Done: Burda 1/2016 #123 Coat Re-do

Burda 01-2016-123 redo frontAnd it’s finished!  I have a car coat that I am happy with, and that I have already worn more in the last week or so than I ever did in it’s first iteration.

Compulsory inside view of the back with ease pleats.  I am so much happier with this lining than the first make-do version!
coat re-do lining back
I kept the pretty blue silk piping on the inside.
coat re-do lining Here’s the inside view of the properly placed in-seam pockets, complete with pocket stay, attached to the front facing with ribbons saved from the Christmas Fiasconaro panettone. Do you do this? I keep all those decorative fabric ribbons that make boxes pretty: Maison Birks, Jo Malone, Fiasconaro, Pottery Barn, etc., etc. If anyone decides to dissect my jeans, they’ll be in for a surprise! They work surprisingly well when twill tape or some sort of tape is required in places. recycle ribbon
Here’s another picture of the inside. I didn’t underline this coat because the fabric is actually a sort of knit, and I wanted it to be ‘free’. I did reinforce the hems, seams and facings with a combination of silk organza strips (straight grain) and horsehair (straight for the front and bias for the sleeve cuffs).
coat re-do inside The grain across the high chest is now straight. The front is lapped, not snapped shut, so it looks off, but it isn’t. coat re-do shouldersBack view on my double in the workroom. I’m happy with the grain and the slimmer fit.
coat re-do 3 And then the back view on me. No glamourous fashion footwear here; just practical warm winter boots. Burda 01-2016-123 redo backAnd a side-ish view, both belted and unbelted. I usually wear it belted.
Burda 1-2016-123 side

I changed the placement of the belt loops, too, because they were too high in the original coat.  You can see closeup photos of the actual loop with it’s lining back (less bulk) and it on the coat with the belt drawn through it here.

I am so very happy with this coat now!  The fabric is from EOS, and it’s cozy and so pretty up close.

Burda 01-2016-123 redo tied

Woo hoo! First major project of 2020 is in the closet.  Now I’ve just to finish altering DD3’s jumpsuit and get some photos of it so I can show you here make from a couple of years ago.  Alterations are necessary due to height changes and the general slimming down that happens in mid-teen years.  After that, all my alterations are done and I can start on new things!

Remake & Re-fashion

green coat pocketsMy first project of 2020 is to remake the last winter coat I made back in 2018.  I intend to shorten it to car coat length so that I will actually wear it, as it has only been worn twice since it was finished.  There are several things that just bug me about the coat:

  • It is a BIG COAT, which is what I was going for in the first place, but I really hated my slap-dash-use-whatever-I-have-lying-around-the-house-that’s-the-right-tone lining (drapery silk shantung that had been washed in hot water and put through a hot dryer cycle with tennis and dryer balls to soften up the hand) because it just made it so…. so…. ridiculous to wear, I guess.  I really wanted a different lining – a softer, lighter lining; lighter than flannel-backed satin or kasha lining, typically used in winter coats.
  • The original Burda pattern is a tall pattern, and I didn’t bother to place the pockets accurately, so they sit about 10cm lower than they should on me.  I want to move the pocket up to where they will be useful and easy to access with my not-tall arms.
  • The R front facing and front edge bugs me.  It’s a grain thing, and I hate wearing it because of this.  I intend to straighten it out and do it properly.
  • It’s just too long and dramatic to get worn much, and I have other fabric for other dramatic coats in my stash that I hope to make up soon.
  • The contrast band of linen velvet is nice in a dramatic coat, but I do actually want to wear this coat, and the current length makes it rather a process to get in and out of the car.
  • It’s too wide.  I hate coats that fit small, and I was very enthusiastic in adding ease to my original iteration of this coat, so each side seam will be reduced by 4cm, for a total width reduction of 16cm.

Coat Re-do 1

I’ve re-cut the lining from a lightweight satin-backed crepe fabric from my local Fabricland that was actually marketed as drapery fabric (???).  I laundered it to get that horrid polyester chemical smell out of it before cutting it out.  I used the old lining as a pattern, after making forward-sloping shoulder alterations and taking in the sides by a total of 16cm.

Coat re-do 2

So far I have completed the following alterations:

  • removed the lining
  • moved the pockets up 10cm
  • taken the side seams in 16cm
  • straightened the grain across the upper chest by doing a forward-sloping shoulder adjustment (Why didn’t I do this the first time around?!)
  • removed the lower velvet band
  • redid the facings, which, in combination with the shoulder adjustments, has made the fronts hang straight.  Happy day!

All that is left is to put the lining back in after deciding on the length I want.

