[Editor's Note: I apologize for the font size previously viewed in this post! Don't adjust your monitors or glasses - it was my fault! I'm not sure what happened, but it's fixed.]
Midnight Garden - Jacket - Part IV
The Moment of Truth . . . .
Wow, I didn't know that refashioning that skirt would elicit so many comments! I'm glad all you like it as much as I do. I'll consider it a success with all the great compliments.
I have a few Q/A's for the day to start the post. First, after seeing my daughter's birthday present ensemble Tamara wanted to know where I purchased my knit fabrics. Well, once in a while, I get lucky and find something decent (not too thin or with poor recovery) at JoAnn's. The striped fabric happened to be one in clearance that was one of the better ones. For online purchases geared more toward the younger set, try Wazoodle, Casual Fabrics, Sewzanne's, and Lucy's Fabrics. For some really nice "adult" type knits, try Emma One Sock.
I also had Beth ask how it took me to refashion the plaid skirt. It only took me a few days, because this one was a really easy one, actually. Because the skirt had so much fabric, I cut off the waistband, removed the zipper and side seam and hems and ironed the fabric flat. I then proceeded to cut out the new pattern as if I had bought yardage. It was a little tricky planning out where all the plaid pieces should meet and getting all the bias pieces to fit. There was no going back to the store to pick up an extra 1/2 yard! I do love a plaid-matching-just-enough-fabric challenge, though.
Now, the moment of truth. Since I'm still sort of in the planning stages, with no active construction on Midnight Garden, I had to know if I had enough navy blue fabric for the suit. Well, not just one suit, but two since the whole thing is reversible.
Yeah, you guessed it, even with getting to eliminate front facings, collar, and sleeve cuffs, I don't have enough. I have enough for one side, but not for another. I only have four yards of fabric. Four yards isn't enough. Why? Well, when you quilt and manipulate fabric, it does shrink it up a bit. The more stitching, the more it shrinks. Every quilted piece is rough cut about 2" larger than the finished piece all around to allow for shrinkage during quilting. In addition to that, I need extra fabric for the purse and hat.
That means it's time for plan B, C and possibly D. I know I'm not going to find matching fabric. That's just plain reality. I can do one side in one fabric and the other in something different. I did think about one side blue, one side silvery grey, but that's not going to work for me. You'll always see a bit of the other side no matter what happens, and another color would be distracting. Another reason it won't work for me is that I happen to look like a corpse in silvery and dove greys. I can wear any other color in the rainbow - avocado green, rust, even yellow, but lights greys, I can't do. If I have to model this ensemble, I have to look good, and at the very least, alive.
That leaves me with blue, not a problem. Now, what sort of fabric. The side without the applique was going to have some sort of dimensional surface treatment and some trapunto. This lead me to some experiments with satin and velvet. There were so many options to try that I finally made a list and after a few experiments, it became pretty obvious that certain techniques don't play nice with certain fabrics. One example is trapunto on velvet. It sounds like it would be gorgeous, but since it's already a fabric with a lush pile, it doesn't pop the way it does on smooth fabric. Quilting gets lost in the pile, too. You can see from the sample below, I've been trying all sorts of things; there's some quilting, embossing, cording, and trapunto all going on in that sample. It is a bit dark - it's hard to photograph velvet, and I did lighten the photo up a bit.
I went down to Manchester today to Fabric Fix and Martin's House of Cloth looking for companion fabrics. I discovered that my navy fabric is very dark - almost but not quite black. This means I have less of a chance of coordinating it with anything. Any navy fabric paired with it makes it look black. I did find the right kind of navy velvet, which is a plus. Right now, I have to think about what I'm going to do. I may just save the navy I have for another project or give it to MIL for a suit or something, and buy different fabric. I still need to finish up a bit of artwork - maybe by tomorrow I'll be able to show you that.
While this is a small change in plans from the original, it's not the end of the world - you must be flexible to realize these things will happen and it may open the door for a better final product. Besides, how could I do a midnight theme without a deep blue velvet?
Parting Shot: I couldn't go to Martin's without raiding their bin of discontinued patterns at 4 for $1.00. Here's today's haul, including 3 designer Vogues, a Claire Schaeffer and an odd assortment of other Vogue patterns (not that I'll ever make them, but I couldn't pass them up at 4 for $1.00!):