I’ve actually been sewing quite a bit (two dresses, a “sloper” or master dress pattern, a pair of pants for David, and a jacket finished). I just don’t have many pictures.
This weekend we went to New York and celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary by eating 12 courses of Chinese food at Grand Szechuan. Since the wedding was all about friends and overeating we thought we ought to celebrate the same things on our anniversary. We were joined by Rebecca and Sam, my friend Jon and his friend John from college, and two friends of Sam’s.
Here’s me in New York wearing one of the new dresses (more on this in a later post) and the jacket:
Some of you may remember this jacket from when I started it several months ago. Its been sitting around waiting for me to take Ann’s welt pocket class so I could finish it. The class ended up being a very brief and expensive welt pockets class because— despite Google’s assurance that it takes 30 minutes to drive from Cambridge to Billerica, MA (where Ann’s studio is)— it actually took me 1 hour and 30 minutes. Or about 1 hour more than I had reserved the Zipcar for. Oops.
The time there was really helpful though and I learned how to add these fabulous looking welt pockets to my jacket, as well as a seam-finishing technique I used on the other dress.
Despite the Zipcar snafu I’m glad I took the class. Ann’s technique breaks the pocket down into two steps: first you make a bound rectangular hole in the garment, then attach the welts and pocket to the back. There are two things I’ve found hard about sewing instructions (both those included with patterns and those in on-line tutorials). One is visualizing things in three dimensions. The other is an intuition for where all the step-by-step instructions are leading. With each thing I’ve learned— how to insert a zipper, how to make a pocket, how to construct a fly— I found myself following the instructions blindly, and only when I got to the end did I realize why I was doing each of the steps. Then I had to take it all apart and redo it with that understanding. Seeing someone put the pocket together made all the difference and I was able to “get it” much more quickly.
Overall I am very pleased with this jacket. I love the stripes, inside and out. I like the fit, especially the shoulder darts; its the first jacket I’ve worn that doesn’t pull across the back. I also the did the front closure a little differently from the last one. There I interfaced about two inches on either side of the zipper, both on the front and on the lining. As a result the front of the jacket is very stiff and it tends to stand up rather than falling over when open—which make it less comfortable to wear when I’m inside. On this one I only interfaced under the zipper tape, and I used the shell fabric (which is softer) for the part of the lining closest to the zipper. So now the collar falls back nicely when the jacket is open. Hooray!
With any garment I make there are two crucial tests. One is the Would my sister wear it? test for fashionablity. I passed this with flying colors when she asked to try it on after dinner and threatened not to give it back. The other is the What will my labmates think? test for being not-to-dressy. It was a strange day at lab today. Almost everyone was gone, helping one of the post-docs move, for most of the day. Around 2 o’clock I heard some rustling outside the door and then my labmate Emre popped his head in: ”Kathy are you wearing a SUIT?????”
I guess I better get started on an oversized polar fleece next.