Wool, satin, and lace

I’m making good progress on my tuxedo-y suit using my grandmother’s vintage Pendleton wool. I’ve done the single welt pockets (a first time for me!) and the construction of the jacket body, and I’m now working on the many collars and lapels. The placement of the welt pockets (which are hidden under a front flap) is way too high, though, and the pockets are too narrow to be useful, though – this is the second time I’ve had Burda WOF jacket pockets be waaaay too narrow for my hands to fit through, so I must remember that for next time.

I’ve done the front flap, all the side and back seams, and sewn the satin underlapel to the center front, but I got a bit stuck on attaching the collar. I followed The Secret Pocket’s Undercollar instructions but I think I trimmed it too much and it’s not laying flat and it doesn’t want to stretch to meet the lapel now, arrrrgh. So I left it to think about what it’s done for a few days and went back and tackled it last night.

I ripped out all the stitching around the outside edge of the collar, then went ahead and ripped out the center back seam of the undercollar and restitched this with a smaller seam allowance to make the undercollar the same length as the uppercollar (which I only shortened due to supposed turn-of-cloth allowance, argh). I stitched the collars all back together and now, with that little bit of added length, it was enough to make the undercollar reach to the corner of the lapel, and also to make the uppercollar attach to the satin lapel. This all makes it sound like a breeze, but there was a lot of screaming, swearing, and ripping and re-ripping and basting and hand basting and more swearing to get this stupid collar to attach properly without any tucks. It’s still not perfect at the lapel’s inside corner, but this will actually get covered by an upper collar (in wool) which I’ll be adding next, and only the tips of the two satiny collars with show underneath.

See, at least the inner collar lays flat! So in the future, I’m going to definitely cut the undercollar with a center seam and on the bias, and also understitch the undercollar to the seam allowance (to keep it from rolling out) but I’m definitely NOT going to trim it down unless I’m dealing with really thick fabric.

While I was waiting to get the collar just right, I did a bit of impulse shopping. I had been watching other sewers like the incredibly helpful Sigrid sewing their own bras and underwear for a while now and the thought was always in the back of my mind, but then LauraLo made this bra and my resolve strengthened, especially since Elingeria sell bra kits with all the little bits you need to make one bra and two matching pants. So I bought the brown & turquoise bra kit (the same one as Laura used, but I didn’t realise that until after), Elan 530 (which is very similar to those stretch satin bras Victoria’s Secret used to make), and then because I figured that making lingerie was essentially the same as making swimwear, I bought some swimwear elastic and lining bits, and an offcut of fantastic black heavyweight lycra with rainbows and butterflies on it. And since the January issue of KnipMode magazine happened to have patterns for a looooovely bra, camisole, pants, and thong, I bought that issue from Naaipatronen, who are rapidly becoming my favourite go-to for KnipMode and Marfy, despite the language hurdle.

I figure all this “smalls sewing” will be good for late spring and early summer when my temporary sewing room will be demolished to make way for the new bedrooms and lounge for a few months, as I can do these on the dining table in a smaller space. At least that’s how I justify it to myself!

MediaWatch! I got a text message from my friend Giovanna over the holidays that she was flipping through Italian Marie Claire whilst back home and she came across my photo!

This one was a complete surprise! But I’ve also done interviews with two London newspapers: Metro, which was pushed back but should hopefully be appearing on Tuesday, and an interview and full studio photoshoot with The Daily Express, which should be appearing next week sometime. For the latter, I actually wasn’t wearing the Glastonbury dress! Anyone want to take a guess on which dress I WAS wearing for the shoot? 😉

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