I haven’t been posting much lately because of work loads and things competing for my time. But I did just get a notice that the project, which I have been calling the “Super Triple Secret Project” has just been put out for public consumption at Threads Magazine. You can see it in the current issue of Threads, and it is online (without all the photos) here.
The article started thanks to the striped dress, which I made for myself last year for a summer dress. The pattern is New Look 6557. I changed the waistband pattern, as well as the grain alignments on several of the pattern pieces. I love this dress, and in warm weather I wear it frequently. Of course, I’m sure they had to safety pin it to within an inch of it’s life to fit the model, but it looks pretty good, I think.
The “fun” part of the project, and the Super Triple Secret part that had me tearing my hair out, was the white jacket. Now, that is one gorgeous, gorgeous jacket! I based it on a D-Squared look from the spring 2006 RTW line. I used a McCalls pattern as the basis, and you can see the process I went through to convert the pattern on my blog. It’s made from two silk fabrics, a duppioni that has nubby 1 inch wide stripes woven into it, and a novelty silk ottoman-type, that was woven in such a way that it had a quilted effect. The fabric was double faced with uneven horizontal stripes woven through it. And there was silk batting between the layers. When I opened the package from Threads containing the fabrics, I gasped in surprise and pleasure, they were that lovely.
Sewing with them? Hmmmmm, that was another issue. The duppioni was just fine. I love duppioni because it sews up well and is very easy to manipulate. The quilted silk, on the other hand, was an unmitigated rhymes-with-witch. I have two sewing machines in my sewing room. One is a Pfaff with differential feed, the other is an industrial Juki. I decided right out of the gate that the Juki would not work with this fabric. So first I tried sewing a seam with the Pfaff. Because of the horizontal quilting, I was super, super careful cutting the fabric so the lines would match across the seams of this princess style pattern. When dealing with a fabric like this, always, always cut out your pattern pieces in a single-layer layout. I did so, and it gave me control over the placement of the design and grain lines.
Under the presser foot, though, this fabric took on a Bad Diva personality. It loved to shift and move around, even with the differential feed turned on. I hand basted all the seams, and I even ended up recutting some pattern pieces to compensate for the shifting. Gah! It still didn’t want to cooperate! I did finally beat it into submission, but it cost me dearly in the number of gray hairs I got from it.
Finally, I did finish the jacket, after crying “Uncle!” to my editor, Jennifer Sauer. You can see the front view of the jacket in the magazine article (not online). But for your previewing pleasure, here’s a picture of the jacket as it sat on my dress form before I sent it off (and before I did the final press):