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No Snow, Light Rain, So No Sewing

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We have to do some Mud Play outside instead.

I wish I had known more about roses when I planned and planted the front landscape two years ago. Here, they looked so small compared to the plants we’d removed: Front Porch and here: Bedragged…

We heavily pruned back the Cinco de Mayo floribunda shrub roses and the Coral Drift roses. I have absolutely no idea how to properly prune but we got out the book and tried our best. It’s not pretty YET but here’s what we did:

Shrub roses, Cinco de Mayo, get very large and we found lots of weeds to pull after we pruned
Shrub Roses

They have vicious thorns but my rose pruning gloves performed perfectly

Cinco de Mayo has vicious thorns

We painted all the cut branches with wood glue to prevent intruson into the plant by The Baddies. We raked out the dead leaves and fertilized, watering it in.

This is a heavily pruned and cut back Coral Drift rose. It’s description led me to believe that they were much smaller and more disease resistant than they proved to be. They spred and overtook the front planting, and did NOT respect the dwarf boxwoods planted around them. I may have to move them in the future. (Arghhh) They are so thick it is impossible to weed around them.

Stubs painted with wood glue

and we dug up a dead azalea and a volunteer holly tree to make room in the shade for the Mountain Laurels (Kalmia latifolia “Keepsake”) that were being burned by the sun in the front yard. I hope they are happy here in the cool shade

Mountain Laurels
Mountain Laurels again

We moved the remaining shrub rose away from the front walk way so we wouldn’t have to prune it so heavily. It’s companion had developed rose rosette disease and had to be removed last year. That leaves the front planting unbalanced but right now I don’t have plans to plant more. Our butterfly bushes will have more room to spread now.

Moved Shrub Rose

We more lightly pruned the Wing Ding roses. They are a miniature polyantha, very sweet but have no fragrance

Wing Ding

The only blooming, pretty things now are the pansies

Pansies

and the dogwood

dogwood

There is so much more to do but I have to get some commercial sewing done today so I hope the weather allows me to weed and start to mulch tomorrow.

But my hands are nice and smooth thanks to Bag Balm and those really great gauntlet rose pruning gloves. I found the Onion pattern 1045 Anarok worked very well in the light rain, too. I hung it to dry before putting it away in the closet. Wool is a wonderful fabric :)

Let the Gardening Begin!

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Bag Balm

In case you haven’t heard: Bag Balm is the gardener’s friend. It saves hands from the roughing up they get when working the soil. Must have smooth hands for sewing and knitting you know!

I just received this pattern in the mail yesterday and had planned to sew it up this week in a wind blocking technical fabric but temperatures are going to be in the 70′s and 80′s for most of the week.

Coverall Pattern

I’ll have to cut another pair of overalls instead. My new brown ones don’t show dirt very much but they will need washing soon. Here’s how they look after a day in the dirt: not too bad. You just can’t beat good quality fabric, that’s my thoughts on the matter :)

Work Clothes

The overalls got a good workout yesterday. It was a wonderful day. First, Husband worked just a few hours in the early morning and when he came in we took the dog with us to the Rose Society’s Education Day at a local nursery.

The meeting was incredibly informative and just as I suspected: our area is overrun with dying roses that carry the incurable Rose Rosetta virus. Here’s some more pictures at Fine Gardening

Here’s a wild rose in our neighborhood field that has the disease but is still growing and spreading the mites that carry the virus. The diseased branch is red, while a healthy branch on the same bush is in the background

Rose Rosette Disease on a wild rose

RRD Closeup

RRD Closeup

The virus was introduced originally to kill off the wild roses that can take over whole fields. That was done about 27 years ago and now it’s killing off domesticated roses in wide swathes across the country.

It is potentially devastating for the rose industry but only just now are there studies being done to see what cures might be developed. Turns out that our little local Rose Society is full of incredibly knowledgeable folks and the Society provided the seed money for the first year of such a study, YAY for them! Dr Mark Windham is conducting the investigation. I do hope a prevention or cure can be found.

