Monday, January 27, 2014

HP Kimono Jacket progress and a fabric haul

I do more than just ogle patterns on the internet! Sometimes I actually sew!

Cardigan/Jacket progress

I did manage to grab some time to sew over the weekend and made quite a bit of progress on the HotPatterns Fast & Fabulous Four Seasons Kimono Jacket that I've been working on.

I am working on this jacket (really a cardigan, in my case) to tick the box on the "gray belted cardigan" from the Capsule Wardrobe that I am working on. For my version, I am using a heathered charcoal sweater knit that had been labeled as a "wool jersey" that's been sitting in my stash for several years. This fabric doesn't have the drape that I'd associate with wool jersey and is fairly stable, so I thought that it would make a reasonable choice for this pattern. 

I was able to complete a fair amount of the construction over the past few days:
  • Sewed the darts
  • Constructed/applied the pockets
  • Stitched the facing pieces together
  • Constructed the belt
  • Sewed the shoulder seams
You can see the progress on my not-padded-for-my-measurements dress form:

HP Kimono Jacket in-progress
Excuse the state of my sewing room. I still haven't gotten around to completely unpacking everything and putting it in its place since our move six months ago. I have managed to unpack everything that I might need to reasonably get to in the near future, but as you can see, I still have boxes stacked on top of each other, plastic tubs in the middle of the room, etc. 

See that blue metallic linen on the floor? That's there because my toddler daughter is OBSESSED with it. No matter where I fold it up and put it away, if it's visible and in reachable distance to her, she pulls it out and drapes herself in it and walks around the house in it. At this point, I'm just letting her play with it because it seems to make her happy. And isn't that the point of fabric--to make us happy?

A few thoughts on my cardigan/jacket so far:
  • The finished jacket won't be so shapeless; the darts do add nice shaping, even if you can't tell on my smaller-than-me dressform. 
  • The pocket gape is entirely my fault for not stabilizing them. The instructions do call for interfacing, but I omitted it because I wanted a slouchier look for my cardigan. In hindsight, I should have used twill tape or something else because the pockets did stretch out. I'm not going to beat myself up over it, though--I won't be the first person walking around in a cardigan with pocket gape.
  • I've seen various complaints online over the years over HotPatterns not including enough notches and the size lines being difficult to distinguish (they include sizes 6-26 in every pattern). I am guessing to address these complaints, they've made the size lines MUCH easier to distinguish on this pattern--labeling them every few inches or so. There's more notches/markings, too. 
  • I draped the non-side-seam-sewn cardigan over my shoulders, and I think I'm going to be pretty happy with the final cardigan, barring any late screw-ups by myself. It's going to be a true four season wardrobe workhorse. The elbow-length sleeves and wrap style will make it nice for layering over a number of pieces. I am looking forward to having this project complete so that I can wear it.

Merino wool knits from FabricMart

My first (and only) major instance of falling of the fabric purchasing wagon this year happened when FabricMart had their big sale on wool knits a few weeks ago. My wools (all merinos of various knits) arrived a few days ago:

Merino wool knits - FabricMart

My haul, starting at the upper-left corner, going clockwise:
  • Merino wool knit jersey in dusty teal
  • Merino wool knit jersey in "royal"
  • Merino wool knit jersey in plum
  • Merino ponte knit jersey in (something I can't remember) olive
  • Merino ribbed jersey in heathered gray
  • Merino ponte in cayenne
  • Merino ponte in off-white
The olive and heathered gray jerseys are slated to be long-sleeved t-shirts (probably for layering) for my husband, so this isn't all for me. As you can probably deduce, I spent way too much money on this haul and will be refraining from unplanned fabric purchases for the forseeable future. The good news is that these are all solid basics and are likely to be sewn in a reasonable timeframe.

This box put me at 24 yards purchased for the year. Counting the in-process cardigan/jacket, I'm at 6 yards sewn so far for the year.  I have a bit of catching up to do.


  1. Beautiful merinos! Can't wait to see what the jacket looks like in its final form :-)

  2. I make a muslin of this pattern and like how it turned out. Looking forward to seeing your finished garment.