Wednesday, September 22, 2010
This is my latest creation. I found out about the expo a week before it was to take place in Las Vegas. That gave me four days to get this piece done. Two of the days were weekend days meaning I had to work the floor - cash registers, cutting fabrics and customer service. Giving breaks to the cashiers, and trying to be present because weekends are always busy and there are never enough employees scheduled for Fridays and Saturdays.
So really, two days to complete this beauty. The fabric is a silk and cashmere blend with, yes, that is real leather around the waist. Julie picked out the pattern which was very basic. Then she wanted details. You just had to know technique in order to accomplish these.
The collar is only an inch and a half high. So the strip of leather is really only a half inch wide. It ended up being a tiny detail that looked very elegant because it was understated.
I had several choices of wools and I chose the stripe because it would be easier to work with on such short notice. I even was able to connect points as a detail you can see in the back seam.
It had a typical button closure front which I altered so that it would have an exposed zipper. I then clipped the wool away and created, by cutting wool on the bias, a chevron front-piece to hold the zipper.
The sleeves did not even have a vent so I had to cut away the seam and create the same look here as in the front but on a smaller scale and completely enclosing it with lining.
I managed to stitch on the belt loops so that you can't see the stitching. I will avoid top stitching whenever possible.
I chose a burnt orange matte satin for the lining. Because I added the zipper to the chevron without a seam, I had to enclose the zipper tape somehow; so I enclosed it by hand stitching a strip of the lining over it as you can see to the left. So, the slightest bit that the jacket is open, you can see the orange peeking out which is a detail that everyone just loved. I was not sure if it was going to be acceptable, but they loved it. So I was pretty proud of it.
This jacket just happens to fit Julie perfectly. The mannequin does not do it justice of course. So when I got in on Wednesday at 12:30, she asks me if I might have time to make a blouse to go under it. Men's shirting, which I adore. She has a pattern with a fitted front, and wants the cuffs pleated. I had to lengthen the sleeves so that they would peek out below the jacket and lengthen the bodice so that, when the suit comes off of display, she will be able to buy it. Julie is very tall and very thin. I have just a few hours to get this together.
There are no pictures because as soon as it was done, she grabbed it and left to get home and get ready for the trip. No time to spare. So the final pictures will come when the suit is returned. I think next week. When it goes on display in the store, we will of course attach the pattern to it, but there will be a note saying that the details were created by the seamstress. MOI! Of course, my name will not be there, but everyone will know it is me. They will be talking about that one a lot. I will probably have to make a skirt or a pant to go with it. Or maybe they will display it just as it is. Who knows. There are scraps of the fabric left which I have in my scrap box in my sewing room. I might make some little Christmas things for everyone. The feel of this fabric is incredible. As much stress as there was working this project, the true joy of it was working with this cloth - so soft and intense. How many op0portunities does an ordinary person have to work with such a fabric?
I sent all of my pin cushions to a quilt show last weekend. I put them in a pretty basket and lugged them to work. One of my favorite quilters exhibits and sells quilts at shows. She has a reputation as a master quilter. This basket must have weighed 40 pounds. I have to get some sort of contraption that I can use to wheel such things because carrying them to the store is a real arm breaker. I will be seeing Nancy tomorrow and will find out how she did. I hear from another quilter who quilts with Nancy that in May there is a huge quilt show that I should send my cushions to because they will sell very well there. And Paula should know. She is another master quilter who really has an eye for things. She is one of the marketing displayers for the store. So I have some good time to apply to this. And I do love my cushions.
I was reading a needlework magazine printed in 1923 and found out that back then, they were not called pin cushions, they were called "pin pillows". Hmmmmm