Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Garden Path - Jacket - Part XXXXVIII

Another Take on the Sleeve Trim

Thank you for the responses! Overwhelmingly, everyone has voted for the sleeve trim. I've been thinking about it and I've come to another viewpoint, so stay with me here.

I totally agree that the jacket, with the wavy hem and narrow outside trim needs the sleeve trim. That does look the best with the ensemble as it is.

However, think about it this way: sleeve hem is straight, skirt hem is straight, jacket hem is wavy. Which one is not like the others?!? Hmmm . . . That might not bug some of you, but having some OCD tendencies, that's something that isn't quite right for me.

Just for the record, because a few of you asked, yes the skirt does have some trim, but only on the pockets. Here's a picture from before the skirt was finished. It's probably been a long time since you've actually seen the skirt at all.

Remember that at one time, I made a yellow quilted bottom edge for the jacket? There were some issues with the fit of it because there were issues with the fit of the bottom narrow trim, so I removed it. I don't even have pictures of it on the jacket, I checked. I have since fixed the bottom narrow trim, but can't use the current bottom section. If I wanted to use it and have a plain hem for the jacket, I need to make a new one.

I'm not sure, but I think that I'm going to make another quilted bottom section for the jacket. The trim for the sleeves is partially completed and all the components that are not assembled have been cut and set aside specifically for the sleeve trim. I think I'll make the bottom section, baste it on and then make another evaluation as to whether the sleeves need trim. If so, I'll add it. Simple.

Actually, not so simple. I really wanted this project to be done this week, with a photo shoot next week. I think it can happen, I just need to go and get to work!

Parting Shot: Water. I got to the trailhead on Saturday only to discover that my 2L water reservior/drinking system had leaked on the inside of pack and was continuing to leak. Not good, especially since the temperature was right around freezing and I knew I'd need a lot of water on the hike. I had to dump out all my water and carry our spare bottles instead. My old system was not a Camelbak, but my new one is and has a 3L capacity, plus lifetime warranty. I also bought a new water bottle (a Camelbak, too) for around the house because the old one would leak if tipped over and only held 500mL. I'll try the new system out with my pack this weekend.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Garden Path - Jacket - Part XXXXVII

Sleeve Hems

Not exciting, but progress nonetheless. The sleeve hems have to be done before adding the sleeve trim. I'm almost 100% sure I'm going to use the trim. The skirt hem does not have trim, nor does the collar of the jacket, but I'm not sure about the sleeves. It looks kind of plain without any trim, like I forgot to finish it.

Here's a peek at the outfit as it is now, with no sleeve trim:

Here's a second peak with a mock up of sleeve trim:

What do you think - to trim or not to trim? Let me know in the comments. I'm going to make the trim tomorrow. If I put it on and hate it, I can always take it off!

Parting Shots: Hike. We had a good hike on Saturday, visiting the summits of Little Haystack, Mt. Lincoln and Mt. Lafayette in the Franconia Notch. Here are a few photos from the ridge and summits.

Looking toward Lafayette from the summit of Lincoln before continuing on the ridge over there.
From the summit of Lafayette, looking across Franconia Notch to North and South Kinsman, Lonesome Lake below them, and Mt. Cannon and Cannon Cliffs.

Taking pictures of each other - the Pemi Wilderness is behind him, and the Franconia Notch is behind me (what you saw in the photo above), although you can't see it. We're on the summit of Lafayette at this point.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Garden Path - Jacket - Part XXXXVI

One Label, One Insect, One Sleeve

That's been my mantra for the past two days. We have relatives visiting from out of town this week, so my time has been limited in the evenings and will be this weekend, too. I figure if I can set small, achievable goals, I will still see progress.

I have made up the labels (you know the end is near when you see the labels!!), They are printed on white silk dupioni using Bubble Jet Set and an inkjet printer. This is the one for the jacket:

I had to make smaller ones for the blouse and skirt mainly because the blouse is not lined so I can't stitch the label to the lining like I usually do. Only the neckband has a facing, so that's where the label has to go. I decided to do the same for the skirt. If I were more clever, and thought about it sooner, I could have designed a printed label to be sewn into a seam somewhere, but I'll save that idea for another garment. As it is, here is the little label for the blouse, it is clear in real life, not fuzzy!

