Wednesday, February 25, 2009

And . . . Exhale

Okay, first off, thanks to everyone who sent good wishes, positive old house energy and anything else good my way, because I got a plumber to come out this afternoon, he diagnosed it as a corroded release valve on the heater, and replaced it - without having to drain the system - for $100.

Now back to our regularly scheduled sewing, which is what I got up to the moment the man left the house. I should have gone back to work (it was only 3:30 p.m.), but by the time I got the train back downtown, I would have already blown 2 hours and would have had to make them up, so I figured I might as well make up the whole afternoon and de-stress in the workroom.

Green jacket is indeed done, except for choosing buttons. I have several options, none of which are thrilling me to death. In the photos, I have mother-of-pearl buttons I bought in Paris pinned on, but they're a little too matchy and I want something else. Those buttons are too nice to just disappear into a jacket. They deserve to be shown off a little.

I cut out a skirt to go with the jacket - a basic A-line that I got from BWOF. I wanted to do something more adventurous, but then I thought: this is linen. Even with lycra, it's going to bag. It's going to get creases. The more fitted it is, the more saggy it will look by the end of the day. I decided to go with the safer straight skirt so as to not end up hating it later. That's only cut out so far, because it took a while to find a zipper in the right color, and I don't have green lining. I have ivory, though, and a nice medium golden brown. Either of those would work and I wouldn't have to go to the store.

I also started a recyling project that was intended to go with both the skirt and the jacket, but it went sideways fairly early on and I can't wear it with the jacket now because of conflicting collar issues.

This linen blouse (see a trend here? I can't wait for winter to be over!) is from my local thrift store. I only go there when they're having half-off day, which is about once a month. Then I mainly hit the plus size and men's aisles looking for garments with enough fabric to be reshaped into something else. This blouse was a size 16, and didn't look big enough to take apart and remake, but I loved the fabric and the button placket and collar were really pretty, so I decided to give it a shot. At $2 on sale, how big a risk could it be?

I cut the side seams open, cut the sleeves off, and then, when I realized that most of the fabric was in the back, I cut the back apart at the princess seams. Interestingly, it was princess-seamed up to a shoulder yoke, so I cut the three bottom pieces away from the yoke, pinned and sewed them back together, then pinned them back onto the yoke and cut away the extra yoke at the armholes.

Because I liked the collar and button placket, I left the yoke and the front of the blouse in one piece. I thought that the front would be too large, but apparently this was for a larger lady with a smaller bust, because all this does is fit like a slightly spacious FBA. And this is going to be a hot-weather top, so it doesn't need to be tight.

Once the back pieces were pinned together, I had a go at pinning the sides. The back still seemed really wide, but the front felt good, so I pinned an extra 1.5" out of the back on each side. Sewed the side seams, tried it on again, and took another 1/2" out of each side, plus I tapered the back princess seams just a bit more. Then I turned up the hem (it was a little long to begin with, and rather than picking out the hems at the seam joins, I just cut it all off right above the hem and started over).

This is one of those tops that doesn't fit Evelyn as well as me. Those don't come along every day; I may like this top extra just because of that.

As far as the sleeves go, I'm not sure yet. The sleeves that I cut off were pretty substantial, and with all the fabric that I cut out of the sides, I definitely would have some extra to play with. Problem is, I actually think I like it better sleeveless. Linen sleeves get those lovely accordion wrinkles at the elbows, so leaving it sleeveless would avoid that. Or I could do sleeves and just go short, either plain or with a slight puff, calculated so that it doesn't make me look like a halfback.

I'll go through my back issues of BWOF tonight and see if I find any sleeves that strike my fancy and do a mockup to see how it looks. Even if I can't wear this with my green jacket, I can wear it with the skirt and quite a few of my other spring/summer skirts.


verobirdie said...

Sure you can exhale! And keep the coordinate of that plumber.
Just like you, I would not have bothered to go back to work. This jacket will look great.

Lori said...

A big cheer to the plumber for fixing the problem and very reasonable, too. Cute jacket and great job on the blouse.

Gretchen the Household Deity said...

I like the blouse remake! A flutter sleeve might be a good choice--breezy and won't wrinkle from wearing.

Meg said...

Thanks for making this jacket; it's on my to-sew list. Love the pockets.

goodworks1 said...

I love what you're doing with that thrift store blouse. Great fabric to go with your new jacket!

-E said...

So inspiring! I love the breeziness of that blouse. said...

Lovely! I can't envision why the blouse collar won't work with the jacket collar... but I am often not able to visualize those things.

Kitty Couture said...

Lovely blouse - I'd say keep it sleeveless, it looks great this way!

Kat said...

What a great jacket and a nice revamp of the top! Gotta love that bill too. Only $100--whew!

Sherril said...

The jacket is wonderful, but I really like the printed linen top. You did a great job refashioning it. Keep it sleeveless. Summer will be here before long.