Sunday, February 27, 2011

Mother's New Jacket--Part I

Wouldn't you know it, after fretting last week that my fabric (the chintz from India) hadn't yet arrived, and what was I going to do with my weekend, and had just about decided to dive into the wool for the short cloak when...

...the doorbell rang and our nice Postal Carrier was holding a very large, thick envelope that would not fit into the mailbox.

The chintz had arrived. You may recall that we had planned on a blue-on-white print from Well, I scrapped that plan. The fabric arrived, and though it's very nice, the color is totally off from what I exptected--tan rather than cream, navy rather than a medium blue. And the weight of the cotton leaves something to be desired for a flouncy, delicate jacket and petticoat. Mother is getting some new curtains or a tablecloth out of it instead.

So I went back to an old standby--ordering Indian block-print cotton from ebay.

Gratuitous shot of chintz:

What I love about this fabric, aside from the gorgeous hand-done block print, is the hand. It's just plain old cotton, but it shows you what cotton can be--whisper light, crisp, drapes beautifully. It's incredible the difference between this stuff and the cotton you buy for quilting or whatnot.

Another gratuitous fabric shot, this time crumpledy:

I found myself with an otherwise free weekend, so hosted a little craft party with some friends from work. We knitted, scrapbooked, and played with invitation designs for my engaged friend's wedding, all while enjoying a bottle of wine, homemade bread with Brie, and laughter explosions. And I sewed. First I took out the basting seams from the lining/muslin I made to fit on my mother. This was a novelty to the other ladies--why the heck would you stitch something up and then take it apart? I explained that I had cut the lining first, basted it (which hardly counts as sewing up) and then fitted it on Mother. Then I used the adjusted lining (barely adjusted--I can eyeball my mother's figure pretty well at this point!) to cut the fabric.
Then I did up the long seams on both the lining and the chintz. Unfortunately, I haven't a dress form, so this is the best I can do in terms of an "in progress" shot:
You can get a nice idea of the flare and sweep of the bottom portion of the jacket.
The stomacher. So cute. I think I might jazz it up with rosy pink ribbon.
Finally, I had enough darting up and down stairs to stitch up seams on my sewing machine, missing the fun in the great room with the other ladies, so I started working on some pinked-edged, box-pleated trim. This will probably be for the sleeves. Since this fabric is so sweet, it lends itself well to some extra flourish.

Still to come--setting the sleeves, attaching the lining, press-press-pressing, playing with trim and flounce, and whipping up the petticoat. I am very tempted to order more fabric to ruffle out the bottom of the petticoat...but I think I'll refrain.


Hema P. said...

I can almost imagine the jacket, from your lovely descriptions! Can't wait to see how it looks when it's done!

I know what you mean by it being hard to restrain when you see so many beautiful designs and fabrics -- my exact dilemma when I visit India and go shopping (not my usual choice of entertainment) for ethnic clothes :).

anachronist said...

Really the cotton looks like is a compliment!

dolleygurl said...

I wish I had some real sewing skill. I managed to re-sew on some buttons recently and patch up some seams that let go - but they aren't the prettiest. And I haven't yet figured out my sewing machine - you should have seen me trying to load the bobbin - I got it so jammed up! But anyway I think I'm going to make a very very simple slip cover for my couch pillow out of the skirt part of and old dress I love but can't fit into any more. Thanks for the inspiration!

Rowenna said...

Hema--thanks! Ohhhh, I would be in HEAVEN clothes shopping in India!

Anachronist--thanks, it is really fine fabric!

Dolley--Loading bobbins is the WORST--every machine works differently, it seems, and some are really finicky.

MrsC said...

What a fabulous bloc print! The only ones we ever see here are ochres, reds and blacks. Gorgeous, but not with that beautiful flowing pattern. Who on Ebay sells such delicious tings please?
It is looking fab and will be fabuloso!

Rowenna said...

MrsC--it's heritage trading co on ebay, and their selection is kinda hit or miss--it's all hand-done though, and really reasonably priced considering that it's handmade and great quality fabric.

MrsC said...

Fantastic thanks - I had a big look and yummo. I love the one you have bought best though, not being a big blue fan and having a nice collection of the more natural tones already.
The sweet print that got vetoed I've seen on equilter as a quilt backing fabric - is yours extra wide? Quilt backing fabrics tend to be a lower thread count and not so nice to work with which is a pity. It is such a cute pattern but I can see what you mean about the colours, quite a disappointment!

Isis said...

Lovely fabric! The jacket will be so cute!