Friday, 13 January 2017

UFO progress!

I am delighted. I was able to pick up The White Jacket again which had been a most aggravating unfinished object for several years.  I started numbering my projects when I began to seriously sew again a few years back.  This is project number S9!  That's how long ago this is.

This is how far I got today after some pressing and general fiddling about:

I 'only' need to do body and sleeve hems now

The photo below showed (half of) the stage I was at which gave me so much trouble.  I had followed the pattern quite faithfully and found that the shoulders are much too wide on me.  I thought it was going to be such a long-winded and time-consuming endeavour to unpick the sleeveheads and move them inwards by a good centimeter.

Until I started the first one. I took the shoulder on the left in and the right shoulder is the 'before' picture. Isn't that a huge difference?  The sleeve just dips off the shoulder on the right and makes the jacket look very home made. That one centimeter (or so) pulls the whole jacket off whack.

I literally cannot believe how little time it took to remedy the situation.  That should be a lesson to me to stop putting things off for so very long!

I had some other concerns that caused the delay. The jacket was supposed to have a lovely contrast material overlay of lace or similar on the lapels. See pattern:

I had decided against the mock pocket opening fairly early on - I didn't think that they would look good on my bigger figure and wouldn't add that much anyway.

But I was quite keen on those lapels.  They are the reason why I picked this pattern.  Even though I didn't want to include the other design feature (those black pocket borders) and also lengthened the sleeves.  These three quarter sleeves just look odd to me.

I had such a tough time trying to decide what contrast material to use.  None of the lace I either had or looked to buy was right.  Then I considered various ribbons and braids, some of these I bought (see the photo above), I just couldn't get all that enthusiastic about any of them.

I think I wanted a lace very close to that on the pattern envelope (how unimaginative is that?) but couldn't find it.

Encouraged by our upcoming UFO planning sewalong I was thinking about the whole project early in the morning when I had lots of time and no pressure to be anywhere.  It's very freeing: you know that you don't have to jump up and act on any sewing decision then and there, and it's just a lovely, relaxing time to think things through.

Not for the first time, this turned out to be a very useful exercise for me.  I visualised the steps I would carry out to get the lapels looking the way I want: to cut the lower layer smaller than the upper so the stitching line would not show up. Same thing for attaching the lapels to the front side seams: I would need to pay attention to the turn of cloth space needed and it all felt like a lot of fiddling around.

Plus I hadn't even washed my sample with the ribbon sewn on!  I would have been extremely annoyed with myself if any of the black colour had come off onto the lovely white jacket if I hadn't washed it.

So I finally had a very clear thought: I have masses of sewing projects that I started, it will feel incredibly good to get some of them completed and I have to admit to myself that I will not be able to finish this jacket any time soon if I have to faff about with it for much longer.  Plus: how much do I like these lapels when I think about the bother of getting them done?

Answer: not all that much.

So leave them off.  What a relief!  It was the best decision I could have made.  If I do ever want a jacket that has lapel lace overlays then I can start another project as soon as I have a lace I want to use.  And then maybe I won't use this odd pattern that has lapels as separate pieces.

I might write about this element of the pattern another time because it seems odd to me for lapels to be separate to the front jacket pieces. The whole stitching technique described in the instructions doesn't feel very promising - there is a lot that could go wrong.  But as I said I might write about this another time and can then include a photo of the instructions that make it clearer what they are asking for.

In danger of this post becoming too long yet again.  I can't help myself, I just attached straps to a tote bag that is taking much, much longer than I had hoped.  Here it is:

I "just" need to add lining to the inside so the black bottom doesn't catch too much dust and debris. The corner seams would just be dust traps.

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