Still here, just quiet. I've been getting quite a bit done on the Bendigo cardigan, and in fact I just started on the second sleeve tonight. I'm really pleased with how it's turning out so far, and once I get the sleeve done, there will be only the blocking, assembly, and then picking up the button band. Practically done!
I've also been working, albeit slowly, on the Marfy jacket I'm making from the FabricMart embossed cotton. That fabric has been a struggle all the way. It's kind of thick, has no give whatsoever, and acts kind of "lumpy" at times because of the embossing I think. The sleeves are what gave me fits. Up to that point, things were going well, and I thought I was on track for a quick finish. I got the sleeves in, and although I did get them set in with no actual puckers on the sleeve side of the seam, the convolutions of the seam allowance came right through and because of the density of the fabric, made it look as if there were puckers on the sleeve itself. If I took a sleeve head and really held it in tight, they went away, but in real life, it wasn't working.
I checked a lot of my books, and the best information on what to do came from Sandra Betzina's Power Sewing. I lowered the sleeve cap, quite a bit actually, and they went in much more easily, and they look and feel fine. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I was doing about what she suggested for UltraSuede, which this is not, but it sure acts like it.
Hand basting was difficult as well, as no matter how fine the needle, it's very difficult to get it through, and if you happen to hit one of the embossed spots, it's tougher yet.
I think I did a poor job of matching the fabric and pattern. The fact that this jacket has curving lapels makes it difficult with this fabric, as wherever you have an embossed spot that extends into the edge seam, it doesn't want to lie smoothly, it wants to make a small "point" instead. Maddening, but with pressing and patience, I managed to get it right. I am afraid however, that if I topstitch or edgestitch, it will just bring the points back with a vengeance. Hand stitching holds no temptation with this fabric either. I think I'm just going to finish it, and be done. It's a lovely fabric, and quite busy by itself, so it really doesn't need even the extra embellishment of edgestitching.
Anyway, I'm up to the lining, which I haven't cut out yet. I also need to figure out an interesting, and unique closure. The pattern suggests a single frog with 2 buttons, which looks very nice. I may look for some unusual buttons or something. Actually, I have a couple of drilled, polished stones that might be just the ticket. I'll have to hunt them. They're from my LYS, which also carries a wonderful button selection.