Wednesday, June 29, 2011

SanMarDia Jacket

I finished this jacket in February, and enjoyed wearing it for the duration of winter.  The pattern is by Sandra Betzina, Vogue  2949, which is now out of print.  As you can see, the styling is very loose.  I'm not sure how flattering it is on my very plus-sized figure, but it's very comfortable to wear.
The fabrics are from Sawyer Brook: a wool double knit, trimmed with a rayon double knit.  I washed the wool in warm water, regular cycle, and dried it on medium heat.  Of course, this shrank it and fulled it a bit, but now I can give it a short cold water wash and lay it flat to dry, without worry of more shrinkage.  I pretreated the black fabric the same way, to shrink it.
The trim was cut from a remnant I painted using several Techno-Romantic silk screens from Marcy Tilton.  I knew I was going to cut it into pieces, so I simply covered as much of the fabric as I could with images.

 I used Lumiere and Neopaque textile paints from Jacquard, in several colors. 

This was my first attempt at silk screening. Knowing that I was going to cut it into pieces took a lot of pressure off; I knew mistakes wouldn't show in the final use of the fabric.

The painting went fairly quickly and with great satisfaction. It was really fun and hooked me on using silk screens!

I cut the fabric into bias strips and bound the edges of the jacket.  Because the fabric is a double knit, I didn't have to be concerned about raveling.  I left the binding edges raw.

I folded and pressed the binding in half, then opened it to apply a lightweight spray adhesive to the inside.  Then I simply laid the garment edge onto one half of the binding, and wrapped the other half to the outer side of the garment.  I placed a few pins in, but didn't need many, as the adhesive held it in place very well.  I stitched along the raw edge, and, *voila*, the edges were finished.

I love the look of this jacket from the back.  The lower back and side fronts are two long rectangles that overlap at the center back. 

On the pattern, the binding is used only on the collar and opening edges, but I liked the look of binding the entire lower edge and the back overlap.

 While the styling of the jacket is plenty dramatic, I heard it calling for more, so I designed a pocket.

I studied Diane Ericson's Just Pockets pattern (from Revisions).  I believe it is now out of print, but if you want to play with pockets, I highly recommend it.  It includes the basic construction of many pocket styles, and lots of inspiration to design your own.  I started with a window pocket, and the shape began with the lower angled corner in the painted fabric.  This is the same angle that occurs at the lower jacket back, above the panels.  I drew that angle on paper, and continued to draw angles until I was pleased with the overall shape.  I cut the larger black shape and stitched it to the jacket front, leaving the edges raw.  I then stitched around the opening, and cut out the fabric from the opening.  I wasn't pleased with the size of it - way too large - so I added the diagonal black painted piece to fill some of it.  I trimmed a bit off the edge below the inserted piece, to reveal a thin line of purple fabric.

Pleased with the look so far, I layered a piece of purple fabric behind the pocket opening, and stitched the final outline.  I trimmed the excess fabric away, leaving a half inch seam allowance.

Although this all seems complicated, it really wasn't.  The fabrics were extremely easy to work with, and the sewing was simple, with very little fitting to be done.  The pattern is a fun style to get creative with.  I'm looking forward to using it again, perhaps with lighter, more drapey fabric. 
So this is SanMarDia, a jacket named for the women who influenced it: 
Sandra Betzina, who designed a great, easy fitting pattern that I didn't have to size-up;
Marcy Tilton, who taught me how to paint fabric - via her CD - using the silk screens she created;
and Diane Ericson, who through her patterns has encouraged me to think outside the pattern and make design changes that express who I am.  I'm grateful to all three, and I think of them when I wear this fun, colorful, warm jacket! 

Recent Knitting Projects

Here are some knitted garments I completed in the past couple of years:

I made these socks for a dear friend who lives in Asheville, NC.  He likes the colors and texture, and says they keep his feet toasty warm!

This darling cardigan was created for my first grandniece, Madison.  The yarn is a lovely washable wool, very soft and cozy.  Creating the heart details and the ruffled hem were lots of fun!

Another cardigan for Madison.  The pattern and yarn are by Sublime (same as the blue yarn), so it's easy care and very soft.  I'm a big fan of stripes, so this was really fun to knit.  The ruffled ribbing at the edge is so cute!  The button is dyed shell, from Sawyer Brook Fabrics (where I work as the Button Queen).

Another sweater for Madison!  Good thing she now has a younger sister - Sarah - who can wear these, too.  The buttons were my inspiration for designing this sweater.  They're from Sawyer Brook, and I've long wanted to use them on a garment.  What better way, than to color match the yarn to the buttons!  The yarn is wool/acrylic Encore, which can be machine washed and dried and will look good for years to come.

I found this pattern on Knitty.  I believe it's called Peach Blossom Kimono.  I used Sublime yarn again, because it feels so wonderful and can go in the washing machine.  The buttons were a fabulous find - from Sawyer Brook, of course.  I didn't have them in mind when I chose the yarn, but was so pleased to see how well they match.  They're carved from brownlip shell.  The bottom photo shows the faced hem, and also a purl rib that I inserted on each side to create a faux seam.  The sweater was knit in the round and this helps give the sweater a place to fold.  Another grand niece, Eden, was the recipient of this cute little basic.  She's Madison and Sarah's cousin.

Carson, my only grand nephew, was the recipient of this collegiate cardigan.  I live far away from these children, and see them only a couple of times a year, so I felt very fortunate to see him wearing it once.  It's knit with Encore, and I just love the color combination.  And guess where I found the buttons!  They're made of corozo nut, also known as vegetable ivory or tagua.  They take dye very well, and as you can see, they have a richly grained finish.  The color match was so perfect, I was thrilled it all worked out so well.

That's it for children's clothes.  Now, on to dolls and dogs!

One of my coworkers is an officer in the Boston chapter of the American Sewing Guild.  Each December they coordinate a dolls for kids project.  The guild members purchase dolls, sew outfits for them, and give them to children who might not otherwise have a doll.  I knit these two coats for this project.  Once again, I used Encore wool/acrylic because of its easy care, durability, and nice hand (so much more pleasant than 100% acrylic).

My little dog, Poco, is a difficult fit when it comes to jackets. He's a Havanese, and they're a bit long for their height , so ready-made coats that fit his rib-cage are always too short in the body. I found this great marled Encore yarn that creates an ombre effect when knitted. I added the button band down the back for ease in putting the coat on, but it turns out it wasn't necessary. The buttons are from Sawyer Brook, and I loved how well they blended with the colors in the yarn. I don't have a pic of Poco wearing the coat, but here is the little guy:

That's the end of this photo parade.  And now you know I have a big thing for buttons, color, and stripes, and I knit for those I love.  Soon I'll show you some things I've made for another person I love - myself!