Monday, September 25, 2006
I was starting with some allergies or cold-related nonsense last week, possibly related to some seriously cold and wet socks last Tuesday, so I decided to spend most of the weekend alone, ensconced in my house. I slept a great deal of Thursday and Friday, and took a nice walk to the park with a pastry and coffee. By Friday evening, I was ready to get busy on a project. So, I went and checked out the unabridged The Hobbit on audiotape as well as a PG Wodehouse (Jeeves and Wooster, don't you know), and headed over to my workroom (which, as it turns out, is quite a bit warmer than my own apartment...good news if you are at all familiar with my heating bills. I will not need to turn up the heat so high when I am working and need to have my arms free from blankets).
I digress. For quite some time I've had some dark navy blue fabric with cream pinstripes. It's a suiting fabric, very simple, with a very slight sheen to it. The plan had been to make a suit, and I even had a pattern including a lined jacket and simple skirt. With the high number of other projects I've had, however, and the timing (I can't, for instance, see myself working on a full suit in July), I hadn't gotten to it. Also, jackets are hard, and I'd had variable luck with previous ones. This weekend, though, I decided it was time.
I discovered as I got the fabric out of the closet (did I mention how delighted I am with my new crafts arrangement?), that I didn't have any lining fabric in the correct color. I must have used whatever I bought for something else. I did not feel like going all the way out to the fabric store (did I mention I was wearing pajama bottoms?). I did uncover, though, a lovely cream satiny fabric with grey ochre and blue flowers on it, and was pleasantly surprised to notice that, not only would it be suitable for the lining, but it would look professional and as though that had been the intended pairing all along. I had bought this fabric for a nightgown. I often buy a few yards of this silky stuff (really like a very thin and light satin on the outside), in whatever pretty pattern I can find in the clearance. It's not a very ironable fabric because it doesn't hold much of a fold, but it's not overly difficult to sew and it has a lot of applications. Now I'm excited because I've found one more potential use and will not have to hold myself in check when I find prints I like.
With this discovery, I launched full on to make my suit. I started with the jacket, and truth be told it was indeed a tough task, mainly because I was being very careful with it. Actually, the creation of the lapels (typically very difficult for me) was much easier than previous projects! I was excited about that, and about how it all came together, even more so because this all went down while I was listening to a story perfect for sewing to (I'd never read The Hobbit). As I stitched in the lining, I grew happier and happier with my fabric choice and, although I didn't do the best job with attaching the sleeve part of the lining, from the outside it looked great, and I know it will "ride up with wear." The skirt went pretty well; I didn't do the best job on the hem, so I may take it out when I have some time and redo it (the fabric has the slightest bit of stretch to it, and I found that the hem is tugged just a bit too far to the left, creating the smallest of bends in the pinstripes). I even had a little time last night before I quit to cover some buttons with scraps of fabric and stitch them onto the jacket, and make a little tie belt with the leftover silky.
The result, I must say, is very professional, and I am very excited that it all went so well. No major disasters at all. It was a great way to spend a quiet weekend at home. I'm most delighted about the lining discovery and above I have included a picture (ignore how bad I look! it was late!) so you can see what I mean.