As I mentioned in my last post, Mr. Lucky and I have had a marvelous summer taking big and little trips to visit family and friends. But between you and me and the rest of the blogging universe, we both need some time with our own tribes. Mr. Lucky has played lots of golf with some regular golfing friends this summer (and had some wonderfully great scoring days, which, I suppose, would be like making a perfect double welt pocket in a difficult fabric for me.) But I haven't had anything like the equivalent with sewing girlfriends. So I was thrilled to see that the Northern Virginia American Sewing Guild summer "Taste of Retreat" (called that because January is our greatly numbered attendee retreat) was scheduled to fit perfectly into the summer schedule .
So I packed up more projects than I could complete... even if I didn't interrupt myself to talk to everyone (and talk and talk and talk....I was lonely for girlfriend company after all) and headed to a new venue for this retreat, the National Conference Center NCC in Leesburg, Virginia.
Small aside....decades ago my former employer used the sales training materials from this former Xerox training site and I came on board just after they stopped sending sales people and managers there. So I had heard stories about its isolation and almost monk-like experience. Not true anymore.... the center is located in the midst of suburban sprawl and there's a bar and cool outdoor fire pit on site as well as an amazing food array for each meal. Now, back to the sewing content.
Here are the projects that I worked on and mostly completed except for some hand sewing that I have been finishing while watching TV.
There are a many darts in this jacket. Three in the collar and the collar facing, six along the bottom hem, two waist darts and then the side pockets are built into a side seam dart that must be slashed open. Last fall it was one of four coat designs that I took to Sarah Veblen for fitting help. She strongly encouraged me to take on this project and didn't make any fit adjustments on my mock up.. I sewed a straight size 14 and did find the upper sleeves a little too tight so added 1/4 to the two piece sleeve in about six inches of my bicep area since I will want to wear a sweater underneath. I also don't love the back armscye but it is never really visible so I am not going to quibble or make any major adjustments.
|It's a lot of jacket|
Vogue rates the pattern as Easy but gosh, there's a lot of accurate marking and stitching happening all over this pattern. The pockets were definitely a challenge for me....a slashed side seam dart with the pocket bag showing from the outside so you better get right sides and wrong sides correct before you pick up the scissors. I did plenty of pinning and hand basting to double check myself and they came out wonderfully....but it wasn't done "easily."
|Dart side seam pocket|
The jacket is unlined (which might put it in the Easy category) but each dart and seam is flat fell seamed. It makes for a nice smooth finished effect, particularly on those six hem darts. Don't know how well you can tell but the large cut out dart is stitched, one side trimmed down to 1/4" then the opposite seamed turned under 1/4 and pressed to enclose the seam and is top stitched.
|One of the hem darts stitched, trimmed then topstitched|
My fabric was very forgiving for all that topstitching on bulky fabric, particularly on the upper back curved seam where you are flat fell seaming the edge of other flat fell princess seams. I cheated by the time I reached the side seams and sleeves and used my serger to finish them and reduce the bulk.
|Inside pocket bag and unlined jacket|
Turns out that I love the jacket and think I will get a lot of use out of it this fall and winter. Just goes to show you, don't judge a pattern by its cover....and do make a quick mock up to give it a chance.
|Kwik Sew 3422|
The retreat was just what I needed to get my sewing mojo and my blogging mojo back in gear. I am the happiest person on the planet since I was able to retire early and pursue my hobbies and interests. But I do miss the social part of my job and these get togethers remind me of how much I cherish connections. So I leave you with some pictures of happy, creative, encouraging sewing friends....and a few of the great facility we used this year.
|The end of a wonderful day of friendship and creativity.|