I have had to remove one whole plant last year when this virus continually sent up shoots from it’s root stock that were afflicted with the disease. The plant itself looked OK but one tiny mite, blown on the winds, can carry the disease to all the other roses. Another of the same species is exhibiting this disease in just one area and I’ll keep pruning those branches and hope that it doesn’t spread to the other roses. Yesterday I learned that if I get all the roots out of the hole from where the infected rose was removed I can plant another rose in that space. That was not the thinking last year. And I learned that I could just continuously prune off the branches that show this disease and perhaps the plant will survive.

Roses are a lot of work and even the disease resistant “Knock-Out Roses” are not as resistant as they have been touted to be. And I had just redone the front landscaping in 2011 with 13 roses. Ahhhhh, what have I done?

I had hoped to prune down hard all the roses with Husband’s help but the advice from the Rose Society’s expert is to wait until the new growth is 3 to 4″ long. Mine is only just over an inch right now. So we’ll wait a week or so to prune. Pruning is not my forte but I do try to do things properly so I’ll study up on it. It’s an annual ritual: re-reading rose pruning techniques.

So now: on to the vegetable garden.

Why do I grow the garden? Simple economics: the more food I grow and put up, the less money is needed to run the house, and the more money is available to pay employee salaries over the winter time, our slow season. I’ll bet I only went to the grocery store 4 times this past winter. And so I work, hard.

In the afternoon we planted peas, spinach, and lettuce.

Pea Fence

The peas will grow up a 4 foot wire fence and shade the spinach and lettuce behind it. They will only get direct sun in the mornings.

This row held tomatoes last year and being the closest to the creek and the wettest part of the garden grounds, proved to be a hotbed of the anthracnose fungi, Colletotrichum coccodes. WARNING: The following photos are not for the faint of heart: My homegrown Anthracnose Colletotrichum coccodes I did a really good job of letting it thrive! Duh.

Boy, that decimated the ‘maters! I had overplanted so I still got a harvest that kept me quite busy. I pulled the most infected plants and doused the ground with vinegar and water but it didn’t really seem to do much. I still had wet spots even though I didn’t allow any more filaments to form. Perhaps the wet spots were a different form of tomato malady. There are so many wilts and fungus that beset tomatoes!

This year I will plant, water only on the ground, lay down a ground cover, prune all but the growing tip and stake the tomatoes. Labor intensive but with this kind of a fungi in the ground I need to provide prophylactic measures.

I will also cover the ground where the peas, lettuce and spinach are going to grow to keep this fungi off their leaves. I’m not so sure I’ll be able to do as much canning and freezing as I did last year.

We also pulled all the collards and I cooked up a big pot this morning, some of which will go into the freezer.

Collard Greens and Country Ham

using this recipe from Men’s Health. It was different than the way I usually do them but quite good. I used a packet of country ham, I just couldn’t go without the ham flavoring.

when I went out to the garden to get the shot of the now dirty overalls I found this:

Who Ate the Cabbage Last Night?

Who ate one of the cabbages last night? Some animal with very sharp, tiny teeth and a big wide bite. I’ll just bet that opossum who checks in on us got hungry for a sweet cabbage dinner! I can’t blame the poor critter. And raccoons eat cabbage, too. So now, I’ve got to figure out how to protect the cabbages from hungry omnivores. One article suggests planting a critter garden. Oh no! That’s more than I can even think about. Don’t know exactly what I’ll do about this. Any suggestions?

With all this garden work I’m facing I would like to applaud this little pot that needed nothing from me all winter: The Italian flat leafed and the triple curly parsley managed to thrive all on their own

Wintered over parsley

When the dog and I went out to the field to get the wild rose shots we crossed over to Cane Creek and Gaely investigated an animal trail down by the water

Investigating An Animal Path to the Water

and did her usual trick of getting a drink of water while wading

Getting a Drink

The field was full of field pansies AKA Johnny Jump-Ups. From the leaves I’d say they are Viola Bi-Color

Field Pansies AKA Johnny Jump-Ups

I do miss living up on the mountain where wild diversity was so much richer than here in this settled, cultivated valley. But I take pleasure in the wilds where ever I can.

