After my recent break-up with the lilac cotton pique for Moderne, I wanted another crack at the pattern with more suitable fabric. I already altered the pattern and put it together well enough to know I like the cut, so why waste the pattern work? Lately, I find myself working on ridiculously complex projects to the exclusion of simpler sewing. I might need to take my time on this Moderne, fitting it between lighter projects.
My tropical weight wool arrived last week. The small person delighted in burrowing into its folds. Check out the drape. It’s soft against my skin, no itch. I never worked with tropical weight wool and despite the name, I feared it might be too heavy to wear in this climate.
Now I have no doubt it will be light enough for year-round wear. It’s gently slubbed and faintly luminous- like silk but not so flashy. It’s also surprisingly wide, I may be able to eke out a little waistcoat or even a skirt in addition to the dress. I crammed the wool into my front-loader, dumped in a cup of vinegar and washed on the wool setting. Dried on the line and hey presto, beautifully pre-washed fabric with no noticeable change to texture or width. I know I should have tried a sample before washing the whole shebang, but I have experience with my machine’s wool setting. I will not hand-wash anything but hand-knitted items.
Tonight I needed a break from WW2 jackets. Seriously. So I played with my new fabric. Here’s a 22mm self-covered button. It’s a little blah on the gray.
I like the Chanel-style buttons in Claire Shaeffer’s book and after seeing Patty’s gorgeous coat with those delicious buttons, I wanted to try it out. This is with the silk (shiny shiny silk!). I suppose it’s a good thing I went through an outrageous black phase in my sewing. I have a PILE of useful black fabric scraps (not to mention a wardrobe full of black separates, which mix so easily with everything).
The linen is subtler and the texture pleases me, so I’ll use linen for the button rims and buttonholes.
Zero problems with the buttonhole, I like the effect. I wonder if I should make smaller cuff buttons, or just use plain black linen buttons on the cuff? These buttons on the cuff would provide a real “wow” factor when I reach out my hand, but I’m not sure I want to make five for the body plus four more for the cuffs.
I tried every top-stitch on my machine with two different weight threads, then stitched my favorites on a curve to gauge the result. The five from the furthest right were with a regular weight poly-cotton; the other straight lines were with a slightly heavier mercerized cotton top-stitch thread. I think I like the lighter weight thread. The french knot lines charm me, but the Husband said they remind him of Frankenstein. They may be too heavy, and don’t look so great on a curve. I’ll probably use the plain saddle stitch (second from the right). As always, input is appreciated.
In the interests of science, I plan to throw the whole sample into my next load of darks and see what happens. Will the buttonhole ravel? Will the stitching warp? How will the Armo-weft interfacing behave with the fabric when washed? I don’t know, but I figure if I torture this piece of fabric to the fullest extent of my imagination, I know how I can handle the finished garment. Maybe I’ll spill coffee and wine on it and see what happens.
Next time: WW2 Jacket the Second: Man Version. It will all about how I discovered men’s bodies are shaped differently to women’s (no really!), what I realized I did wrong on the first jacket, and why cutting napped fabric when you need a nap yourself is a terrible idea.