Wednesday, December 8, 2010


I do love sewing and part of what I love is the endless possibilities. I think the love  of a fabric stash comes from the unlimited potential.

One of the pieces in my stash was a gorgeous remnant I liberated from Britex fabrics many many years ago. It's a 3/4 yard piece of a wool boucle with a black base with brown and metallic gold threads woven in.  At first glance 3/4 of a yard seems limiting, but with these new, shorter jackets three quarters of a yard can be the body of your jacket and still leave enough for part of the sleeve.

The back side of this fabric was more subtle than the front and it was tempting to stand things on their head and use the fabric in reverse, but this was foiled by my discovery of some tied threads on the back side.

I've been eying a jacket in the August '08, 2010 Burda World of Fashion, in the section on Jackie O (pattern 115).** It's a simple jacket with princess seams and a slight funnel neck topped with a Peter Pan type collar. I decided to ditch the Peter Pan collar because 'sweet' is not my style. Several weeks ago I ran up a muslin of this pattern. Fitting was fairly easy, just needed a little more space in the bust and little less space in the shoulders. (Curses to narrow shoulders, the bain of my jacket fitting existence).With the muslin done I was ready to go this morning.

I always do my embroidery before cutting so that was the first step. Unlike most of my work, I visualized a piece with very subtle embroidery. (I know, you're thinking, who is this woman, but is really is me.) I chose a design from the set I'm releasing next week, Celebrations!. The design is a bell but set on it's side it was perfect for the jacket; waist high on either side of the front opening. The embroidery design is a subtle gold and copper on an applique fabric (black in this case). I placed it at the natural waistline to emphasize mycurves. 

As usual, I went through multiple iterations of the embroidery - the first border was a chocolate brown that matched the fabric's brown, and ended up too subtle. The second was tan and too light. My final choice for the outer border was the same gold tone I used within the embroidery.

I'm often asked the best way to embroider with metallic thread. First, find out what thread your machine likes. I swear, each machine has likes and dislikes on brands and types of metallic thread. And don't believe that because your friend's X machine likes a particular brand that yours will. Not so. Your machine might like a different thread. It's really machine specific.  For this design I used the metallic gold Superior Thread's Glitter line in Gold 201. It seems to be more forgiving than a lot of threads.

My best tip for working with metallic thread is to extend the thread by holding the thread between my fingers rather than to let it go through the machine's normal thread path. This reduces the natural kink found in metallic threads and eliminates troublesome breakage that is so common with metal threads, saving hours of frustration and "do-overs." While you might have avoided using metallic thread in the past, this tip can change your experience.

Here's the picture of me holding the thread. Nothing high tech about this. The longer the thread path, the more chance to get the evil kinks out of the thread.

Here's the embroidery.  It was designed to be a bell but when you set it on it's side, stitch one on a front and mirror it on the other side,  it's the perfect accent at the waistline of the jacket. This is a free design on my website.

The jacket went together really quickly, once the embroidery was finished. The alternating multicolored and black panels work well and I think the jacket is flattering.
Next, I'll make it again in another fabric.  Hmm... which of those wonderful pieces of potential in my stash should I use?

** I've just found out that many of the patterns from Burda World of Fashion are also available on the Burdastyle website.  You can find this one here.

1 comment:

jennyklyon said...

Beautiful jacket-I love the elegant lines. I going to try the tip on the metallic thread-I usually put it on the thread stand but this looks even better.