Overalls for Her Jalie 972 and Jeans Rivet Setting Tute Improvement

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Front Side

This pattern has cutting lines for 32 different sizes for each pattern piece. That’s a lot of lines! This time I laid a sheet of tracing paper on top of the fabric, laid the pattern piece on top of the tracing paper and used a solid tracing wheel to mark the lines directly onto the wrong side of the fabric. My measurements fell between the largest “regular” size and the plus sized. I cut the regular size and can wear regular pants, leggings, and a sweater under them anyway.

972b

There are some problems with this pattern or maybe with the pattern cuter but the cut fabric matched up with each pattern piece. So here’s what to watch out for:

Straps are not the correct angle to lie flat in the back when worn. Even the instruction drawing shows them crossing over each other. I didn’t discover the problem until I had done all the double top stitching and was not going to pick all those stitches to make the correction.

100_2929

I took a tuck and then put a rivet in each corner. I also had to narrow the straps (yes I did unpick two rows of top stitching for that) and cut off 8 inches of length.

Reset and reinforced back

Pocket piece is not wide enough to allow proper installation of button band. This is a crucial 5/8″ of fabric but I managed to squeeze through the construction by triple step stitching the edges and turning just once.

Add at least 5/8″ to the outer edge of the pocket and pocket facing. It will save a bunch of time in construction.

Pocket Problem

Missing Seam Allowance

Triple Stitch and Top Stitch

The next time saver is a big one and so simple and logical I can’t believe I didn’t find this in any of the two How-To-Use Jean Rivets tutorials published by Fehrtrade or TaylorTailor Oddly enough both of these tutorials were published on the same day May 15, 2011. I found that interesting. Wonder what was going on there?

But here’s the deal:

Rivets nails should be trimmed down after inserting into hole

if the thickness of the fabric doesn’t require the full length of the nail. Sooooo simple. It allows you to see how much you need to trim and since the nail hasn’t been crimped and it sharp point removed it slips right through the pre-made hole.

Comparison

See that ragged edge?

Shortened

It catches on on the fabric threads and takes forever to get pushed through

100_2974

100_2975

Even with the pointed head left in tack threads can be split and cause a few troubles

Point Slips Fabric

but the point takes much less time to insert. I got my rivets years ago from the nice man at Castbullet. I see that TaylorTailor also sells them and in more colors

As I was working with this fabric I’ve had for years and had always planned to use for overalls, I was wondering why I’d put this gorgeous twill aside for work pants. The answer came as I was applying the rivets to the side tool pocket

Tool Pocket

and found this

Hole

It is clearly abraded and marked and must have been there when I received the fabric. I zigzagged over the edges and applied a patch.

Patch

Another odd thing about this pattern is that there are no reinforcement suggested for the location of the buttons or buttonholes. I put them in without adding anything since I wasn’t going to do the ripping needed to add in a backing material.

The pattern has you “tack” over all the stress points but I only used them on the faux fly area

Bar tacks on faux fly

and used the rivets where there would be real stress.

Reinforced Tool Pocket

I am glad this pair is done. I compared the pattern pieces with the other two patterns I have in the stash and they are similar in shape. I hope the instructions are better. We’ll see.

Overall patterns

Gratuitous Dog Bomb

Dog

Finished Anorak -Onion 1045-

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Finished

You may note that the hem does not contain elastic as I planned to do per the pattern suggestions. It is serged, turned and top stitched. I figured I’m round enough from the back view without elastic to emphasize it :)

Finished Back

I have finally figured out Flikr and WordPress.com. I changed my WordPress password a number of weeks ago and apparently just now Flikr has figured that out. It wanted my attention!