More importantly than my news about remaking my coat, I want to thank each and every one of you for all your comments and kind words on my last post.  It may be cliché, but your wishes and encouragement meant so much, and on hard days, I go back and re-read them.

Winter Coat: Burda 1/2016 #123

So, one of my goals for 2018 was to make jackets and coats: I had declared it “The Year of the Coat”.   I managed to make one.
Green CoatI finally got around to the project at the end of April. I pulled two pieces of fabric out of stash:  a lovely green/brown ‘bubble’ wool from EmmaOneSock in 2013and a piece of velvet linen, purchased randomly from Scalamandre’s Third Floor around the same time. I had this from BurdaStyle’s January 2016 in mind for both: Burda 1-2016-123It’s a ‘tall’ pattern, but I wanted something long and dramatic.  So I left the length, and adjusted the waist length by 2 inches (5cm). Here’s the back: green coat back
I did not like the tie collar (and the linen would not have worked for it, imho), so I frankenpatterned Vogue 2590 (an OOP Montana military-style coat). collar collageI love the high collar, and I must say, working with a Vogue pattern vs. a Burda magazine pattern in the same project was a sober reminder (and an elated reminder) of why I love Vogue patterns so much: there were more markings on the collar pieces than the entire front coat pattern piece from Burda.  A clearly marked pattern makes construction so precise, and easy construct with (relative) perfection. Well, I am happy with it, anyways!

The coat does not have buttons. I debated doing the hand worked buttonhole exercise, but opted for the large snaps Burda suggested. I like them! And, no, I did not bother to try to choose a fabric that would match the coat so they could be covered. I just put them on. Finis!

Some details of the interior finishing:lining

There are in-seam pockets. green coat pockets
Here’s the side view.
green coat side

A loooong belt tie. green coat tie
A tall, statuesque drink of water I am not, which is perhaps accentuated by the tie belt. But I love the length and drama of wearing such a coat.

Miss V’s Wardrobe 2016

I was looking through my blog posts and realized I had made a collection of new clothes for Miss V only just last year!  Amazing how time flies and yet seems so far away at the same time.

Miss V was here visiting home from Cambodia for the last 6 weeks, and she wanted new clothes.  So, for a change, we went fabric shopping together at the Fabricland closest to her and bought fabric for 3 tops, 2 trousers, 4 dresses and a cardigan.  I was all ready to start sewing two weeks ago, and then everyone under the age of 18 in my household got sick.  I still don’t know what they were ill with, but it was miserable for a while.  Needless to say, there was no sewing when there should have been sewing.  But I managed to get everything done, and reasonably well enough (considering how little fitting opportunities there were), and off on the plane in Miss V’s bags earlier this week.  This is more of a catalogue for my (future) self, but I thought you’d like to see what she chose this time.

Variations on Vogue 9595 (OOP). The pink is a stretch polyester brocade with a self-lined bodice. The cotton has a mock sarong overlay. Both of them have in-seam pockets (which I hate). She prefers gathers in the bodice to pleats.

Vogue 9595 variations

Vogue 1415.  I’ve actually made the trousers from this pattern twice for another client this summer.  It’s a gorgeous pattern, and there is so little fitting to be done. Of course they look dreadful pinned to the dress form.  They’re made of a polyester linen-look, lined with poly-cotton broadcloth (her choice).  Considering how hard it is to keep white white in Cambodia, these should be easy to clean.Vogue 1415 trousers

Vogue 2064 trousers in a woven, not the called-for knit.  It fits so well as a woven for Miss V. This is the same pattern that I used for her upcycled sari and purple trousers.  You’ll see the front needs some alterations, but, in my defense, Miss V requested that I make things a ‘bit small’ because she was going back into the sauna of Cambodia and would shed the extra that made these fit poorly through the waist/high hip.  They’ll sit at her natural waist soon enough!  🙂

Vogue 2064 trousers

I copied a Vera Wang jersey top that she had worn to shreds.  I was, thankfully, allowed to cut it all up so I could use it as a pattern.  I traced the pieces and trued them up.  It’s an interesting mock crossed drape front.  Miss V was so funny when I cut the pink striped one out for her to try as a muslin (unhemmed in the pictures below).  She danced around singing, ‘My top!  My favourite top!’  I made three iterations of this, and, unfortunately, didn’t have time to tweak the fit to make it perfect. But she was sooooo happy with them that I’m not going to sweat all the things that irritate me about these.  I’ll just make notes/adjustments on the pattern for next time.Miss V draped top

Marfy 1913.  This is such a gorgeous pattern.  Why haven’t I made this for myself yet?  Even DD3 wanted one for herself after seeing the pink paisley version on my dress form.

