THEN, I had an annual sewing retreat in San Juan Bautista with 19 of my dearest sewing pals. And finally I went to Ashland for DOL (Design Outside The Lines) with Diane Ericson.
She is on fire right now with all new ideas and designs using remade clothing, making components for garments and designing new garment patterns. I love everything she does.
Marla Kazell was the guest instructor. I wanted to take this particular DOL (not that I want to miss any of them!) because Marla would be showing couture techniques she uses in her Koos Van Den Akker-inspired jackets.
She's a terrific teacher, too. I learned a lot from her. She's very patient and is really there for her students. I learned how to make triangular bound buttonholes that you'll see further down in this post.
It was full on fall color in Ashland. My husband and I rented a condo right in town and had a great time wandering the shops and eating in the fabulous restaurants. He took in a play and toured the three theaters since he is a playwright himself. I just took in the sewing design magnificence in the Ashland Springs Hotel workroom.
Just a little glimpse of the fall color. I regret not taking more photos, it was so beautiful.
Diane has a studio in town where we visited one afternoon to paint fabric and schmooze with Miles Frode, her artist son who paints incredible canvas for making one-of-a-kind garments. He's also begun making very cool coat pins.
This jeep was on the way to the studio and I had to stop.
These candy colored trucks are one of my favorite things about driving up to Ashland. They sit along Highway 5 and give me a belly laugh every time I see them...whaaat??
I came home with two partially completed jackets. The fabric for this first one is from a double sided cotton; woven on one side with a bit of a waffle to it, and knit on the other. It's a unique grey-khaki color. I used Diane's Ventana Jacket pattern. One thing I like about Diane's patterns is that you can adapt them in so many ways. I didn't do too much to this one, just fiddled with the pleats and darts a bit and added a pocket to the other side. I gotta have two pockets...what do you do with your other hand?
The darts make it so you can fit the pattern easily. I wanted it a bit snug in the back and full in the front.
My second jacket was made using a very heavy upholstery type fabric from Marcy Tilton. The pattern is B5891 by Katherine Tilton. I've used this pattern several times. Here, I've lengthened it.
I used three triangular bound buttonholes I made as samples with scraps of the fabric. I liked the look of them sewn onto the garment so I went with that idea. They're a bit wonky but I like the look.
The pattern called for in-seam pockets but I prefer inset pockets. Inseam pockets always feel like they're set back too far for my comfort.
I decided to document how I make them, I hope this mini-tutorial helps if you've been wanting to try them. Here goes...
First, I mark the position of where I want the pocket to be on the fronts. Using a rounded template I cut out the sides so that there is seam allowance both top and bottom. The pocket itself should be larger than the opening by about 1/2-5/8" top and bottom.
I like to use a knit for the binding so that there is no need to cut bias strips, but if using a woven you will need about 10-12" of 2" bias cut fabric. Pin the bias strips to the fronts, right sides facing.
I sew it on using a 1/2" seam allowance then turn the strip to the back, over the seam allowance (don't trim!) and top stitch it. Cut away any excess on the back and edges.
Finished bias strip.
I audition pocket shapes (I have several I keep in a file) to see which size and shape looks best. Above I position it under the side front to see how it looks. For this pocket back I used a gray velveteen that was stenciled by my friend, Sharon. I used it for the buttonholes, too.
Before sewing it onto the garment I serge the edges of the pockets.
Sew it onto the garment right side of pocket to wrong side of garment.
Finally, I sew the side seam, being sure to catch the side edge of the pocket.
Close up of a wonky buttonhole. Marla, I promise to get better at this!!
And here's my new baby. A sweet little Singer Featherweight. I bought it at a garage sale for $50! Another $125 to tune her up and she's a gem.