Tuesday, July 5, 2016

White Denim Jacket w/ Frayed Hems & Swimwear


TOC:


White Denim Jacket with Frayed Hems

Outfit #1: Thatsalotta white!

Outfit #2: That's more like it!

I decided that, for typical summer weather such as one might expect in NYC, I needed a white denim jacket. And I wanted a white denim jacket with frayed edges.

I became a bit obsessed about it.

I've never owned a classic denim jacket.

I still don't. It is white denim, but I wouldn't call it classic!

I spent a lot of time perusing patterns for denim jackets. I even purchased the Stacie jacket download from Style Arc. But I couldn't quite commit—I printed it out but didn't tape it together. In the end, I decided to draft my own denim jacket starting from Burda 7183, the pattern that I used to make a novelty pleather jacket.

I traced off the original pattern. Using it as my block, I started drawing in the seam lines for a traditional denim jacket, when I suddenly changed my mind and went a different way.

Dithering, as evidenced by crossed out lines

Drafting princess seams from a bust dart is simple and so satisfying! I lengthened and widened the sleeves so I could more easily fold them back. I added welt pockets to the side princess panels. On the back, I created a shaped yoke and princess seams. I turned the sleeve into a 2-piece sleeve and placed the flat felled seam so that it would meet the back princess seam (also flat felled). I added front button bands and a 2-piece collar, with a stand.

I studied classic denim jackets and was surprised to learn that the style typically features a one-piece convertible collar. I prefer a collar with a stand—you can "pop" the collar more easily when it has a stand, particularly when it's well interfaced.

I go through a lot of this canary yellow Bienfang tracing paper. I looked it up and I've been buying 3 rolls most every year since 2011, when I learned about it from Kathryn (@fzxdoc on Stitcher's Guild). I just ordered another 3 rolls!

I finished the pattern changes and made a muslin. I was ready!

I found white stretch denim fabric at Mood. I tore both ends of the fabric as well as both selvedge edges, and then tossed it into the washer and dryer, hoping it would ravel copiously. I was surprised to see that it raveled minimally across the grain—about an eighth of an inch. It raveled much better on the edge parallel to the selvedge, the direction with no lycra. The fabric has two sides: an optic white side and a more "buttery" side. I used both, placing the buttery side at the side princess panels and undersleeves, and the optic white everywhere else.

I would have cut the pattern pieces with the hems along the selvedge-less edge for maximum raveling, but the stretch goes the other direction. Instead, I cut out the pieces on the grain, but I first removed a long strip parallel to the selvedge. I used this strip to make a frayed edge "trim", pulling individual threads until the raveled threads were about 5/8" long. I used this strip to make hem facings, both reinforcing the raw edges of the jacket, and underlaying it to provide a bolder frayed edge.

Just some of the pulled threads

Laying out the sleeve facing; I made the facing quite wide, and the bottom of the sleeve fairly straight, so I can easily fold back the sleeves.

After cutting out part of the jacket, I needed more raw edges to cut out the front pieces, so I ripped the yardage to even up the ends and, once again, sent it through a wash/dry cycle.

I added 5/8" seams so I could flat fell most of the seams. I wanted a neat inside. The few seams that were sewn conventionally are finished with bias binding.

Flat felling the side seam. You can also see one of the welt pockets. I used cotton batiste for the pocket lining.

Hem facing/trim

Placing the hem facing

Finished hem

The inside of the jacket has no raw edges. In fact, it's so neatly finished that I accidentally sewed two buttons to the inside of the button band before noticing my mistake

I had a heck of a time finding buttons for this jacket. On the day before the 4th of July, I took the subway to Stonemountain & Daughter in Berkeley, which has a fine collection of buttons and snaps. This white denim is an optic white and their white buttons were either too boring or too yellow. I didn't see any snaps that spoke to me. In the end, I chose pewter colored metallic buttons that have a handmade look.

Another departure from a classic denim jacket is that I put the buttonholes on the vertical, rather than horizontal. I prefer that look.

I rarely wear such a white fabric and almost never near my face. It will be interesting to see how I like wearing this. I've already bought a Tide stick, as I expect keeping it clean will be a challenge, especially when traveling!

Partially buttoned up

Sleeves folded up - I used a very wide facing

I do like it, but I think I'd like it better if it were black! HA!


Swimwear for a Water Park

It's summer so it must be time for a corporate picnic!

My company rented a nearby theme park, Great America. I had last been to Great America when I was in my 20s—back in the '80s! Since then they've added a water park, Boomerang Bay. DD2 was in Washington D.C. at the time, but I brought DD1 as my guest. She was looking forward to three things: 1) the predicted high of over 90°, 2) the water park, and 3) the free food.

It was only the day before the event that I realized that I needed swimwear! Or at least something I could wear on the water rides. (I didn't plan to actually swim.)