As an admin and member of The Sewing Divas on WordPress.com I’ve seen thousands of spam attacks attached to the photos uploaded into the WordPress.com media library. I am now deleting all my Stitchery photos from that library, I don’t want that happening here in my little blog! Sorry for all the computer whining, I have spent too many years fixing computer stuff on the job to put up with it on something I do for fun!

Anorak Onion 1045 Pattern

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The anorak is shaping up.  It’s not finished yet but this is the first try on.

View A, but with plans for elastic at hem as well as wrist

How to line the hood has taken days to ponder since I am not buying new fabrics and only shop the stash.  And I had to think about the faux fur trim issue.

Onion 1045 Model

I wanted something very silky to protect my wildly curly hair from being dragged by the hood fabric but could only find solid colored charmeuse in the stash.  Then I checked the linings held in a black plastic bag and found this well aged  silk, just waiting

Placement of patterns

I had 3 different types of faux fur to use to edge the hood.   It’s pretty on the Onion version though, and is the proper thing to do on an anorak.    But decided I didn’t want to be bothered with feathery fur at the edges of my vision while I am working.

Silk Hood

Then placing the pattern became the next thing to ponder

Detail

I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.  It’s pretty but not too fashionista for the garden environment

Collar affect with the zipper opened

I used this pattern because  it has a large pocket covered by a flap that will keep necessaries from falling out when you bend over.   This was the deciding factor, folks, I’ve been thinking about pocket security for a couple of years now.  I just hope the pocket is not so deep that reaching things becomes a problem

Front Pocket for cell phone, seed packets, etc

Cell phone, seed packets, notepad, pencil, tape measure and ruler, should all be safe from falling out.

Pocket contents held in place by flap

I have yet to set in the sleeves (decreasing the upper chest width in the process) and inserting elastic to sleeve and bottom hems.  I don’t want pull cords danging, these are work clothes and should not attract my attention away from what I’m doing.  I have enough problems being distracted by the birds flitting around without my clothes adding complications

Side before hemming sleeves and bottom>

I hope I finish this up today, that my time will not be spent trying to figure out computer problems!

Our Backsides LOL

Onion 1045 line drawing

Onion 1045

Outdoor Fabrics from an Outdated Stash

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It happened in a matter of a few years: my fabulous outdoor wear stash is hopelessly outdated.

As some of you have deduced I have an extensive stash of technical fabrics from PolarTec LLC, which was still called Malden Mills when I purchased them prior to the 2007 buyout and are now not the latest and greatest in outdoor fabrics technology.

In order to find out which fabrics would be most useful for early Spring gardening chores in keeping out wind/rain and for kneeling or sitting in soggy soil I have done some research on the newest PolarTec fabrics and would love to have the new NeoShell fabric in the stash.

Here’s a rundown on NeoShell used in the new stretch Neo jackets offered by retailer Rab. Terry Abraham, backpacker extraordinaire, has an extensive blog review of his NeoShell jacket performed. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Apparently, the industry standard is “eVent”. A pair of eVent rain pants from REI sells for $189 But I understand that the eVent fabric makes crinkly-crumply sounds when it’s worn. So, being a loyal MM/PolarTec customer I lust after the stretchy and quiet NeoShell. Discovery Trekking Outfitters in Canada sells it and many other wonderful PolarTec fabrics.

Here in online US I found minimal sources for anything beyond fleeces: RockyWoods.com has PolarTec fabrics as does SeattleFabrics.com And of course you might try the PolarTec fabric outlet Mill Direct Textiles but I didn’t see anything remotely new and revolutionary in their online stock but they might know who is retailing their more technical fabrics. Maybe.

