Friday, October 30, 2009

The Bishop method

I've heard of "the Bishop method" and it has been mentioned on some of the sewing lists I read. So I decided I needed to get a copy of the book and see what it is all about.

In reading the history in the preface of the book (from inter-library loan) c1966, 1959 I have come to the conclusion that my mother was not taught the Bishop method but that she and Edna Bishop were probably kindred spirits.

Mom was mostly self-taught but she also worked for a time in a sewing factory as a sleeve setter (in either the 30s or the 40s).

I think I am going to enjoy this book because the Preface states:

The Bishop method embraces the following fundamental principles:
Grain perfection
Accuracy in preparing, cutting, and marking fabric
Perfection in stitching
Perfection in pressing

So this new adventure is off to a good start!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Fringed Jacket

I know you've all been wanting to see the jacket that ties this collection together.

The inspiration was threefold -- 1) the tweed fabric itself, 2) a Sewing with Nancy episode for a one-layer jacket ... no lining ... just what I needed since time was short, and 3) this fringed jacket that I saw on the internet (source: New York & Company)

I noticed on the inspiration jacket that they had sewn a trim around the fringe and knew that I'd need to do something too, to keep the fringed edging from raveling out the entire jacket.

My time was running short so I used the Shoulder Princess fitted jacket from The Complete Clothier and not only eliminated lining but also collar, cuffs, lapels, buttonholes, and hems!

I started designing the jacket at 4 pm on Tues, printed it by 5 and had a jacket when I went to bed around midnight. Did I mention that I was leaving for the sewing expo the next morning? Since I was doing the driving I knew there would be no working on the jacket en route!

Some things I did worked well -- I cut 5/8" strips of the lightest weight fusible interfacing that I could buy at JoAnn's. Then I fused those strips around all the seam allowances on the inside. Not only did that stabilize & control the cut edges, it also helped me to immediately remember which was the wrong side and which was the "right" side for this garment.

I sewed each princess seam first on the sewing machine ... pressed ... then serged the seam to clean up the cut edges ... pressed ... then did a row of topstitching on the right side to further stabilize the princess seams and make the seam lines a little more defined (even though the thread really blended into the tweed).

For the other seams -- shoulder, side, and sleeves -- I sewed the seams on the sewing machine, pressed open, and stitched over them with a multi-step zigzag to control raveling (although I could have used the serger there, too).

I realized that I could not just fringe the cut edges because none of the cut edges were on the straight of grain and would ravel unevenly. So I cut strips of fabric along the selvege for the cuffs (1"), front & neckline (1.5"), and hem (2") and stitched those to the jacket with the coverstitch machine. I figured the extra stitching would be a bonus in stopping the fraying and the double weight would be just what the edges needed.

That's what I like about sewing -- I saw my inspiration pic and the sewing program at about the same time ... and with TCC in less than 2 weeks I had one of my own ... to my specifications ... and my fit!