I got home from work that day at 5:30 and I quickly located my small stash of nylon spandex fabrics. I also grabbed two TnT patterns: a tee shirt (an Au Bonheur tee that I've made several times) and leggings (Style Arc's Laura legging). I had a couple fabrics that would work for a top, but not enough yardage of either, so I used both. In 90 minutes, I had a rash guard. In another 60 minutes, I had swim shorts.

It was pretty perfect! It was something of a relief that my outfit wasn't too out of place in the water park. Yes, there were plenty of bikinis, but I also saw more covered up swim wear.

It was a fun day, though the predicted weather didn't come to pass. The high for the day was 77°—this disappointed DD1, but was more my speed. The biggest surprise, for me, was that I quite liked some of those rides! Not the largest thrill rides, mind you but, given my dislike of heights and precipitous drops, I did pretty well. I like white-water rafting in the real world, so theoretically there are some rides I should like.

I purchased this Baggallini bag at Fancy That in Mendocino. It matches my green Minoru and I've been wearing it a lot. It was perfect for the water park though, when we rode the immersive rides, I locked it in a locker.

My Jambu water shoes even matched my outfit!


Filoli Gardens

The clock tower at Filoli Gardens

From the rose garden

I visited Filoli Gardens for the first time in March, 2015, but I'd heard that they had some special summer exhibits, so I decided it was time for another visit.

I went this morning. Today (Tuesday, July 5th) is not a holiday for most people, but it is a day off for me. Filoli can get quite crowded, so going midweek near opening time (10am) is a good idea. I arrived at 10:05 and, for the most part, it was just me, the gardeners, and other volunteers.

It turned out to be a mild, but glorious day, which was a huge improvement from the damp 54° weather and heavy fog at home in San Francisco.

First up, I checked out the gardens. They have a special sculpture exhibit throughout the gardens that include many pieces of art glass. I love art glass! The sculpture exhibit runs from June 4th through October 16th. Here are some of my favorites.

"English Bulldog"


"The house" at Filoli

Next, I went into "the house". This refers to the mansion, for the rest of us mortals! To celebrate the estate's centennial, historic costumes from the last 100 years are on display, sprinkled throughout the rooms. Many are on loan from local museums, or families involved with the estate. The costume exhibit runs from June 7th through September 25th. Here is a sampling:

From the 1980s

From the 1880s

I love this flapper-era metallic coat!

Uniform worn by staff

Just hanging out with the pheasant paintings


The visitor center features a needlework exhibit. In fact, I see that there's a "meet the artist" event featuring the needleworkers this coming Saturday, July 9th! This exhibit runs from June 21st through August 21st. Here are some of my favorite pieces.

I used to do cross stitch, needlepoint, blackwork, and crewel work, but crewel embroidery is my favorite!

The stumpwork, creating the 3D effect of the butterfly tutu, was amazing!

This was my favorite piece of the exhibit. It was hard to photograph, but the texture of the bear's fur was amazing!


I had a lunch in their cafe and also checked out the gift shop. They have a very nice gift shop with clothing, jewelry, purses, and other accessories. They also sell lotions, soaps, gourmet foods, candy, housewares, plants, garden furniture and accessories. It's definitely worth spending some time here!

I bought a (crown-less) travel hat!

For travel, roll it up and secure with a piece of elastic

To wear, unroll and adjust to fit with a velcro closure

Also featured in the gift shop: a whimsical "purse" decorated with faux succulents and handles made from branches, for $215. (This is for decoration only—it does not open.) The grass-lined flip flops are wearable, and are very soft! I tried on a pair. :)


Just a couple more pics from the gardens!

This is interesting. This pic was taken with my Android phone.

This pic was taken with my Canon Digital Rebel, Ti3. I can't decide which I like better, but the Android pic creates more of a "mood".


My 4-day weekend (such luxury!) is over and it was great. Besides lots of sewing, trekking to Stonemountain & Daughter in Berkeley, and visiting Filoli Gardens, I've been watching some programs on Acorn TV. It's similar to Netflix, but features British programming. And, no, it doesn't have the more popular shows like Downton Abbey or the Great British Sewing Bee.

Acorn does have all 18 seasons of Midsomer Murder—season 18 was released on July 4th—and I've been enjoying a documentary series called The Secret Life of Books—season 2 is about to be released. Acorn TV costs $5 a month and you can try one month for free, if you are so inclined.

This will be a very short week, thanks to the holiday weekend. I'm returning to Seattle, and am looking forward to playing a bit before working. I have a Britex project in the works, and plans for simple summer sewing, but we'll see how much I get done before NYC.

Have a great week!

62 comments:

  1. That denim jacket is GORGEOUS! Really many cuts above a "typical" denim jacket. And I wish the inside of my jackets looked so perfect...Love the swim outfit and the pics from Filoli. I haven't been there for ages.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Margy! I wonder if Filoli is any different since you were there!

