Thursday, December 23, 2021

Very Merry Christmas to you and some sewing too

In the words of the song, so this is Christmas, and what have you done? As the great John Lennon said in the next line, Another year over and a new one just begun. This certainly is a time for reflection and this strange year has given so many opportunities to think about what we have all been through and what is to come.  Last year in December we were hoping for a better year and in many ways it has been. While life isn't completely back to normal here in N. California we are doing quite well and fingers crossed it will stay that way. I wonder what it will be like in 5 or 10 years to look back on this. 

Life moves on and the holidays are a time to celebrate. Let's talk sewing - I've been seeing friends and getting a chance to wear some of the things I sewed last winter that never got out of the house, especially my red coat. 

Holiday coat2

I finished this coat in early 2020 and wore it to one event at the end of that February. It's so strange to think of that time and know that we had no idea what was on the horizon. I did three blog posts on this coat as it was quite a project so here are the links.
In case you don't read those, just to review, this is actually a plaid, up close you can see that it's a basketweave design so I did match it as a plaid. I ordered the fabric from Mood in NY and everything about it was perfection, including that color. 

As for new sewing, under the coat I'm wearing a new top which I think will be one of the most popular magazine patterns for Burda this year. It's Burda October 2021 # 112.

Green turtleneck3

This is about as far as I will go on the big sleeve trend, I just find the sleeves annoying when you put on a jacket so these are interesting but not gigantic. Also the slim long wrist portion keeps them precisely in place when you are wearing this top, it's really comfortable.

Green turtleneck top

Adjustments:  I made a size 38 at neck and shoulders and graded out to fit at the hips. I shortened the cuff portions 1.5 inches. I cut them out as they were and sewed them up but the end of the cuff was just about at my elbow bend which wasn't comfortable. Since I had attached the bottom of the sleeve but not sewn the cuffs closed I just shorted 1.5" at the bottom and snugged them up there at the wrist. Plus marked it on my pattern pieces so I can make another one! The turtleneck portion ends up needing to fold over 3 times to wear it, and I think that might be a bit excessive so I think I will shorten that as well in future. This is a super quick top to make and a little more interesting than the average turtleneck. It could also be nice with just a flat neck band, eliminating the turtleneck. 
The fabric is a mystery knit that I had in my stash - I think I got it in the last year at a rummage sale. It's kind of thick but not a ponte. Bonus points for the fact that it coordinates so well with my green corduroy Ash jeans which have turned into a wardrobe staple - I wear them all the time. 

And you can see that I wasted a few minutes playing around with Photoshop when I could have been sewing to blur the background in the restaurant. We were a group of 12 and we had an outside table on a very cold day - so I dressed warmly. As it turned out the outside table was in a tent (the standard for dining here in N. Cal) and there were so many of those outdoor heaters that it was boiling! But I would always rather be too warm than cold so it was fine with me. You can see the color of the top better here, standing in front of a green Christmas tree in a green outfit does mean you will slightly blend into the background. 

Restaurant pic copy

Here's the image from the Burda website and the tech drawings. Yes that turtleneck is a bit too much. In the magazine I think it's also a dress version which would make a nice cozy winter dress. 

Burda top 10-2021

Another look at my very green outfit. I wish I could find more stretch corduroy in colors, a royal blue would fit in my wardrobe nicely. 

Green turtleneck

So that's the pre-Christmas sewing. I have a few other projects in the works which I hope to post in the next two weeks. And then I will start another round of classes at Hello Stitch and online. 

Now it's crunch time in terms of baking, cooking and wrapping. I've made about 6 Italian panettone so far and this is my new favorite thing to bake, although it does take a lot of time. Mostly waiting during the rise and then baking. So an ideal thing to make while at home sewing with a few dashes into the kitchen to move it along. 

Merry Merry Christmas to everyone and I wish you health and happiness this season and all throughout the New Year.


Holiday coat1

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Jacket Sewing Class completed and a Jasika Blazer for a friend

Perhaps it's the year we've all had or the fact that I have enough jackets to last me a good long while, but as I started to prepare to teach my Blazer Jacket class in October I looked around for someone else to be the recipient of a new jacket. My next door neighbor Marissa was happy to oblige - and it's very convenient to have such a nearby fit model! Plus she got this blazer out of it. I have to say that this is one of the best things I have made in a while - due to being meticulous with every step in order to show details to the class via photos and video. Also I decided to up the degree of difficulty with plaid fabric, but I think it's ideal for this jacket and I'm so happy with the result.

Plaid jacket lapel

I also note that this is one of those items that doesn't photograph all that well, it might look a bit drab but I think that up close it looks so nice and it can be worn with so many different looks.  Here's Marissa wearing her new jacket. It's the Closet Core Jasika Blazer. About half the people in the class made this pattern and the rest made others. I like to have my classes be very general purpose so you can learn basic techniques which apply to any pattern. 

Jacket M edited

I made a size 8 for her with just some small adjustments in the hip area and lengthening the sleeves. She's tall but the hem was at a good spot so I didn't adjust the length.  

My online class started in October and went for 6 weeks, with Tuesday evenings for instruction and Thursday evenings for sewing time, questions and discussion. That was longer than any other online class I've done but it worked out well since a blazer has a lot more steps than other projects. I really enjoyed it and plan to repeat it again in a couple of months. I've done this class both in person and now online and while they are different both are a lot of fun and have different pros and cons. Here's a quick video with some snippets from the class - I'm learning to use iMovie and now you can't stop me :)   If it doesn't have the play button if you click on it, then you will go to the Flickr page where you can view. 

Jacket class video

You can see she is a bit taller than I am, maybe 4 inches? I'm wearing my Pauline Alice Saler blazer which is one of my most frequently worn jackets, that color is my favorite.

Final jacket 1 edit

Here's a look on the dress form. 

Plaid jacket

Jacket front and back edit

This fabric is 100% wool and I think it's been in my stash for more than 20 years?  Is that even possible? I know I bought it way back when I was working in the corporate world and we wore suits a lot, but I just never sewed it up so it stayed with me - across a couple of moves and occasionally I would pull it out to make sure it didn't have any moth holes. I am 95% sure I bought it at Stone Mountain and I used about half of what there was to make this jacket so I still have a piece remaining. I just might make this same jacket for myself. It's really lightweight and not at all itchy, yet has the perfect press ability and non-wrinkle tendency of a high quality wool. 

Plaid jacket front edgejpg

For the class I also made another blazer from a new Butterick pattern, which made me long for my Burda jacket patterns - more to come when I post about the Butterick. Although with that project I did  try out VikiSews patterns to make pants to go with it and they were great so it was a productive project in the end. 

I hope the video is entertaining - let me know what you think and also if you are interested in joining in a blazer class in the next couple of months. It's been a happy side effect of this pandemic that I've started these online classes and had the chance to meet and interact with people who I might have known as names in a comment here or in IG. 

This has definitely been a year of making some fun things for friends - I plan to do a year-end post so I will mention all those then. Meanwhile I'm so happy to be wearing a few of the coats I made last year as things here in N. California are very good (fingers crossed it stays that way) and we are mostly out and about with precautions. 
I've made a few holiday-ish items for the season including what I think will be the Burda top of the winter, so I'll post those next week.  

Until then, Happy Holidays and take care,

Final jacket 5 edit