Friday, September 18, 2009

You remember a while back I said I had a few things to fix. Well, I've been fixing them. First up, my coffee cup jacket (McCalls 5327 now OOP)- you may recall me griping that the pattern was printed with no roll line, so that after I had done my adjustments to the bodice I had no idea where the lapel ended. I made a guess, and my guess was wrong. It just never sat flat. So I went back to the lovely ladies in the Bernina shop, bought a second button, put a new buttonhole 2 inches above the previous button hole and now we have a jacket which sits as the pattern originally intended. Here it is, ready for a life of grime.

Then there was this jacket (a now OOP butterick pattern). Made several years ago actually, and abandonned because of the step-pet. My husband had a cat and when I came into his life I faced some pretty stiff competition on the home front. This jacket, being a cotton velveteen, was definitely the loser and it became a virtual duster for her long hair. The other reason I abandonned it was the shoulder, which I had set using the gathering threads method and there it sat on my shoulders calling "home made" through puckered lips.

Since then of course, I mastered the jiggery pokery method of easing in a sleeve without gathering threads and this jacket got the resetting treatment, and with the sad (for my husband) demise of his cat, this jacket can now come out again to play. (the fantail broach is from Toast and Cupcakes and I love the way it looks like a bird is perched on my shoulder)

Although both patterns are now OOP a quick peruse of the McCalls/Butterick websites shows there are now almost identical jackets on the market so if you like the "wide lapel, no or single button do up" look there's still plenty of choice. Now that I look at these jackets I'm scratching my head as to exactly why I needed two navy wide lapel jackets in the first place. When you sew whatever you fancy, you find you fancy the same thing over and over again. Clearly there's a broken record going on in my head that says "navy jacket, go on you know you want ANOTHER one."

Anyway, I decided to take Miss Pinky's advice as a way of breaking free of the "look" rut and splashed out and bought several pieces of vintage fabric yesterday at Salvage. They are all flowy and drapey, as perscribed, but I wasn't sure of their pedigree. I thought the one on the left was probably rayon sateen, the middle one viscose and the right one silk.

A quick burn test proved I was right. If you don't know how to tell fabric by burning it, here's a quick guide.

Cut a swatch. Burn it. Does is melt? Synthetic. Does it keep burning and smell like burnt paper? Rayon. Does it slowly go out and smell like pot? Silk - it's got a herby, sweet, fragrant burny smell which is actually quite pleasant.

Now I'm not sure about patterns but I have dress lengths so anything goes. Am open to suggestion as this is all just an experiment anyway.

Finally a last piece of thrifting magic for you. The table we got last week off Trademe, where we did not get a bargain, but we did get a nice second-hand table. The coffee cup is a Queen Anne bone china set from the caring ladies in the village Hospice shop. The coffee was from my machine, a gift from my husband for giving birth. If I had known what was involved, I would have asked for a new lounge suite as well.


  1. Oh, it feels so good to get those little details done, doesn't it? I am still looking for a project to test out that non-homemade-puckered-lip-sleeve-easing-in method. Most of my summer stuff has been sleeveless, I suppose. In the first photo, you look so great, so happy, and I see a little Benjy angling for mom to pick him up!

  2. Your blog is educational *and* entertaining! I found you via Antoinette's blog roll. I'm definitely going to have to try the sleeve-setting-method next time!!

  3. Well done on the fixer-uper-er's. The vintage fabrics are cute and look like they may suit the navy jackets as well.

  4. Lol, I've done the jiggery-pokery method for sleeves, but I have to admit it was out of sheer laziness because I couldn't be bothered with gathering threads - and it was kids clothes.
    Trademe can be very tempting can't it? ;)

  5. You mean there's an alternative to the jiggery-pokery method? ;-)

    You get a present for giving birth? I think my husband owes me. BIG TIME!

  6. I've always wanted to know about those burn tests. I echo the comment above about your blog being both witty and informative.

  7. Nice scores from Salvage :-) I went to the vintage textile fair and was very restrained and only bought a bag of buttons, but there was some gorgeous stuff there (at some outrageous prices, too, I might add...)