Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Getting Back On The Horse

A few weeks ago I noticed on Facebook that Sandra Betzina was sponsoring a contest, Spring Into Fall. You were supposed to create a coat that would be a great fall coat. I had this outfit made, so I thought, what the heck and sent in a picture of the coat. I won third place!! I'm surprised that I won at all. I had such a difficult time getting a picture to download. The picture I submitted was awful (seems to be a theme with me lately). I didn't realize that I could submit more than one picture.

The entire outfit is a three piece outfit. The over jacket is a Vogue Sandra Betzina pattern. Sadly the pattern has been discontinued. I did notice that on the Power Sewing website they do have some discontinued patterns for sale so you might be able to pick one up there. And then there's always Ebay. It's worth a try. It's really a great pattern.
I bought the wool I used a while back. It's actually double faced. My problem is that if I'm not cold, I get cold easily so I make my clothes with that in mind. Rather than make the coat reversibile, I lined it with a nice flannel back lining and used the opposite side of the fabric to face the collar. I was determined to get the entire outfit out of the fabric so I ended up with scrapes for the passementerie. But it worked.
The passementerie was cut on the bias. I did my design on one side, made a pattern and then copied it on to the opposite collar. This photograph shows how I ended the work.

A view of the center back.

A close up of the collar detail.

I top stitched all the seams in yellow.
After I finished the coat, I realized that I could hide a small button on the shoulder seam and put a small loop on the collar and have the collar up around my neck. Remember, I get cold easily so this was a very nice discovery!

The jacket that I made to wear under the top jacket is from a vintage DuBarry pattern from the early 1930's. I love this jacket. And now you will hate me. I didn't have to make one alteration. It was as if the pattern had been made for me.

A close up of the bound buttonholes. The buttons are vintage buttons I found at Soutache here in Chicago. The owner of Soutache carries the most wonderful buttons and she also has a great selection of vintage buttons as well. Worth checking out.

The fabric I used for the lining is vintage silk that was meant to be used for ties. It's really great. I think the cars are vintage Bentley's. Ah, we can always dream.

The pattern I used for the pants is a vintage McCall's pattern fron the 40's. I find that the pants patterns from the 40's have a very low crotch, so I did do a few alterations. I love the detail of the pocket.
I love this outfit. It's so versitile. The over coat works great with jeans as well as other slacks. One aspect of the pattern that I didn't like was the pocket. I ended up tacking it to the lining so that it would lay flat. That's a minor detail though.
I won one of Sandra's books, Fabric Savy. It's a great book. Something I think any sewer would like having. It gives great information on what type of thread and needles to use with different types of fabric as well as tips on how to work with the fabric. Christmas is coming. I'm sure you've been so good. You've sewn all the fabric you bought this last year so you deserve a little treat. I don't think there's a seamstress out there who doesn't have a pile of fabric waiting to be sewn. I know I do and it's more than a pile!!
Happy sewing.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Part 2, A Picture

The picture is not the best of me or my outfit, but I thought I would post it. I realized that I always post pictures of my garments as lifeless objects on my dressform. My husband took the picture and before he could take another, the battery on the camera died. Oh well, one is better than none.

Which Came First

My blog is supposed to be about my "creative life," but I seem to write a lot about flying. I guess flying is a very large part of my life. Today's blog will be about something I created, so bear with me.
After I earned my private pilot license, I decided to buy an airplane. The flight school where I learned to fly had an airplane for sale that they also wanted to keep as a lease back. Seemed like a good deal, I had an airplane to fly when I wanted, students would help to defer the cost and the school would take care of the maintenance. As time went on, I realized that the owner of the school was taking advantage of me. Just down the street was another flight school and pilot shop, Aviation Professionals. I had met the owner when I had been in to buy my books. So one day after I had had enough, I marched into Aviation Professionals and asked if they would like to have my plane on a lease back. He knew my plane and would be happy to include it in his fleet. Little did I know at that time, my life had just changed. Bill Schreiber has become one of best friends, but even better, his boys love me.
In my very first blog, I wrote about Bill's youngest son Randy. He owns a piece of my heart and probably a lot of my life as he is now the mechanic that works on my plane. Bill's older son and I have a very special relationship. We have spent hours together in the tiny cockpit of my airplane. He learned to fly and earned his private and instrument rating in my airplane. I took him along on my rescue flights so he could build his hours. We've had close calls and lots of laughs.
This weekend, Terry got married to the lovliest young woman. When he decided to ask her to marry him, he told his mother first and told me second. What an honor. As my husband and I sat and watched the two of them take their vows, I thought, this must be how a parent feels. I was so proud.
So finally, You've waited long enough. This is what I wore to the wedding.
The blouse is a very pretty faille. It has a beautiful shimmer to it. The skirt I love. The stripes are various shades of grey and black. There are smaller stipes of black that are so rich, they look like velvet. Sorry about this picture, it's not the best.

I love my shoes. They're Betsy Johnson, just fantastic and comfortable to boot! The front of the blouse is cut on the bias and has a number of front tucks. The sleeves are a raglan style. I'm really happy with how the sleeves turned out. The flullness was exactly what I wanted, although it's difficult to see in this picture.
I decided to leave a portion of the sleeve open. Gives a bit of a peek-a-boo effect, sexy without showing anything.
The back is simple. There's a slit opening that is hidden in a large center back pleat.
The belt I have had for probably, well, longer than I would like to admit. It's probaly close to 20 years old. It really works well with the outfit. It's black velvet with a piping and a tassle at center front.
Here's another view of the shoes. The bottom is pink!! Everytime a step is taken, a flash of hot pink catches the eye.

So which came first? Actually, the silver faille I have had for years. The skirt I made last year, and as I said, the belt I've had for years. I didn't buy the shoes with this outfit in mind. I just liked the shoes and then everything else fell into place.
I recently came across this, "Nothing happens to us, it happens for us. All those years ago when I moved my plane to Aviation Professionals, little did I realize at the time that this was a perfect example of nothing happens to us, it happens for us. The Schreiber family has filled a space in my life with their love and compassion that has meant the world to me. First came a little airplane and then it was followed by a huge blessing.
Celebrate everything. You never know what blessing may be attached.