Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Be Like Edna

You know you love her. Edna Mode. The ├╝ber fabulous designer from The Incredibles.
That spunky woman wants to see EVERYTHING.
And she does.
And, finally, I do too.

Kathleen asked to know more about the magnifier I mentioned in my last post.
I was graced with perfect vision- until a few year ago. All of a sudden ingredients, instructions, news papers... everything seemed to conspire against me. I finally surrendered to a pair of reading glasses. That's close to a year ago (I think). I got +1 and +1.25, but it's getting a lot worse. And how do I know that? Because my arms aren't long enough to thread the needle that's how ;) So when it came time to do the beadwork on the Balmain jacket I knew it was time to be like Edna.

I was shopping at Fire Mountain Gems website for pearls and crystals and decided to look for a magnifier while I was at it. I picked this one because it has the three-in-one feature, was lightweight and inexpensive ($8.81). If you click on the link below it will take you directly to the product:

Here's a picture of the magnifier with some more details.

It's truly quite amazing, and Kathleen, I think it will work great for the purpose you stated in your comment. I had left faint marks on the velveteen with a watercolor pencil which I could not find without the magnifier. I don't have to be close either, just about regular distance, so it doesn't cause any strain on the back or neck. I'm sure this could be a variable due to each person's eyesight, but still be workable for most. And since it's so lightweight I can wear it all day long. Which I do. There's always something that needs a closer inspection for this Bubblegum Monk ;)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Back From A Break

Not from sewing, just from the Balmain. When I realized that the Top 10 Challenge over on Pattern Review had changed to include ALL top 10 years, I had to join in the fun :)) As most of you probably have realized by now I'm not a Knit kinda gal and the 2008 Top 10 wasn't much else. I received the OOP Simplicity 4698 last Tuesday and plugged away to meet the deadline; with 40 minutes to spare :)) Needless to say I didn't get to take good pictures but I made it and that's what counts isn't it ;)

Recognize the fabric? It's leftovers from my Bluemarine coat knockoff :))
I had less than 2 yards but made it without compromising the nap.

I also rediscovered why I love BWOF so much: I can cut the pattern without SA, making tissue fitting a breeze. AND I can make my own SA; why the heck do they have that Giant SA at neck and lapel- and the sleeve cap!! My goodness, talk about making things difficult! The closer you are to the seam the easier it is to be accurate.

I made a couple of changes to the pattern:
Bound buttonholes
Welt pockets (the pocket bags are very shallow due to the jacket length but they'll hold some change, gum, kleenex etc)
Hidden pocket in lining with piping (I used Kenneth King's method, and this one is deep enough to hold my iPhone plus)
I also cut a hem facing. The original hem is only 1 1/2" which includes SA, and since I was in a hurry I forgot to make adjustments before I cut. I just don't like narrow hems, it's my opinion it makes the garment less "classy".
I lined the entire jacket as well.

I will, eventually, post a picture of me wearing it. It fits good and is just what I needed; a simple black jacket to throw on over a tee and jeans. It's really been busy around here; my father arrived Saturday from Norway, and the show is in the the midst of negotiations for a major move-over within the next month. If all goes well I'll have to fly east next spring...

And what have we here?...

My new best friend that's who :) Bought at FireMountainGems. I got this magnifier for the Balmain project and I tell you; it's more or less permanently attached to my head at this point. Working with any kind of details can strain the best set of eyes and mine are not the best anymore that's for sure. And working with black is truly tiresome so these babies has proven to be my savior. DH calls me his little jeweler; I greet people at the door forgetting they're on top of my head...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

It's Time

For trim, that is. I cut the jacket after thread tracing all seams, cut and shaped the front interfacings, then basted it all together. The fit is good, so I took off the right front, made bound buttonholes and machine basted the trim lines. It looks real messy but that's just chalk marks which rubs off easily. I'll do the crosses first, then the crystals/pearls, and the center twisted pearls last.
I followed the directions in Classic Tailoring Techniques, by Cabrera/Meyers to make the front canvas and shoulder reinforcement.