Sunday, July 19, 2009

Jane: Sewing Project

I haven't done much sewing recently, but a project beckoned this weekend.

It began with these exotic brocade trousers that Bruce bought me for my birthday.

I was looking forward to wearing them at an upcoming TKD test (black belts dress up to judge), but they were, um, well, they only fit if I stood up and didn't move . . . TOO TIGHT!

There was no way these were going to Goodwill, so I looked around for a way to use the fabric somehow. When I found a pattern for a fitted vest, I decided that's what I'd do with them: make them over into a vest.

It was scary making the first cut, as usual. But I've made vests before.

I made only two minor alterations to the pattern, a record for me (I usually make many alterations, often combining two patterns to get the look I want when I construct a garment). I decided against using a lining because the reverse side of brocade is so beautiful--I wanted it to be seen when I take off the vest. Also, I used brocade for the entire vest, including the back--the pattern called for using lining fabric for the back.

Brocade is very nice fabric to sew. It's slippery, so you have to use a lot of pins, but I do that anyway. It's also nice and tightly woven, so it doesn't stretch.
Pretty awesome pattern in the fabric, isn't it? The flash on the camera makes it seem shinier than it is--it actually only has a soft sheen to it. It does shed a lot, but I decided to use fray-check instead of overcasting the seam allowances--so I just fray-checked all the pieces before I started sewing. This worked nicely. No little bits of thread all over me!

The pants had knot and loop closures as decorations on the flared legs; I took them off and used them as closures on the vest.

The project didn't take much time--I cut it out last night, and finished it this afternoon (taking a break to go to a brass choir concert at 2 p.m.!) It came out beautifully! I wore it the rest of the day--I'm wearing it now!
I can't wait until our next TKD test to wear it again--with black slacks and a black turtleneck and my yin-yang necklace . . .

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