Sunday, December 13, 2009

So, it's been a while

Don't you just hate it when your life gets in the way of all the stuff you'd really rather do? Work and family and responsibilities - don't they know I'd rather be sewing? Though it says something about my life and state of mind lately that I'd also rather be cooking, cleaning and doing laundry than dealing with the stuff that's had to be dealt with.

But it's all a little more under control now, and I just have to get used to the idea that the phone is going to ring 5 times a day with random questions and the assumption that the world is going to end if said question isn't answered within the next five minutes.

Okay. Back to sewing. Which is why we're all here to begin with. I finally ran out of stuff to sew for the craft show - a lot of the first batch actually sold (!) and I made up some more and took it over - and now I'm back to working on Mario's jacket.

Ever have a pattern that you just think is cursed? Something goes wrong with it every time you work on it. This is one of those patterns. That said, this jacket is going to turn out. It's going to fit, it's going to look fabulous and he's going to love it. Or I'll hurt something.

What's gone wrong, you ask? Well the first time I attempted making this, I massively screwed up the collar. That in mind, I didn't get ahead of myself this time, and I still massively screwed up the collar - but at least I had fabric left over to cut a new one. How did I manage to sew the collar band to the outside of the collar, instead of the neck edge? Beats the hell out of me, especially when I'd sewn the top collar perfectly. And of course I'd cut the under-collar on the bias and in two pieces instead of on the fold, so making a new under-collar was much more of a production than it would have been if I'd messed up the upper. Oh, well.

Other things that have gone not quite right: the pockets. How hard can pockets be? Not hard, but BWOF's clever, witty, pleated pockets looked - as I feared - a little weird and way too girly on this jacket. That kind of detail only works on a solid color; folding in houndstooth check just looked like the bad kind of funky. So off they came and I made new patch pockets, which look much better. I'm keeping the flaps, though; we both like those, and they work.

The fun part about changing the pockets was Mario. I put him in the jacket to check for fit, and I had the pockets pinned on. I wanted to check the placement on him because I'd shortened the jacket at two points throughout and I wanted to make sure the top pockets weren't up under his chin. I adjusted the level, but he's looking at the pockets themselves, and he's not looking happy.

I ask what's wrong. Nothing's wrong. I take a guess and say that I don't like how the pockets turned out and I'm thinking about making plain pockets. He looks stunned. "Don't you have to keep them? Shouldn't we make it the way it was designed?" Note that royal we. Just because you get up off the couch to try this thing on doesn't mean we're making it together.

No, I assure him. The whole thing with patterns is that they're just a jumping off point. You take what you like and change the rest. He brightens up and says he doesn't like the folded pockets and . . . if it's not too much trouble, maybe I can make just one plain pocket so we can see how it looks.

The jacket has plain pockets now. Still four, still flapped, but no more folds. Much better.

Then today, while he was out running errands in the everlasting rain, I made up another challenge for him. Buttonholes are nearly upon us, and the fabric could handle several colors of thread. I made sample buttonholes in brown, dark brown, black, tan and goldish. I was expecting him to pick the dark brown, since he chose the safest button of all. Black and brown got elimlinated immediately as too dark and too warm. He considered the dark brown, since it matched well, but he went for the tan because it matches the background of the fabric and he wants his plain buttons to not be overshadowed by their buttonholes.

He's beginning to think like me. I was torn between the dark brown and the tan, and I decided to let him choose. He chose well.

So, okay, maybe we are making a jacket.

Up next, there are big doings in the workroom that don't involve sewing . . . at last.


Anonymous said...

Oh excitement! on the jacket front and the sewing room front. Can't wait to hear what's happening there. The jacket looks great so far. I'm glad you're dissing the witty pockets. Did you interface the fabric at all? What kind of structure are you adding if any?

Elaray said...

Mario and I must be (very) distant cousins. He and I have the same belief about patterns - don't you have to do exactly what the pattern says? It's taken lots of work for me to get out of that mind set. It looks like you're going to have an excellent fit.

Rose said...

I know what you mean about life getting in the way of sewing and the requests for immediate responses to telephone calls. Your sewing on Mario's jacket sure does sound like me in the sewing room. Why do we sew things on backward and struggle over decisions about colors, pockets,etc. What a hoot! I did some laughing while I read your post. The jacket is looking great now - good decisions!

Sara said...

This post is so well-written! Thank you, and hang in there with the jacket.

gwensews said...

Keep on with it. Sew on!