It's about exploring and sharing my creative adventures (mostly sewing these days) ~
~those activities that sometimes obsess, usually inspire, occasionally frustrate
~and always provide a delightful maze to wander through.

Monday, June 6, 2011

My oldest UFO is Finished!!! Decades of Style Tulip Kimono

I re-entered the world of fashion sewing in January 2010, and I think this was my 3rd or 4th project from scratch.    I absotively LOVED this pattern, but for some reason,  the concept that what looks fabulous on a paper pattern picture may look like absolute carp on me (even if I sewed it up perfectly) had not quite computed yet.

When I started this review, I had forgotten that I posted about that concept, and this project, here.  Maybe I was thinking that posting about it would motivate me to finish it.   Didn't work :(

Until now - determination finally took hold, and what started as a nearly finished object that looked like this:

Is now really a finished object that looks like this:

I went on a Decades of Style pattern-buying binge early last year.   Mainly because Janet, the designer, is local, and my favorite local sewing store, Stonemountain and Daughter, always has killer fabulous samples of her designs on display - one of the (many) great aspects of Stonemountain is that they actively support local indies.  And they have a GREAT selection of natural fiber fabrics!

I don't have any pics showing the construction of this jacket (this was pre-blog and pre-PR reviewing), and I kept on changing...and changing....and changing.... my vision of what was supposed to be a fairly simple project.

The pattern really is a simple one.

I actually started out thinking this was going to be a robe - you know, a throw-on-over-the-jammies sort of robe.   And then I fell in love with this silk/cotton blend embossed fabric, paired with the green silk dupioni, and it became a wear out-&-about kimono.   Later, as the jacket started evolving, I added the black & white silk lining material - this turned into a What Was I Thinking??? fabric :(  The expanse of lining material on the bottom band (see above) was too much, too much!!!

To my credit, I had learned about muslins by now, and had the fit down pretty well before I started cutting.   But there was nothing about my 'finished' kimono that was me.   WHERE would I wear it???  I think the most appropriate destination might be a post-opera cigar-smoking salon environment where everyone sits around drinking martoonis and pretentiously solving the world's problems....maybe?

Just not me.

So there she sat...draped over Queenie, staring at me, gathering dust, for months on end.   I knew it was worth saving....but how?   I finally made the decision to whack off the striped lining and shorten the whole shebang.   Did I mention yet that every seam is French seamed (I had thought at one point of making it reversible, so the inside seams are all finished nicely), and the lower band was all hand sewed on AND stitched-in-the-ditch?  So it wasn't so much whacking as it was hours of Zen practice - very careful unpicking.  I did keep some of the black & white lining fabric - as lining.
(shown in finished state below):

At that point though, it still wasn't quite right.   That's when I decided I needed the welt pocket.   Yesterday's post  details that journey.   Take a peek at it, but it comes with the warning that it's a potentially brain-fogging exercise!

I had fun making the closure - I twist braided some yarn, added some beads & layered some buttons - a quick wrap of the yarn around the buttons gives a solid closure:

I added some decorative buttons,  and at the end of the journey, I can finally call it finished and wearable!  :)  Although a few of the construction details are less than stellar (mostly on the welt), I can honestly say I'm happy with it. :)

A few shots of me wearing the jacket:

Alternate Cuffs (with lining rolled over)

What is your longest UFO that finally got finished?  And how did you feel when you were finally done with it?   (I think I'm still letting it sink in....I'm SO ready to move on; in fact, I've already completed a couple of other simple, one-hour projects, but I think it sat for SO long that the Joy Of Completion feeling isn't really there...maybe the first time I actually wear it......?)  Where do your UFO's live, and how many do you have?   (I have one more....& I'm thinking now that I may just let that one go, because I really don't think I can turn it into a Me piece.....we'll see.....)

Here's to F'd UFO's!


glorm said...

Your determination is inspiring.

I refuse to tell of my oldest UFO and how many I have--the Fifth Amendment thing, you know. LOL

Sharon said...

Woot! Feels good to get a UFO out of the way doesn't it? Honestly? I usually get bored with my UFOs and either donate them or toss ém. I know big waste. Knowing how I am I try hard to not put a project down until it's done.

By the way, your finished UFO is really beautiful

shams said...

Jillian, this is so cute!!! I have always admired this pattern, but I think this is the first time I've seen a finished version. I do like it shorter and it will be more wearable. Those curved welt pockets are perfect!

Jilly Be said...

Sharon, I'm like that with a LOT of life's little projects (finish it NOW or let it rot...)...knowing that about myself is the only reason I've let myself have no more than these 2 UFO's! I really think I need to let the other one go. Can't stand the guilt lol!