Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Final Finlayson

This sweater will be the last of my winter sewing. Like many of you, I'm ready for spring. This will also be the last GREEN thing I sew for awhile. Olive is a great color for me, but enough already!

 

This is another one of those situations where, "when great fabric falls at your feet, you should BUY it!" In this case it happened at Metro Textiles in NYC. I've mentioned before that this place is very "hit or miss" for me. Like almost all New York fabric stores it can be overwhelming. There is fabric literally stacked to the ceiling. And what can't be stacked is leaning up against the walls. My eyes glaze over and I go blank the minute I walk in. I almost completely overlooked this olive green ribbed sweater knit, which was mixed in with some rolls of wool coating. It turned out to be wool / mohair. Incredibly soft. How much? $15 / yd. How could I say no. SOLD!

 

 

As you can see here it's quite loosely knit. So my plan is to line it with another knit fabric, which I've been doing a lot lately with my "Phoney Missoni" jackets.

 

 

 

My search lead me to Elegant Fabrics on W 40th, a big fabric emporium without all the frenzy of Mood. Am I the only one who's entirely unnerved the instant the elevator doors open there? All the commotion, the bag check, ugh. I much prefer being greated by the adorable little Boston terrier at Elegant Fabics, than the bag check guy at Mood!

 

Anyway, I splurged on some gorgeous heavy wool jersey, which totally offset my bargain at Metro. It just seemed wrong to pair a luxury sweater knit with anything less. The Finlayson sweater is a classic style, and I anticipate wearing this sweater for years. We all work hard on our projects, so don't we deserve to work with the best materials we can afford? More and more, my answer is "Yes"!

 

 

This process is becoming very familiar. Here the sweater knit and jersey are basted together. Both fabrics together are quite hefty so I'm going to alter the Finlayson pattern slightly. I'm eliminating the cuffs and waistband, a fairly easy fix. I lengthened and slightly tapered both the sleeves and the fronts and backs. I also fused a strip of Fashion Sewing Supply's Pro Tricot interfacing to the hem. This technique worked well on my Missoni-esque jackets to stabilize the edges of the loosely knit fabric.

 

 

The Finlayson pattern has an optional back facing. It adds a nice touch and is very easily accomplished with a scrap of fabric (of which I have plenty!).

 

 

It also gives some "back interest" to the sweater.

 

I'll save putting on the overlapping shawl collar for another day. It's really what "makes" this sweater, so I'll need to be fresh and give it my full attention.

 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

No Turning Back Now -- My Entry is Posted

It's a done deal. My Missoni knockoff is officially entered over on Pattern Review. You can check it out here.

 

I have to say it was no easy task figuring out how to navigate the PR process on my iPad. After a couple of wrong turns, and what seemed like endless shuffling of my photos back and forth between several apps, I finally got it posted. Sewing the jacket was actually the easiest part of the whole process! Still, I have to say it's been great fun. Who knows, I just might enter another contest one of these days.

 

 

I wasn't lying ....it's very green!

 

Here I'm wearing the jacket with a version of Folkwear's Victorian Shirt. I changed the front placket slightly and added French cuffs. The pants are my dark brown velvet Jeds.

 

 

 

I was limited to only 2 pictures for the contest, so I tried out one of the many free photo collage apps. Yay! I figured it out! I'll probably be using it a lot in the future. It's quite fun to play with.

 

 

 

 

The voting starts on February 2nd. Hint..hint...

 

I want to work on one other winter project, a wool / mohair Finlayson sweater, then I'm thinking SPRING! A Junya Watanabe inspired jacket perhaps.

 

As always, thanks so much for your encouragement. Happy sewing!

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Missoni Sweater / Blazer #2 -- It's a Wrap!

Yay! I finished before the deadline.

 

This post is primarily for other PR contest members who may be interested in some of the construction details. The contest rules don't allow for many photos. I think I can submit only 3 photos, one of which has to be the "inspiration" garment.

 

A little sewing geekery.....

 

 

 

Because the fabric is loosely knit, I reinforced the back of the button with a small scrap of silk organza. This will prevent the button from being pulled out. This picture also gives you a good idea of how many colors are worked into the fabric. It's really quite amazing, and to my mind, beautiful.

 

 

All of the seam allowances, facings and hems are finished off with Snug Hug rayon seam binding. Time consuming and at times kind of fussy, but I love how it looks. It's nice to know that if I need to take my jacket off, people will see that it's just as pretty inside as it is outside.

 

 

 

Here are the bound buttonholes, a la Laura Mae over at Lilacs and Lace. I made them with scraps of lining, beefed up with some lightweight fusible interfacing. Her tutorial makes this SO easy. If you've avoided bound bottonholes, by all means follow her well illustrated directions. You'll never fear them again!

 

 

 

So here's my finished jacket. Time to get out the tripod, take of some pictures and post my entry to the contest. Wish me luck ..... Or better yet, throw a vote my way!

 

Oh..... And have you seen the Missoni offerings for Fall Winter 2015?

 

 

How freakin' gorgeous are these!!!

 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Shirt for a Snowy Day



Or ..... When great fabric falls on you, you should BUY it!
 
This fabric actually fell on me in a crazy crowded NYC fabric store. Some of you may know the place. It's the one that's perpetually going out of business and everything is 50% off. Yes, that place. You walk through a path about 1 ft. wide surrounded by islands of ITY knit for $3.99.
 
Anyway, this bolt fell on me as I was trying to make my escape from all the ITY. It was a true, "wait, what's this??" moment. It's a heavyweight cotton twill seersucker. I've never seen anything like it. And to make it even more amazing, the rusty orange stripes are actually embroidered onto the fabric. It was fabric love at first sight. The salesman sweetened the deal by dropping the price to $8 / Yd. SOLD!
 
