Saturday, May 26, 2012
Thursday, May 24, 2012
His mother and I discussed various possibilities, and she suggested a vest. He has outgrown the little tuxedo jacket that she got him a few years ago, and the kid does have occasions to dress up. Through his parents, our Gaelic society, and his school he is surrounded with musicians, actors, and performance production professionals. The idea for this dress-up vest was what inspired me to take on my previous project, the Boy's Tweed Vest. I made that one first since tweed is a little more forgiving and I wanted the practice.
Garment Designer 2.5 to draft the pattern. It's an awesome piece of software, I must note! To use it you do have to already be familiar with garment construction, since all you get is a pattern and you have to figure out how to put it together yourself. I decided to have notched lapels and welt pockets in contrasting black silk. The lining is simple black Kona cotton.
When I went to start cutting the pieces out and took the silk out of the shopping bag my jaw hit the floor. It was at least four yards of 60" wide medium weight dupioni. Absolutely gorgeous. At least $100 worth of fabric. Thanks, Eileen!
The vest came together smoothly and easily in one long evening, I'm pleased to say. He looks like a movie star in it too.
So, now that I've made lapels, lined a shell, and made welt pockets, there's only one construction element in a man's suit jacket that i haven't made - a two-piece sleeve. I'm really looking forward to the first time I make a three-piece suit, dress shirt, and tie for myself.
Then, and only then, a tailor will I be.
Friday, May 18, 2012
My co-worker that commissioned the Collared Shawl recently brought me back the leftover wool, since she didn't think she would have any other use for it. It was sitting peacefully in my stash until I got the idea of making a vest for my godson.
I used Garment Designer 2.5 to generate the pattern, and made a couple muslins just to be sure. I had some left over silk from another project, so I used that for a lining. I figure that if the shell is going to make it dry-clean only, why line it with polyester?
The construction went fairly smoothly. I used the same pattern pieces for the fashion fabric and the lining, but I remembered to trim the lining pieces where they were to be seamed with the shell so that the shell edge would be pulled over making the lining invisible from the outside.
I'm still a fairly new serger user, and I have to admit that going around sharp corners is still a bit of a Hail Mary affair. I cut one of the corners around the neckline a little wide, and after I turned the vest and lining, pressed and was topstitching, I noticed that I had actually run off the edge a tiny bit at one point. Undaunted, I got out my needle and thread and did some hand overcast stitching to disguise the problem and bind the raw edge that was peeking out. After all, he's only going to be wearing this vest for a year at most before it's too small for him.
I stopped by his parents' house this evening to give it to him. You would have thought I had handed him a magic carpet, he was so excited. This business of being the Gay Uncle (Guncle) is turning out to be pretty fabulous.