Join me in my adventures as I write romance novels and sew vintage and contemporary fashion.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Sewing For Victory 40’s Suit ~ Flashback #2 The Reckoning

The Sewing
As you may have guessed from my previous posts, I did a lot of sewing in not many days to make the Sewing for Victory Challenge deadline. If I hadn't had to go to work, it wouldn't have been such a push, but I did and it was. I found that there are two things that one cannot hurry along and do slap dash--color blocking and bound buttonholes.

Color Blocking--or how to beat a corner into semi-submission
I have a thing about precision--must have something to do with all the engineers in the family--and one thing sewing has taught me is that sometimes I'm going to have to live with results that aren't as precise as I'd like. But that does't mean I have to like it, or that I won't beat my project to shreds trying to get the results I'm aiming for.

The color blocking on my suit made cool square corners. To do this, I had to clip to the dot 1/2 inch from the end of the seam then sew from the garment edge to the clip. At the clip, I then had to start a new seam going in a perpendicular direction to make the 90 degree corner. And the first time I did it, it went slick.

It went slick two more times. I had three perfect corners. And then came the last one...the one I wanted to finish before my husband and I went running that day. Let's just say that I spent my running time wondering how I was going to pick all of those stitches--because I sewed over my previous stitching about fifteen times trying to true up that corner--out of linen. Yeah.

Eventually I got the corner to where it was acceptable by removing all stitching and starting over. The linen was beat to death and the organza wasn't looking much better. I couldn't stand to look at it, much less photograph it, so there is no record of the carnage. But I ended up with a corner I could live with.

The underarms went perfectly though. I started stitching right at the point of the underarm seam and sewed up one side, then went back to the point and sewed up the other side. I'm a huge fan of breaking up seams to accomplish what I want.
At the last minute I decided to color block the facings, even though the directions didn't call for it. I just cut a purple piece the same size as the purple front and cut off the gray top--allowing for seam allowance of course--and sewed them together. It didn't add bulk and it made me feel better.

Shall we move on to bound buttonholes?

First of all, due to time constraints, I considered just putting in buttonholes with my beloved 1955 Singer buttonholer--which makes perfect buttonholes every time. However, the pattern primer rather casually said, "Make bound buttonholes." That was the end of the instructions. I decided that I could at the very least make a practice bound buttonhole and see how it goes. After all, the coat only has two buttonholes. How hard can it be?

Of course the practice bound buttonhole worked like a charm. I literally made it in less than 10 minutes--probably closer to 5. So the next step, of course, was to attempt to destroy my jacket with my new found skill. (There are several excellent tutorial on making bound buttonholes online. Choose your poison.)

Jeannie's Guide to Bound Buttonholes

Step 1--make gaping rectangular hole. Do not do this in the waist button area, where it won't show. Start at the neckline, where everyone will immediately look.

Step 2--Sew the little lip deals in crooked.

Step 3--Cringe as husband says it's time to run. Yell back that you need a minute.

Step 4--Attempt to remove little lip things. Pick out the wrong stitches, so that organza is now loose.

Step 5--Tell son who calls to say Happy Easter that you can't talk now.

Step 6--Tidy up gaping hole and try again. Sew in crooked again.

Step 7--learn to live with less than perfect lip thingies.

Hey--it doesn't look that bad with the button in it.

Need I say that the buttonhole at the waist that no one will see went in easily and looked fine?

Of course it did.

Well, husband is saying it's time to go run and for once I'm not in a trauma spot, so I'm going to go run before I get myself into trouble again.

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