Wednesday, March 28, 2012

WIWT: new Jalie 3132, and stuff

What I Wore Today to the spa for a pedi! (OK, I dallied too long on the laptop and had to dash through the shower to make it there on time…and I was late as usual! Hence the headless shot; no makeup or accessories.)

2012-03-28 13.28.10

Most Wednesdays I meet up with the ladies (that’s us SAHMs!) for what we call our Wednesday Staff Meeting – usually a coffee/latte with delish pastry at Stella Luna’s on Bank St. Yes, on this chilly, grey morning, I decided to wear this cheap bright green, cotton knit Jalie top – a wearable muslin, mainly for home – with my Jalie 2908 jeans from last year.

2012-03-28 13.40.49

Not too bad, it fits in the right places. I didn’t do much altering as the shape is pretty good: I shortened it the usual amount (2”), as well as the sleeves (also 2” – maybe not so short next time?) to fit my petite 5’ 1” frame. This colour is, ahh, intense, and so no thread will match it (it would be mad!) so I coordinated, with 2 colours of almost the same blue/green shade (both spools had almost nothing left, and this was the only way I could think of to double-topstitch without running out of thread in the middle.)

2012-03-28 13.37.11

[This one of the hem is the most accurate rendering of the colours.]

And to cheer myself up, I chose bright red polish at the spa. After the summer-like weather of a week ago, we’ve been plunged back into the season of cold and rainy days. Hmmm.

2012-03-28 13.22.12

Here I’m sitting on an ottoman (1 of 2) that hubby and I made several years ago – one of my “escapdes”. It was *interesting* building the frame and sewing the cover, but not cost effective! The 10” HD foam cost a fortune.

So, that’s how I cheer up mid-week! How about you?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Minoru Jacket, Finished!

Yes, indeed, I have finally finished the Minoru jacket! And despite all the kafuffle I quite like it, and so does my hubby!

2012-03-15 001

What kind of kafuffle, you ask? Well, I made a second muslin because the first was too snug, then made more slashes for greater back ease and a forward neck tilt. But after I got the entire shell sewn together (attached the collar, sleeves, plackets, to the body, and side seams) I tried it on…and there was *too much* room!!! Aaaargh! So, out with the seam ripper, whereby I ripped out the entire collar topstitching/seam up to the plackets and removed the extra fabric I’d added to the top of the back and sleeve tops. This is also when I decided to line the hood. In hindsight, I think the cause of all my problems was the cheap poly/cotton I used for making the muslin; it just didn’t have the weight/body needed for the jacket. At least I now know where to get the real muslin fabric!

Here’s a quick summary of what I did.


  • Outer shell in Canadian Mist (50% Micropolyester / 50% Cotton, bought at dragonfly fabrics), grey – perhaps a bit dull, but it’s a neutral colour
  • Body/Hood lining in quilting cotton – I LOVE this fabric, makes up for the grey shell
  • Sleeve lining in black rayon Bemberg
  • Collar lined with black Bemberg (on the zipper side)
  • Outer side seam pockets in the quilting cotton and black Bemberg

2012-03-15 002


  1. Cut size 10-10-8 (B-W-H), according to the pattern measurements
  2. Shortened the sleeves by 3 1/2 in
  3. Widened the sleeve by 1/2 in along the entire length
  4. Dropped the front neckline by 1/2 in for a forward neck tilt, and adjusted the front seam on the sleeves to match
  5. Widened the upper back by 1/2 in, from the armscyes up to the neck
  6. Added side seam pockets, and topstitched on the front piece instead of the back. The bottom of the pockets is caught in the hem.
  7. Lined the hood (yeah, I did this after it was all assembled! when I removed the collar)
  8. Made deeper inside pockets to fit my smartphone (and raised the top of the pocket so it wouldn’t fall so low down the waist). Instead of folding over the top of the pocket twice and topstitching, I used grosgrain ribbon
  9. Topstitched the lining as I didn’t finish the seams

2012-03-08 013

2012-03-15 003  2012-03-15 004

Future alterations, and what I would do differently or try:

  1. Cut the hips a size larger
  2. Use a double-ended zipper
  3. Cut the cuffs a little longer so they look more scrunched
  4. Make front welt pockets; the side seam pockets are a tiny bit low and far back for comfort
  5. Make the welt pocket bag the same shape as the bottom of the front section so it can be caught in the side and placket seams
  6. Finish the hood/collar seam, maybe bind it, as it’s visible when the hood is out and down (see pic below)
  7. Make an hidden inner pocket, with the opening in the placket/front seam
  8. Make a wider inner pocket so the smartphone can sit sideways; it’s a little uncomfortable sitting upright
  9. Add an inner placket/strip or zip guard; I noticed some others did this and it looks great

2012-03-15 005

What I really like about the pattern and alterations:

  • The snug waist elastic! Someone else said it felt like being hugged, and they’re right!!
  • The big hood, and that it’s lined; if the outer fabric doesn’t have much body this really helps keep it up
  • Hip length!
  • Big, tall collar, it’s just so cozy!
  • Wider sleeves for more ease
  • Deeper inside pockets feel safer

I’m so glad it’s finished, and with the weather warming up so fast (it’s crazy, forecast says 21 C tomorrow!!!), I’ll be wearing this a lot earlier than I’d thought. I LOVE it!!

Next up, I need to make some sweatpants for Oliver since he’s outgrown the others. And then the new Jalie shirt pattern and T-shirt (w/o the nursing option) that I really want to try. If the weather keeps up like this I’ll need to work fast! At least these will go a lot faster than the jacket.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The “It’s not easy being Green” Mattress Cover

This mattress cover only took, umm, 1 year to complete!! Aaaand, I finished it only a matter of hours before our friends from out of town came to visit last month over the long weekend!

Last year I was sick of looking at the old mattress on the floor of my boy’s TV room. They use it for jumping on: it is the ONLY piece of ‘furniture’ they’re allowed to do this on. It also comes in handy for Dad to take naps on!

2012-02-17 004

So it’s *green*! And quite soft too. Just a run of the mill mid-weight spandex fleece, it’s sooo stretchy. Fleece on one side, slippery knit/spandex looking on the other, I have no idea what to call it. I found 2 large pieces of this stuff (about 60-70" in long) in the remnant bin at Fabricland; I am a confessed remnant bin raider, I can’t help it.

To keep it from being ripped off, like the old fitted sheet I’d put on and that only lasted minutes, I decided to make this a completely enclosed cover. The bottom is made up of strips of the fleece that frame a large rectangle of some ghastly green poly/cotton in the middle. I had to piece this bugger together from almost 18 bits as the fleece wasn’t big enough in any dimension; and I’d scaled it down 10% all around since this fleece has so much stretch. On the other end by the wall, there are 2 zippers, one 60 in and the other 12 in, that come around each corner by about 6 in or so.

The cover was a really snug fit, and we had a hell of a time getting it on. Or rather, I did, as the kids just had fun when the mattress would fall down on them. The only way I could get this on by myself was to prop it up on its side and wriggle the thing on…which is why it kept falling down!

So, another UFO done! Yeah!!!