Friday, January 4, 2008

And so it goes on

I stayed up way too late Thursday night. I got a late start on the jacket because I was reading sewing blogs and buying a new sewing machine. (I've been threatening my not-quite-two-year-old Singer with violence for some time, and when it abruptly refused to buttonhole and made strange noises at me, I knew the end was near. The end of my patience, at least.)

I've been looking for a new machine, for the first time giving myself a real budget - I've had a succession of $150-$199 models and beaten them into the dirt, all the while muttering because they don't have all the features and functions I want. I finally acknowledged that sewing is important enough that it deserves to be done on a quality machine. And I deserve a quality machine, not another rattly piece of junk that will do nothing but frustrate me. I'd much rather be frustrated by a complicated pattern than the machine I'm working on. I had narrowed my decision down to 3 machines, and then I meandered over to Dressaday last night and found that Erin had purchased one of the same machines I was looking at. She said such nice things about the Juki E80 that it sent me right over to Sew Vac Direct to buy my own. (And now, having spent $599 on a machine, I can justify not buying fabric for a while. The lengths we go to . . . )

What I eventually got done: realized that I had already flannelled the sleeves, so the interface/flannel decision had already been made, just forgotten. Interfaced the facings/back neck facing, but after they were sewn together because it had another one of those tricky reverse corners and I didn't want the added bulk when I sewed. It worked. Sewed the facing to the jacket, having only minimal problems with sewing over the zipper, and one super-dramatically bent pin. Pressed, pressed, pressed. Tried shoulder pads, found a pair I liked. Decided to use the Kashi scarf-square silk for lining (originally intended for the leather version of this jacket), because I don’t have another lining fabric I like and I can't buy any. Pressed again, and pinned the entire edge seam for one last press and then basting. Don’t think I’m going to topstitch, but maybe? I don’t think the style or the fabric would benefit from it but it's not over yet, so who knows.

Really pleased with how the collar turned out (it's basted in pink thread right now, so I can continue to press the living crap out of it.) Not so happy with the zipper, but that’s a length of zipper thing vs. a pattern or skill issue. I think for the leather version, the zip is going to be a good bit longer, but I’ll determine that when I’m finished this one.

I've been reading a lot about sleeves, because I realized there's no way I can ease a sleeve in a leather jacket. Sandra Betzina's patterns are drafted with a better shaped sleeve, I’m just hoping it's a sleeve cap with minimal ease or I'm going to have to draft a replacement sleeve and try it out again before I make the sleeve in leather. In the current fabric, it will be fine – the flannel especially will add the kind of body that will make it steam into shape very well. Spent most of the morning stealthily surfing Kathleen Fasanella's site. I should have bought her book on Amazon instead of some of the other stuff.

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