I've been experimenting again! Trying my hand at some garment sewing. I had been looking in stores for a loose fitting jacket-type piece but not finding exactly what I wanted in the right color, size, style, fiber, etc. So, I decided to try constructing a simple garment for a change. I wanted it to be heavier than the typical quilting cotton fabric that I sew with. I found a linen and rayon blend at Joanne's that was a good starting point, plus not breaking the bank since I didn't know if this would be anything I would like to wear once it got done! I picked out a very basic pattern -- Simplicity/New Look 6378.
I decided to add side seam pockets to the pattern, since I had done those once before on the last thing I sewed for myself, and I liked they way that worked.
I constructed a muslin prototype first, for a trial run at the sizing. It's pretty loose fitting, so not a lot of tailoring required. It did turn out to be overly loose, however, so my mom helped me make an adjustment so the back wasn't like a big balloon!
After cutting out the pieces from the linen fabric, I had to make a decision about how to finish the seams on the inside. I knew that they would be visible at times, just because of the style and the open front. Luckily, I was able to consult with Linda at work, who is a former "Home Ec" teacher, and very knowledgeable about sewing clothing. I could have just pinked the edges, but that would have been too prone to ravel. (I just tried using the words ravelly, ravely, and ravelry but I don't think those are real words! Except I know Ravelry is a great knitting website!) I could have serged the edges, but I didn't have thread to match. She suggested doing the Hong Kong finish, which turned out to be just right! She explained it to me, then I consulted my trusty old sewing reference book at home to make sure I understood.
It was a bunch of extra work, but very worth it in the long run. That's pretty much what Linda told me when I questioned the value of putting in all that extra work on the seams! She's so wise! Here is a picture of the seam on the inside of the garment. It's pressed open, then a bias strip is sewn in place and wrapped to the back of the seam allowance and secured with a "stitch in the ditch". I ended up cutting and making my own bias tape from the linen fabric since the color wasn't going to match with anything I could buy. It was a lot of extra work, and probably next time I would seriously think about buying a fabric that I knew I could serge with the right color of thread.
Basically, I spent a lot of time sewing to make the seam allowance look unnoticeable!
The outer edge of the jacket was also to be finished with a bias tape, so I ended up cutting more from my fabric in another width to use for that. Lucky I had some to spare! It was folded to the back and then topstitched, shown below.
I used the triple stitch on my Bernina to make the stitching a little more defined, even though it was a matching thread color. Now it's all done, and I think I will try wearing it tomorrow!