Friday, February 28, 2014

Better late than never, also I have long arms

Nearly two years ago, I won some fabric from Carolyn, who writes the blog Diary of a Sewing Fanatic. This contest happened as I was in the middle of interviewing for new jobs, most of which weren’t in the Boston area where we lived at the time. Shortly after the fabric arrived, I accepted a job offer in the Kansas City area. Things were super crazy for quite a while as we packed, sold our place in Boston and moved halfway across the country. I have to confess, I sort of forgot about the fabric in the hectic activities that followed.

About eight months after moving here, we bought this house and got all moved in a year ago. One of the nicest things about this house is that we can use our dining room as a wonderful sewing space. We put our dining table up on risers so we don’t have to hunch over to cut out patterns, and we have room for both sewing machines, our serger and our ironing board. But even with this great space for sewing I still neglected the fabric.

Partly that’s because work was insane but partly it was because I found myself really intimidated by the one-way plaid. I know myself, I would go nuts if I didn’t get the plaid lined up right, and at the time I didn’t have the mental energy to even begin to think about it. Plus I wasn’t sure what to make with it.

Then I got that lovely fabric I mentioned a few posts ago, the wool/cashmere blend, and I realized I also still had this fabric and both needed and wanted to make it into something. I decided to make Burda 7183, even though I knew the style might not be all that flattering on me. It’s basically a box with sleeves and I’m not a box, I’m an X or hourglass. Still, I thought it had possibilities.

Take a look at the information Burda provides for selecting your size. Notice all the places to measure? I found this so helpful in figuring out what size to cut– and do you see the arm length measurement (#6)? Well my arms are actually 24 ½ inches long! So I guess I need to give New Look a pass on arm length – the arm length issue is mine, not theirs. As made, this jacket is right between a 12 and 14. If I’d cut the sleeve length for those sizes, I’d have had problems. This Burda jacket is described as having 7/8 length sleeves, so I ended up adding nearly three inches. I didn’t want 7/8 sleeves, not in winter and not out of this fabric.

The red arrow points to the slightly snarky comment that “all Burda patterns are prepared with ease appropriate for style in question.” Forget about getting five and a half inches of ease in your jacket! Heck no, this jacket – at least on me – is closer to the three inches that I’ve heard tossed around as a good measurement.

Anyway, this project ended up being harder than it needed to be and mostly that was because of me. I ripped out seams several times when the plaid didn’t line up perfectly and even still, one seam doesn’t match perfectly. It’s pretty good though. The zipper really gave me fits. Burda says you can shorten a zipper like this by pulling out the teeth . . . um no. At least not when it’s a plastic piece of crap like what I was able to find. Maybe if I had had a zipper with metal teeth it would have been easier.

Now if you want to see fantastic use of the same exact material, you should go read Sew Melodic’s blog post here. In a very odd coincidence, we were both making something from the same fabric. Hers is amazing, and while I can aspire to sew like she does, chances are I’ll need to stick with the easier, less demanding patterns – like this one.

Matches across the center zipper

Slight mismatch :(

Perfect match!


Jeanne said...

It's like a puzzle you conquered!
Eleanor and I don't understand the new "bracelet length" sleeve length. Long sleeves are that length on us already, and as you say, it's not good for a winter like this one.

readersguide said...

Elizabeth, it's gorgeous! Wow -- on top of everything else, the color is fantastic. It looks to me like it fits perfectly!

Judith said...

Incredible job. Seams are fantastic.

Harriet said...

Beautiful! I'm so impressed!

Melody Murdock said...

Oh my what a great use of this lovely fabric! Bless your heart for matching those lines across that zip and not getting any wavy zipper action, that is astonishing work! Great fabric minds think alike.

Diane Russell said...

That's a fantastic job!! I love the fabric!