Stitching Along

Last time I introduced Nancy’s new jungle print kimono jacket in progress. For a very slippery polyester fabric, it has been going well. Here we are attaching the front band and trimming off the extra seam allowance. The band was interfaced with a knit interfacing.

Then the front band had the facing attached.

The jacket with all the bands hand basted and sleeves attached waiting for their bands as well. You may notice (or not) that the bands were cut crosswise. Not my idea but the pattern suggested it and it is a nice contrast to the main body.

The center back seam is French seamed for strength and then top stiched but all that thread gets lost in the fabric.

While it all looks fine…it just looked so ordinary…no pizazz so I went to find my box of pipings. Over the past 40 years I have made yards and yards of piping and kept them “just in case”. Having just 1/4 yard of some cool fabric allows you to use it up and make interesting piping. Here is what I decided to do…choose some piping made from 40 year old Thai silk and attach it to the sleeve bands and front band.

The sleeve bands were twice as wide as I wanted so I cut them in half lengthwise so I could have a seam at the edge to insert the piping. The little areas of red and purple add just enough interest and the black areas define the seams…win/win. Because Thai silk is more robust than polyester, after I sewed the piping to the sleeves, I pulled all the cording out so the piping was softer and flat. When I see blogs with garments with thick piping where that is the dominant feature…it makes me sad. All that work and the piping takes over and destroys the design. By pulling the cording out, you make just as much a statement without messing with the design lines and no bulk.

Once I had done the sleeve bands, I decided that the front bands needed a little something too but of course, by then I had already sewn the front band to the jacket…what to do? I sat down with the TV on and ripped open the band seams and then snuck in the piping. Here is a close up of the piping on both front bands with the bands sitting on top of one another and pinned.

I didn’t want the piping to be on the outer edge like the sleeves but wanted the piping to define the actual seam between the jacket and the bands. Here is everything either stitched in place or pinned.

A nice blurry close-up of smooth outer edges and cool piping where it shows off.

Outside in the garden things have been moving along as well with Spring planting. We go from this:

to this all covered up:

All the usual crops have been tucked in…Swiss chard, cabbages, leeks, onions, peppers, tomatoes. And of course in the netted cage…everbearing strawberries!!! The squashes will be planted later and grown up cages. Mr Mole moved our raspberry plants closer to the patio for easy access.

Can’t forget early peas! We don’t have much luck with peas as soon as the hot weather arrives, they just struggle and die.

Nadine manages to find some shade to rest from catching skinks (lizards).

For those who miss the brides…never fear, a new one arrives this week. See that scalloped hem and train that will be bustled up?

Happy Mother’s Day to my US readers and may all your Spring sewing go well!

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18 Responses to Stitching Along

  1. malihini10 says:

    Fabulous fabric and jacket!

  2. Susan Hart says:

    Nicely done, the piping adds just enough to an, “Oh” moment…..happily😃

  3. Karey says:

    Thanks for the piping tip. I’ve been using soft wool thread instead of stiff cord so I have a sewing guide. Hadn’t thought of pulling regular cord out.

  4. mrsmole says:

    I use builders fine nylon cord. It comes in different thicknesses and is real cheap and it slides out easily.

  5. Lindsay says:

    The piping makes the jacket amazing! I wondered if some brides might sneak into your studio. You might miss the brides but I bet you don’t miss getting out of bed to work at 3 am.

    • mrsmole says:

      My past brides know that I will accept referrals from them so I am not totally free of them yet…ha ha. I still get up at 3 am for a couple hours but not to hand sew on ivory fabric. The next jacket will have some special features too.

  6. The piping really sparks up an already nice design. Love seeing your garden pictures. We are just right now getting little pops of green out of the ground on our perrenials. At least the azaleas and forsythias finally bloomed this week and today the hummers arrived. Happy Spring to you, too.

    • mrsmole says:

      Just like you, Bunny, I have a very old stash just waiting for the moment to release old vintage fabrics unto new ones. The Mexican hummers have not made it back here yet…but they do visit May-Aug and quickly head South when the frost warnings start. We have our own locall hummers all winter…usually just 2 females can withstand the snow etc. Out irises are just starting to emerge.

  7. Eileen says:

    The piping really elevates the jacket. The silk has beautiful colors. I always enjoy seeing your garden.

    • mrsmole says:

      With a week of rain, the snails might just have a feast waiting for them even under all the covers!!! I get to stay inside and sew before returning to do the weeding and staking.

  8. Dara says:

    You are not only a Sewing genius but a Sweetheart too! You put SO Much Care into your work! Happy Mother;s day!

  9. mrsmole says:

    I guess if you sew like the garment is really yours, you get a kick out of the results. Thinking about Nancy swanning around in her soft drapey clothes makes me smile. Sewing clothes for others is so rewarding when you don’t have a time crunch with wedding dates pending!!!

  10. katiesnana says:

    Always learn something or a lot from each of your posts!
    Are the walk in tents over your plants sold as camping tents? Very clever

  11. I always love seeing the other sewing that you do! And the garden is looking great!

    • mrsmole says:

      Me too, Carolyn…”other sewing” can bring me joy and make me thinking ahead of time with from scratch projects. Just spent the last weekend planting the squash and string beans, just in time for the good weather. Now the challenge is trying to keep the neighborhood cats from pooping in the raised beds!!!

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