Sunday, August 30, 2009

Black is the New Black

The only thing I didn't enjoy about making the black-and-white pinstriped dress last weekend was the fact that it was black. Black fabric obviously needs to be sewn with black thread, which cannot be seen by the naked eye when you're trying to pick out stitches that have gone wrong.

At least it can't be seen by these naked eyes, nor can they be seen with my corrected vision, and most of the time I have a hard time with black-on-black stitching even with my reading glasses.

So that would explain why I turned around and made a jacket to match the dress, right? Of course. And a pattern which fought me so hard I ended up doing some of the stitching by hand. I like hand sewing, but only on my terms - not as the beginning or end of seams that were started by machine but can only be wrangled into submission with hand stitches.

The jacket is from Vogue 2267 (patternreview here), a reproduction vintage pattern from 1954. I thought it was cute, and it seemed simple enough. But no. The dress looks simple, but I didn't want to make the dress. I wanted the cute little collarless bolero - collarless so it didn't squash the floral trim on the dress. Which wasn't simple at all.

There are side panels (no side seam) and the way they're inserted is wonky, and then you take the underside of the cut-on sleeves and you sew it to the top of the side panel, somehow or other getting the points of those joined seams to lie freaking flat.

I lengthened the sleeves to 3/4 length so I could add a little more of the floral trim. When I was in NY last time, I bought an extra half yard because I was afraid there wouldn't be enough for the dress. Of course there was enough, with one flower left over, but I didn't know that then, so I had to make a jacket to justify the existence of the leftover trim. I also put some on the left lapel, more or less as a corsage. I interfaced a piece of the stripe and hand-sewed it to the back of the flower where it overlapped the collar. That's the good kind of hand sewing.

For my next project, I wanted to get away from black. Which if course is why I cut out and started working on the black jeans from Ottobre.

It seemed easier than changing the thread on the machine, which is pretty pitiful, but there you are.

Tomorrow is Monday, I have to go back to work, and I'm lucky I can see the computer in front of my face because all I've done for 2 days is stare at black fabric.

11 comments:

eword10 said...

I need to see this on you. NEED! ;) It looks gorgeous. Can't wait for more pics (on you, of course).

Sherril said...

Karen, if you take some chalk and mark it over the stitches, they'll stand out. Just a light touch as you want to cover the raised stitches with chalk and not the fabric underneath. I know that doesn't help you now, but in the future. . .

Keely said...

But this was so worth it all! Looks lovely.

Great tip, Sherril. I'll remember that - not that I ever need to unpick (snort!);)

Helen said...

LOVE the jacket! LOVE the commentary!

Little Hunting Creek said...

Beautiful! And the chalk tip is great too. Not that I ever rip out seams at 1130p or anything...

Nancy K said...

I second the chalk suggestion and I also recommend and love my little led light magnifier. It does help.
Great little jacket. The trim is very cool.

Rachel said...

That is beautiful!!! I love the trim.

gwensews said...

I TYPE IN BIG PRINT SO YOU CAN SEE! Love that jacket. Perfect companion to the dress. Nice job!

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Yes but it was sooooo worth it! Those two pieces together are awesome! And I'm with Elizabeth, I need to see pictures of you wearing this.

Cennetta said...

Love, love it. Now you're putting me in a "black" mode. Let's see I do have a few yards of black fabric around the house. lol

Vicki said...

Wow, what a fabulous suit. The trim is fantastic and you have used it perfectly. Love it.