Sunday, June 26, 2016

Summer Jacket in Novelty Pleather & More


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Summer Jacket in Novelty Pleather

Remember last May when I visited Fabric Depot in Portland? I purchased a piece of novelty pleather. Strips of pleather are woven and sewn to a net backing.

I decided that this fabric would make the perfect summer jacket. I started with Burda 7183, a Chanel-style jacket. This pattern is available in size 8-16—the 16 is one size too small for me. I traced off the 16, made some alterations, muslined it, made more alterations, and muslined it again. Two muslins is more than I generally do, but I was very happy with the resulting fit, so it was worth the effort.

Alterations & Modifications

  • added 2" dart in side seam (FBA)
  • made a 3/4" broad back adjustment and removed corresponding excess with back darts in the shoulder seam
  • adjusted shoulder seam forward by 1/2"
  • lengthened back by 3/8"
  • widened bicep by 1-1/4" (The bicep was quite narrow in the original pattern.)
  • straightened front hem
  • narrowed shoulder by 5/8"

I didn't use any facings or a lining, but I wanted to finish the seams and raw edges. I finished the seams with fold-over elastic (FOE).

Attaching the fold-over elastic (FOE)

I combed through my scrap piles and my stash for a fabric to use as binding. I auditioned many fabrics that weren't right. Here are a few of them:

In the end, I chose a stretch bengaline from my stash. I wanted both a binding and a separating zipper, which I ordered from ZipperStop in NYC. (I ordered a 20" antique-brass 2-way separating zipper with an antique brass foxtail slider.) It took me a while to noodle out how to do both the binding and the zipper. Stay tuned for a tutorial showing how I did it.

I love the final jacket! I expect to get a lot of wear out of this.

I plan to bring it to NYC this summer!

Burda 7183


Mendocino Getaway

My birthday is in July, but my daughters will be cruising in Europe at that time, so last weekend I took them to Mendocino for an early birthday celebration. Since Mendocino is a 3.5 hour drive north of San Francisco, we spent a couple nights—it's a charming little coastal town that looks very much like Cape Cod. In fact, the television series, Murder She Wrote, was set in Cape Cod but the exteriors were filmed in Mendocino.

My daughters had never been to Mendocino and I hadn't been there in more than 20 years. It was just as beautiful as I remembered, though the food wasn't as good as I remembered. We had breakfast and lunch at Goodlife (meh), dinner at Mendocino Hotel (fine), brunch at MacCallum (fine), and dinner at Frankies (one of the worst meals of my life, though my kids enjoyed their ice cream on another day).

If you've had wonderful (but not necessarily fancy) food in Mendocino, please tell me where!

We stayed in a converted water tower through Airbnb. It had no internet, but I didn't mind. The setting and views were fabulous.

Our converted water tower apartment

Views from the water tower

I treated all three of us to a session in the private hot tub and sauna at Sweetwater Spa, followed by massages. Such luxury!

Sweetwater Spa

A friend of mine lives in the Mendocino area, so we met up. I remember meeting Kathleen when we were four years old—our mothers were best friends. We attended the same grade school, junior high, and high school. My daughters and I enjoyed visiting Kathleen's beautiful home. Later we had brunch with her and her son at MacCallum House.

Kathleen sews, but she's also an amazing artist

MacCallum House

Kathleen and a glimpse of her son, Jade

The massage left my hair oily, so I'm hiding it under my daughter's cap

We enjoyed the amazing views.

I had totally forgotten about this grass from my childhood! We called it rattlesnake grass since the tip looks just like the rattles from a rattlesnake. It even rattles when the wind shakes it.

Walking along the coast

The shopping in Mendocino was great! There are a variety of little shops selling all sorts of interesting clothes, accessories, and other goodies. I took only a few photos of the shopping...

You can have custom shoes made an Aline's. He makes wearable shoes but his helper was wearing these whimsical-but-well-fitting beauties

I bought this front pack for my daughter as a graduation gift.

I liked the pockets on this jacket

We even hit up the Farmer's Market on Saturday

My favorite bit of the weekend was spent enjoying Friday's stunning sunset. It had rained earlier in the day, so the sky also featured a rainbow.

DD1 and I under a rainbow

I love making shadow pictures and we found an obliging cliff face.

From first to last, what a sunset!

The sunset from our water tower

Farewell, Mendocino!
Next time I just might go there all alone. It was so nice to soak in the ambiance (not to mention the hot tub) and catch up on some reading.


Bill Cunningham, RIP

Bill Cunningham passed away yesterday. I loved watching his video vignettes about what people wore in NYC. There is a wonderful movie about his life and work called Bill Cunningham NYC. It used to be available for streaming on Netflix, but it has been removed. You can buy or rent the DVD to learn more about this remarkable man.

I can't imagine NYC fashion without Bill on his bicycle, documenting it.

Rest in peace, Bill.


I have several more projects in flight, including another summer jacket, a pleated skirt, and a project for Britex.

But first, join me on Patti's Visible Monday.

Have a great week!

P.S. I almost forgot! Today's CBS Sunday Morning had two fashion related pieces you should check out! There was a piece on Outlander, the STARZ show that I blogged about recently. There was also a piece about fashion-themed museum exhibits. I certainly love those and, this summer, I will be seeing the two that were mentioned in NYC!