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Sunday, November 30, 2014

McCalls 6902......Easy but do let me count the errors of my way


    Yes, I have been dreaming of sewing up a fall suit..........specifically a lined jacket, but nothing too fussy with a matching pencil skirt.  I already have a simple skirt pattern altered to fit, so I just needed a jacket pattern.  I was drawn to M6902 as soon as I spotted it because of its simple design and that pretty printed "easy" word.  In my mind I thought I could whip out this jacket in 2 days............ah such dreamer! 

        Easy Pattern M6902:

    First lets start with the fabric: Black and blue checked heavy linen purchased at Hancock fabrics for about $4 a yard.  I purchased 4 yards, enough for a skirt and jacket. Please note:  Even though the pattern calls for a fabric with good drape, I choose this heavy black and blue checker linen; which is a little stiff.  Something about this fabric caught my eye and I decided to go for it.  Maybe it wasn't the best choice. I think a beautiful wool suiting would have been a better choice. Live and learn.

   Lining: black bemberg from JoAnn's.  Yeah, I purchased it with a coupon so I paid something like $4 a yard.  Again, I purchased 4 yards. 

    Piping: purchased 2 packs of Wrights pre-made black piping.  The pattern suggested ribbon which is top-stitched to the pattern; however, I thought piping was a little more high end looking.

   Notions:  In my stash I had the black rose button. Even though the jacket calls for hook and eyes..........I wanted something more glamorous.  Although, I still put in a hook and eye on the inside, for extra holding power. (Should I say suck in power)

Check out my outfit: 
Jacket and matching pencil skirt

   Lets get to the heart of the matter, fitting issues, design changes and the lining.  

   Fitting:  I did make a bodice test muslin for the jacket.  (Actually 3 muslins all total)  My first mistake was not adding the sleeves to any of the muslins.  If I would have added the sleeves, I would have realized I needed a little bit more room in the back area. Second mistake: I should have added a hook and eye at the waist to the muslin so the front of the jacket would close like on the model.   Instead I kept pulling the jacket to get a good bust fit; however, each time I did that I had to increase the FBA.  I ended up increasing the FBA almost 2 inches, but later after the jacket was finished I had to take apart the lining from the jacket and decrease bust area an 1", because it was way to big. Third Mistake:  After adjusting the torso (length and shorten three times) my pattern became skewed and if you notice the closure at the waist is not straight.  Fourth Mistake: Lining the jacket. I should have used the bag method; which I found after the fact.  Instead I followed the instructions and tried to sew the sleeve lining to the sleeve jacket seam; however, I admit I am not good at it. Fifth Mistake: Design change in sleeve cap, I added a pleat.  In my mind I thought it would be a beautiful detail; however, I think it would have looked better if I used a softer drapey fabric.  Sixth Mistake:  Under-stitching the lining to the outer fabric.   Did I miss a step or miss read the instructions?  But how can you underline the jacket if you sewed the lining and jacket together all the way around?  Anyway, I ended up top stitching the jacket to lining once I turned it right side out. Final mistake:  I wish I would have added more fabric to the front center so the V shape wasn't so wide at the top.

                 More images: 

Jumping to stay warm

Cool mural on the side of a bar.

Another mural

Backside showing peplum

      Suggestions:  Keep in mind the jacket closes at the waist.  I highly suggest doing a full test muslin first before cutting into that expensive fabric.  Also, I would like to try this jacket again, but with a new pattern (since my adjusted pattern is a mess) and a drapey fabric.

     P.S. I owe a big thank you to my photographer, who not only got up early on a Sunday morning but also took photos in 35 degree weather.  Awesome! 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Navitat Zipline/ Blue Ridge Experience

    Sometimes you need to get out and enjoy life to know you are still alive.  For a while I have been wanting to fly through the sky on Navitat zip line or take a hot air balloon ride to see the fall "changing of the leaves".  When I presented these two options to Glenn, he immediately ruled out the hot air balloon ride, so it was a matter of "working" on him to go with me on the zip line.  I told him, he would love it.  Although, after he read the disclaimer; which needed to be signed, his hand stopped moving on the computer mouse and I had to click submit for him. So, the disclaimer mentioned something about death, and broken bones, heart attacks...blah, blah, blah.  I told Glenn, " You are more likely to die in a car accident then zip line". Seriously!

      Please note: there are a couple of different zip line options.  We choose the Blue Ridge Experience, because those particular zip lines have a self braking system, the longest zip line in the South East and Glenn said he wanted the least amount of physical activity (less hiking).  The other option is Moody Cove, which includes more hiking, rappelling, and you have to self brake. 

      Some how the universe worked in our favor and gave us a green light.  Yeah, there was snow a couple of days before we were suppose to go, but on our reservation day, the weather turned warm with sunny skies.  How awesome! 

       Once you arrive at Navitat you check in and they weigh you.  Fortunately only the lady behind the desk sees your weight and as long as you weigh under 250 you are good to go.  Next up, the instructors introduce themselves and then you are harnessed up.  Then your group is put in to a van and you are driven up a steep bumpy road to the top of a mountain.  The van ride really was more like a carnival ride with bucket seats.  After enjoying the view at the top of the mountain, you are then led up a narrow path to where you reach the first platform. 

      Check out the instruction photo:  I am in the back looking spastic and Glenn looks concerned.   It is do or die at this point: 

        This is what it looks like while on the zip line:

       This is what it looks like when you leave the platform (looking back): 

     Check out this incredible view:

        Here we are ready for our final run.   At this point we feel like professionals and are a little sad that this is going to be the last run. 

  If ya'll get a chance to  visit Asheville, definitely check out the Navitat zip is so worth the effort and cost. Also, I should mention the instructors were hilarious, and professional.