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, November 14, 2011

I've Tied the Knot - with the Peony Vest!

Yes, the courtship is complete, and how appropriate that the last step did indeed involve a knot!

This one, to be precise (more on that bit of the ceremony later):

The head scratching moments I had towards the end, while trying to get the jagged, wavy hemline to lie flat after all of the fitting adjustments I made (in spite of a muslin that I thought fit well...::shrug::) was definitely a lesson or seven around making sure that your lining - including grainline - matches the outer piece(s) perfectly!

Which mine, clearly, did not.  With all of the odd-shaped pieces, and a slippery silk habotai lining, and multiple side seam adjustments along with even more hemline adjustments.... well, by the time I was actually matching the lining pieces to the hemline I had more unmatched edges than I thought possible!  Have I mentioned that there was no room for error at the hemline?  That the lining pieces were just supposed to be exactly the same length and angle as each of the pieces of the vest?  What planet was I sewing on when I thought THAT would magically happen after all of the alterations I made???

I finally managed to get the hemline lying (relatively) flat and smooth, but on the last panel....well....a picture is worth a thousand words.   This is not one of my proudest sewing moments:
The good news is that you can't see the ugliness from the outside, 
and all of the other segments actually turned out quite well.   
In comparison anyway.  
And with a lot of handstitching.

Oh yeah, I had a bit of an "aha" moment - when I was trying to figure out how to get as many of the lining seams sewn by machine as possible (I'd long since given up on trying to follow the pattern directions), I ended up with something that looked an awful like like a bag full of fabric - is this why they call it a bagged lining?   Of course, I may be way off on that (oh, the pages I could fill with what I don't yet know about linings!), but it made sense to me...

A note on the knots - the very last step!   I had some bits of bias strips made from the charmeuse print, and I wanted to make some sort of non-button buttony things to place here & there.  I was making some rather unsuccessful rolls, when serendipity knocked on my bloggy door & took me over to this tutorial at Handmade by Carolyn.  PERFECT!   I whipped up a few knotty buttons - super easy by following her excellent instructions.   The only thing I did differently was to use a large, very blunt needle to pull my bias strip through itself, and I just made several knots on one strand before cutting them  (that's the frugal me who doesn't want to waste any of that precious fabric!).

Finished "button",  on an an evenly hanging hem!   *whew*

The only "real" button on the vest - 
it's a wannabe leather look - actually plastic, but a perfect match, I thought!

A few more closeups:

The next step in our journey is expanding our group of friends to play with.  Initially, I actually thought the Peony was going to play well with things like blue jeans & boots, but, well.....not so much.   I did find a few combos in my closet that were happy to go out & play with us, but I'll be keeping my eye out for some new potential playmates as well.

Here are some of the options:

 I only have one top that I feel really works with the vest (white would be OK, but, well....who has NO white tops in their closet???  That would be me....  Well, I do have a couple of summer blouses, but nothing with any actual substance, that could be worn under an Autumn vest....)  So with only one top (this Citron silk blouse...which I love - when I was still buying RTW, I was definitely a Citron addict....) my bottom layer was a bit limited.   These RTW pants worked well though.

I also like it with this Decades of Style Arches skirt 
The color looks a bit odd in this photo,
but it's a perfect match for the green in the charmeuse print:

Add my yummy new Harlequin Feltworks scarf,  and I love the look!

And then there's the slightly Bohemian bent.
This look reminds me that a bright, colorful piece actually pairs well with a solid neutral look to coordinate.  I've never really been that much of a matchy-matchy person, but as I try to refine my style I'm  beginning to understand how matchy matchy can be a very good thing, in some circumstances.

The bottom line?   Someone needs new boots and shoes.   And fabric for some more tops.  Must budget for that......

All in all, the journey's been a fun one!   It went slowly mostly because of other life 'stuff' - I'm noticing that I'm becoming a much more patient sewist when I take missteps...they're all learning opportunities, and I prefer the slow and steady aspect of the journey, especially when I'm working on something "special".

Like, you know, a long-term relationship.


vtmartha said...

Spectacular vest, Jilly!

Margy said...

