Beautiful glorious day and a Gerard Manteau

What a nice day – cool, well, for Floridians, cold 🙂 My new Gerard Manteau is perfect.

This cute and casual jacket from Republique du Chiffon is a gem. It has a semi-grunge aspect – loose and long.

I’m in the back yard, in front of my newly trimmed tangerine tree. I was concerned that it was so full and thick, a hurricane could push it over in a flash. Not now! And the birds love the tree.

Sewing notes:

  • I sewed the size small – a medium would have swallowed me, but would be perfect for fleece or fur.
  • I have the PDF pattern, and the instructions and illustrations (hand-drawn and very small) are minimal. Additionally, only the French instructions are really useable – the English translation provided is just weird. If you’ve made a jacket, you will be fine. This is a very basic pattern.
  • A caution: the pattern does not discriminate sizes by line style – they are all the same solid black line, so don’t drink wine while cutting…
  • The fabric: Heathered Sapphire 100% Cotton Corduroy 66W from Fabric Mart, 7-wale.
  • It did get some special prep work. I serged all the pattern pieces before I started sewing, to prevent bias stretch and loss of fabric on the edges.

Then I vacuumed my entire house!! and cleaned my serger.

  • Originally I used twill tape to define the roll of the lapel. But I found that it distorted the lapel because the wale opened and rolled around. So I took it out.
  • For the same reason, the distortion of sewing across this wide wale, I squared the bottom of the pockets (I love that they are lined, nice touch).

Tree hugger 🙂

Ciao! Coco

New dressform

This is exciting! I’ve put off buying a new dress form for several years, as my old form was ‘OK’, and I had other priorities. But this is a year of going for those things I know I will enjoy. As Joan Rivers said, if not now, when…

After careful research, I purchased this Janome Artistic Dress Form in size Small, and I’m delighted. The comparative pic below illustrates my issues with my previous form (in red). It was a Medium, had a booty and tummy, very wide shoulders (which I cut off with a hand saw), and a surprisingly large neck. And it was short-waisted. I have a long torso, no booty or tummy, and a skinny neck!! Enter the new form on the right, wearing the dress form cover I made years ago in cotton rib:

This line of dress forms is available on many trusted sewing sites – SewVacDirect, SewingMachinesPlus, etc., and of course on Amazon.

A table of the dress form sizing:

Have you indulged yourself lately:-) Happy – Coco

Gerard Manteau in corduroy – prep!

Time for a new Republique du Chiffon Gerard Manteau. I’m in love with this casual jacket.

I found a beautiful 7-wale heathered saffire corduroy at Fabric Mart late last year. And I knew it’s destiny.

The prep, driven by my fabric, has taken hours and hours 🙂

Of course I laundered the fabric, and I was rewarded with piles and piles of lint in the dryer. I tumbled it twice to get the last bits off the yardage, and then I cleaned my dryer!

Prep – once I start sewing, I want to work with nice pattern pieces without lint or unexpected bias distortion. So I cut and serged every single piece of my pattern.

As I was cutting, I marked notches with a chalk pencil, but after I serged the edges, I marked them with a small pin. Chalk disappears from corduroy in a flash…

I’m anxious to start, but my interfacing, Pellon SF785 sew-in, is in the laundry. Yes, non-fusible interfacing should be washed and dried… I prefer sew-in interfacing on anything with a wale or heavy texture, as I don’t want to crush the fabric pressing a fusible.

So, next up, my Gerard Manteau! Bye for now, Coco

Serger business…

Serger horror. I could not serge/cut a seam! This is lawn!

Look what I found. A huge piece of fabric somewhere in my serger. Even though I cleaned it after my pinafore sewing, and my daughter can attest to this, because I showed her the lint that comes from just one garment.

Well, even before this issue, I’ve known for a while that my Janome 8002D knives were dull, so I ordered both the upper and lower knives, they will be here this week.

Meanwhile, I like having two sergers, one with white thread, one for color changes. I’ve had a second serger for years, a Juki MO644D, that I killed by sewing over a quilting pin. Managed to destruct all the thread/guideline pins, presser foot and press plate, just not redeemable for much less than a new machine.

Which is now on order:

Happy woman…Coco

Helens Closet York Pinafore

I am really back to sewing! I bought Helen’s pinafore pattern way back in the spring, just waiting to wear in cooler weather. Today, with a short sleeve tee, but I have every intention of styling it with a black long-sleeve tee and black leggings. Maybe boots!

There is something about this pattern, it just says fun and wear me.

Sewing notes – well, a bunch:

  • I sewed View A, the deep neckline, in size 8. The pattern has generous ease, and I did not want a loosey-goosey look. Size 8 is perfect for me (5’7″, 33″ bust, 31″ waist, 34″ hips, 128 lbs).
  • Basic Changes: the pattern has two lengthen/shorten lines in the bodice. I raised each one by 1/2″. I did not want the neckline cutting across my bust apex, or the waistline hanging below my waist.
  • More: I added a button placket to the front and drafted neckline/pocket facings. My intention was to stabilize the garment, so it would not be loose and unstructured. I think these adjustments work really well.
  • The button placket is simple. I added 2″ to the CF and used it to create the placket and self-facing. The plackets have Pellon SF101 woven fusible interfacing to give them weight and structure. I sewed the buttonholes, but I did not open them. The dress just pulls over the head, so I sewed the buttons through both plackets.
  • And yes, I pattern-matched the fabric. Wiggling eyes… This is Robert Kaufman Peacock Balboa linen (55% linen/45% cotton), 43″ wide, from Fabric.com. I am in love with the Balboa line. I cut the pattern on the fold, 2.5 yards.

Just pics:

Ciao! coco