Sep 24, 2010
Hello, friends! Sleep well? Much to cover so let's get started.
I bought two more yards of the cranberry corduroy. I swung by Sil Thread -- not a very user-friendly environment, as almost nothing has a price tag on it -- and picked up the cotton topstitching version of my matching cranberry thread. I started practicing with topstitching on the fabric -- I'm nearly sure I'll be topstitching the lapels though maybe not. Anyway, no problems there; it did not damage the short nap.
BTW, I think I'm going to be cutting everything so the nap brushes down from the top which, based on my reading, seems to be the more popular choice, though some velvets are cut nap-up so they catch the light in a more attractive way.
Next, I went to C&C Button on 38th St. (Mainely Dad introduced me to this place) and picked up good quality hook and eyes. I think it was like $4 for a package of ten. Fabulous place!
I also purchased some commercial waistband interfacing in black. (I already have something from Steinlauf & Stoller in beige. Is that what this is called? I'm not even sure. It combines like three different kinds of interfacing and you sew it onto your fashion fabric waistband.)
Next, I laundered and pre-shrank all my understructure fabrics -- everything. Kenneth King, in Cool Couture says "Unless indicated, preshrinking is necessary for all understructures." Roberto Cabrera in Classic Tailoring Techniques, however, says you don't need to preshrink the haircloth. (This is why you CAN have too many books.)
Whatever, it all went through the laundry and nothing looks any the worse for wear. (Some of this stuff will be going into Michael's suit and not mine. I'm still not sure how much understructure to add to a corduroy jacket and I think it's more a matter of taste than any hard-and-fast rule.)
My pocketing is still a little stiffer than I'd prefer but I can live with it.
Remember those despised pleated pants that were exiled to the Land of Forbidden Clothes (otherwise known as the Salvation Army) on Wednesday? Well, I lied; I kept them. (I did dump a bag of Michael's clothes though.) So yesterday I dissected them, just the way I'd dissected the jacket that went with them last month in anticipation of Michael's suit project that I swear will happen in 2010.
Friends, I cannot stress enough how much one can learn from ripping apart one's old clothes. (Remove from body first, of course.) Fascinating.
I know some of you would love to see the full autopsy and there are plenty more pics here for you MPB completists.
Meanwhile, readers, I haven't decided which pattern to use or whether I should use a commercial pants pattern at all.
I had originally planned on using this vintage McCall's Basile pattern (fancy!):
Then as I'm ironing it I came upon this: the dreaded front PLEAT!
I maintained my composure and considered my options. I could: 1) pleat the paper pattern and cut the fabric in its now-narrower shape (Thanks, Michael!); 2) Use my old self-drafted pants pattern (which, you may recall, does not include seam allowances, pictured below);
...or 3) use another commercial pattern. I have this pattern, from roughly the same era, which includes a no-pleat option.
That pattern, however, is uncut, and I don't want to cut another pattern if I don't have to. I'll decide what to do today. I think I can handle taking a small pleat out of a pattern, don't you?
OK, let's catch our breath for a minute; I don't want to wear you out as we still have nine days to go.
I feel cautiously optimistic about these pants.
Thank you for all your wonderful comments yesterday regarding my cranberry corduroy. A man considering wearing a suit that color needs all the support he can get!
Hey, it's Friday, isn't it? You're all probably easing off your week and my work is just beginning; does that sound fair? Oh well, we can't always choose what challenges life throws our way, can we?
I'm not one to complain; Love What Is, that's what I always say!
Questions? Comments? Cranberry cravings?
I'm here for you!