      Delete
  2. That classic white jacket is fantastic and you look wonderful in it. I do not think it's too much white, it just looks so crisp and cool. Especially love the frayed edges, gorgeous! I've never been to Filoli Gardens, but have heard so much about it and now your inspiring pictures, I've just got to go and a costume exhibit, well, that tears it, now it's a must see! Thanks again for your inspiration and letting us in on your adventures - it's very fun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kathleen! Well, I was the same. I'd lived in the area for more than 20 years before I finally made it to Filoli! It really is lovely but can be pretty crowded on the weekends.

      Delete
  3. Another fabulous post. The only time I was in NYC in the summer it was very hot and muggy. I hope you find chances to wear your perfect jacket. Your details are so special.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Glenda! I'm the type who will wear the jacket and sweat to death. ;)

      Delete
  4. There's an exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum that you might enjoy if you have time: http://indigo.site.seattleartmuseum.org; and one at the Bellevue Art Museum: http://www.bellevuearts.org/exhibitions/inspiring_beauty.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Elle! Shoot, I'm not sure I'll have time this trip. I've already booked my free time pretty thoroughly. But thanks for the info! I'll see what I can do.

      Delete
  5. Love the white denim jacket!!! Google certainly knows how to have fun and your outing to the Fioli gardens well worth the trip from your photos. Our national trust properties are starting to host fashion exhibits as well, in keeping with the era of the property. Have really enjoyed the ones I've been to in Sydney as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sandra! Yes, I've noticed an uptick in exhibits in Australia that sound so darned compelling! And, of course, Australia is where Frocktails originated. You guys know how to do it!

      Delete
  6. The fringed denim jacket, with princess seams looks wonderful on you. Admire your planning to finish the inside so nicely too! Thanks for sharing the photos from Filoli Gardens. Have not been there for many years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Judy! Filoli is good for the soul. I've never wanted that kind of life, but I can see some of the appeal. ;)

      Delete
  7. Your denim jacket is wonderful and looks very chic on you. Thanks goodness we see and can make a swimming outfit in an evening or at least you can. Thanks for sharing the lovely photos of Filoli. It's been awhile since I visited.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Leslie! YES! Thanks goodness we can sew!!!! And I'm grateful for a deep stash. :)

      Delete
  8. I love that amazing jacket over the black-and-white tunic (dress?). What is it? Have you posted about it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lisa! That top is actually blue and white. The white leggings are Laura leggings by Style Arc. I blogged about the top here: http://communingwithfabric.blogspot.com/2016/05/sewing-for-hot-weather.html#floaty-top

      Delete
    2. That blue top is nice, too. I'm asking about 'outfit number two'. The second foto....

      Delete
    3. Ooooh! That's a short skirt that I made from a piece of sweater knit. I also made some leggings. Both are blogged here: http://communingwithfabric.blogspot.com/2014/02/sewing-wardrobe-staples.html

      Delete
  9. Your white denim jacket is fabulous. Your sewing skills and creativity are truly a great talent!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Love the white jacket on you! It doesn't need to be black! I'd wear it and sweat, too, as I'm of the mind that covered up is more comfortable than exposed skin---especially in the city. I also definitely prefer the Android photo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, 365 Dresses! I hear the heat and humidity just appeared in NYC. Hopefully, it will cool off before I get there. :)

      Delete
  11. Wow, I love that jacket!! And the swimwear - I love that, too, and I plan to make something similar. I recently got a nasty rash and the dermatologist told me it was a reaction to sunscreen. I've switched over to Vanicream brand and it's great, but I'll be sewing more clothing to cover me up in hot weather. Linen and voile are great for NYC when it is hot and humid. But you never know - the weather changes fast and you may get to wear the jacket, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Robin! I wish linen traveled better! I do have some linen pieces but was planning to leave them home. I'll have to reevaluate as it gets closer and I get a more accurate weather report. I am looking forward to seeing you!

      Delete
  12. What a wonderful jacket!
    Your pictures of Filoli gardens jogged my memory - I had completely forgotten that I'd been there ... once...in 1980(?). So thanks for the memories.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Irene! Yes, Filoli is a wonderful place to escape the frigid San Francisco summer! At least for a couple of hours. :)

      Delete
  13. Wow,wow,wow your jacket is amazing & the details you provide are so useful & informative ! Your posts are like getting a favorite magazine you want to read over & over 😍😍

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, MaryEllen! Your comment means a lot to me!

