Thursday, June 20, 2013

2013 Showmanship Suit

As requested by the lovely in2paints, here are some details of my new jacket.

The base fabric is Hobby Horse's new Hobbyflex fabric.  I used my winnings from the Elements Design contest to purchase new show pants and enough matching fabric for a jacket.

The fabric makes up pretty well.  It's such a nice knit that I didn't even feel the need to serge the edges which cut down some construction time.  It's got a decent weight to it but it didn't fee hot or heavy while wearing it.  According to Hobby Horse it's soil resistant, has moisture management, takes heat well, and is machine washable.  I agree with all of that but I did find that I had to be careful in finding the balance between a temperature that was warm enough to melt the glue on my adhesive appliques and crystals, but didn't scorch the fabric.  This is a battle with any synthetic fabric, of course.  There are a few little iron marks on the jacket but they're not that noticeable unless you're looking for them.  I won't tell you where I burned a hole completely through the fabric while learning just how hot my new Clover Mini-Iron can get.  Ooops.

Every project (of mine) has it's disasters, some minor, some major.  Burning a hole through the jacket was major until I found the right combination of appliques to cover the whole without looking obvious.  The other disaster was that I had to make the sleeves twice.  I finished adding the apps to both sleeves and then went to cut more of the ultrasuede and realized I had used the wrong color of ultrasuede.  I had a sand color that I'd used on the two previous year's jackets and that's what I had used on the sleeves.  I then remembered I'd purchased a matching color of Bone ultrasuede that perfectly matched the hat - which shows the value of ordering swatches because I'd have NEVER guessed from the web photo that it would match.

After some swearing and pacing and deep sighs, I decided it was worth it to start over, so I tossed the sleeves aside and cut a new set.  I didn't repeat the applique pattern on the second set and I actually liked both arrangements equally, though I was able to incorporate the ultrasuede in a more integrated way than the first version, so it was a happy accident!  Plus I was able to toss the first sleeves into the washer to see how they'd fare.  Surprisingly well!  The ultrasuede released a bit at the edges but that's fixable and minor compared to the convenience of being able to wash a show jacket!  I'm pretty confident that I can wash this inside-out on gentle and lay it flat to dry and have zero issues.... but I'll wait until it actually looks dirty!  Dress Shields are my friend!

All of the appliques were cut on my Silhouette Cameo machine.  Below is a video demo of the process that I made as a companion piece to a presentation I gave at a national theatre conference last spring.

The glitter colors are silver, gold, black-gold, and bronze. the supplier says they "cannot be layered" but it has been working for me just fine, even through washing so I'm not sure why they tell you not to... hopefully I never find out!

There's also some Silhouette brand "black glitter" but I'm NOT impressed with this stuff.  It was hard to weed and hard to attach and is not nearly as cool looking as the glitter, but my supplier was backordered on the black glitter so I tried this stuff. If I do another black jacket (IF... ha!) I'll make sure to get the black glitter.  It's such a cool tone-on-tone look.

For the double layered apps, I used my Silhouette software to create just the right size for the underlay and the overlay and then carefully lined them up and ironed them together as one.  I didn't stitch the apps down, hopefully that doesn't bite me later.  Back when I did in2paint's jacket, I stitched every one of them down because I didn't trust the ultrasuede OVER the glitter, but I think glitter on Ultrasuede is safer.  Oh and I had to cut each of those apps by hand which is why I now have a machine to do it for me!

I used only Swarovski crystals on the jacket in several colors and sizes and finishes.  I based the pattern off of Suitability's 5630 jacket.

I find it difficult to capture the shimmer of these crystals and glitter apps on still images so here's a quick video that helps a little.


  1. It turned out great!! I love how the applique areas of the jacket are really 'busy' and then the rest of it is plain. It's a nice contrast. The bone suede matches your hat really well too so it all ties in together. Was that your plan when you got the suede?

    It makes me want to work on my jacket... you know, the one I haven't even started on. Yeah, that one! :)

    1. Duh, just re-read your post and that's exactly what you said. Well, the suede looks really nice with your hat!! :)

    2. It's never too late!!! Sew on!

      I bought a huge pack of Ultrasuede color swatches a long time ago. The old color I had (because I ended up with a ton of it leftover from a theatre show) was a warmer sand color. I did take it with me to Rod's and bought the hat that matched the best. But then when I ordered your fuchsia I checked my swatches and the "Bone" was a perfect match to the hat so I ordered some. I kinda forgot about it though since I still had some of the old sand stuff ready to cut.

  2. Such a pretty jacket! Sometimes I wish we could wear this kinda of stuff in the hunters.

  3. I nominated you for the Liebster award, stay tuned for my next post with further details!

  4. This is gorgeous and I appreciate the details in your post! I make show clothing for my 13 year old daughter and just got the Silhouette Cameo. I'm so excited to take appliques to the next level! Can you tell me which glitter sheet supplier you like best?

    1. Thank you. I have liked both Heattransferwarehouse and expressions vinyl. I do NOT like any of the silhouette iron ons. I have had lots of adherence issues with the sil. Make sure to follow the settings suggestions and get ready to go through blades. I don't use glitter blades on anything else.