If you click here, you can see all the completed SWAPs from the summer SWAP contest at Sewing Pattern Review.
This is a useful site for seamstresses. People review sewing patterns there and tell about the problems they encountered and how they dealt with them. We probably need something like that for knitting.
We are very busy at the store, and I am personally very busy with the work I do outside the store, and this is how August normally is, so I won’t complain. Our competitor went ahead and opened, even though he has no workers and his store is all in boxes. I think he had to. Not to do so would be like having a toy store and opening the day after Christmas. I am not gloating out loud, though I appreciate your kind reassurances about my having done so already.
I started the back of Ivy last night, and cut out another piece of my SWAP, while watching What Not to Wear and Monk and Psych. I don’t get home early enough to watch the preceding shows, but I happen to know that they are Seinfeld, Scrubs, and The Daily Show, all of which I like. This means that, were I at home early enough on Friday evenings, I could contentedly watch six TV programs in a row, making up something like five hours in front of a TV set. I don’t think this has been true for me since Saturday morning cartoons when I was a child.
I probably wasn’t ever allowed to watch cartoons for five hours, but I remember Saturday morning cartoons as going on approximately forever.
I am not good at TV, though. I think it likely that, now that I have learned what time these programs are on, and what channels they appear on, the schedule will change and I will be incapable of finding them again. #1 son was watching with me, and said that I was just like Adrian Monk with technology. He exaggerates, I think.
I also am not good at sitting still for long periods. I like to have movie marathons when my daughters come to visit, because we talk all the way through them, and I sew and knit as well, but in general, it is an effort for me to watch a whole movie at one time. I get up and do things and miss the best parts.
But I am thinking that I could cut out all the pieces for the SWAP on Friday evenings while watching TV. Then I could do the machine sewing on Sunday afternoons, and the handwork in bits and pieces in the evenings after work, and thus get everything sewn.
Some of the participants in the summer SWAP contest made way more than 11 pieces, and I took comfort from that. Of course, they are better seamstresses than I, but I am better than I was last year. The reason I found it comforting is that I am still dithering over the jacket question. I made my storyboard with a second jacket taking the place of the sixth top.
This is the jacket in question. I had intended to make it out of the mushroom wool gabardine, but had second thoughts. This jacket is very stylish for this fall, but it may be too trendy to have staying power. It also seems to be designed to be worn closed, and I rarely leave my jackets closed even if I start out that way. On What Not to Wear last night, the hosts persuaded a woman who had always dressed in fleece that she could indeed dress in jackets if she practiced. I have worn jackets enough to be at ease in them, but I always unbutton them at some point. Also, I am not very good at making jackets. I have made two, and both gave me lots of trouble. So, with all this in my mind, I cut this jacket from a lovely spruce green wool from the clearance table, and left the gorgeous mushroom gabardine alone.
I am thinking I might make this jacket out of it. This jacket has raglan sleeves, so there is no setting-in required, it has the asymmetrical wrap closure that is in style this year, and no buttonholes. It seems likely that I would have success with this pattern, and that I could wear it for more years than the other one.
With this jacket, I would probably have enough of the gabardine to make the skirt as well, so I would have another suit. Since I am doing all my workshops here instead of taking them around the way I used to, I end up having the same people in them over and over. Naturally, the most important consequence of this is that I have to come up with new stories all the time, but it does also mean that I don’t want to have just the one workshop-giving suit.
However, there is also this beautiful thing from Vogue. Vogue calls this pattern “advanced,” and I tend to consider their “Very Easy” patterns advanced, so I may have no chance of success with it, but you know I like a challenge. And the gabardine would be so good for all these details. The McCalls wrap jacket might look better in something heavier that would have more substance and shape of its own.
The Ann Klein jacket might also be difficult enough that I would never get around to cutting it. At the very least, I would have to make a muslin first.
I do own a couple of lengths of other fabrics that could make nice jackets, but they are in a glen plaid and a houndstooth check, neither of which would work for this jacket. I could certainly just make the muslin out of muslin, but doing so would lengthen the sewing time considerably without giving me any more FOs.
And yet, this is another trendy jacket. If I wait and make it next year, will it be as clearly last year’s jacket as a trumpet skirt with lace godets would now be obviously last year’s skirt?
This jacket is pretty much exactly what I like in a jacket, with a shawl collar and a traditional shape, and it would obviously require tailoring skills. More, perhaps, than the Ann Klein Vogue jacket, which might just require sewing and architecture.
I have a berry and gray wool fabric that I bought to make this jacket from last year. I had watched it go from $30 a yard down to a manageable price and then snapped some up.
I have never yet gotten the courage to cut it for this jacket. I would have to match the pattern at the seams, after all.
I am determined that I will do so this year. I have gotten better at set-in sleeves and at buttonholes. I have learned how to fit things. I think that perhaps, in the month of October when things are usually relatively calm in my life, I could make this.
But perhaps that is enough courage to expect of myself for one SWAP. On the other hand, seeing the completed SWAPs with extra pieces allows me to contemplate adding a couple more jackets to mine. Since I have not sewed anything at all yet, I can contemplate such things. We’ll see what really happens.