Tuesday, August 23, 2011

KwikSew #3531 -- My first commissioned work

Earlier this summer, I put my services up for my church's annual auction. I belong to a tiny church, so most of the congregation auctions services & parties to each other. I offered 40 hours of sewing project time and a friend "purchased" it for, I think, $90. My friend is an avid quilter and had a pile of Japanese quilting fabric that she wanted to use to create a patchwork jacket. She picked out KwikSew #3531, which looks like this:

I forgot to take pictures of the construction process, but it was very straight forward. I did a muslin and made only minor adjustments for fit. I did a second muslin with the alterations, checked the fit, and then we went to town cutting out the fashion fabric. I was very glad to have her help. She got to design the patchwork layout just the way she wanted. I pieced it together and used the second muslin as underlining. There was some difference is the weights of the quilting fabrics, so I decided it would be a good idea to underline them for stability. I constructed the outer layer, and had my friend over for a final fitting. She wanted this to serve as a light jacket, so I added light shoulder pads and drafted a lining for it.

After the final fitting, I attached the lining entirely by hand. I know, I know, I could have bagged the lining, but this was my first time drafting a lining pattern from scratch and I was working with some very slippery charmeuse. It was just going to be easier to fuss with it slowly. Here are pictures of the finished piece, inside and out:

Finished on my dress form, which is smaler than my friend, but it does the job.

I hand-stitched the buttonholes, which were made in the seam of the collar -- very cool design detail. Note the OCD thread color changes.

Hand understitched facings:

Hand inserted lining. I lined the bodice in this cool fabric, not because I am awesome, but because I cut the lining wrong the first time I did it. I happened to have this in the stash from a Project That Never Was, so I think it all worked out for the best. I had enough of the original solid black lining for the sleeves, which was good, because I did not want to add yet another pattern that might be seen as she moved in the jacket.

I also learned how to do ladder stitches for the lining pleat. Fun!

The presentation...

And that's my first happy customer!

I really enjoyed doing this project. I learned some new techniques (drafting a lining & ladder stitches) and I also feel more confident about doing work for other people. I'm definitely going to donate this again next year.

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