 
 
I good washing and drying really brought out the texture. It did make for some challenges, however. It was virtually impossible to press this fabric in a straight line. Even my buttonholes ended up getting skewed. In the end, none of it is terribly noticeable.
 
 
I picked up a rusty quilting cotton at a local discount fabric place. I used it for the inner collar stand, inner yoke and the inner cuffs. I did something a little different with the pockets by adding a bit of bias binding and turning the pocket top to the outside to create a little flap. Other than that, it's a basic buttondown. My TNT pattern.
 
 
 
 
 
It's a little chilly for this! I'm retreating inside for more coffee and then heading off to work on the boat.
 
 
I haven't posted any boat progress lately. I'm currently sealing the hull with an epoxy clearcoat. The shop hovers around 50 degrees, so it's taking about 3 days for the epoxy to cure.
 
 
I hope all your winter projects, whatever they might be, are going well!
 
 
 
 

 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Contest Sewing Update

It snowed here most of the day yesterday. So rather than risk a fender bender, or worse, I stayed in and sewed. I'm really making great progress, and feel pretty confident that I'll be able to finish before the deadline. Having made this jacket before is a huge advantage.

I'm not exactly sure how these Pattern Review contests work. Apparently I get to submit two pictures. One of the "inspiration", and one of my interpretation. I'm not sure if I can refer back to my blog. But if I can, it would give people a better idea of my process.

For some of you this is old hat, but here's where things currently stand.

 

 

The patch pockets are finished and sewn onto the jacket fronts. They're a big part of the design, so I take my time and sew them as accurately as I can.

 

 

My camera really doesn't do this Missoni-esque" fabric justice. Trust me, the overall effect is very green. I'm interlining the jacket with a substantial cotton jersey in a sort of light avacado color.

 

 

The knit fabric and jersey are basted together to act as one.

 

 

The pattern is very simple, which makes it go together quite quickly. "Snug hugging" the seams is the time consuming part, but it does make for an attractive inside finish.

 

 

Lastly, the sleeves are made and lined. The undercollar is interfaced and rows of zigzagging are added along the roll line to beef it up a bit.

The next step will be to add two bound bottonholes to the front. That's something better left for when I'm fresh. Once they're done, things will really move right along.

 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Ready, Set....Compete!

I should have my head examined! I've gone and entered my first sewing contest at Pattern Review.

 

 

I've looked at these contests before, but they always strike me as impossible. One Pattern -- Many Looks. Oh, man, I'd be lucky to complete ONE look! Or something like, A Complete Coordinated Wardrobe. Seriously?

 

Anyway, I've decided to enter this designer knockoff challenge. I have the materials to make another "Phoney Missoni" jacket, and I figure this contest will be the push I need to get it made. Hopefully, I can complete it before the end of the month. Speedy I'm NOT!

 

BTW the grand prize is a new ironing board cover!

 

 

Better get cutting! Dad needs that cover badly.

 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Finlayson Sweater

Now that I've conquered my fear of knits, I decided to try Thread Theory's Finlayson Sweater. They have an entire sew-along tutorial on their website, so I won't bore you with a lot of construction details.

I like that this pattern can be made up two ways, with either a shawl collar or a hood. Personally, I'm not the hoodie and kangaroo pocket type, so I went with the shawl collar. LL Bean used to sell a rag wool sweater with a shawl collar. I think I wore it till it fell apart, so it's nice to have a replacement.

 

This is a lightweight acrylic knit that I picked up at Metro Textiles in NYC. Metro is one of those fabric haunts that's very "hit or miss", but can be worth the elevator ride up to the 9th floor (I think). The owner, Mr. Kashi, is very helpful and low pressure. While I was visiting he pointed me towards some gorgeous Japanese mens shirting, unfortunately not in colors that I would normally wear. One actually had a contrasting border running down the selvedge that could be used for inside the cuffs or neck band. Pretty cool, and silly cheap at something like $6/ Yd.

I went for this teal blue sweater knit, also $6.

 

 

I purchased the PDF version of the pattern. I work entirely off an ipad these days, and I struggled to find an app that would open the zip files. There are some seriously useless apps out there! I could get the directions, but not the actual pattern. Arrrgh!!! Matt and Morgan were SO supportive of my dilemma and pointed me in the right direction. (The solution was iZip BTW) Once that obstacle was surmounted it was clear sailing.

 

The pattern calls for an optional contrasting back neck facing. It's a good opportunity to use up some of those scraps that I just can't seem to throw away! It's also just a nice touch.

As you can see here my collar / placket isn't perfect. The pattern has separate upper and lower collar pieces, the upper collar being just slightly larger to allow for the turn of the cloth. I decided to understitch my collar to keep the seam out of sight. In retrospect I should have stopped the understitching about 4" from each end. That way it wouldn't show where the collar twists. Speaking of the collar, I'm not entirely convinced that the directions are right. Then again, I may be misinterpreting the diagrams. If you make this sweater, I'd spend some time playing with it so that your upper collar really ends up on the outside.



I "Snug Hugged" the raw edges inside. They could be zig zagged or serged, which would probably be a lot easier. I'm just sort of addicted to Snug Hug.

 

The neck seam can be covered with bias tape, twill tape or even shoelacing!

 

What else did I do? I shortened the arms by 2" and the body by 1". It went together easily and I will definitely be making it again, next time in significantly more luxurious materials. Stay tuned.

In the meantime I have a shirt I want to make.

As always, I wish you happy sewing!