I finally got it together to take some (admittedly meh) pictures of what I’ve been making, so let’s take a look.
Here’s the finished vest; if you recall, the two front pieces are corduroy, and the collar, back, and lining are a drapey poly/rayon, all from the stash (pattern is Butterick 6383). I like the drama of this style–and LOVE the fabrics–so I will wear it, but NOBODY better say a thing about clown collars.
I had planned to wear this with a black turtleneck, but it looked much better over the red. What it REALLY needs, actually, is the same top, but in maroon, which would coordinate better and not upstage the corduroy so much. Will keep my eyes open for something like that.
Also, I didn’t realize it until I saw the pictures, but the neckline is a bit wide on this. I’ve already overlapped the fronts more than the pattern called for–it was pretty huge. I took advantage of the roominess of it to just sew the button through all the layers; this is one of those rare and beautiful instances where the lazy sewing method is also the more attractive one, as my machine would have made a mess of a buttonhole on these fabrics.
(Side note here: does anybody understand the logic of when Big 4 patterns include a lining and when they just have facings? I lined this and I actually think it was a lot easier than the big hassle the instructions put you through to face all those raw edges. Are a lot of sewers intimidated by linings, so they avoid them?)
I am much more enthusiastic about the red jacket, though it took me a while to get there.
Pattern is Butterick 5689 (out of print, but available on Amazon), fabric is 2 1/2 yards of fuzzy red fleece from SCRAP. Total out-of-pocket cost for this was about $13.
Apparently, I like living dangerously, because I cut this out on the day after the election. I was in a state of horror/grief/shock, and I knew I shouldn’t take on grading a pattern in that frame of mind, but I did it anyway because I couldn’t bring myself to care about screwing it up. I also didn’t cut this thick fabric in a single layer like I should have, because keeping track of that was more than my brain could handle. I’m frankly a little bit amazed that all the pieces actually fit together like they were supposed to.
I constructed it in a similar mental state, and I now have no idea how all those front pieces go together (this jacket is a lot more complex than it looks), but I just followed the pictures carefully and it worked. I had graded up a bit, but I wound up taking out the extra in the side seams.
The biggest problem I had was with the collar. I continued the front topstitching all the way around the base of the collar, hoping to hold the facing down, and that was a mistake. All it got me was a weird lump under the collar that kept it from lying down flat. Once I removed the extra topstitching and slip stitched down the facing, the whole area looked better. I also put in some thin shoulder pads. The collar still wants to flip up, but it’s getting better each time I wear the jacket.
That wearing business, though, that’s turning out to be surprisingly fraught. I haven’t actually managed to wear this jacket anywhere other than the mailbox yet. It turns out that the taboo status of red from my childhood is still stuck in my head. Yep, I know it’s nuts, but I just seem to keep finding reasons to NOT wear this. That’s why it keeps getting worn out to the mailbox–I’m trying to get used to that color, that particular color that nice Catholic girls just DO NOT wear. Though I am crazy about bright colors, I thought for a long time that I didn’t like red. It was a big deal a couple of years ago when I made the red knit top that I’m wearing with the vest in pics above; I only had that fabric because it was part of a Freecycled bag of fabric, as it wasn’t something I would have ever bought for myself.
Another problem with wearing the jacket is that I wasn’t sure for a while if I liked it. It’s a little bit unstructured and droopy; my partner said it reminded him of a bath robe, which happened to be exactly what I had been thinking as well. But I wore it today–to the mailbox, of course–and decided that unstructured was a perfectly respectable thing for a jacket to be, especially if said jacket is as soft and cuddly as this one. So one of these days I will actually wear it someplace other than the mailbox.
In the meantime, my partner’s new fleece cycling jersey is all done, except for the new top stops for the zipper that I am waiting for UPS to bring me (why yes, the need for top stops was discovered the hard way). And the Hello Kitty pullover is coming along. It is easily the goofiest thing I have ever made and ZOMG I FREAKING LOVE IT SO MUCH.
I hope you all are getting down with your goofy selves, and wearing all the colors, too.