But here’s what I have, all are outdated prototypes of these fabrics: WindPro, Windbloc, PowerStretch, PowerDry and numerous fleece varieties. My fabrics are older versions and I could find no photos that reflected what I actually find in the stash. Nothing I have is truly water proof so I can count on soggy knees and derriere. I did find a length of an early GoreTex that can serve as a ground cover I move around with me as I work.

GoreTex

I also have another 1980′s type of workout suit fabric that was supposed to be “water resistant”. Hmmm, it not at all resistant, it started absorbing water immediately

Water Resistant?  No, not so much!

Glad I tested it before I used it on soggy ground :) Out it goes! It’s so outdated I will feel no remorse in tossing it, rather than making a trip to the Good Will donation bin.

And, of course, there’s always the old plastic sheet or a garbage bag for a ground cloth. I’d prefer to use something that can be thrown into the washing machine with the rest of the muddy clothes like the GoreTex.

I haven’t decided which I’d like best: a bib and a number of polar fleece tops or a whole covering like a true overall.

Rosie’s Workwear has some cute ideas, including the use of velcro for quick shedding of muddy clothes. I love the facings on the cuffs and collar, don’t you? Rosie’s coveralls are not waterproof or even water resistant but they are designed to be worn over a whole set of clothes, hence they are “overalls”. For $80 I could buy a pair of water resistant, UV blocking pants from Patagonia But I’d be out an amount of money and still have these other fabrics in the stash. I think I’d better choose stash over the new stuff or my stash will soon rate with the dinosaurs in fabric development history.

I have 3 yards of an awesomely thick wool with poly/cotton as the weft yarn that is far more water resistant than Windbloc Power Dry described below. The tightly woven wool is super at resisting water!

cotton wool mix

but after an hour or more the droplets suddenly vanished and all that was left was a wet spot

Wet Spot

I hesitate to use it though, since once wool becomes too dirty is grows less water resistant. I may cut pair of bibs from it just the same and be careful with getting it too dirty. I did throw a 6″ x 6″ swatch of it into the washer with other fabrics and washed it in cold water: it shrank .5″ in length, none in width and came out so soft and yummy.

I tested the Windbloc PowerDry and it absorbed the water droplets within approximately 15 minutes but the moisture could barely be felt on the inner side of the fabric. It will absorb sweat away from the body and is super soft and stretchy and dries by hanging in 2 hours or so. It will be excellent at blocking the cold winds. Here it is. The lighter, fuzzy side is the side to be next to the skin so it will be super comfortable and might make up into a wonderful set of bibs.

Windblock PowerDry

Well, I’ve done my research and I have made no hard decisions yet since it seems I must make compromises when using any of the stash fabrics. So now I need to come up with the pattern and pick the first fabric to cut.

More soon!

Sewing and the Winter Veggie Garden

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I see mud in my future. It’s time to turn my sewing to gardening clothes for both cool and warm weather. I’ve collected a few overall patterns but haven’t compared them yet. I save jobs like that for bedtime reading material.

Overall patterns

Tops should be plain, long sleeved, but easy to roll or push up, tees and shirts from cotton, microfiber and technical fleece. Even bandanas will be in order to cover the back of my neck and my hair. Everything must be easy to wash and come out of the dryer with no need for ironing.

So how did the garden fare this past winter here in zone 7a?

Here it is in December 22, 2012 covered with the best floating row covers I could imagine: the fleece stash :) It was light weight and dried quickly when laid across the fencing. Thank You, Stash!

Fleece Stash

Here it is covered and anchored after a windy, freezing, snowy night January 31, 2013. This was the last time I actually used the fleece row covers

Garden covered in anchored blankets

Here it is, March 19, 2013

garden in early spring

I learned that unless the temperatures dropped into below 24 or wet heavy snow was in the forecast, I didn’t really need to cover it. It wintered over quite well, as did the weeds. The plants needed no babying after all.

