Thursday, March 25, 2010

Always have a project


Because what happens when you don't have a project lined up is that you'll get an overwhelming desire to make something, followed by the equally overwhelming realization that you don't want to make any one particular thing. Which leads to sewing just to sew. Which is okay, except when you decide that, since you don't have anything you really, really want to make for yourself, you should make something for someone else.

Preferably something quick, so that if sanity and normal motivation return, I can finish it off and go on to what I want to make.

I decided to make a vest for Mario. He's got a vest. He likes it. It was his dad's, made for dad by Mario's grandfather, who was a tailor. It's a beautiful piece of workmanship, even at its advanced age of 50ish (his parents hadn't even gotten married yet when this vest was made). Problem is, it's not the best fit. Mario's 5'6", and I think his dad might have been a bit shorter. If not, it was definitely the era where men wore their pants higher (think Cary Grant, the only unattractive thing he ever did), so this family-sewn heirloom sits about an inch above his waistband.

It's not a look. He wears it over an untucked shirt so it's not as obvious, but still. It's not a look.

I offered a while back to make him a vest. Not to replace his, but to add on. Thinking if I made it in colors more appropriate to his wardrobe, slowly but surely it would replace the other vest in the rotation, if not in his heart.

He thought it was a fine idea.

I got the Jason vest from Burdastyle. I was going to search my BWOF archive for something, but then I saw the Selfish Seamstress's post about making this very same vest, and all the reasons that this vest didn't fit her husband are the reasons it WILL fit Mario (he's not 5' 11", he's not built like a Banana Republic mannequin, etc.)

Of course, I fail to note that the vest has welt pockets. Four of them. Guess who didn't fail to notice when I showed him the line drawing?

"You're going to make those pockets for me?"

So how could I not, when he knows I dread them and he thinks I'm doing something hard and unpleasant for him? I suggested just doing the lower two pockets, that having upper ones would look a little too elderly.

So, without a project - or, apparently, a clue - I wander off to the workroom to whip out a vest. Or be whipped by one.
It hasn't been that long since I made those welt pockets that almost turned out perfectly. I knew where I went wrong. I didn't like Burdastyle's instructions all that much, and I wanted double welt instead of single welt pockets, so I went ahead with the instructions I'd used before from the Vogue pattern magazine.

Except that somehow, something went terribly wrong. I used Burdastyle's length for the welts, but I swear (really, I do) that I cut the width as recommended in the instructions. Measure twice, cut once. It's not just for carpentry. I got everything marked and stitched, and I got the welts attached on both sides. I did the basting, and then I went to fold the welt up to make the first welt, and there wasn't enough fabric. Somehow, I'd cut them almost 1/2" too narrow, and there was nothing to do but unpick them, while not losing my original stitching lines, cut out new welts from the last scraps of fabric, and start over.

Two days later, and I've got one welt done. And I think I still have the first night's headache.


Beangirl said...

"You're going to make those pockets for me?"

This actually made me say OUT LOUD (at work) "Awwww..."

I think I can honestly say that has never happened to me before while reading a blog.

Good luck!!!

Little Hunting Creek said...

I hate welt pockets, so making welt pockets for someone else is clearly an act of devotion

kbenco said...

I am scared of welt pockets, but have managed to have them turn out just fine by following the burda instructions, only because of this excellent photo tutorial by Ann Rowley.(BWOF 8-08 instructions)
On my last welt pockets (Kenneth King instructions, because I like to try new things, operator error) I added a nice flap to cover them up. :)

Gretchen the Household Deity said...

You are too kind! I don't know that I'd be up for making welt pockets for someone else. But I don't make much for other people anyway, ha!