Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Desperate At Midnight

I love vintage patterns and I have quite a collection. They provide a great source of inspiration, beautiful lines and great fit.
The sewing group that I belong to here in Chicago, The Haute Couture Club, had a group project a couple of years ago using the plaid wool fabric below. We could do anything that we wished, a garment, an accessory, it didn't matter. I had bought a yard and a half, so I was a little limited. I came across this pattern and knew that it would work. I left off the pockets as I felt that they would be just too much. The plaid is quite strong, so to give it a little interest, I used some velvet piping that I had to trim the neckline, front opening seams and the edge of the sleeves. The sleeves seemed to just end, so to give them some interest, I added the ruffle.

Now as fate would have it, I didn't start on the jacket until the day before I was to wear it. We were having our Christmas party the following day and we were to wear our plaid garments. Since I was president, I felt that I should lead by example, so I needed to get the jacket finished. Everything went smoothly until it came to the buttons. Even with my large collection of buttons, nothing was just right. By this time, it was well into the evening, stores were closed. What to do, what to do? I came across some piping that I had braided together, an epiphany! The colors were perfect, red, black and white. I decided to tie the braids into chinese knots to make my buttons. Now chinese knots take quite a bit of length, more than I realized as I began to tie the braid into buttons. At this point I had four buttons, but I needed six. The reason I had the braided piping was I had used it as straps on a summer dress. So what do you do at midnight when you're desperate? You go and cut the straps off the summer dress. I just love how the buttons look on the jacket. I couldn't have planned it better. Besides, I wouldn't be wearing the summer dress for quite a while and I could always make more straps.

Now the final part of the story. I had a beautiful piece of black embroidered chiffon that would look great as a skirt with this jacket. All I had to do was cut the piece in half, sew the two halves together, put in an elastic waistband and finish the edge for the hem. Very easy, very fast. In fact I didn't even have to finish the seam edges as the selvage was so nice that when I sewed the seams together, it actually looked like a french seam. The next morning I threw the skirt in the dryer with a fabric softener sheet in order to get out some of the static. I had not had a lot of sleep the night before and was in a bit of a hurry as I dressed. It wasn't until that evening when I got back home that I realized that I had worn my skirt wrong side out the entire day!
Moral of the story; make sure your garments look as good on the inside as they do on the outside.

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