Dutch late cabbages are leafy and the most tasty when sliced up for slaw or sauteed then rolled in philo dough and baked. The heading cabbages taste wonderful too but are better for storage. We haven’t stored any except in the ground.

cabbages

The Brussels sprouts never grew much before frost and they went rather dormant over the winter but are starting to grow again with the longer days

brussel sprouts went dormant for the winter

The carrots and spinach survived covered lightly in hay but uncovered like the cole crops

carrots and spinach

Happy spinach

spinach

Even the dead looking broccoli plants gamely has sent out new shoots

broccoli shoots

Garlic, hard and soft necked varieties, survived with just a light covering of hay

garlic

Elephant garlic is putting on new height

elephant garlic

Soon, I’ll be clearing and planting for the summer harvests. I have not tried to start my own seeds this year. I just don’t have the space without having to move trays constantly. I’m probably going to regret this decision but sometimes I am just too lazy to do it all. Know what I mean?

I don’t want to lose you

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Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Click on the link.

I’d hate to lose anyone!

Each reader is a treasure to any writer. And please, leave a comment sometime. I’d love to know more about my readers :)

Tracing Magazine Patterns

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While thinking thoughts on a pattern for a wide rounded back

I was reading a post on Threads Magazine dot com by Kenneth King today. It’s a good one about how to correct the armscye for a very wide and high rounded back, a body shape similar to the figure style for which the Burda Faux Peplum jacket would be perfect.

It’s good to know why some things are done in pattern making. I’m not satisfied with, “Oh they drafted that pattern wrong!”, which was my conclusion yesterday. There’s too many shapes under the sun to call my body shape the one all “correct” patterns must fit. Anyway, as I mused I ran into new thoughts.

How to trace magazine patterns without a light box

I realized that I had done something new-to-me when I made my paper pattern for that jacket shown yesterday. You will probably find ways to improve this technique to fit your preferences.

I used to use translucent paper to trace off the patterns, back when I had The Stitchery in its own house and had a glass table. I’d put a light bulb under the table and turn it into a huge light box. Those days are gone, and so is the table.

Now I have to trace on a wooden table with a cutting mat on top. These days many things just “happen” and I can’t say exactly why or where the ideas come from.

I used to use carbon paper under the magazine pattern but keeping everything straight and on grain seemed too difficult this time. So here’s what happened:

I use the front side pattern piece for this example
Front Side

I like to find the approximate placement of the grain line so it’s easier to line up everything with the straight edge of the cutting mat and measure to make sure the fabric is equidistant and therefore on grain. I try to fold back the pattern sheet to get the grain lined up with the numbers on my tracing paper. This is NOT a necessary step, we’ll prick it in anyway.
Finding Approx Grainline

Using what I call a Pin Prick tracing wheel (Claire Shaeffer calls it a stiletto wheel, others call it a “needle point” and “spur” wheel) I mark the pattern lines onto the drafting paper underneath
Tracing onto Drafting Paper

No need for carbon paper.
Pin Pricks

Then retrace, adding cutting lines. My double wheel requires quite a bit of uneven pressure on it to get a good second line sometimes
Adding Cutting Lines

The dashed lines are the cutting lines
Dashed Line is Cutting Line bit

I use a ruler to draw in the grain line, marked by an arrow. And a magic marker to highlight the seam and cutting lines and pattern markings.
Pattern

Burda Magazine 2006/08 #128 Faux Peplum Jacket

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The jacket is finished and the pants are in-process.

Suit

I am trying to decide how much more energy I really want to put into this fabric. It is a stretch wool, plain weave, slightly brushed on the side I put to the public, but lacking the weight and body of a true gabardine. Below you’ll see lots of different colors but it’s actually gray with a slight greenish caste to it. I do need a better camera, don’t you think?

Here’s the jacket last night after a fresh pressing and before topstitching: Right Sleeve

Freshly Pressed side

Here’s the same sleeve today after wearing for an hour:

Right Sleeve

And here’s the Left sleeve, freshly pressed:

Freshly Pressed Left Sleeve

and after an hour’s wearing:

Left Sleeve (sigh)

Back

Closeup Front

This pattern is a plus-sized pattern. I cut to fit my bust waist and hip measurements. I did not suspect the extreme width of the shoulders and didn’t even try to measure myself through the back and shoulders. I should have!