I've also been stitching on the beaded insects, one per day. I've got them all pinned on and now have to attach them. I've also found out I need to make three more bees, but that's not a big deal, I can make those next week along with anything else I feel the garden will need. Just for a little eye candy, here's the butterfly stitched in place on the front:

Then there are the sleeves. Bascially, I've ripped out the lining sleeves, pulled the lining a little closer around the armscye, basted and trimmed off the excess. Then I stitched the lining sleeves back in place by hand. I'm happier with the result, but it was a bit time consuming to do.

Next week all I have to do is the sleeve hems and finish the embellishing! It is almost done!

Parting Shot: Bear. For my birthday my parents sent me a custom teddy bear from Vermont Teddy Bears. Notice that she has her own pin cushion, measuring tape headband and scissor embroidery on her collar. She has a place of honor in the sewing room, safe from children and cats (well, except probably Wellie!).

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Garden Path - Jacket - Part XXXXV

Back to Work . . .

After taking this weekend off for a little fun, I've been back to work on Garden Path. I think I will be have it truly complete by the end of next week. This week, I'm working on final construction details, and next week I will be completing all the final embellishment details.

For the past couple of days, I've been working on finishing the front and neck edges. The actual stitching doesn't take long at all. What takes so much time is the accurate marking, trimming and rechecking to make sure everything is straight, even and the same size.

I have no set formula for finishing the edges, but work out solutions depending the other elements that make up the garments. Sometimes it is easy and the garment has a facing or is lined to the edge and can be bagged and turned. This time, because of the two narrow trims on either side of the border, I decided to bind the front edge as you can see below.

For the seam where the collar joins the jacket, I've just turned the collar facing under and hand stitched it down. I chose not to extend the binding all the way across the neck because I'd have to turn the the small trim sections downward toward the jacket, and they are already very thick. This would create thick lumps where each trim section meets the collar binding. I didn't want that, so I went with a more traditional collar finish with the seam allowances pressed toward the collar. You can see that the front binding extends all the way to the small trim and is right up against the collar facing. I think it is a pretty clean finish and keeps the inside looking nice.

Right now, the interior fronts are completely finished:

Over the next few days, I'll be back to ripping and redoing. I'm not happy with the way the body and sleeve linings are looking at the moment, so I'm going to remove the lining sleeves, smooth everything out and put the lining sleeves back in by hand. Not fun, but I know it will look better. That only leaves the sleeve/sleeve linings hems and the rest of the embellishing!

Parting Shot: New Book. I got my own copy of David Coffin's shirt making book from my husband. I have one on loan from a friend (yes, it will be mailed back to you later this week!), but now I have my own copy. I've tried out several of the techniques and really like the results, so this book went to the top of my wishlist.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Garden Path - Jacket - Part XXXXIV

Not Quite Right.

I try to stay one planning step ahead of what I'm actually doing when working on these projects so that I can keep the momentum going. Today I started thinking about sleeve finishes. Plain, was well, plain and boring. After trying out some narrow trim, I liked that option as it also matched the trim on the skirt pockets. Great, problem solved.

Meanwhile, I was going to start finishing the front edges today. *Was* going to finish them. Until I decided I needed to do something with the back bottom edge. It wasn't hanging quite right and I wasn't happy with the look. If I'm going to make something this complicated, it has to hang right and look good or else it's just a mess. I don't even have a picture of it.

I think the problem began because I thought I was a bit short on narrow trim, which means that I stretched and pressed it a little tighter than it should have been. That resulted in the hem cupping under in a weird way. Adding that last bottom section didn't help. I've been agonizing over this for the past couple of days and this afternoon I finally took the scissors to it all.

