My me-made misadventures
I have a confession to make: I am a walking me-made-misadventure. A couple times a year, I have grand plans to start making clothes. I buy patterns. I buy fabric. I get out my trusty scissors and pins, all gung-ho. Then somewhere along the way I run into a problem. I get frustrated. I decide I hate how amateur the garment looks. And then I walk away in a snit.
Garment Making: 1. Amanda: 0.
So, when Krystina @khquilts, Rachel @wren.collective, and I decided to do this #quilterstackleclothes (with the help of Art Gallery Fabric, because they actually know a thing or two about garment fabrics!) it was more than just a simple blog-hop for me: this was a personal challenge to myself to see a garment the whole way through.
To give myself a fighting chance, I picked a pattern that I have actually started twice before. You read that right. I have attempted to make the Wiksten Haori two times. The first attempt is hanging in my closet, almost finished except for the cuffs. Why did I give up? I hated the drape of the fabrics I picked, which killed me, because they’re the coolest fabrics ever. The second is sitting in a corner of my quilting space in two pieces: the collar and the body. Why did I give this one up? I thought it’d be cool to add some weight to the bottom hem and the collar by doing some big stitch quilting. I’ve got about…three inches quilted (too many projects, not enough time).
Needless to say, my mantra for this Wiksten Haori is “third time’s the charm.” And I am determined to finish it…because, well, I kinda have to, right?!?
To give myself a fighting chance, I asked the experts over at AGF what fabrics would actually work for the jacket. The pattern calls for a “medium weight woven fabric with good drape” for the outer fabric, and upon being reassured that denim would work well, I made a beeline for AGF’s Denim Studio. And, as soon as I saw the Solid Smooth Denim in Cool Foliage, I fell in love (the color reminds me of misty mornings in the mountains!). For the lining, the pattern calls for "light to medium weight woven fabric with good drape." In addition to wanting a fabric that satisfied those criteria, I wanted something smooth and flowy to glide over whatever teeshirt/button-down-shirt/dress I would be layering under my jacket. AGF pointed me in the direction of their rayons (no serger needed!) and I found the perfect pop of color and print with Magic Fauna Mystique (the green leaves echo the greens of the denim just perfectly).
Which brings me to today: my fabrics have been picked, I’ve got them in the washing machine, and my trusty pattern has been dusted off. The plan is to make the short version of the jacket without tweaking the pattern’s fit. Typically, I know I need to add a couple inches in length somewhere, but for the sake of efficiency, I’m treating my original unfinished version as my muslin (which, for the record, was the mid length – turns out, I actually like the short version better as it looks fresh and, dare I say, cool on me!).
I am going to make a couple of tweaks to the pattern as I don’t really wear patterns often (outside of summer dresses). I’m going to swap the collar pieces around so that the under collar is made of the lining fabric and the upper collar is the denim. Then I’m going to piece the lining sleeve so that the upper two-thirds are the lining and the end third is in the denim; this’ll make it so that when I cuff the sleeve (and I’ll always cuff the sleeve) the denim is facing out. I did think about having the whole inner sleeve in the denim to make things more efficient, but because I know I’m always going to layer this, I need to smoothness of the rayon in the upper arm and shoulder so that the jacket doesn’t get “stuck” on my tee-shirts/dresses/button-downs.
And that’s the plan. But before I start cutting into my fabric, I’m going to pinky-swear-promise that no matter how much of a disaster this turns into, or how frustrated I get, I am going to finish this jacket. Third time’s the charm!
Now, who’s with me???