And I could have, had I brought this little gem into The Stitchery! Check this out: Cochenille.com here in US is marketing the Hurth Measuring Tool designed by Ursula Hurth, owner of Home Atelier in Germany. In early February Mz Hurth’s website also listed the Tool on her “Zubehör” page but I don’t see it there now. Perhaps my European readers might contact the Home Atelier to see if she intends to offer it again. There’s a handy dandy PDF at Cochenille that shows how it is used here: RulerHowTo

The pattern instructs that the peplum is lined in self fabric with no call for interfacing or lining. I didn’t follow the pattern instructions since they really didn’t apply to the garment I was building.

I lined the whole body with fleece-backed satin for warmth and a pleat for wearability mid back and the sleeves are lined with bemburg.

Fleece Backed Lining

The sleeves were 17″ wide at the underarm and the back and shoulders so extremely broad that I decided to try to correct the armscye and sleeves after the bodice had been constructed. That’s new territory for me. I thought that making 2 piece sleeves out of the 1 piece pattern would also help the fit.

I dove into these murky waters with the Threads Magazine vol. 38, article Drafting a Two-piece Jacket Sleeve From a One-piece Pattern, by Margaret Komives, published in the Dec 1991-Jan 1992 issue on page 38. Many bloggers over the past decade have recreated her instructions on their blogs and you can find them by using a search engine so I’ll not recreate it here. (I think only one blogger actually credited Mz Komives with the technique.)

After carefully following the instructions I created a muslin for the sleeve out of a polyester knit pin stripe fabric from a Michael’s Fabrics bundle (the stripes are handy for checking the grain lines) and inserted the basted muslin it into the armscye. It seemed to fit just fine but the whole unit was still too large and the under arm was cut too deeply. I found myself forced to take in the back at the side seams on the jacket shell and lining, which created even more extra ease in the sleeve pattern.

I reshaped the bodice armscye to reflect my more narrow shoulders and back which resulted in removing up to an inch of bodice armscye as I cut away the upper front and back. And now I found that I could insert the sleeve, just barely. I further deepened the curvature of the front sleeve but then was at a loss as to how to proceed with narrowing the back of the sleeve.

I see on my pattern pieces that I toyed with the idea of removing more sleeve width through the upper and under sleeves pieces but then changed my mind, fearful that I would be unable to raise my arms after all this cutting and snipping. I didn’t want to chop-chop myself into a worse situation than I already faced!

So I inserted the sleeve using a loosely woven wool bias strip to gather the sleeve cap. I inserted a sleeve head. the whole sleeve itself was already interlined with Pro-Weft Supreme so I didn’t add another piece of interfacing. Perhaps I should have? Anyway, shoulder pads inserted, I machine bagged the sleeve lining into the lining bodice, leaving open 10″ on the front sleeve lining of each sleeve so I could turn the garment enough to machine stitch. Topstitched, pressed, sewed button and wore.

Collar Back

Do you see how the collar stands away from the neck? There should have been a better result since I had cut the under collar a full 1/8″ smaller on all outside edges and used armo to create the collar stand inside this one piece collar. It rolled nicely before insertion into the neckline.

Or perhaps my neck is somehow not thick enough? Hardly!!!

I do think this pattern was drafted for a much larger person and poorly graded down to size 48 in Burda sizing. I can think of no other explanation for the oddness of the upper body drafting. I didn’t alter the waist and hips at all, just the shoulders and armscye.

Ah well, much as I would have preferred a more fine piece of tailoring, I like this jacket. I love the look of the collar turned up with a scarf wrapped around like in the second picture above. It’s a warm and utilitarian jacket and I’m really really glad it is finally finished!

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