Saturday, December 31, 2005

Project 3 - jules' Bizarre jacket

Continuing along the theme of easy shapeless things I bought Kwik Sew 3096, which is a straight jacket. I mean that it doesn't have any shaping. Reviews had said that is was very loose fitting so I cut an extra-small rather than a medium-to-small. Rewiews also described this pattern as dead straight with both hips and bust the same size. I measured carefully and disagree - the hips are an inch wider than the bust in size XS. My hips and bust are actually the same size, so I altered the pattern to make it the same too. I also lengthened the jacket, cutting XL on the bottom. Because of the bonkers fabric I had found I didn't want to make a short wide jacket. It fits delightfully well except that the sleeves are a little short. There are supposed to be 3 inch cuffs, but I wear them at 1-2 inches. I didn't think of that when choosing to cut the XS rather than the S.

Anyway - the bonkers fabric is something I found in a shop in Kamakura. The Japanese have this bizarre habit of wearing clothing with inappropriate English (sometimes French) phrases written on them , so when I saw the brown and tan fur with 2 inch high stupid words on it I couldn't resist. I really don't know what the fabric is for - some sort of home interior - a cover for a kotatsu perhaps? Its 3 layer, fur on the top, a sort of plastic insulating middle layer and a sort of synthetic mock-suede inside. Anyway, I can't be bothered with fleece jackets for outer wear because they aren't windproof. This jacket sure is windproof and is pretty good for cycling around town in the winter. Even better I blend in well in the high street now. ;-)

As for the stitching, I messed up the buttonholes because I didn't want to stitch the reinforcement patch to the outside (cos of wrecking the words on the fabric) so I put them on the inside. Then realised I couldn't stitch them in so they looked good enough through the fur so ended up just trimming down to the buttonholes. I added two extra buttons to the design so that the jacket actually closes properly. My fabric was heavy so it just didn't hold closed with only the inner button included on the pattern. The other problem I had was that I had to tack everything rather than pin, because the fabric was too distorted by pins (and the pins got bent!). After adjusting the tension on the sewing machine, it handled the fabric fine, even in 4-6 layers. I don't have a serger - the pattern is really meant to be an easy serger project. My machine overlock stitch is nowhere near neat enough to finish the edges so I blanket stitched in gold-silk wool, which I expect will unravel immediately. James thinks it it very fitting to not only be wearing a blanket, but to have blanket stitched it too.

Monday, December 26, 2005


jules' second stitching project completed today. A pair of jimjams for tall person. Simplicity 7045. Made Large size (should have made Medium but pattern is L-XL), taking an inch out of each shoulder. Added 3 inches to arms (required) and 3 inches to legs (1 would have been enough). Also took 2 inches off circumference of legs (still too wide - take an inch out of each "side seam" next time.). Jacket is OK fit (seems to be long but that is with nothing added to the pattern, so must be the intended "style"), trousers are a bit baggy!

Took the side-seams out, because pajamas don't have side seams, making only two pieces for the trousers.


Monday, December 19, 2005

Project #1 - Frog trews

Bought these as a kit from Haan Crafts. Added 1.5 inches to the crotch length and 2.5 inches to the legs, and chose the medium size which was closest to James fave pair of lightweight summer trews that ripped this summer. Next time add an inch or so to the rear crotch length and use more sturdy elastic. Also the back pocket needs to be taller. Of course zipped pockets would also be nice but I don't know how to make them!

January 2006 - made these trousers again, using the same sizing as I worked out before. Did not add an inch to the rear crotch, since we decided that the real problem with the frog pair was that the elastic round the waist needed to be firmer.
Photo to follow - trews currently being worn every day at work!
Cotton print from Okadaya in Shnjuku.

For the pockets:
Copied James' favourite pair of cotton trews to make side pockets and a back pocket. But he says the pockets at the side are not deep enough, or maybe they should have the hole higher up? - this even though they are exactly the same as his previously named "perfect fit" trews! Fussy or what? Instead of a zip pocket (which I still don't know how to do!) on the back I made two little welts, like I noticed on someone else's jacket pocket. I guessed how to do it, and it seems to be functional but is not perfect since the welts overlap a bit.

1st October 2006:
Third pair of these trews. Rear welt pocket stitched more properly into waistband, and interfaced, following zipzops instructions. Welts still a bit big perhaps. Was going to make a zip pocket but couldn't be bovvered to go and buy a zipper. Apparently the rear pocket needs to be deeper. Wallet doesn't fit in properly.

Front pockets taken from Vogue shorts - better shape than before. James says these are now fine!

Topstitched side seams, stitching down seam allowance. I suppose all the practice on the ultrasuede made it seem like the thing to do. After doing it I noticed that some of my own baggy trews are topstitched in a similar way. Ought to have topstitched front of pocket too, but was too late to go back and do that easily by the time I thought of it.