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Sew Paradise

Creating a Handy Pocket in an Unlined Jacket

20150713_195124 DIY Pocket in an Unlined Blazer or Jacket 20150713_19514420150713_19505720150713_195258This handy technique will enable you to insert an interior pocket in an unlined blazer or jacket that can hold a smart phone, ID, credit card or lipstick. I love blazers. My lined blazers (being of a woman’s cut) rarely have interior pockets like men’s jackets do. I add them when making my own lined jackets, but how do you do the same thing when you have an unlined jacket? Simple, use the facing space to create a pocket!

In this series of photos, you can see a Samsung S(about the size of an iPhone4) with plenty of room. A Samsung S3 will also fit, and so will an S6 (which is similar in size to an iPhone 6.)

The pocket is plenty big enough for credit card, cash and a lipstick tube (although I probably will not be putting a lipstick tube in this cream colored boyfriend jacket.

The technique is very simple:

  1. Sew the facing down from back neck edge to just below the buttonhole.
  2. Backstitch to secure this topstitching
  3. Then, leaving an opening roughly the size of your hand width, start the stitching on the facing down to the bottom hem stitching, and backstitch to secure
  4. You can see the L-shape, down the front facing to where the hem stitching begins

Leaving this opening allows you to slip the phone (or ID or credit card) down into the pocket created by the hem and facing. It’s secure and nearly hidden. This is a knit jacket so I wouldn’t store the phone in here, or it might stretch, but for an evening or a trip to the park with the kids, the interfacing will hold the jacket shape.

How to sew a cord for a corded buttonhole

Take six strands of standard thread, roughly the same length. Knot them all at one end. String them under your presser foot with a zigzag foot and set the stitch length to short (1.5mm) and the stitch width to medium (3-4mm). Zig zag over the threads to create the cord! Although I’m skipping showing you the buttonhole because it and I got into an argument, and it decided to be all pouty on me.

 

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Sew Paradise

Minimalist packing for conference – travel with one backpack

I have a 30 minute layover in one of the largest and busiest airports in the world tonight: From commuter terminal to the main terminal. I figure I’ll have to break my sub-10-minute-mile personal record to make this connector flight. I’ll be running with three other companions (or at least breathlessly saying to the gate agent: there are three more coming!)

I decided to make this a minimalist trip. It’s a conference where I’m representing Sparrow Hospital at the Best Fed Beginnings Baby Friendly learning session 2. The conference will be attended by 30 hospitals across the country (there are 90 in total, they divide us in three, and hold three group sessions for us to learn from one another in the 2-year Baby Friendly certification process.) I’m one of the two official parents on the Sparrow team and this is the “parent conference” where best practices and good ideas from parents will be presented to the hospital teams.

So I need to dress comfortably but semi-professionally. I opted to start with a black boucle suit jacket as my base and build around that:

  • Black boucle suit jacket
  • Teal and teal-black-white snake print colorblocked wrap dress
  • black leggings (for under the dress and for yoga)
  • Black and white knit print tops – 3/4 sleeve and short sleeve
  • Aqua pashmina scarf
  • black ballet flats
  • black ponte knit pants (they can work as ‘suit pants’ under a jacket)
  • Skinny jeans
  • black trench coat (it’ll be cold  here, and rainy in Austin)

That’s it! A nightie, robe and undergarments round out my bag. The vast majority of stuff in my backpack is not clothing, but snacks, work folder and conference packets, iPad, knitting and a tote bag that will double as my purse at the event. I almost left the jeans at home – the black pants could be worn twice easily, and if I come back having not worn the jeans I’ll remember that for next time.

The breastpump was the limiting factor – you’re only allowed one carryon and one personal item and the breastpump counts as the purse/laptop bag. So I had to leave my laptop at home and take my pump instead. I opted for the iPad; I won’t have time to work but I can check in via email if needed.

I’ll be running in the ballet flats (taking an extra pair of shoes for running just wasn’t in the cards for time or space.) I should have on something like these: http://www.6pm.com/keen-auckland-ballerina-black?zlfid=186&recoName=6pm_pdp_acc&zfcTest=mat%3A1

But my Keen Ballerinas are not that fancy and certainly can’t pass as dressy shoes in case I need that.

