Burda 02/2014 #128: Painted Moto Jacket

I have been furiously working on a project that was not in my plans, queue, remote thought, or imaginary nighttime sewing.  I was pleasantly surprised to make it through to the Second Round of the PR 2015 Sewing Bee, but the challenge we were given was out of my experience and comfort zone.  I quote from the rules:

1 – You must start with an existing piece of fabric. That fabric can be either woven or knit, from stash or new.

2- You must alter or embellish the fabric with a method such as one of the following techniques: stamping, dyeing, free motion embroidery, sashiko, piecing, applique, reverse applique, screen printing, stenciling, painting, embossing, quilting, beading or smocking.

3 – You must use that fabric to create a garment. The garment you create must be a garment wearable by a person, such as a dress, top, trousers, skirt, jacket or jumpsuit. Accessories do not qualify. You may use any pattern you wish (commercial, self-drafted, draped, etc.). Note: you may also reverse the order of rule 2 and 3, modifying the garment after construction, if that works better for your selected technique.

So, what to do?  I immediately started to panic, then gave myself a stern talking to and settled down to think what I should do.  I wanted to use what materials I had at hand without having to purchase anything, therefore I was left with four options:  dyeing, embroidery/beading, smocking or other fabric manipulation, or painting.  A couple of fabrics that have been mouldering in my stash popped into mind:  a yellow-ish embroidered linen whose colour I had grown to loathe over the years, some golden yellow cotton piqué, or the remnants of peach linen from Vogue 1175.  I did dye more than one (for back up purposes, should the first project be an utter fail), but I thought I may as well use the remnant of peach mid-weight linen, since it mattered the least to me.

linen before

Now, I have no idea what I’m doing with fabric paints or dyes.  So I just jumped in.  I had brown, red, purple, pink and white/opalescent fabric paints that I chose to use after finding an inspiration fabric.

textile paints

I had no method and no plan.  I just went to work.  First I splattered with brown.  When I was done, I realized I didn’t have enough brown paint and should have watered it down… a lot.  *shrug*  Nothing I could do, so I forged ahead with the red.  I took care to splatter it differently, but ended up using a scrub brush to give large brush strokes to the fabric.  Ghastly, thought I.  Let’s see what the purple will do.  I mixed some of the pink with the purple to create a lighter shade and dry brushed it in places.  The texture of the patio stones (yes, I did this outside) rubbed through the purple… kinda cool.  Then I splattered with opalescent/white.

It was the most horribly ugly anything I could have possibly created.  Ugh.  What to do?  Find the empty paint pots, add a lot of water to each, and splatter the fabric with the diluted mixture again.  Seemed a bit better….  But I was still horrified at the result.

I let it dry for about 2 hours (not the recommended 24 hours), and rolled it all into a ball and put it into the dryer on high for 40 minutes to set the paint.  When I took it out, I hated it.  I had a tub of avocade green dye sitting unused after dying the yellow embroidered linen (a much happier result for a different project) earlier that day, so I cut off a piece of the peach linen and stuck it into the dye along with some lightweight RPL that I was planning to make into a cardigan.

In about an hour, I checked the peachy linen and it was still very peach.  I was at least hoping for something in the brown range… y’know… pink and green together should make some sort of brownish shade.  Not this linen.  It was peach, and it was going to die peach.

Not to be beaten, I thought I could try leaving the entire mess in the dye bath overnight.  I began to wet the linen, and the paint started to smudge off.  Brilliant!!  I put it into a hot wash, then the hot dryer again and was much happier with the worn, faded look of the paint.

linen after

I was still truly horrified at the result, but my darling eldest daughter and DH insisted it didn’t look as bad as I thought it did, and both declared I should continue with the project.  DH also had very specific ideas about the jacket pattern I should choose, but I only had 1.75m to work with.  In the end, I chose this lovely little number from Burda 2/2014.

Burda 2/2014 #128

The shaped yokes and sleeve cap pieces would be useful, I thought. So I set to planning and cutting around my red paint splatters and brushstrokes, which seemed rather gory to my mind.  I had visions of blood-splattered clothing from a crime scene.  Ah well…. at least it would only cost me time.  Besides, I was starting to enjoy the challenge of working with what to my mind was an impossible piece of fabric.

Burda 02-2014-128 jacket front

So here’s the finished jacket.  About half way through the construction I almost threw it all away, but my DH and DD1 insisted that I should finish it and that it would be much better than I thought it was.  I won’t bore you with the construction details, except to say that Burda’s instructions for the reverse corners are atrocious.  Vogue would have walked the sewer through the procedure step-by-step and thoroughly.  So I went my own way, which I will share in a later post.