      Delete
  14. What an inspirational jacket! You use all your skills to create something that is uniquely you.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Your denim jacket is full of interesting, unique details but I'm with you on not wearing white near my face as it washes out my pale face. Wearing white pants is a different story since I am top heavy and they balance out my shape. So, so like your alternative to actual swimsuits - very innovative. I, too, like the flapper coat and it's inspiration for my next coat. Karen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Karen, I have the same feeling about white, both near the face and on the bottom! I also have enough denim to make some white denim pants, which is very much my style! But I doubt I'll have time before my trip to NYC. And thanks!

      Delete
    2. Do you wear scarves? If it is too much white near your face, try a little scarf.

      Delete
    3. I may well do that, Leigh, though I'm told it might be too hot!

      Delete
  16. that jacket is great, and a great addition to the summer wardrobe. Although fear of spots might keep me from wearing one. And I recall being in NYC in the summer and absolutely not needing a jacket as it was like a steam bath. Gorgeous pics of Filoli

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, that's what I'm hearing. ALTHOUGH, one always needs a jacket when you're in an office or a museum, right? I was thinking of you when I was at Filoli! You'd love it!

      Delete
  17. Shams, There is enough interesting information here for several posts! Your jacket is terrific perfect for NYC, and the drafting on the sleeves is genius! Have a great trip ~ look forward to seeing what you're up to.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sarah! I try to have several items of interest in each post. Thanks for your feedback!

      Delete
  18. Nice work, Shams! And thanks for sharing the pics of Filoli and the info about acorn tv. It's been on my list for awhile and now might be a good time to check it out.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Fabulous jacket & it looks terrific on you. It's not too much white & will be perfect for NY. Your creativity is always inspiring. Thanks for sharing it with us. Enjoyed reading about & seeing the pics on the gardens.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I love that jacket! Perhaps treating it with some Scotchguard will help repel stains or at least make them easier to clean up?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a good idea, Lusty! Thanks!

      Delete
  21. Love Love LOVE this jacket on you! I would not have thought that white would look that good, but you rock it! Love your techniques too; especially the fringe!

    ReplyDelete
  22. The jacket is so beautifully made and congrats on figuring how to get frayed edges on stretch denim. I'm a bit cofused tho....subway? You took a subway from SF to Berkeley? Do you mean you took BART? I've lived in the area for 25 yrs and my sister has been here about 45 yrs and neither of us has ever heard it referred to as a subway....we both had to scratch our heads and chuckle...then wonder if there was a subway system that is a dark secret known only to a few people, lol!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, corkpop! But it IS a subway! It's what that mode of transportation is called - an "underground electric train". I first take Muni Metro, which is a subway that runs under Market Street. At Powell, I switch to BART. So, I take TWO subway systems to Berkeley! :D The round trip, plus the walking, and shopping, took over 4 hours, so it's not something I do very often.

      Delete
  23. Wow, what a wonderful well thought out denim jacket. Love it. Had a quick look at your link to Acorn TV and alas we can't get it here in Australia but was surprised that it had several Australian shows - not sure how that makes them British??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good point, Vicki! (I didn't realize you were Australian!) It's *mostly* British, but it does have "Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries" and "Kath & Kim". But the shows are mostly British. :) And thanks!

      Delete
  24. I love all the details you included your jacket. It is the perfect summer summer jacket and the color looks good in you. And I love the idea of a t shirt made with spandex and leggings cut short as a swim outfit. I love the rides at water parks with my grandchildren but never feel comfortably dressed. Guess what I am making this week? I did find a vintage pattern for swim dress which works at the pool but I always feel exposed at the park. Thank you for your blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Dell!

      Oooh, good! I was hoping that my "water park wear" might inspire someone! It's so nice to have an outfit that can be submerged, dries quickly, and give decent coverage! And thanks!

      Delete
  25. From Creative Hormone Rush: I love it when you slice and dice a pattern and draft in new lines; the end-products of your creativity never cease to amaze and delight. This jacket just blows me away. Wish I had even the teensiest bit of your talent for making such unique garments. Congratulations on yet another spectacular make!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awww, thanks so much, Creative Hormone Rush! (LOL, on the name, btw.) Maybe take a pattern drafting class! It will help you lose any fear of patterns fast!

      Delete
  26. Oh my goodness. If it has "Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries", then I'll have to sign up!

    Love your jacket. I've been wanting to make a jeans jacket, even a white one!, and I love your idea of the raw looking edges. I need to get sewing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it does, Leigh! Maybe try the free 30-day trial to see if you like it. :) And thanks!

      Delete
  27. I LOVE that jacket! I wish I could wear white, but it makes me look like death warmed over, and an ivory denim jacket just doesn't have the same panache. That Mary McFadden gown (I'm assuming) is beautiful - when you get to the Met next month, the Manus Ex Machina exhibit has her gowns next to Fortuny gowns from the 20s and 30s. Very cool juxtaposition!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oooh, Ann, I was so happy to see your pics of that exhibit on IG and FB! I am psyched about seeing it in person and I'm sorry that I won't be seeing you!

      Delete