Sunday, September 4, 2016

Making It Work

 What I love about sewing is that I can make myself new, every-day clothes that work for my body shape, my lifestyle and my ever-changing tastes.  And then, I can also make weird, one of a kind, arty garments that I'll probably only wear once or twice but enjoy the creative part of making them.

Today's post illustrates both of those types of projects.


I was really taken with a friend's version of Marcy Tilton's v9171 pattern.  And since I had it in my stash, and had a nice 3 yard length of her Taupe Bon Mots Stretch Cotton on hand, I set to work.

I cut out a large, should have cut a medium; this pattern is roomy.  But, after finishing the whole thing, I ripped out the center front seam, took two inches out of it, and it looked lots better.

But, I still didn't love that huge expanse of grey across my chest, I'm wide up there and thinner from there down!  I needed another component.  I've always wanted to make Diane Ericson's Fault Lines vest and it seemed like the perfect way to break up the bodice and overall shape of the bell-like tunic.

I'm really happy with the way this turned out and I'll wear them together often.  I'm also going to buy a medium in the tunic pattern because I want to make it again.  It's fun to make and so wearable.

One of the great things about the vest pattern is that it takes so little fabric.  I used remnants for the both the lining and the outside.  The horizontal stripes are from a knit cut so it rolls and a little piece of a stretch woven. I had to put them on because, after I got the whole thing sewn, I realized there were two blemishes on the front that I needed to cover up.  But it worked and added interest.

I like the vest pattern because you can tailor it to your size very easily since the side and back seams are overlapped after everything is finished.  That method also lends itself to hand stitching.  Next time I make this (and I will) I might cut the shoulders a bit narrower.  Although I'll wear it a few times before I make that decision.

I did a lot of hand stitching on this piece. 

Before deciding to make the vest I auditioned a couple of scarves to break up the front.  I liked the idea but it was a good excuse to finally make the vest.

Another scarf idea.  I like them both, will probably wear it this way, too.  This one gets some color into the mix which is good.

And speaking of color...
I started this vest a year and a half ago in a Holly Badgley class.  The fabrics are a canvas and a muslin I dyed turquoise, some of my hand painted canvas that I washed in the washing machine to soften, chartreuse cashmere pieces and orange kantha cloth scraps.

This hung in the UFO files while I tried to see if I even wanted to finish it.  It's pretty wild and I don't think I'll wear it more than once, if that.  But I finally decided to see it through just for the art sake of it.

I did get a lot out of making this vest though.  The biggest lesson is not to add a lot of accent pieces since the overall fabric is so wild.  I had lots of scraps laid out to audition and finally chose not to use any of them.  Just the orange and chartreuse that I already had on the piece worked fine.

The kantha scraps add a lot of texture and immediate age...like this garment needed that!

I made a barbed wire silk screen in a class a couple of years ago and used a scrap of that on the lower back.

It has one pocket I hid in the patchwork.  This is one crazy garment.  I might wear it, I might sell it.  The jury is out.  I looked at it for so long I feel like I'm kinda over it by now!

And finally, here is a little gizmo a friend bought me at Eddie's Quilting Bee in Sunnyvale, CA.  I've used it about a hundred times since I got it.   This is a miracle of a little thing.  It's magnetic so it gloms onto your needle plate wherever you need it, making a perfect guide for the fabric.  Since I can't sew a straight line to save my soul this thing was MADE for me! Thanks, Lisa!!
Happy Labor Day Weekend everyone.  I'm headed to the bunkhouse to sew.





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17 comments:

  1. You do such a good job of coordinating the fabrics. You have inspired me so many times and I have learned from your blog. Thanks for sharing with us fellow sewers.

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    1. Such sweet words, thank you. I love sharing with other sewists and learning, too. It adds a depth to my work.

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  2. Love all these pieces, but esp. The turquoise. Did you use a pattern as a jumping off point?

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    1. Just used a vest I own. Thanks so much!

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  3. The turquoise vest is fantastic! The shape, the selvedges with fringe, the orange triangle with stitching --- all combine to make a very wearable vest, IMHO. I have a Diane Ericson vest in process -- this gives me some ideas to incorporate. Thank you for the inspiration.

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    1. Yep, Diane's patterns lend themselves to experimentation like this. Thank you for your kind words.

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  4. such interesting pieces, gayle. the addition of the vest is just right.

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    1. Thank you, Martha. I've been loving your creations, too!

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  5. Just love everything in this post, just wish it wasn't so expensive to ship patterns to the uk

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    1. Yeah, I feel the same way about shipping to the US from the UK! Ha! If your join the pattern company's Club BMV you save tons on the patterns, it's worth the $20 yearly fee!

      Thank you for your comments!

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  6. I find your work very inspiring. The barbed wire screen print a unique touch.

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    1. Thank you, Gail. I've had that snippet of barbed wire canvas for two years, wondering if I'd ever have the guts to use it!

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  7. Your work helps me think outside the box. My thing is making artsy jackets. Like you, I may only wear them a few times but the joy comes from making them. Karen

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  8. Lots of great ideas here, love the Jewelery .

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    1. Thank you MG! I have fun making all kinds of things.

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  9. Gayle, thank you so very much for your inspiring posts. Just the right combo of pix and explanation. Always invigorating design ideas. I value your work as spur to my own. THNX!

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    1. Cordell, you hit the hammer on the nail...your reasons for liking my blog are the exact reasons I want to do one. Thank you so much for writing. It makes me know I'm on the right track!

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