Tuesday, July 5, 2016

White Denim Jacket w/ Frayed Hems & Swimwear


White Denim Jacket with Frayed Hems

Outfit #1: Thatsalotta white!

Outfit #2: That's more like it!

I decided that, for typical summer weather such as one might expect in NYC, I needed a white denim jacket. And I wanted a white denim jacket with frayed edges.

I became a bit obsessed about it.

I've never owned a classic denim jacket.

I still don't. It is white denim, but I wouldn't call it classic!

I spent a lot of time perusing patterns for denim jackets. I even purchased the Stacie jacket download from Style Arc. But I couldn't quite commit—I printed it out but didn't tape it together. In the end, I decided to draft my own denim jacket starting from Burda 7183, the pattern that I used to make a novelty pleather jacket.

I traced off the original pattern. Using it as my block, I started drawing in the seam lines for a traditional denim jacket, when I suddenly changed my mind and went a different way.

Dithering, as evidenced by crossed out lines

Drafting princess seams from a bust dart is simple and so satisfying! I lengthened and widened the sleeves so I could more easily fold them back. I added welt pockets to the side princess panels. On the back, I created a shaped yoke and princess seams. I turned the sleeve into a 2-piece sleeve and placed the flat felled seam so that it would meet the back princess seam (also flat felled). I added front button bands and a 2-piece collar, with a stand.

I studied classic denim jackets and was surprised to learn that the style typically features a one-piece convertible collar. I prefer a collar with a stand—you can "pop" the collar more easily when it has a stand, particularly when it's well interfaced.

I go through a lot of this canary yellow Bienfang tracing paper. I looked it up and I've been buying 3 rolls most every year since 2011, when I learned about it from Kathryn (@fzxdoc on Stitcher's Guild). I just ordered another 3 rolls!

I finished the pattern changes and made a muslin. I was ready!

I found white stretch denim fabric at Mood. I tore both ends of the fabric as well as both selvedge edges, and then tossed it into the washer and dryer, hoping it would ravel copiously. I was surprised to see that it raveled minimally across the grain—about an eighth of an inch. It raveled much better on the edge parallel to the selvedge, the direction with no lycra. The fabric has two sides: an optic white side and a more "buttery" side. I used both, placing the buttery side at the side princess panels and undersleeves, and the optic white everywhere else.

I would have cut the pattern pieces with the hems along the selvedge-less edge for maximum raveling, but the stretch goes the other direction. Instead, I cut out the pieces on the grain, but I first removed a long strip parallel to the selvedge. I used this strip to make a frayed edge "trim", pulling individual threads until the raveled threads were about 5/8" long. I used this strip to make hem facings, both reinforcing the raw edges of the jacket, and underlaying it to provide a bolder frayed edge.

Just some of the pulled threads

Laying out the sleeve facing; I made the facing quite wide, and the bottom of the sleeve fairly straight, so I can easily fold back the sleeves.

After cutting out part of the jacket, I needed more raw edges to cut out the front pieces, so I ripped the yardage to even up the ends and, once again, sent it through a wash/dry cycle.

I added 5/8" seams so I could flat fell most of the seams. I wanted a neat inside. The few seams that were sewn conventionally are finished with bias binding.

Flat felling the side seam. You can also see one of the welt pockets. I used cotton batiste for the pocket lining.

Hem facing/trim

Placing the hem facing

Finished hem

The inside of the jacket has no raw edges. In fact, it's so neatly finished that I accidentally sewed two buttons to the inside of the button band before noticing my mistake

I had a heck of a time finding buttons for this jacket. On the day before the 4th of July, I took the subway to Stonemountain & Daughter in Berkeley, which has a fine collection of buttons and snaps. This white denim is an optic white and their white buttons were either too boring or too yellow. I didn't see any snaps that spoke to me. In the end, I chose pewter colored metallic buttons that have a handmade look.

Another departure from a classic denim jacket is that I put the buttonholes on the vertical, rather than horizontal. I prefer that look.

I rarely wear such a white fabric and almost never near my face. It will be interesting to see how I like wearing this. I've already bought a Tide stick, as I expect keeping it clean will be a challenge, especially when traveling!

Partially buttoned up

Sleeves folded up - I used a very wide facing

I do like it, but I think I'd like it better if it were black! HA!

Swimwear for a Water Park

It's summer so it must be time for a corporate picnic!

My company rented a nearby theme park, Great America. I had last been to Great America when I was in my 20s—back in the '80s! Since then they've added a water park, Boomerang Bay. DD2 was in Washington D.C. at the time, but I brought DD1 as my guest. She was looking forward to three things: 1) the predicted high of over 90°, 2) the water park, and 3) the free food.

