New Jacket, I want to wear this now

In anticipation for spring, (we’ve got a ways to go) I decided to work on a lighter 18th century jacket to wear at Heritage events in warmer weather. My plan is to make two cotton petticoats (skirts), a jacket, and quilted jumps (waistcoat) as a starter wardrobe to wear this year.

I decided to put the patterns that I received for Christmas to use. I made the View A with the ruffles in the back from a striped cotton/linen. It was very easy to make.

1750s Jacket patterns

1750s Jacket patterns

The pattern instructions say to make a separate lining but I decided to try out the period technique that has the lining and fashion fabric sewn together in one step. It was super fast and easy to do.

I really like the winged cuffs and ruffles on this jacket

I really like the winged cuffs and ruffles on this jacket

Front view of the spring jacket.

Front view of the spring jacket.

I used the one-step lining technique with French seams at the sides. Burgundy cotton sheets soon to be my new petticoat

I used the one-step lining technique with French seams at the sides. Burgundy cotton sheets soon to be my new petticoat

I wonder why modern patterns don’t use the one-step lining technique. Perhaps because one would have to disassemble the entire jacket to make alterations. I figured I could solve this issue by doing French seams on the sides that way I could make common side alterations easily.

I liked this style so much that I went and found a modern version of it.
Vogue 1132 Here I come!

I want this jacket now. Vogue 1132

I want this jacket now. Vogue 1132

Sewing again

The sewing bug has taken hold. Joann’s had a $1 Simplicity pattern sale and well you know the rest.

I told mom that I would make her an outfit. She ended up picking out Simplicity 2372 for the outfit she wanted. We bought some stretch denim that was on clearance for $4 dollars a yard. Woohoo! It has a cool surface design to it. The jacket and pants would be made from denim that way she can mix and match with anything in her wardrobe. We chose a rayon dupioni silk  look-alike for the blouse. I ended up using the reverse side because it looked shiny and provided a better contrast to the denim.

After 4 days on and off the outfit was done. Fitting the pants gave me the blues at first. Mom is barely 5ft tall and has a round belly but skinny legs. Sandra Betzina’s book Fast Fit gave me the answer. Cut a smaller size then add to the waist. Choosing a size based on the waist measurement would have made the pants 6 sizes too big! I have gotten pretty good at making waist alterations because I have needed to do this to make every pattern fit myself. Easy, peasy.

I told mom she was an apple shape. She laughed and told me I was an apple too. No, no mom I’m 5’4 that makes me a pear darling:-)

Simplicity 2372

Simplicity 2372

I finally get to use those Made by labels purchase almost 13 years ago

I finally get to use those Made by labels purchased almost 13 years ago

She liked the shiny reverse side of the fabric because it looked dressier

She liked the shiny reverse side of the fabric because it looked dressier

I think she likes this outfit

I think she likes this outfit

The back of the jacket has a pleat at the top so the jacket as a slight flare in the back

The back of the jacket has a pleat at the top so the jacket as a slight flare in the back

All this sewing reminds me of a certain influential  lady in my life named grandma Arelia Hodges who made clothes that her family kept for decades all because they had her special labels in them and were made with love. Grandma look what your Sweet Pea made!

Vest that grandma Arelia made has her labels in it.

Vest that grandma Arelia made has her label in it.

Grandma's highly sought clothing had her labels in them

Grandma’s highly sought clothing had her labels in them

The Crazy Pants

Okay, Instead of the Jacket I made the pants from the Simplicity 4723 wardrobe. What an adventure.

The pattern that was supposed to fit me based upon my hip measurement was way off. When compared to a pair of pants from Dressbarn that fit, there was a 5 inch difference in the back pattern piece. The front piece was close with only a 1/2 inch adjustment needed

difference between black Dressbarn pants and the pattern

difference between black Dressbarn pants and the pattern

large adjustment made to the back pattern. 5 inches! between the center back and inseam

large adjustment made to the back pattern. 5 inches! between the center back and inseam

I made the corrections to the tissue pattern and test fit them in muslin. They fit! Since the pant style is pretty basic I can use it as a sloper to make other styles.

These pants are crazy because they’re made from paisley calico fabric. I don’t think I’ve ever owned a pair of printed pants before. They are lined with the muslin fabric that I used for the test fit to add some weight to the thin paisley fabric.