Oh, Jilly! So beautiful, and so well-documented! I really feel like you (and I!) have developed a relationship with this magnificent piece of art. I love, love, love the buttons, and I particularly love the top with your gorgeous scarf! I think I will have to make something to wear with MY scarf, which I think we bought at the same time.
Such a success story...!

Andrea said...

Oh my goodness, I am so happy to see the finished Peony vest, especially modeled. The knots are a great touch. I admire your perseverance, truly, I think in my hands it would have become a UFO.
I love the bohemian look, and that really cool scarf. How about making a fun and funky mid calf length skirt to go with your vest. Maybe corduroy?
And, uh, white shirts? I got some if you need 'em, lol.

Anonymous said...

It's beautiful!!! It looks nice with all the outfits, but I like it with the slacks-top-shoes-hat in the last pic the best.

shams said...

This vest is fabulous, JillyBe! It is a masterpiece! I love how you've styled it differently and it looks good in all versions. I am so impressed by your process and how you worked through the various issues to create a real piece of art!

Martha said...

Artful story. Artful journey. Artful result. Thanks for allowing us to follow this. Inspired.

Unknown said...

Fantastic !! I'ts sublime..Like all works of art the finished piece looks effortless. I love the movement you have created within the segments. The finishing touches are well executed and well placed.

But the thing I have enjoyed the most about this project is your honesty with the process. It has been great to see how you have overcome your obstacles and I think will teach us all how to keep on sewing through our own obstacles.

Generosity indeed.

joan71 said...

JillyBe, it is a terrific vest. Very tasteful and well executed trims and details.
I recently sewed a DE Santa Cruz muslin for a friend. Not sure when it will be done.....fitting, and my life and her life is getting in the way

Mary said...

This is a wonderful piece of clothing...because it holds all your expectations and your experiences while constructing it. Truly a artful piece. I love it. You are a great sewist and I'm really happy to be able to share in your projects through this medium.

I like every style shot above. Every one!

Jillybejoyful said...

Oh my; thank you SO much everyone! Your comments seem, well, awfully kind; but still, I really really appreciate them, and they certainly make me feel pretty darn good about it all! :D <--see how big that grin is?

Margy I think my scarves are one of the best birthday presents ever (mine were designated as presents) - I can't wait to see what you make up to wear with yours!

Joan what a lucky friend you have! I know you'll do the Santa Cruz piece amazing justice :)

Everyone - I think I'll just take myself off with a big smile & bask in all the compliments :) :) :)

glorm said...

What a journey it's been, but great results. The vest looks absolutely fabulous.

gwensews said...

Beautiful things take time. Your Peony is divine! Artsy and yet very wearable. Nice job. Congrats for not giving up.

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous, Jilly Be!

Unknown said...

It turned out so pretty! It really looks different with the different accessories, too. Love that scarf with it! Your smile tells the story of how much you love that vest, great picture of you. :)
All your hard work really paid off. this was a relationship worth sticking with. :)

Sandy in CA said...

Wow -- that is so gorgeous!

Trinity said...

Beautifully done, Jilly!

Anonymous said...

Jilly, you just look radiant in all the formulations of your vest ensembles. I especially one with the felted scarf. Beautiful, beautiful outfit for sure.


House of Pinheiro said...

wow. This is so creative and unique. Congratulations, you should be so proud of your work !

Jean said...

Congrats! Your vest is truly a work of art. All of the details are lovely -- fabulous! All of your outfits look great, but I especially like the one with the Decades of Style skirt and the Harlequin Feltworks scarf -- super chic!

Unknown said...

absolutely stunning!

Dixie said...

Absolutely fabulous, Jilly. I knew you had it in you! So glad you persevered with this relationship. Now the two of you can honeymoon together for a long, long time!
Surprised jeans don't look good with the vest colors. Blue and orange usually look great together. I would stay away from wearing white with this. I learned from Kaffe Fasset, the color knitting guru, that white sucks the power out of color. I've experimented a lot with this. White and one or two other colors can be great, but white and multicolors that don't include white isn't so wonderful.
Enjoy your vest!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful piece. Looks great with the scarf.

pdiddly said...

Absolutely beautiful and I love the different looks with the skirt and boots - the feltworks scarf looks like it was made for you - you should be very proud of your handiwork.