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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Clean and Modest


Jalie 2682 has become one of my favorite patterns. I love the sleeveless version because it has long slimming lines and does not show bra straps. Shaping is built in to the seams, so the top can have some ease around the waist and still be flattering. It also does not show large bare expanses of chest. The first top shown is made with cotton/lycra.
The top part of the front is actually a double layer of fabric. Without the zipper, it is folded over. With the zipper, it is cut in two pieces each side, and each side sandwiches the zipper. I had some reservations about the double layer with the thicker fabrics, but it actually works out well, creating a smoother layer over the bust.




In the light turquoise version, also a cotton/lycra, I added strips of leopard-print velour as trim.



I made two long-sleeved versions. One is with a print of rayon knit, which was quite stretchy. This top is so comfortable it almost feels like wearing nothing at all.


The latest one I just finished is made with Eco-wool (machine-washable) from fabricline.com. I am planning to use this as a winter running top. The fabric is not as stretchy as the rayon, of course, so I added some ease to the waist, tapering out from the underarms. However, I just discovered by looking at these photos, I should have added the ease to the underarm/bust area as well... It doesn't feel tight, though a little pull line can make it look a bit less than perfect. This version has a zipper, essential for running. I think I'll like this for just hanging out in.
Next time I'll make it in fleece!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Burnoose

Welcome to my Musical Sewing Room! I have been meaning to begin my sewing blog for a long time! The problem was trying to decide what project to start with. I think you will really like this one. 


A friend who is involved in SCA had a request for a cloak. 
I looked at two patterns from Folkwear and decided on the simpler one, the Moroccan Burnoose, though I bought both cloak patterns. Black wool seemed to be the obvious choice for the outer material. The cloak has so much expanse of fabric that the color needs to be very conservative, although I read that black dye was actually very expensive in medieval times. This is a very special, skin-friendly wool boucle from fashionfabrics.com.
I lined it with rainwear fabric I had bought a few years ago from a Seattle Fabrics booth at the sewing expo in Puyallup. You guessed it--the cloak is reversible. The binding is black polyester braid. I bound the hems separately, as I sort of expected the wool layer to "grow" as it is worn, while the lining won't budge.
The clasp is from grannd.com. The cloak is sewn closed by using a piece of the binding as reinforcement, a very good design choice by the patternmakers. Before even starting this project I fussed over what to do about the closure, which has to take the stress of the whole weight of the cloak. In the movie, 300,  the cloak wearers had a leather strap to keep the cloak from riding up and strangling them in their fighting frenzy. But I don't think my friend is going to be fighting in this cloak so this type of closure is okay. The beautiful clasp is only there as decoration, so I pinched the hook closed.




Sewing is power!