Friday, August 23, 2013

Fall Buttericks 2013

This is a first! It's the first time I have posted about the Butterick releases, but there are several patterns that I like in this fall batch.

First up is this stunning long coat from Katherine Tilton, Butterick 5960. It's very elegant and the version on the envelope looks like maybe the fabric was painted. If you live in a really cold climate, you might want to add a closure to it.

Someone mentioned on Stitcher's Guild that Katherine stenciled the coat, so I went and found the silk screens that she used on Marcy's site. They are gorgeous! Just the sort of thing that would make a great Christmas gift, if my kids ever bothered to read my blog. ;)

Set of 3 Enso Stencils

Next is another pattern from Katherine Tilton, Butterick 5961, a top and pants. The top has a sweatshirt-sort of vibe, and features an angled armscye and a stand-up collar. The pants feature vertical seams and are slim fitting.

I quite like this Very Easy tunic, Butterick 5954, with it's overlapped front and uneven hem. It might need a little tacking to keep the front in place, especiallly over a full bust, but it's cute.

Some time ago, one of my e-friends was admiring a Lafayette 148 top. This pattern, Butterick 5955, reminds me of that top, with it's shoulder seam detail, color blocking, and loose fit. (The top she admired was color blocked in white and black.) I also quite like the modified mandarin collar on view A (and shown in the pic).

I am always looking for new jacket and coat patterns, and Butterick 5958 looks very promising. A short jacket that features armscye princess seams, front and back, asymmetric closure, and both a zippered and buttoned option. There is also a collared and collar-less version, and a version without sleeves for those who want a vest. Yes, I like this very much!

This might seem to be a mundane pattern, but it's difficult to find patterns for workout-type wear that have style and panache. Most such patterns are not that interesting. This pattern has a very RTW feel to me with it's shoulder yoke, side panels, exposed zipper, in-seam pockets. I definitely like this one.

Another coat! I have been hankering to make a trench coat, but I think I want to make a single-breasted coat, instead of the double-breasted, which is more in fashion at the moment. This coat, Butterick 5966, has some of the elements I look for in a good coat. The pattern features shoulder princess seams, a flared hem, a standing collar, and is otherwise fairly basic - a great pattern to add interesting details to or to make up in an interesting fabric. (I am showing the illustration instead of the photo because it's hard to see details in the busy fabric they choose - for a moment I thought it had a peter pan collar!)

Those are my picks! There is no BMV sale right now, which is fine with me. I have *plenty* to sew, but I plan to pick these up when there is a sale!

Irons - The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

In the past, I have been a huge fan of the Reliable Digital Velocity v100 iron. Mine, which arrived in October 2010, has seen heavy use since that time. I use it almost daily, often for many hours.

Then, earlier this week, it died.


Looking back, I realized I had a clue that I wasn't paying attention to. The last few times I refilled it, I would later notice wetness on the ironing board. At first I thought I was being sloppy while pouring in the (distilled) water, but the last time I was careful and there was still quite a bit of wetness. I believe that the leak shorted out the electronics, because I can no longer get anything to display on the digital readout.

At first I was pretty irked. This is an expensive, premium iron. It should last longer than 3 years, right?

But what to replace it with? Up until it's mysterious leaking and sudden death, it behaved perfectly. It heated up fast. It produced tons of steam, even at the lowest setting. I loved that I could override the auto shutoff feature. It has a substantial weight, which I want in an iron. (Though if you have weak wrists, it may not be for you.)

I know there are many fans of gravity feed irons, but I am not ready for that investment or for the care and feeding of a gravity feed iron.

As I was mulling over this crisis (seriously, I can't sew without an iron!) I did some calculations. I had the iron for 35 months. The cost for using the iron came to less than $4 a month.

I realized that this cost is completely worth it to me. I ordered another Reliable V100 Digital Velocity Steam Iron, which will be arriving next week.

Meanwhile, I ordered something I've been wanting for awhile. I ordered a dry iron, the Continental Electric CP43001 Classic Dry Iron. This iron does not produce steam and has a perfectly flat sole plate, so it's very nice for fusing interfacings - no little "circles" of unfused interfacing where there are corresponding holes in the sole plate.

It arrived today. Within minutes I was fusing the interfacings on my current jacket project.

I love it! This is a small iron, but it has some heft to it. There are no computerized bits to break down. There is no water reservoir to leak or spit. There is no automatic shutoff. (Though I plug my irons into a power strip that also has a light, so I know right away if my iron is on.) It isn't super fast at heating up, but it did get quite hot. It also feels less stable than my Reliable, so it's extra important not to leave it on where it can tip over and start a fire.

It was so weird to use such a quiet iron! No steam means no noise. No purring, nothing. I felt very retro while using it - wearing an old-style apron over a fitted dress would have completed the "June Cleaver" effect.

This iron will be a great supplemental iron and a backup for my seam iron. (One of these days I will get a clam-shell press...)

On another note, Margy and I are participating in a little sewing challenge, in the sense that we are both sewing up the same fabric. I hope to make some major progress on my project this weekend, though my kids often derail my plans at the last moment, so we'll see!