The two layers were sewn as one piece using enclosed French seams with exception to the side seam which are pressed open. I like how neat the pants look inside.

inside of the crazy pants lined in muslin fabric

inside of the crazy pants lined in muslin fabric

finished crazy pants

finished crazy pants

They are comfortable to wear, so the pattern will definitely be used again. Perhaps in denim. The next pair will have a fly zipper in the front, 1 pocket on the front right (I never use my left hand pockets so why waste the time making one?) and patch pockets in the back. 2 inches will be added to the length. Even though I’m only 5’4 this pattern seems short on me.

relaxing in my crazy pants

relaxing in my crazy pants

I’m sure these pants won’t get me a “best dressed” award but I have to say, I love my crazy pants.

And the award for most used bag goes to…

I love drawstring back packs. Of all the types of bags I use this is the one I grab the most. I use them when I go to the farmers market, for a walk, to visit a friend or family, to the library, or to a festival. This is my fuss free go-to bag.

I have gotten like 6 of them free from different fundraiser events. Company’s give them out.

Now my bags are falling apart from so much use so why not make more? First I wanted to make some for family. It was Christmas time after all. I bought 1/2 yard pieces of cloth in fabric that I thought everyone would like. The finished bags were filled with goodies and given out for Christmas. They were a hit.

fabric for drawstring bags

fabric for drawstring bags

finished drawstring backpacks

finished drawstring backpacks

Now I need to work on a new bag for me.

The Dust is Off

Back in the early 2000’s I was obsessed with the idea of sewing my own clothing. I worked really hard at it in my college days, scraping together every penny I had to buy patterns, machines, gadgets, fabric and even go to the American Sewing Expo. I made a few things but never really got good enough to make my own clothes.

After college I pretty much packed everything away and moved on to other things.

Having that quick win with making the 18th century outfit really did something for me. I am inspired to sew again. The dust is off my sewing gear!

My goal is to not go out and buy more fabric but to use the stuff I have for now.

So first on the cutting board was a full size cotton sateen sheet set (doesn’t fit my bed anymore) and some paisley fabric probably meant for home décor but oh well. I like it.

old sateen bed sheets and paisley fabric

old sateen bed sheets and paisley fabric

simple 1 piece shirt out of old cotton sateen sheet

simple 1 piece shirt out of old cotton sateen sheet

My first project was simple. I drafted and sewed a 1 piece shirt. The neckline, sleeves and hemline are hand finished as I did with the 18th century outfit. I love the look of hand stiches. Even the simplest items become precious.

Meanwhile I began to analyze my current wardrobe and what I’ve worn over the last 10 years. Literally everything was made in another country mostly China. Very cookie cutter. All but about 3 garments were made of natural fibers.

Pants: all straight leg in black, grey, tan or blue jean                                 Shirts: princess cut button downs, basic tunics, crew neck tees, shells and sweaters, a few wrap shirts and peasant tops.

So simple. I could make the same clothing and personalize it. Couldn’t I?

I read the book Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth Cline. It made me consider for the first time how it is possible to have the clothing that we wear at low prices. Sewing clothing takes time and skill make. In the mainstream we have devalued it to the point of a low cost disposable commodity.

It would be easier to make a strong case for practicing traditional textile techniques if I wore handmade clothes. Plus it’s fun and rewarding.

Lutterloh pattern

Lutterloh pattern

Next project was a Lutterloh shirt (pattern system that uses your measurements to enlarge quarter sized patterns using dots that must be connected). I chose a simple wrap shirt with shoulder darts.

Wrap shirt pattern drafted from Lutterloh

Wrap shirt pattern drafted from Lutterloh

Next I moved on to the Simplicity 4273 wardrobe.

Simplicity 4273

Simplicity 4273

So far skirt and shell turned out okay. Pattern alterations were needed for the waist because well, I’m shaped like a pear, darnit.

Cutting out paisley shell

Cutting out paisley shell

finished paisley shell from Simplicity 4273

finished paisley shell from Simplicity 4273

I think I have an outfit. Luttlerloh top with Simplicity skirt

I think I have an outfit. Luttlerloh top with Simplicity skirt

handmade clothes in my closet, Yeah!

handmade clothes in my closet, Yeah!

So far so good. I’ll try the jacket next. As a wise little train once said, “I think can, I think I can.”