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Sew Paradise

What to wear: Beach getaway weekend

What to wear: Beach getaway weekend

SewParadise is going on vacation! I’m leaving the kids and hubby behind and going to visit a good friend who happens to live in the lovely seaside town of Delray Beach, Florida. Snuggled in between tony West Palm Beach and urbane Boca Raton, Delray Beach is an arty community with only one big high-rise hotel on their beachfront. It’s laid back, loose, and 15 years ago you wouldn’t have gone there in broad daylight without a concealed weapon. What they’ve done there is nothing short of miraculous.

What to pack for a Florida beach weekend looks a little bit like my fantasy vacation packing list post: beach glamour. But I’ve mixed in a few things that get you there – from a cold-weather climate to a sunny destination – and handle the cool nights along the waterfront.

What to wear: Beach getaway weekend by asiegle featuring a beach swimwear
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Sew Paradise

Chanel jacket progress

I am just about up to quilting the pieces. This is a process, let me tell you, and it’s the very thing that at first I’m quick to say “oh, what have I gotten myself into.”

It involves first, pinning the lining to the jacket (wrong sides together) piece, then hand-basting up and down the jacket in rows, then machine-quilting these along those rows, (keeping jacket and lining grainlines aligned) then pulling the sewn threads so they are between layers, knotting them and THEN removing the basting. Fourteen pieces. Gulp.

It’s about, I figure, close to a half hour per piece so that’s 7 hours of quilting before we even get to sew the jacket pieces! BUT, before I start hyperventilating and cutting out an unlined, serged jacket (same jacket, that’s the actual style of this particular one) in a chevron silk twill, I must remember, that THIS is the reason I chose this jacket. To do this very process.

But I still might cut out that silk twill, LOL. Then at least I’ll have one jacket done in the time it took me to quilt two pieces of the couture version.

And truth be told, I have four other projects that are in between this too – some fast ones, some slower ones – and the Chanel jacket, which is  a process, a lovingly precise, beautifully slow process.

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Sew Paradise

Use the Good Stuff: day 15: use your stash

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What do you stash? You know, the stuff you buy to do things with. Food items? Cookbooks? Yarn? Fabric? Sewing Patterns? Wood? Beads? Whatever you stash, dive into it when you take on your next project. I’m not talking getting making back out of the dormancy, that’s a different post, I’m talking about taking makers and making them use their stuff.

I have fabric. A lot of fabric. I have this mint green vinyl pleather from who knows when. But today, it’s being cut into an awesome backpack purse from HotPatterns, the Palladium Backpack. It’s bigger than it looks on the pattern envelope, I think. Bigger than those nylon ones you see kids carry. And this pleather/vinyl? Plush, and just the color for spring 2013!

What are you stashing? Dive in your stash. Be inspired!

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Sew Paradise

White Jeans in winter

White Jeans in winter

White Jeans in winter by asiegle featuring nine west

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Sew Paradise

What to wear with white jeans – winter

What to wear with white jeans - winter

What to wear with white jeans – winter by asiegle featuring akris

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Sew Paradise

Use the Good Stuff day 14: exercise videos

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Chances are you have something like this at your house too. Pilates, yoga, buns of steel whatever. Get them out and add variety to your workouts. I personally love gorgeous Hawaiian vistas in mine. In a cold winter night it makes this downright enjoyable to be in yoga pants, barefoot, in a tank top!

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Sew Paradise Sewing a Couture Chanel Jacket

Very slow sewing of the couture Chanel jacket

Step three of ten. Fuse knit interfacing to every jacket panel

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and piece. There are fourteen pieces. Jamming to deep house club music as I press and hold the iron in place over the pieces. It isn’t ironing. It is pressing.

And that’s it on this project for today, an hour standing at my ironing board. I’m pushing ahead a whole slate of turquoise projects this winter. In fact, I’m going to call this my “emerald” period.

  1. Kwik Sew 3609 swimsuit, strapless maillot with side & back cutouts in emerald nylon/lycra swimsuit fabric
  2. The aqua and brown boucle Chanel jacket, Christine Jonson Princess Jacket from the Angela Wolf Couture class on PatternReview.com
  3. Hot Patterns Palladium Backpack in aqua pleather
  4. Jalie bicycle Jersey made into a  jacket in turquoise Polartec PowerFleece for my almost-6yo DD

When I emerge from my “emerald period”, I’ll update you of the color change on the thread in my sewing machine and serger!

Depending upon the weather, I have white faux ermine to make a couple of vests, myself and my DD.

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Sew Paradise

What to wear with white jeans – winter

What to wear with white jeans - winter

What to wear with white jeans – winter by asiegle featuring a red long sleeve shirt