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Oct 22, 2014

Digging Out the Faux Python

When I first started sewing five years ago, I used to shop at two bargain-basement fabric stores on 35th St.  One is gone for good and the other seems to have changed hands: I haven't been by in a long time.

Both stores would get bolt ends of some terrific fabrics and they rarely charged more than a few dollars per yard for them.  This is where I found the fabric for this suit, among other early projects.

I also found four yards of python print vinyl, which has been sitting in my sewing stash ever since.  Well, I've decided to use some of it for my 1930's jacket muslin, which, I am hoping, will turn out to be wearable.  The fabric is backed with a black synthetic knit.

To line the jacket (which may turn out to be a fully reversible if I can figure out the correct sewing sequence) I'll be using some of that cotton Ralph Lauren floral bedding I found at the Salvation Army last year -- or was it the year before that?

I have never worked with vinyl before.  I sewed some samples and realized immediately that I was going to have to address the sticky nature of the vinyl.  It would not feed smoothly under my presser foot.  I knew I could purchase a teflon foot, but the foot might take a week to arrive.  So I dug around the internet and found a great tip: just stick a piece of Scotch tape onto the underside of the foot.  It worked like a charm!

As of today, I have most of my pieces cut and I've started putting the major components together.

In a certain light, the vinyl looks very plasticky, but overall I'd say this is good quality for what it is.  It has a lovely texture too -- like real scales.

I bought a black separating zipper today at Sil Thread, but the machine they use to shorten zippers was out of order, so they gave me some zipper stops I could add, with pliers, where I need them.  (I'll have to figure out how to do that.)  Otherwise, I can simply fold the extra zipper length into the body of the garment and, once the seam is stitched, trim the extra off, if that makes sense.  I did this with my blue parka and you'd be none the wiser looking at it.

Actually, if I want the jacket to be reversible, I'll need different zipper pulls too.   Maybe I won't make it reversible!

Meanwhile, MPB reader Gail generously sent me a yard of poly knit ribbing she uses at work.  I'll cut this for my cuffs, collar, and waistband.  It's very sturdy stuff!

And that's it! I'm looking forward to seeing how this turns out; please cross your fingers.

Have a great day, everybody!

Oct 21, 2014

Reversible Garments -- YEA or NAY?

Friends, what are your thoughts about reversible garments?  Do you own any?  Have you ever made any -- and if so, was it worth the trouble?

Oct 18, 2014

This 'n That + Cape Fear

Much to cover so let's get started!

Oct 14, 2014

Prepping Simplicity 1820, a 30's Jacket Pattern

I still have outerwear on the brain as you can see.

Oct 10, 2014

Good-bye, Elna Lotus + How Did I Not Know About Botani Trimmings?

Friends, I sold another sewing machine this afternoon: my Elna Lotus.

Oct 9, 2014

In Search Of....High Quality Rib Knit Waistbanding

Above is a photo of an Italian Valstarino men's jacket (manufactured by the Milanese company Valstar).

Oct 6, 2014

Peter Models the Op-Art Anorak!

Readers, it's here, ahead of schedule and ready for its close-up!  (That's Versace up top, btw, not me.)

To see me model my newly completed black and white op-art anorak, just click here.

Oct 4, 2014

Oct 2, 2014

Anorak Muslin + Another Sewing Machine Sold!

Yesterday I made a muslin of my anorak.

Sep 30, 2014

Two sewing machines gone, two more heading out.

This morning as I sipped my coffee and glanced at the sewing table in the corner of my kitchen, I had an epiphany: 

Sep 28, 2014

The Secret Dressing Room Selfies!

Readers, I know it's wrong -- or is it wrong?

Sep 25, 2014

"And a Child Shall Lead Them" + Rita Moreno!

Friends, if you really want to make a six-year-old's day, let her walk your chihuahua.

Sep 24, 2014

Post-Parka Depression + So You Want To Sew a Men's Parka...

OK, so actually, I'm not experiencing post-parka depression but the title sounded intriguing.

If truth be told, however, I have been in a mild funk for more than a month now, and the parka project helped lift me out of it.  The challenge now is to stay out of it.  Sewing helps.

Sep 23, 2014

Peter Models the Completed Mountain Parka!

Friends, today is the first day of fall (Happy fall!) and my parka is finished.

You can see me model it here.
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