Finally!

I got to sew today.  It’s been more than a month and I was almost ready to tear up.  Strange because I only rediscovered sewing a couple of years ago, out of frustration.  I thought I’d finally, finally try customizing something to my own measurements, just winging it by adding things here and there, not even researching it like I would normally do before trying anything new, and when I tried on the dress I was shocked at how good it felt.  Just right.  And strangely, yet logically, because it felt right, it looked right.

I got to work on my jacket and of course, made a mistake.  Usually it’s not big deal when I do, just pick it out and redo, except with a waterproof jacket, you’re then leaving holes that can leak rain.

Here’s what the stitching looks like on this fabric:

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This fabric actually handles very nicely.  I tried hard to make a mess of it with a sample piece, which also shows the seam sealing tape.  I haphazardly sewed through multiple layers of the fabric, which I knew I’d have to do in the jacket (less haphazardly), and it worked fine.  The black edge is actually the selvage edge of the fabric.

DSCN0032Here’s a photo of one side’s pocket done with seam sealing tape around the outer edge.

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A lot of the things that were recommended for sewing waterproof fabric I’m finding to be optional, due to my laziness.  First, the teflon presser foot, which I forgot about while testing.  Second, the non-stick pressing cloth.  I have not had any of the seam sealing tape stick to my iron.  Maybe if I ironed the wrong side of it some residue might get on the iron, but so far, so good.  I am using a Schmetz number 8 Microtex needle with regular polyester thread.  I realize I haven’t gotten to the hard part of the jacket–the hood, facing and zipper are sewn in one knock down, drag out scary seam, so this may change.

The only issue I’m having right now is with the bobbin tangling a bit.  I always hold the threads while starting a seam so I’m not sure what’s causing it.  Oh, I also wanted to show off my new camera‘s macro setting, which I’m loving.

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I Did It: Sewing On The Road

 

It took a lot of arranging and clearing off, but I did spend a few hours sewing in our trailer.  I even got to test out the Ultrex waterproof fabric and the iron seam sealing tape, which worked out great.  I probably won’t be able to sew again until next week.Sewing In Trailer

Such Fear! For What?

I laid out the pattern and cut the jacket out.  I can’t believe I avoided doing this for days, I was so fearful.  I ended up making 2 mistakes right off the bat!  But, because I’d ordered extra fabric, and could use one mistake to cut out some smaller pieces, I think all will be well.

Jacket Layout

The Sleeve Adjustments

This photo shows the lengthening of the sleeves I had to do.  I’m using the Clover Wonder Clips as well as only using pins in the seam allowances so I don’t pierce the waterproof layers.  I will review the clips soon.

I’m also on the road right now, and will be until October.  All my sewing stuff is with me.  I cut out 6 or 7 patterns before leaving, because cutting on the road seemed like it would be hard to do.  They’re all in separate plastic bags with their respective pattern instructions, notions and thread.

Since we only have one small table in our trailer on which to dine, compute and sew, nothing has happened yet.  It’s all in my mind.  The first thing I need to do is try sewing on the Ultrex fabric and ironing on the seam sealing tape as a test.  Just writing that puts a tiny knot my belly.

Muslins

I made a muslin of the jacket again, even though I made a “wearable” muslin already.  I wanted to work on the sleeve placement, so I rotated it forwards and backwards, with no definitive results.

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Muslin Sleeve Craziness

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Finally I just re-sewed one side a size smaller, and it’s a little better.  It still feels torqued, but I think I can live with it, and I have to get going on this so I can have it done before our fall trip!

 

Gulp, I Did It

SeattleFabricsItemized

I did it.  I ordered all the fabric and most of the notional items for my future waterproof parka.  The total, not including $21 in shipping:

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Yeah, I could buy a waterproof jacket for that much, right?  Not so fast.  Just to make sure I couldn’t get what I wanted in RTW, I saw that Land’s End had this one:

But it’s not in stock in my size in a color I’d want, and the last few times I’ve tried a Land’s End jacket the sleeves were too small.  The fact that it’s almost sold out tells me that this is an item in demand for plus sizes.  I could not find one like it for the winter months.  Yes, there are raincoats, but nothing “technical”, meaning truly waterproof and breathable.

I’m going to stay pretty close to my last jacket, modifying the hood to cover more of my neck, and maybe adding a drawstring waist.