Burda 02-2014-128 interior finishing

It is unlined, except for the shoulder yokes and sleeve caps, which was fell-stitched into place.  I used a hong kong finish on the facings and lower armscyes.  All the seams are flat felled for a clean interior.

Burda 02-2014-128 jacket

After finishing the construction, the jacket cried out for something other than the paint, so, to emphasize the shoulders, I followed the painted patterns with beads in brown and reds.

Burda 02-2014-128 beaded shoulders

And the result?  Well, I think this is going to be something that actually gets worn, despite it’s short length.  It’s not wonderfully styled in these photos, but I was in a hurry to meet the entrance deadline for the Bee.

Burda 02-2014-128 2

If you’d like to see more pictures of this project, please check out my Flickr album.

Silk and Glass

green silk

A close-up of silk organza with ribbon embroidery and glass beading.  This will be the bodice of my DD2’s Christmas dress.

Finicky Bits

Sequin DartsThis is a bust dart from my current project.  I’ve never worked with sequin-encrusted fabric before.  It’s impossible to sew with a machine, mostly because the small seed beads are not needle-friendly.  I’ll be constructing this garment completely by hand.

Swimsuit Cover-up: Burda 5/2012 #115

coverup front

I’ve been absent, but with good reason!  We’ve been on vacation for the last two weeks and I haven’t been connected, so I couldn’t post or read any of your posts until this past week back in the US.  After reading all your 2012 reviews and 2013 goals, I just didn’t feel like anything sewing ever again.  Period.  Sometimes reading all the reviews and goals inspires and encourages, but other times it causes great discouragement.  Since we’ve been back, however, I’ve caught up on all the sewing blog news and gossip and have found my enthusiasm for sewing returning.  Funny how things like that disappear when one is out of the usual routines in life.

I needed a bathing suit cover up for this trip, and wanted desperately to make it out of this lovely cotton voile from Milly.  I only had about 1 1/4 yards, so needed to pick my pattern carefully.  As it stands, the biceps are a bit snug, and, of course I don’t have any scraps because they were carefully thrown out in the trash prior to leaving.  Can’t have any trash left in the house to come home to after a couple of weeks!    Anyways, after frantically flipping through my Burda collection, I chose this tunic from the May 2012 issue. B 5-2012-115

I wanted something with a contrasting collar/yoke option, and hoped to find seashells or pearls or a combination of both while on my trip to finish off the neckline.  At our port-of-call in Key West, I found these  shell chip necklaces and the pearl bracelet, which I planned to take apart and use to embellish the yoke. shells & pearls Of course, I left all my sewing gadgetry at home, so couldn’t laze around on deck and bead.  >_<

coverup back

I cut a straight size, and didn’t bother checking the fit of the shoulders because I wanted a relaxed look.  I made the sleeves slightly bell-shaped and left off the cuff contrasting band. It’s a simple garment to sew up, even with the contrasting yoke.  I love Burda’s instructions for getting the opening slit perfect: stitch the front and back yoke pieces & facings together at the shoulders, then stitch the yoke and facings together along the neck edge, turn, understitch and press.  You are effectively left with a yoke that is unattached at the CF.  Unfold the lower band ends, lay right side together, and stitch up the centre front as much as you’d like.  Turn the band ends wrong sides together again, and press.  Once the yoke is completed, it is inserted into the keyhole opening of the front.  The corners were a bit tricky, and I really wanted the edges to be enclosed in the yoke, but I just used a zigzag stitch to finish the seams and left it.  I also flat-felled all the seams as the fabric is a little on the fragile side and I want this garment to last for a very very long time.  I don’t usually wear a swimsuit or cover up – I’m a girl that shuns the sun except when on a beach vacation – so chances are, I’ll have this until I’m 90!B 05-2012-115 neckline

I really do need an FBA in this hang-straight-from-the-shoulders type of garment so that it hangs vertically from my bust instead of swinging away from me (like the Marfy muslin).  I did not have enough fabric to do this adjustment properly, so I used my cheat version:  shorten the back waist by 2 inches (my usual short-waist adjustment in the back), cut the front as directed, and create a bust dart from the excess length just below the armscye.  Don’t all you fitting experts die of horror.  On a loose fitting schlepping garment like this, it works fine, even if it isn’t couture perfect!

coverup side

E’s Prom Dress 3: Embellishments

Japanese iridescent glass seed beads, silk flowers, fresh water pearls and Swarovski crystals for the bodice.