22 March 2014

Sewing for Me in March - Week #3

Yesterday I shared my completed Charley Harper quilted jacket for my Friday Finish.

Berry Barn DesignsThis project was part of the 30/30 Sewing Challenge hosted by Sarah of Berry Barn Designs.

Although I did share plenty of pictures for that post, I did not go into the details of my process, as I was hosting the TGIFF link up.

Now I would like to share a few things about what I learned from this project.

Fabric - 4 yards (Including Discount, Taxes, and Shipping) ....................$69.15
Pattern and Zipper (Including Discount and Taxes)  ...............................$14.85
Backing & Batting from stash guestimated at approximately ...................$30.00
Thread for piecing guestimated at ............................................................$6.00
Thread for quilting (Sponsored by Superior Threads)
            Amount used gestimated at a cost of ...........................................$6.00
Total Cost:  ........................................................................................$127.00

Labour: (Complete guestimation here!)
Planning, making quilt, cutting pieces, sewing pieces about 7 straight days x 8 hrs ...... Priceless

Would I make jackets to sell expecting to make a profit?  No.  No way.

Now about that pattern.  It was my first time following a pattern.  For anything.
I had no garment making experience.

Yes, it was scary.  Yes, I was nervous.  Yes, I was afraid of screwing the whole thing up and being left with a messy pile of chopped up Charley Harpers.

There was a glossary of stitches.  Okay.
Now that I know what they are and the purpose for each.  Good to go!

The Easestitch is used at the tops of the shoulder pieces along the curves to adjust the sleeve to fit.  You are to pull on the thread ends to allow the fabric to bunch up a bit.  You would have to use some awfully strong thread to achieve this on quilted layers as used in this pattern.  I use polyester thread and it broke...  So, pinning worked better for me.  And I hate pinning.

As I went along, I got a better handle on just how the whole thing was to go together.  I gained confidence.

There were two portions of the construction that I did differently than what was laid out in the pattern.  One was for the sleeves and the other was for the zipper.

The shoulders and sides of the jacket, and the seam on the sleeves, were to be sewn up individually.  Then the sleeves were to be sewn into the arm holes of the jacket.  Picturing how it is to fit a square peg in a round hole, I did not think this would be easy.  Instead, I sewed only the shoulder seams on the jacket, not the sides.  Next I attached the curved parts of the top of the sleeves to the jacket.  And then I sewed up the side of the jacket and the seam of the sleeve all in one seam.

The zipper is contained between the outer shell and inner liner of the jacket.  Per the pattern instructions, they expected you to HAND sew the inner edge of that lining into the jacket before putting in the zipper.  Then turn in the edge of the outer shell and baste the zipper into place.  Then turn in the edge of the liner and baste it to the zipper.  What?!!!  Are you nuts!  Sew much HAND sewing!  And piddling around!

Instead I turned the outer shell and lining inside out.  Placed the zipper between those edges with the teeth facing in.  And sewed the zipper in.  Then turned it all right side out again.  Done.  Then I could later hand sew the inner edge of lining.

But first I tried it on.  And got really frustrated.  And wanted to cry.  Because even though the pattern comes with recommendations for what size to make according to your bust measurement....  This thing was WAY TOO BIG!  Let me tell you.  Having your children try to console you by saying, "You'll grow into it.", is not what you want to hear.  Those vertical stripes were not going to help this thing look sleek.  No. Way.

But I don't give up that easily.  Tenacious, I tell ya.

So, I undid the topstitching along MOST of the two back seams.  And resewed the two back seams and the side seams, including the sleeves.  And then chopped off the excess.  Shortened the sleeve length.  Hemmed them up.  And redid the topstitching along the back seams.

Much better.  No more crying in frustration.  Happy face.

Then I finished all the hand sewing for the lining.

Would I do this again?  Absolutely!

The three most important things I learned were....
It is scary fun to try new things.
I gained new skills, experience, confidence and a really fine jacket.
And I am so happy to have made something for me!

Since I had no idea how long it would take to make this project, I did not outline any other goals.  But I would definitely like to continue to participate in the last remaining week of the challenge.

I do have some leftover Charley Harper fabric pieces.  Maybe I can whip up a little something else for me?

I am linking up with everyone at Sarah's for Week 3 Progress.

Come on over and see how everyone else is doing with their goals!

P.S.  Be sure to enter my GIVEAWAY, sponsored by Fat Quarter Shop, going on NOW!

Keep On Quilting On!



Angie in SoCal said...

You did a fabulous job of sewing a jacket for a first garment. Wow - I always pick easy stuff like a 2 piece skirt - lol. Love it with the black pants and top.

Vicki said...