I removed the bottom section and half of the trim, placed the trim properly, reshaped it and basted it back in place. I should be able to put all the beads back in tomorrow.

So what does this have to do with the sleeve trim? Well, I decided that leaving the bottom section off was actually a good thing, because there won't be an extra section at the bottom of the sleeve, neither is there a section above the pocket trim on the skirt. I am much happier with how everything looks although I've lost a couple day's work in the process.

In other news, I did finish the spider this morning:

Once I get done basting and fiddling with the narrow trim on the jacket, I think I'll sit down and figure out how to make ants and cut out the rest of the insects.

Parting Shot: Out. Wellie is in a deep sleep. He didn't even react when I tickled his toes!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Garden Path - Jacket - Part XXXXIII

Not Much Progress

Today was one of those days where it seemed like I did not make much progress on this project! I did get the collar facing on, after taking off various sections of the collar to make sure that everything was even and looked balanced. I think that's what takes the most time - not the sewing, but the careful measuring and double checking before trimming or cutting anything.

The spider wasn't dry last evening so I couldn't work on that, either. I got the body on today, and I think I have a leg in place. I wasn't happy with the first leg placements, so we'll see if these are any better. Thankfully, I only have to do one of these.

Finishing the spider is the first order of business tomorrow, and then I'll start finishing the front edges. Tomorrow is another day, so maybe I'll make some progress then.

Parting Shot: Woodpecker. My daughter came in today and said she had seen a woodpecker. We know we have them around here, and I was able to get a picture of him after dinner.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Garden Path - Jacket - Part XXXXII


I was able to finish the butterfly last night, so here it is with the car key for scale:

My son and I both agreed that the butterfly should be a monarch. He pointed out that the only orange in the piece was the lilies and an orange butterfly would be a good way to get a little more orange into the piece. I agreed, so that's what I made.

Tonight's little project is to get the spider attached and finished. I've rinsed away the stabilizer and have applied plain white glue around all the edges of the beading.

When dry, I will trim away the excess organza and stitch the piece in place. For most insects, that's all I'll need to do; with the spider, I'll also be adding the legs!

As far as other progress, I was able to get the collar on today. That doesn't sound like much, but when you need to mark the fronts, try everything on and make sure it all goes together smoothly, it is a lot more work than you'd think. Tomorrow I hope to get the fronts trimmed, the collar facing in place and then finish the neck and front edges before the weekend. I also discovered that due to the way the fronts will overlap that I don't need to make another butterfly. I can't decide whether I'm thrilled or disappointed about that.

Parting Shot: Tomatoes, too. We're actually going to get some larger tomatoes this year. We've had quite a good crop from the cherry tomato plant, but these large plants didn't do so well with all the rain we had early in the growing season. We were pretty sure these plants would die or not produce anything.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Garden Path - Jacket - Part XXXXI

Back on the Path

It's Monday and I'm back on the path, working on GP. Between Friday and Saturday, I somehow managed to get the bottom section lined and finished so that it could be attached to the jacket body. It is a rather long and narrow section, as you can see in the photo below. The lining and quilted fabric were stitched right sides together and in the photo it is being trimmed so that it can be turned and pressed.

Today, I've been able to attach the section. I've got about ten more beads to go and I'll be through. It can be a bit tedious, so I take breaks often. This break I figured would be a good time to get my blog post done.

Just for fun, here's a sneak peek of the interior, with the various linings I've used to create some interest on the inside:

Parting Shot: Almost Ready. My son's pumpkins are just starting to turn orange. They'll probably be ready to pick in the next few weeks.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Garden Path - Jacket - Part XXXX


Yes, this is the 40th jacket post! Tomorrow, I promise, will not be another post about Garden Path. Really, I promise.

I'd like to thank you all for the wonderful comments and compliments on this project, especially at this phase. I am getting the end and of course, starting to get tired of it a bit. I just need to focus and finish and all of you have been encouraging! Thanks!

