. I don't know why I hate having to dress in suits so much but I really, really do!
I actually finished the dress, BWOF 05-2008-128. I'd been wanting to make that one since the issue first came out, and when considering what would be a nice looking sheath to go with a jacket it immediately popped into mind. It actually didn't take unduly long and is indeed very cute. But I didn't get a chance to wear it because I did not have time to finish the jacket.
For the jacket, I was drawn to BWOF 12-2008-116. I like the shoulder princess lines (easier to ease in a heavier fabric than an armscye princess) and the single button closure, which will make the most of the fact that I'm wearing a dress underneath. A jacket that closes higher up makes it hard to tell if it's a dress or a skirt.
I actually got pretty far on the jacket. I traced it and cut it out, which was quite a chore because I wanted to make the dress, jacket, *and* a skirt out of my not quite 4 yards. My reasoning for this was that I didn't want to feel like I could only wear the dress when I was also wearing the jacket. So if I had a skirt to go with the jacket, it wouldn't render the jacket useless to wear the dress more often and have it look noticeably worn/faded with the jacket. But getting all the pieces for all three items to fit onto the fabric was a huge challenge (and the skirt will have an interesting "design feature").
OK, done. Then I fused all the pieces, which is another boring chore. Then I sewed the body seams of the jacket and found it to be HUGE. I had to grade down a size because the smallest size is 36, which is fine and I did so at the tracing stage. The style doesn't look oversized but really it was gigantic. I had to take in all the seams 1/4" (meaning 1/2 inch total per seam) and I think it's still a little big. Ugh. It was a lot of ripping.
The next step was to put in the welt pockets with flaps, something I've not done before and I just ran out of steam. I was too stressed about the conference to undertake such a stressful sewing endeavor. And I am not at all confident that it's going to end up fitting well or looking good.
I have basically done nothing since (I made the pocket flaps, that's it), and it's been over a month.
However, I now have a speech to give on May 7 and am trying to motivate myself to turn this from a UFO back into a Work In Progress.
Things left to do
-Mark pocket placement and do all the fiddly markings on the welts etc.
-Put in welt pockets with flaps.
-Sew shoulder seams
-Figure out collar and facing
-Cut out lining (double/triple/quadruple ugh, as I have chosen a beautiful but fiddly silk that squirms around while I'm trying to cut it)
This is sort of compounded because I have not been sewing too much lately. In my end of year post from last year I said I might experiment with sewing less and I've been doing this. I'm not being any more productive in any other area of my life (*ahem* cleaning) so I don't know if I'm serving any particular end. It's not really a lack of mojo, it's just a slowdown. I don't want to feel obligated to something that is supposed to be a fun hobby! And since I'm not sewing as much as usual, I'm not interested in something tedious, drawn out, difficult, fiddly, and draining like a jacket.
But it would be nice to wear it May 7.
I will make a goal of doing the pockets this weekend. I will be at a volunteer event all day Saturday, but I should be able to find enough time the other days to do the pockets.
It will be a (re)start.