It was only the day before the event that I realized that I needed swimwear! Or at least something I could wear on the water rides. (I didn't plan to actually swim.)

I got home from work that day at 5:30 and I quickly located my small stash of nylon spandex fabrics. I also grabbed two TnT patterns: a tee shirt (an Au Bonheur tee that I've made several times) and leggings (Style Arc's Laura legging). I had a couple fabrics that would work for a top, but not enough yardage of either, so I used both. In 90 minutes, I had a rash guard. In another 60 minutes, I had swim shorts.

It was pretty perfect! It was something of a relief that my outfit wasn't too out of place in the water park. Yes, there were plenty of bikinis, but I also saw more covered up swim wear.

It was a fun day, though the predicted weather didn't come to pass. The high for the day was 77°—this disappointed DD1, but was more my speed. The biggest surprise, for me, was that I quite liked some of those rides! Not the largest thrill rides, mind you but, given my dislike of heights and precipitous drops, I did pretty well. I like white-water rafting in the real world, so theoretically there are some rides I should like.

I purchased this Baggallini bag at Fancy That in Mendocino. It matches my green Minoru and I've been wearing it a lot. It was perfect for the water park though, when we rode the immersive rides, I locked it in a locker.

My Jambu water shoes even matched my outfit!

Filoli Gardens

The clock tower at Filoli Gardens

From the rose garden

I visited Filoli Gardens for the first time in March, 2015, but I'd heard that they had some special summer exhibits, so I decided it was time for another visit.

I went this morning. Today (Tuesday, July 5th) is not a holiday for most people, but it is a day off for me. Filoli can get quite crowded, so going midweek near opening time (10am) is a good idea. I arrived at 10:05 and, for the most part, it was just me, the gardeners, and other volunteers.

It turned out to be a mild, but glorious day, which was a huge improvement from the damp 54° weather and heavy fog at home in San Francisco.

First up, I checked out the gardens. They have a special sculpture exhibit throughout the gardens that include many pieces of art glass. I love art glass! The sculpture exhibit runs from June 4th through October 16th. Here are some of my favorites.

"English Bulldog"

"The house" at Filoli

Next, I went into "the house". This refers to the mansion, for the rest of us mortals! To celebrate the estate's centennial, historic costumes from the last 100 years are on display, sprinkled throughout the rooms. Many are on loan from local museums, or families involved with the estate. The costume exhibit runs from June 7th through September 25th. Here is a sampling:

From the 1980s

From the 1880s

I love this flapper-era metallic coat!

Uniform worn by staff

Just hanging out with the pheasant paintings

The visitor center features a needlework exhibit. In fact, I see that there's a "meet the artist" event featuring the needleworkers this coming Saturday, July 9th! This exhibit runs from June 21st through August 21st. Here are some of my favorite pieces.

I used to do cross stitch, needlepoint, blackwork, and crewel work, but crewel embroidery is my favorite!

The stumpwork, creating the 3D effect of the butterfly tutu, was amazing!

This was my favorite piece of the exhibit. It was hard to photograph, but the texture of the bear's fur was amazing!

I had a lunch in their cafe and also checked out the gift shop. They have a very nice gift shop with clothing, jewelry, purses, and other accessories. They also sell lotions, soaps, gourmet foods, candy, housewares, plants, garden furniture and accessories. It's definitely worth spending some time here!

I bought a (crown-less) travel hat!

For travel, roll it up and secure with a piece of elastic

To wear, unroll and adjust to fit with a velcro closure

Also featured in the gift shop: a whimsical "purse" decorated with faux succulents and handles made from branches, for $215. (This is for decoration only—it does not open.) The grass-lined flip flops are wearable, and are very soft! I tried on a pair. :)

Just a couple more pics from the gardens!

This is interesting. This pic was taken with my Android phone.

This pic was taken with my Canon Digital Rebel, Ti3. I can't decide which I like better, but the Android pic creates more of a "mood".

My 4-day weekend (such luxury!) is over and it was great. Besides lots of sewing, trekking to Stonemountain & Daughter in Berkeley, and visiting Filoli Gardens, I've been watching some programs on Acorn TV. It's similar to Netflix, but features British programming. And, no, it doesn't have the more popular shows like Downton Abbey or the Great British Sewing Bee.

Acorn does have all 18 seasons of Midsomer Murder—season 18 was released on July 4th—and I've been enjoying a documentary series called The Secret Life of Books—season 2 is about to be released. Acorn TV costs $5 a month and you can try one month for free, if you are so inclined.

This will be a very short week, thanks to the holiday weekend. I'm returning to Seattle, and am looking forward to playing a bit before working. I have a Britex project in the works, and plans for simple summer sewing, but we'll see how much I get done before NYC.

Have a great week!