That said, here is the dragonfly (squint and you'll see the outline for tonight's project, the spider):

It took me longer than I wanted to come up with this, although it seems so simple. There are many combinations of bead and sequins that could make up the body, so it was trial and error until I found something I was happy with.

I did get that new bottom section quilted today, so I should be back on track with assembly tomorrow and Saturday. I think all the assembly will be done this week, leaving the finishing for next week, plus all the final touches. It is getting done, just a little bit more every day.

Parting Shot: Fabric Man. It seems that I have a fabric man in addition to my fabric princess, Kiwi. He loves fabric and tissue pieces. He likes to sleep on the ledge on a piece of fabric when I'm in the workroom, if he's not on what I'm working on. I ended up having to work on the fronts of the vest one day, rather than on the back because he was sleeping on the back.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Garden Path - Jacket - Part XXXIX

Sneak Peek!

I might as well give you the picture first, then you can actually read the post. Here's the jacket, as it is now. I still need to attach the other side and the entire bottom (more about that later in the post).

As you know, mainly by the volume of posts on this topic, that I've been hard at work trying to complete this project. I estimate that it will be another 2 1/2 weeks before completion. That is, if I stay on the schedule I've made for myself. That means you should see a photo shoot by the beginning of October - at least that's my goal. Which reminds me that I still need a hat for this outfit!

I was supposed to prep the entire bottom section for the jacket today, but I'm going to have to remake it. Originally, there were just little sections to fill in the under the curves of what now is the bottom of the jacket. Those little sections just didn't work out. The points were too skinny and yet too thick to turn properly into the points that I'd like and add to that a high shred factor and the whole thing was a mess. Tomorrow is another day and I'll get out the fabric, batting and backing and make a new bottom section. Thankfully, it is only about 4" wide so I'll be able to quilt a new one in a day.

I did get the dragonfly done, so I'll show you that either tomorrow or Friday. Tomorrow I hope to get a few minutes to work on the spider body - I'll add the legs when I attach it to the jacket. That leaves just the butterflies to make in the hoop and the ants to be worked directly on the piece.

Parting Shot: Watching. Kiwi saw the turkeys yesterday and was completely fascinated. Of course, what she doesn't realize is that the turkey is much larger than she is and would probably peck her eyes out.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Garden Path - Jacket - Part XXXVIII

Yes, Bunny, There are Bees!

I know, I still have to make that spider (and the dragonfly and the two butterflies and the ants . . .), but I got sidetracked by the bees. They are cute, and were pretty quick to make.

Both the bees and the dragonfly have wings that are not part of the background, meaning that they are free floating, the wing part that is, and not stitched down to anything. To make wings, I started with some drawings and end with the metal templates. I then was able to use the wood burning tool and cut out wings from white crystal organza.

In order to attach the wings for the bees, I've first stitched the eyes and antennae. I then placed the wing unit in the proper place on the insect and stitched it down while adding the beads for the body. This way, the wings are tacked down and the body is formed at the same time.

When I get to the trimming part of the whole process, I will trim away the yellow organza along the shape of the body leaving the wings free.

Tonight's project will be the dragonfly - he's already traced and in the hoop. Maybe tomorrow I'll make the spider. I haven't decided 100% how I'm going to stitch the spider, maybe that's why I'm putting it off. Of course, I never decide how I'm exactly going to stitch anything until I'm stitching and see how it comes out!

Parting Shot: Jam. Golden raspberry jam. I had *just* enough raspberries for jam after picking through them to make sure they were not bad or moldy. The jam turned out a lovely color and tastes just like the red raspberry jam, but maybe a little sweeter.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Garden Path - Jacket - Part XXXVII

One More Rabbit Trail . . .

I was all set to assemble the flower border this morning and then sat down to the computer to go through my reader and catch up on blog posts. What does Allie post today, but another one of her crazy quilt squares (this one is #17 and they're all different!) that has not only the flower centerpiece but also a spider! A spider!!! Of course, now I want a spider, too! Complete with a web, of course.

