Posted in sewing

Ruffled Vest, done

Well, I finished the BWOF 2-2008-116 waistcoat a little early! Since I regularly work until 8:00 p.m., I’m trying to to manage my schedule better and go in a little later in the morning. So, this morning, with an hour to spare, I went ahead and put in the buttonholes for the waistcoat. I, um, also could have ironed it, but, I was running late for work and *really* wanted to wear it!
I’m so glad I decided to line the vest so it looks finished on the inside too! Although, without a shirt, you can kind of see the lining from the side (in the shoulder area) I love how the corners came out with the peplum.

I’m quite taken with the ruffles. I have to say though, this is an incredibly unique looking garment. I feel a little like I could fly away in it. I like it in the black, but I think the pattern details would be far more visible in a more obvious stripe.

I think that things also got a little stretched out in my lining wrestling session. Also, wonky pockets. I definitely didn’t place them correctly. But, in the black, you hardly notice. Unfortunately, it’s not quite warm enough to wear sans blouse yet. But, I quite like it with the turtleneck too!
I do want to make a matching pair of pants this summer. Because these wrinkly things could not fit me worse. Big in the waist, tight in the thighs. Yuck. Whiskers in the crotch area are never a good thing.

This was a GREAT introduction to some tailoring techniques. It definitely has the heft and structure I was looking for.

I’m going to wear it out this weekend (hopefully without the shirt). I’ll take photos of it then too.

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I sewed myself into a corner


This is how my vest looked for over an hour today. What happened? Well, I took the lining and attached it to the vest by sewing around the neck and armholes. The original pattern calls for a bias strip finish on the armholes but with the lining I figured I could get a clean finish. I also assumed I could pull it all out through the shoulders and down the bottom since I had not attached the peplum yet.

Now, I think Marji’s accident is awful. But, being laid up has let that woman be my 911 emergency sewing hotline the last two weeks. A quick email to her crying ‘uncle’ when the s.o.b. wouldn’t turn out and she sent this information back:

what you want to do is:

1. stitch shoulder seams attaching fronts to backs
2. stitch neckline seam and understitch if necessary – you would have first attached the collar in this instance
3. stitch the armhole seams – you would have first attached the ruffle in this instance
4. pull the fronts through the shoulder seam to the back, press everything well
5. open out the garment and stitch the side seams on your lining and your fashion fabric. I like to stitch bottom to top (underarm) then flip it over and stitch bottom to top(underarm) of the lining, rather than just stitching all the way.

She also referred me to this pattern review (the whole review should be a tip!) with directions on how to make a lined, sleeveless garment. Duly noted for next time.

So, I let the sides out in both the seersucker and lining, pulled the vest through and closed it all up. Tonight I attached the peplum and now, it’s almost done. I just need to do my buttonholes and slipstitch the lining closed.

For the shoulder ruffles, I also used silk organza, serged them, turned under once and zig zag stitched.


Hopefully, I’ll finish up tomorrow night after work and show you by Wednesday. Then, I should start on the matching pants. But, I bet you I make an easy knit dress instead.


And thank you for all the wonderful comments from Sunday’s post. I just want to go on record and say that I told you the cop was supercute! And you wonder why I got cracking on the vest. Which I was totally going to make anyway. It just got moved up in the que.

Posted in sewing

Voting and Vest Update

ETA: Fusible bias tape from The Sewing Place

So, today is a loooong post. But, there’s a poll at the end for the patient!

First, the sewing updates. Construction on the vest is well underway. Over the weekend I even made my welt pockets. They are not as pretty as they were when I made my vest/cape last year (I neglected to take a practice run). But, they will do. What I did not do, was interface the pocket opening!

Marji to the rescue. Here’s what she told me to do:

Hang or pin the front up and let it be vertical for awhile. Does that welt have a tendency to droop? If so, then cut some 1″ wide strips of interfacing and
either fuse them to the organza right up against your stitching lines, or stitch
them to the inside of the vest, on top of the organza, one hair of a stitching
line inside your original stitching line only on the sides and bottom of your
box.

And, that’s what I did. Whew.

I also took her and Shannon’s terrific advice on the underarm curve stabilization. I used a fusible bias tape along the seam line on both the seersucker and the silk organza.

I mentioned that I wasn’t sure about stabilizing the roll line of the collar. Marji pointed out that it’s a sew on collar, so no roll line to worry about on this on. The facing and lining are also done. So immediate next steps are to make the shoulder ruffles and attach them.


I would like to think I could get more done this week / weekend, but it’s doubtful. Saturday afternoon I’m going to see the Color Purple with Dandy (my lovely neighbors Dan and Randy) and that night I’m going to the Center Stage Gala (I was generously gifted two tickets). My date (the supercute guy who likes women in vests) has some crazy notion about picking me up at my house. Which means I am bailing on golf Saturday morning and will spend the next three nights and Saturday morning cleaning and doing yard work. Sigh.

I’ll be wearing my formal dress from December (new crowd, new date). But, it leads me to another voting session for you all.

I need another black tie dress before 2008 ends and to wear again next May. I’ve got three dresses in mind.

This OOP retro Vogue 2609. I’m sold on the back and two tone. But, the godets just eat fabric and I’ve never made them before. We’re talking 5+ yards of (likely) silk charmeuse.


This retro OOP Butterick 6410. I love the drape of the sleeves and the adorable matching jacket (although I probably wouldn’t make up the jacket). And, again, a colorblocked dress. Also, no godets. Fabric count is about 3 yards. I also saw a really nice quality poly stretch satin that could work for these three.


And Marji has kindly offered me this OOP Vogue 2241. Superelegant. And again, I love that back and the way the skirt flares and drapes. Also needs between 4 3/8 to 5 1/2 yards of fabric.

Clearly, two of them need special undergarment rigging and all three a short-term commitment to Slim Fast. But, I honestly like ALL of them. I’m going to NYC in June where better fabric shoppers will be with me. So, let the voting begin!

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Minor Elements of Tailoring

Thanks to AJ, I now have found out that in old tailoring shops, it’s common for an apprentice to get the hang of the vest before moving on to a jacket. That’s great since there are two I want to make this summer (with matching bottoms too).

My first seersucker garment was this BWOF 5-2007-104 (reviewed here) jacket last summer. While I love the jacket, it’s floppy and pretty casual. I tried on some J. Crew seersucker last season and found that they were very structured and loverrly. In an effort to step up my efforts on the BWOF 2-2007-116 vest, I’m incorporating some tailoring elements.

Silk organza interlining on the left, vest front seersucker hand basted to interlining

Rather than interfacing the entire garment, I’m going to underline it with silk organza. That’s because I don’t want to lose any of the seersuckerness of the fabric with fusing. The front organza is cut on the bias so that it will hug the body (SB, PowerSewing). I was going to do a cotton batiste, but the organza gave a crisper feel.

The lining is this pink Ambiance I got from G Street last fall.
I’m using fusible black sheer knit interfacing for the collar and facing on the underlining instead of the fashion fabric. I’m not attaching it to the seersucker because I don’t want to loose the seersuckerness of it all.

So everything is now cut out, I’m half way through the basting of interlining. This weekend should be some serious construction.

The only things I am not sure if I should do:

Do I still need to stabilize the underarm curve since I have underlining? If so, do I apply it to the fashion fabric or to the silk organza?

Also, I’d like to use twill to stabilize the roll of the collar. But, I need to get a little more familiar with the construction of this before I commit 🙂