I am so thrilled for you! I personally think you are quite amazing. Can't wait to see what other garments you come up with. You go girlfriend...

Bower Bird Patch said...

Good on ya Lorna! And God bless your beautiful children for encouraging you 'you'll grow into it'......priceless!.....hehehehe....

Vera said...

You are funny and very handy!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lorna! Congratulations, your First jacket looks amazing! Also I'm so happy to hear about your experience. Quilting and sewing other things absolutely helped you to improvise during your work. Great job! It's beautiful and unique! x Teje

Glinda ♥ said...

Well done, you! Very tenacious indeed ... love it :)

Gene Black said...

I am just as impressed as all getout with your lovely jacket. You did a wonderful job.

Vickie said...

Great job Lorna...your going to look marvelous in that beautiful jacket !

Connie Kresin Campbell said...

Great job Lorna and were you surprised at how much the materials cost for the jacket? I used to sew all my clothing but now......I tend to wear jeans and t-shirts. I'm so glad you stuck with it and also resized the jacket, next time you should try sewing on the sleeves like the pattern showed.....it works!

Mary R. said...

It looks FABULOUS! I'm glad your first experience with making clothes was such a success, Following the pattern exactly is definitely not required, but it gives you a starting point. From the pics on the Friday finish I liked the black pants.

Sarah @ Berry Barn Designs said...

Oh my goodness - I am a day behind on my BL' feed, so I only just now popped over to see your finish - you are hilarious!! Go you posting that black bar pic ; ) So fearless! In all seriousness, though, Lorna, the jacket came out beautifully. For your first pattern ever, you really knocked it out of the park! With my somewhat limited clothing experience, I will say that the sizing of patterns is the trickiest part - the apron I just made called for me to be an XXL (the largest size on the pattern!) but I wear a size 4, so that just didn't make sense. I really think for anything tailored/darted, having a dress form is the way to go. It's on my long range "to acquire" list because with all the little nuances of everyone's shape, it's hard to just go straight from a pattern. (P.S. Did they really say "you'll grow into it?" Ha! Out of the mouths of babes.)

Julie Cefalu said...

Way to stay with this one! I haven't done garment sewing in a long time, but I do remember the patterns run a little big. I think your hard work paid off. It's beautiful!
Julie @ The Crafty Quilter

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

Absolutely Stunning. You are definitely an excellent seamstress....Wow!

Createology said...

Your jacket is gorgeous and you have done a beautiful job creating it. Unless you have very wealthy family, friends, clients there is never a profit in making from handmade. We do it because we love to and we appreciate quality and unique results. Creative Stitching Bliss Dear...

Jo Ferguson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jo Ferguson said...

I think you did an absolutely amazing job sewing the jacket. I've never been interested in making clothing but I'd certainly go to you, if I ever decided to do so.

Jessica said...

I am so happy that you said you would try this project again even with all that you went through. I totally understand having to take apart most of your work because the directions had way too much ease worked into the pattern. Your jacket is amazing! A trick that I've learned the hard way is to make the lining first and try that on to see what size you are starting with. I would have been devastated as well if the jacket hadn't worked ... after you put in all the time into quilting your beautiful fabric. I am so glad your jacket turned out so well. I can't see what else you decide to make. :)

inchworming said...

Well, I've been sewing for years, clothes and all. I must say you did an AMAZING job on that jacket. It's beautiful and well constructed!!!! Great job!!!!!

CeLynn said...

I understand your tears of frustration,as my own sewing room has witnessed some of those episodes...way to go,not letting it get the best of you and giving up! This jacket is a real beauty,and one I am sure you will be proud to show off for years to come :)

Can't wait to see what else you sew up for yourself this coming week!

Paula@TheSassyQuilter said...

Beautiful inside and out! Custom fitting has to be tricky, but you did great.

Vicki in MN said...

I love your jacket, I have sewn a few quilted jackets and they are time consuming but are Oh so fun to wear and wait till you get those compliments in person :-) You did a super job on your first garment!

Shauna said...

that jacket is awesome, love the cost breakdown!!!

Jessica Hadden said...

Fabulous! Well earned happy face!

sherry said...

it is really hard to sew clothes and get them to fit right...but the you will grow into is such a great comment...write that one down for the future...well done

MalinisQuilts said...

Wow! you should be very proud of yourself for tackling a big project for your first time sewing clothing. You came out flying colors and like you said the Jacket is just priceless! Amazing work!

Elise Lea said...

Love the beautiful Jacket Lorna. The patchwork and quilting just makes it so fun, I bet you will be wearing this all the time!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely lovely jacket, Lorna! I'm inspired to sew some clothing...it's been a while. You did a great job with fabric and construction. Thanks for sharing!

Kathy said...

It looks great! I want one!

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