Brooding & Plotting my way back to SWAP F/W 2014

Grieving is difficult. I was hoping refashioning my Mom’s clothing would help. It didn’t. Because the longest amount of time I spent with her in recent decades was when she got sick. The sad images keep intruding. So I’m switching tack & going back to fabrics & projects that were in the queue before she got sick.

I need some cheering up. This funky double-sided sweater knit from my SWAP Fall/Winter 2014 plan looks like just the trick. It’s furry orange mohair on one side & blended black acrylic/nylon on the other side. My SWAP Fall/Winter 2014 plan of course went totally off track. Despite going as far as gathering all the notions into project specific sandwich bags, only 3 of the 29 items planned saw the light of day. Time to rectify that.

The Plan Revisited

My original plan for this lovely from NY Elegant Fabrics was a reversible wrap skirt + reversible jacket of some kind…

Despite some reservation about the visual appeal & practicality of a furry skirt, that is going ahead. Nothing ventured nothing gained! The jacket however is morphing. Vogue 9037 has been ruled out because I can’t figure out a way to make it reversible thanks to the pleats. Burda Special A/W 2012 seems safe. But maybe TOO safe. I settled on Burda 2015-10-109 sweater after tweaking & testing the fit with a wearable muslin. And while testing the fabric layout, I managed to squeeze in a Burda 2013-11-117 Jacket as well as a hat & mitten out of the 2-1/2 yard fabric! There’s still a couple of largish scraps left, but let’s not be too greedy now!

 

The skirt, sweater, jacket I plan to make reversible because I can’t pick a side I like best. This of course complicates the pattern & sewing. Even with the ready-made sweater & jacket patterns I had to slow down & work out tweaks needed to get two good sides without doubling up the layers. By the time I got to the hat & mitten I was out of brain juice. So these will be one-sided & I’m think furry side inside for warmth.

Reversible Zipper Sourcing Woes

The change in plan also complicates the sourcing of notions needed. Reversible zipper options are very limited for the home sewer. Most are chunky zips with flip-over sliders. The twin-pull slider that’s used in RTW is virtually nonexistent. When the plan only required one zipper for the skirt, I managed to score a size 3 custom Lampo flip-over reversible zipper from Botani Trimmings in NYC. But now I need 4 – FOUR – reversible zippers.

After much searching I found some UK merchants who carry relatively dainty twin-pull reversible zip sliders…

But as I wanted somewhat matching zips for all three garments, I caved in & sourced my size 3 & 5 twin-pull reversible zippers from Quest Outfitters in the US. I had wanted to buy more local. But let’s face it, consumers in the US are just much better catered for thanks to economy of scale across a single language economy. It’s much more feasible to target niche markets when you have a bigger population that speaks the same language. The cost in the EU would be much higher even without the sky-high sales/VAT tax. Setting up & running multi-lingual & currency sites would cost merchants more. Sigh. The only downsides to ordering from the US is that postage cost way more than the products & it takes a while to arrive. Fingers crossed I won’t be slapped with a big customs & admin fee on top.

Progress so far

It’s been a while since my last reversible garment. So construction is very very slow as I need to figure out how much seam allowance to add where. I’m mostly working with 1/8″ seam allowances which is nerve-wrecking. The fluffiness of the fabric & flimsiness of my tissue paper patterns don’t help. I end up tracing out the pattern first with my current favourite marking tool – Clover Chaco chalk pen before cutting the pieces. The edges that need stablising have Vilene Bias Tape folded lengthwise in half & basted to the edge. The folding is because I’ll be using 1/4″ flatlock seams, so need the tape to be skinnier. Cutting in half would ruin the stablising chain stitch in the middle of the tape.

Next up, testing the stitches.

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