The idea of doing a step by step account of this pattern was abandoned when I took the cut pieces with me to London. Sewing there was like taking a step back in time – basic machine balanced on piano stool with the edge of the bed serving as a chair. Patterns were drafted on top of a chest, and fabric cut on a teeny bit of floor space.
Those front pockets are faced back with lining only. I’m not sure how they are intended to be closed between the bottom of the opening and the hem. A few options suggested themselves to me. I didn’t want top stitching and settled for slip stitching them to the jacket body. With a free arm machine, I’d have tried stitching inside the pocket. That might work, and would give a neat strong finish with no visible stitching. In some fabrics, cutting a facing might be a good finish to the opening and avoid having the lining peeping out when the pocket opens in movement.
The collar didn’t sit as well as I’d hoped. I blamed the fusible, perhaps a softer finish would be better. It’s pretty wide, coming right to the shoulders. On the plus side it looks good turned up.
Fabric – Owning Up.
Stash reduction looks like a busted flush. Just pretend not to notice.
A length of linen look fabric and some heavy wine red satin came from a store on Brick Lane you could visit for the experience of seeing The Most Fabric Crammed into the Least Space. You’d find it on the Whitechapel Road end, right side if you walk from that direction. It’s not for browsing. You can hardly squeeze in through the door in single file. Rolls of stuff are piled up to a height of what could be two storeys, each side of a foot wide passage. The lady proprietor has an enviable ability to recall what she has stored where. Ask, your fabric will be found. Prices are reasonable.
Further up I popped in to Crescent Trading hoping to land on bright green habotai, but actually bought a length of red twill silk and one of cerise, both at £8 pm. Do you know how that happens, seeking green and buying red?
Turning on to Bethnal Green Rd what should there be but another fabric shop! I bought a remnant, actually a printer’s sample I think. The pattern called out seductively to my credit card. There’s not much of it, ideas vague up to now.
There are some nice tweedy looking fabrics in this shop, but not much else. It has a boutiquey feel, with prices to match. They give you a fabric bag to carry your stuff home in.
In John Lewis I bought a liquid gold crepe backed satin. This actually had a purpose. Most of my sewing in London consisted of altering garments for one who has shrunk two sizes, which means my admiration for mrsmole’s patience now knows no bounds. I never want to see another zip in need of ripping out, but one job was more up my alley. A trouser suit with a Chanel style jacket trimmed with gold binding had lost its blouse to a klepto friend. The satin from JL was perfect and I squeezed out a skirt using the crepe side with satin accents. The jacket was ok, the trousers became a skirt, so two outfits from just over a metre purchased. At that time JL had some coloured laces on sale, which I only just resisted.
In Berwick St I bought a pale green habotai to line a long skirt made with that fantastic green flower print silk dd bought in a Joels sale.
The habotai scraps look as if they’ll fit with the printers sample, making the Berwick St price for basic silk lining just a teeny bit easier to swallow.
At the other end of the scale I bought some fabrics in Shadwell for £1.50 pm.
Back home in sweltering heat yet another pair of comfy trousers seemed like a good use for one of these market lengths. The inspiration for this pair came from some seen on stage in The Truth. (A funny play, the perfect distraction from problems).
Trousers in Truth Mode
The style was less baggy and narrower in the leg than the last pair of lightweight elastic waist trousers, below.
As Finished as They’ll Ever Be
I used a standard pattern, omitting the waist darts, adding inseam pockets, and making a waistband elasticated from the position of the front darts. I kept the side shaping.
The whole world seemed to be wearing a variation on boiler suit one piece styles in London. I’ve enough left of the fabric to make a matching top to fake the look without bathroom inconveniences should my waistline ever come home to Mama. Who am I kidding? Matching separates might be a good idea though.
An ongoing spinoff of those curveballs life whizzed my way is this lovely little one year old, now desperately needing a permanent home.
It’s not practical to bring him here because –
Open Plan Living
the yearling in residence is from hunting stock. When not remodelling his quarters, he lives to chase.
Other distractions I found time for in London were the Georgia O’Keeffe retrospective and the Mona Hatoum exhibition, both at Tate Modern. I think the last day of the Mona Hatoum is tomorrow, if you’re in London I recommend.