Claudia Vest, Mark 2

There’s no snazzy quote associated with this post, since I’ve used a lot of the ear and eye catching ones already…

Plus I’m writing this before bedtime to post in the morning, so searching or listening to episodes from more is not exactly going to happen… Because of that bedtime thing…

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So just imagine some Claudia Donovan sass, if you will!

The first trial of this vest was made three years ago out of a lab coat that I bought when I was abroad, perhaps the cheesiest and flimsiest lab coat around. When I pulled it out again recently, I realized that there were large obvious pit stains. And it didn’t fit. And it had a normal zipper, not a separating one, since that was always something I wanted to change but forgot to.

So I decided it was time to start over.

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This version is based off of the old one, out of linen this time with some redrafting since I know how to make a collar and facing now. It’s fully interfaced, since the linen was a bit shifty.  When I tried it on, it was still really big, despite my redrafting efforts, so I took it in on the fly, with pinning while I was wearing it, because separating zippers are magical!

It’s now a bit snug, but I like the way it fits, and I’m planning on actually doing that exercise thing, now that the semester and most of the craziness that goes with it are complete. So it might be a little less snug by the end of the summer, and that’ll be good too!

lining

I took the old lining since I adore the fabric, and I think Claudia would too, and slapped it onto the new version. I had to fish out my scraps to add some length to the top and bottom, but I had saved all of them for this exact purpose. I whipstitched the lining on carefully, hiding the ends under the facing for a clean line.

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This new version makes me really happy, since I was so sure this costume was already finished barring pictures, but since I’ve remade the vest, not only am I feeling better about the costume as a whole, but I’m now actually pushing to make the next pair or two of Ginger jeans, since they’re potentially going to round off the costume.

In the next week or two, I’m going to be announcing an exciting costume/fangirl/crazy thing I’m doing, so stay tuned for that!

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We are not the B-Team fool, we are the second A-Team.

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So. I have finally finished the vest for my Claudia costume. And today I’m subtle cosplaying her.

fabric

I know I told you I was done before, but I found that wonderfully neon fabric I told you about, so I did create a lining.

There’s nothing like handsewing a lining into a garment that makes you miss your sewing machine.

pinsAfter an additional eight or so hours of sewing, my vest is absolutely complete!

frontAnd now I’m off to class!

Cleaning and Planning

Cleaning is a double edged sword for me.

Being a generally lazy person, cleaning is just so much work. I’ve been on a cleaning kick though.

It would stop if I was assigned homework.

However, while I was cleaning out my fabric stash, I found some of my projects that I thought I had left at home. Squishable ones.

vestLike my Claudia vest.

hungAnd my culottes.

fabricAnd this fabric that will interface my TARDIS shrug.

originalAnd this shirt that I’ll be altering for my TARDIS. It’ll be smoothed out, like the bottom. I bought it crinkly, but I like the color more than the crinkly texture.

Did I ever tell you that my culottes were a bit too tight? I’m going to be making a fix for that shortly, and showing the super finished product. I’m starting with this so I can wear them before it gets too cold.

fabricThen I’m going to finish my Claudia vest, which will pretty much finish my Claudia costume. Just need a necklace then…

Soon there will be petticoats and my TARDIS shrug and some necklaces and a Belle muslin and a properly fitted underbust corset and a bum roll and my TARDIS skirt and a sweater and…

New guy gets to fix the fish.

Edit: I wrote this post a few weeks ago, while waiting to take a picture of the vest… Then forgot to take a picture until now. But I liked the post as it was… So here you go!

I got my serger! And it’s even kind of working!

Time to get to work on the vest.

As I had mentioned last time, I have seam ripped my muslin, and prepared the lab coat I planned to use for the fabric.

For my labs last semester I was required to buy a lab coat, but at my normal college, it isn’t standard practice to wear one unless you are doing a messy experiment, in which case you borrow one of the lab coats from the office.

lab

So I am putting this lab coat to good use!

pieces

I’ve cut out my pattern pieces from the back and the sleeve pieces, as the front had too many pockets and sleeves.

The serger is up and running. I’m hesitant to run it for too long until I get it completely worked out, which may be a while. I’m still planning on using it, just carefully.

I’ve overlocked around each pattern piece, and used a different serger stitch to sew up the seams. I’m getting really good at threading this machine.

I sewed up the seams, turned over and topstitched the armscye, and then hand picked a zipper.  I’m going to need to replace it with a separating zipper at some point…

However, my camera battery died in the middle of the resulting steps.

finished

I’ve got a photo of the finished project though!

Here it is! Until I get it lined and pressed!

What light from yonder umbilicus breaks?

I’ve made a bit of progress on the Farnsworth, and the painting is all done. That’s always a big plus.

But today I want to show you what progress I’ve made on something else.

supplies

This summer I don’t have access to my normal sewing supplies, as my summer employment required a flight. My sewing machine would not terribly like my suitcase. And its a bit too heavy. And I’ve got too much fabric to fit into one suitcase, let alone bring clothing to wear along with it.

This also means that I’m not planning on doing any subtle cosplay, as the major components of my wardrobe aren’t with me. And its much too hot here to wear jeans.

But none of this has stopped me from working on my plans.

It just happened to… slow them.

I bought this sewing kit from Amazon, and its a  nice little starter kit. If you are new to sewing, and want something to work with for simple handsewing, this may be a good deal for you, but mostly I needed the scissors and the pins. I’ve had experience with enough unsharpened scissors and cutting fabric for me to need to invest in another fabric pair, even if the kit overall was cheap.

But anyway, back to the point of this post. I have begun work on my white vest for my Claudia costume.

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I was going to try to find an online pattern, and while waiting for my Amazon package I did some extensive searching, but I came up with very few patterns that were close enough to help. I decided instead to make a pattern based on my measurements.

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This is what I came up with.

pattern

I knew it would be a bit wonky, because I’ve rarely created a pattern that was wearable the first time, so I decided to make a muslin. I took an old sheet, traced my pattern, and gave some extra fabric space in the areas I suspected needed to be enlarged.

I unfortunately forgot to take a picture of this step. I was too excited and started sewing immediately. Hand-sewing.

On the plus side, my stitches are becoming more even?

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Here’s what the muslin looks like when I’m wearing it. For being a first drafted pattern and handsewn by a machine lover, I think its a pretty good effort! I’m not quite sure if I want to do anything about the shoulders. The muslin makes the shoulder seam lift up a bit, and I think that might look okay with the final fabric. I’m going to increase the width of the fabric in the front, because I want to have a fairly wide inside seam there, so there is a nice appearance when the collar is folded over.

afront1The front will match, I promise, it just was being too picky for pictures.

I found this awesome fabric a few years ago for my quilting stash, but I haven’t quite figured out how to use it yet. Granted, I’ve been without my sewing machine for all but two months of the year since then.

The fabric is a neon yellow-ish Gatorade color, with a floral pattern in black. Kind of a combination of this fabric, if this one was the background yellow. And without the stripes.

Claudia would love this fabric.

I’ve decided to line my vest in said fabric.

I’ve loved the idea of lining demure jackets and coats in crazy fabric, and this is my first opportunity to try.

I’ve got a heavy lead on a bid for a serger machine on ebay, and so I’m holding off until I know the outcome of that before I cut the fabric and move on, but if I am to handsew it, I’ll be using this technique to build a sturdy garment.

So that’s what I’ve got and where I’m going. Now that I’ve decided on my lining, the project won’t be fully finished until August, when I get back to my fabric stash.

Next step? Seam rip the muslin.