Monday, September 6, 2010

Serious Ruffles

Finally, I can post pictures of this one and call it done!

It's actually been done for a while, but there were several reasons it didn't get worn and photographed. First off, it was just so hideously hot that I couldn't imagine wearing it and feeling all wilted before I even got to work. Okay, so I still could have photographed and posted about it, but I really didn't think it was a job for Mario and the white wall in the living room.

So here is where I offer thanks to my staff photographer, Andrea. She knows she'll the same from me.

There are more details (and some extra photos) in the patternreviews, so if you're interested, here's the skirt and the jacket.

As far as the skirt is concerned, I covered its origins in a post called Once Upon a Time - once upon a time I made a skirt, loved it, outgrew it and gave it away. Rather than regretting its loss, I decided that, since my skills and ability to fit are better now than they were when I made the skirt, I should just make a new, better skirt.

One that fit.

So I did. The skirt is my basic pencil skirt pattern, which started out life as a BWOF skirt and has been tweaked a few times to make me happy. The not-exactly-ruffled edging is lifted from BWOF 7/10 #125. By not-exactly-ruffled, I mean that those aren't ruffles. They're circles, cut, pinked and folded, and then sewn on. The bottom row was pinned and sewn on by machine, but I didn't like the look of the machine stitches, so for the second row, where the points would be visible, I sewed them all on by hand.

All together, that's 81 circles. Plus 6 more on the jacket pockets, if you're keeping track.

I love how it looks. I love ruffles, but I don't necessarily like how I look in them; I just don't strike me as frilly. Done in a non-frilly fabric, they suit me just fine.

The jacket - can you call it a jacket when it doesn't have sleeves? - is McCall 5859, a pattern I've liked since I saw Kisha's version last year. When I tried hers on, I even liked the sleeves, though I thought maybe they weren't quite me. But I cut them out and sewed them on anyway, and then, of course, I changed my mind, and off they came.

Which meant that I couldn't sew the lining in the way I wanted to, because the shoulder seams were already sewn, so I ended up attaching the lining at the armholes and hem by hand.

When I cut out the jacket, I cut all the pattern pieces, because I knew there wouldn't be any fabric left over if I decided later I wanted to add pockets, and of course, like removing the sleeves, I didn't decide I wanted to add the pockets until after the lining was sewn in. So the pockets got sewn on very, very carefully by hand.

In other words, there ended up being one hell of a lot of hand sewing in this outfit, considering that the bulk of it was machine-sewn.

But my mother always told me I had the patience of a snake when it came to getting what I wanted, and apparently I really wanted this outfit done, and done a certain way.

Another nice thing about the jacket is the collar. It's two piece, but not your normal collar and lapel. First off, the lapel is a separate piece, and the collar is separate from the lape. If you look at the jacket closeup you can see that the collar lays on top of the lapel instead of being sewn into it, like a normal evil Burda collar. I think it adds something to it, though I might change the size or shape next time I do it.

The body of this jacket is definitely getting filed away for further use. I'm pretty happy with the overall fit, the peplum is more flattering on me than I thought it would be - maybe becuase it covers any natural peplum I may have? - and I think once I draft a sleeve that doesn't make me want to scream, I'd be willing to make this up in a completely different fabric.

I hope everyone is having a great holiday weekend, with lots of sewing getting accomplished. I've been a domestic goddess of a different sort for most of the weekend - repairing my concrete front steps, clearing out the garden, doing a lot of cleaning - but I can hear the siren song of the sewing machine, calling me . . .

20 comments:

Sheila said...

Gorgeous suit and really like the ruffles.

Lisette M said...

Fantastic suit! I like your "ruffles" much better than the magazine's.

Lori said...

I like your suit, it looks fantastic. The ruffles are great.

shams said...

This is a stunning suit and what really pushes it over the top are the wonderful details. Kudos!

Elaray said...

I like the ruffles in a fabric where you wouldn't expect to see ruffles! They are definitely "serious ruffles" and the suit looks fantastic!

Lindsay T said...

Wow, nice suit, Karen! Loving it on you.

Handmade said...

Beautifully made - those ruffles are very cute!

Gail said...

Wow, that is a very special suit. The ruffles are edgy and not over the top.

velosewer said...

I'm blown away by the effort and effect of the ruffles. Wow.

meli88a said...

What a fabulous outfit!

Vicki said...

Really lovely suit. I have seen little squares sewn on like that in really expensive designer wear! Nice idea.

Little Hunting Creek said...

What a beautiful suit! I reallly love those circle ruffles

Rose said...

Fantastic suit, karen! I love those "serious ruffles".

The Slapdash Sewist said...

What a cool suit! The ruffle detail on the jacket pockets is just perfect.

sewabeginner said...

OMG! I love it! I think you have the patience of a saint to sew all of those circles on. Gorgeous!

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Karen - I'm sorry I'm so late to the party here but this is a fabulous suit! You have raised this to couture level with all of the handsewing and attention to detail! Love it!!!

A Sewn Wardrobe said...

Wow, this outfite ROCKS!! Love it.

Angela said...

Fantastic suit! Very stylish and fits well!

sula said...

You look fabulous! I can tell it is a great project because my initial reaction is not that the sewing is fabulous (which it is) but that it looks great on, if that makes any sense. Beautiful! Can't wait to go back through your archives to see more...

Isabelle said...

Ack! I thought I'd left a comment on this, Karen. I was probably so blown over by your outfit that I forgot to check whether the comment had posted!

This is ├╝ber fabulous. A wonderful style for you, I think. Very, very couture.