Allie was kind enough to send me a few more pictures for ideas and in less than 30 minutes, I had figured out where I was going to put that web and had pulled out some threads and beads to try.

The web placement was a bit tricky, as there really isn't enough open space to do a web in the border. I did find some in the corner of one of the fronts. It will be partially hidden by flower petals, but I think that's all the better - you'll have to look to find it. In order to find the right spot, I made a little tool to check placement options. I took a small ziplock bag and cut open the sides so it would lay flat and then drew a web on it in the right proportions with a Sharpie marker.

I then placed the bag over the border to check for places where the web might fit. As you can see, I've found this spot below and I've already pinned the petals out of the way so that I can start stitching the web in place by machine.

I auditioned three different threads for the web, and I think I'm going to go with the one in the middle (bottom right in the stitch out). I thought I'd like the bold, thick lines of the one on the left (upper right in the stitch out), but it has too much metallic gold in it and the lines are not as delicate as a real spider web. The other two have pink/blue/purple metallics in them which blend better with all the other flowers and can be stitched over twice to get a little more thickness. I have to think about it a little more.

Either tonight or tomorrow I'll get the web quilted in and then I can go back to assembly. I'll add that spider later - look for it next week sometime.

Parting Shot: Sunflower. We really have a sunflower now! It finally bloomed. I took several photos; one of them is my desktop background now.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Garden Path - Jacket - Part XXXVI


Actually, ladybug singular, as in only one so far. It took a little experimentation to get exactly what I had envisioned to work out in beads and sequins. To be honest, that's how it usually works. I try several versions using different beads and sequins until I come up with something that I really like.

I've decided to use smaller sequins than I normally use for the ladybugs. For most of my work, I use 5mm sequins, but they weren't quite right, so I'm using smaller ones. They're a little harder to use because of the size, but they're right and I don't need to use too many. I think these are 3mm - they're mixed in with 5mm and 7mm in a larger container that I inherited from my husband's great aunt. You can see the size comparison below, the black one is a 5mm.

Since I have the extra space around the crickets, I will go ahead and do some more ladybugs. I probably should finish that third cricket, too. I got distracted by the ladybugs, but now that I've figured them out, I'll finish up that cricket this evening.

I finally got my muslin underlining today, so I'll try to get that cut out this evening, too and be ready to stitch, finish, baste and bead tomorrow!

Parting Shot: Flute. My daughter had her first flute lesson this week. She's excited because she can actually make sounds and play some notes already. Not everything is a nice, clear note yet, but that's fine - she's never played before!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Garden Path - Jacket - Part XXXV

Not Quite What I Planned

I had planned to work on getting the flower border lined and finished today so that it could be ready for assembly tomorrow. That plan was fine as I cut out the lining, but wasn't so fine when I went to cut out the underlining and realized I forgot to pick it up at Joann's yesterday. I went to pick up buttons for my daughter's blouse, but forgot the muslin. Of course, today I'm not going to Concord because my carpool rider is going to someone else's house today after school and my children are going over one of their friend's house, too. So, while I don't have to pick up children, I also don't get to go to Joann's (again). Maybe we can leave a little early for church and pick it up then.

At least I got the lining cut out, for the flower border, I'm using the flower print silk from the blouse:

Meanwhile, I pulled out the skirt to finish it up, since I couldn't work on the jacket. I finished the lining hem, and am now working on stitching down the waistband facing:

It needs to be done eventually anyway, so I might as well get it done.

I also finished another cricket and started a third one. Now the first one isn't lonely - of course he seems to have lots of admirers (Thanks all!), so I doubt he'd ever be lonely too long. You can also see the scale of the cricket a bit better with the addition of the car keys to the photo.

Tomorrow I think I'll work on the ladybugs. They're small and easy and there's not as much thinking required as there will be with the butterflies.

Parting Shot: Friends? Maybe. We'll see. All of our cats more or less tolerate each other. Nobody is really cozy-friendly, so it was quite a surprise to come upstairs today and see Pix and Wellington sleeping on the same chair.