Marfy 1913 dresses

I also managed to get a cotton/silk top out of it for her wardrobe.

Marfy 1913 top

And I copied a cardigan that she loves.  It’s a waterfall  cardigan – well, a large rectangle (2 x .70m) with sleeves added at equidistant points from the CB fold, with enough fabric in the front to throw over one shoulder as a wrap.  I cut the sleeves on the bias, using the Vogue 2064 pattern. The fabric is a mystery jersey of some sort that(surprisingly) washed well.Miss V Cardigan

I sewed all long weekend to get this done, which I never do.  I always hold weekends sacrosanct for family time.  But it was so lovely having all my DDs and my DH around cooking, cleaning and planning while I just sewed.  I need to make an excuse to have that kind of sewing weekend without interruptions again.  😀

Vogue 8600

Vogue 8600 side front

Here’s my latest matelassé project, Marcy Tilton’s jacket.  It’s got a large, oversized collar and deep pleats at the waist for shaping.  The pattern photos must be made with a thin taffeta fabric, because the jacket looks super crisp.  Mine doesn’t because of the bulky fabric I chose to make. Mine also seems to have more shape, because the body inside it has waaay more shape than the model’s, which seem to sit perfectly straight from shoulder to hemline.

The matelassé was bulky and had a mind of its own, so each seam and box pleat is catch-stitched down in order to ‘press’ the seams.  Pressing a scrap of the matelassé completely flattened it. Not good.  I tried ‘pressing’ the pleat edges through the hem bands in the front as the line drawing indicates so that they’d be crisp, but the fabric moves a lot on its own, and the edges/corners would not lay flat.  So I left them alone as a nod at a peplum look.

Vogue 8600 side front 2

The cuffs are very deep – about 8 inches (20cm) – and are designed to be folded back, if desired.  I’ve been wearing them not quite doubled back in half as they seem too short exactly in half, and too long not folded up at all.  And the back pleats release at the bottom of the shoulder blades.  I made a sway back adjustment, and shortened the waist on this version, but you can see how it balloons out in the back while being worn.  I’m sure most of this is due to my fabric choice.

Vogue 8600 back

As mentioned in my previous post, the front facings, undercollar and hem facings were all cut from a crinkle polyester taffeta from deep stash.  The lining is rayon bemberg in a tone-on-tone match with the crinkle taffeta.  No one’s going to see it, because this jacket looks pretty weird unbuttoned.  Here’s the underside of the collar.

Vogue 8600 under collar

See how large this thing is?  It looks fabulous as a dramatic collar, but it’s not quite big enough to keep one’s head warm.

Vogue 8600 collar

My final thoughts on this:  It’s an interesting fabric in an interesting jacket pattern.  I think if I had made it out of a crisp taffeta (suggested fabric, btw), it would have looked like a box with a big collar on me. It has an extraordinary amount of ease – no FBA required! I have long wanted to make up this pattern, just for the collar, and I’m happy I did.

Bound Buttonholes and Matelassé

matelasse taffeta bound buttonholes

I’m working on another matelassé jacket, and kinda sorta wanted to do bound buttonholes.  I used a crinkle polyester taffeta, stabilized with fusible interfacing, as the contrast binding and the facing on the centre front pieces of the jacket.

crinkle taffeta facing

The matelassé is a gold/olive green/black weave in I guess what you would call a ‘patchwork’ pattern. The gold crinkle taffeta was the best match from my stash.

Vogue 8600 buttonholes

Can I just tell you that I decided to make bound buttonholes after the facing and collar was attached?  I had planned to go the lazy machine-stitched buttonhole route, but after a series of trials on scraps, decided bound buttonholes would look the best.  Instead of a straight-forward set of buttonholes, this became a fiddling-redo-rip-out-redo game, but I’m happy with the results.

What’s the best make-it-unnecessarily-difficult-extra-work decision you’ve ever made on a project?

Burda 02/2014 #128: Painted Moto Jacket

I have been furiously working on a project that was not in my plans, queue, remote thought, or imaginary nighttime sewing.  I was pleasantly surprised to make it through to the Second Round of the PR 2015 Sewing Bee, but the challenge we were given was out of my experience and comfort zone.  I quote from the rules:

1 – You must start with an existing piece of fabric. That fabric can be either woven or knit, from stash or new.

2- You must alter or embellish the fabric with a method such as one of the following techniques: stamping, dyeing, free motion embroidery, sashiko, piecing, applique, reverse applique, screen printing, stenciling, painting, embossing, quilting, beading or smocking.

3 – You must use that fabric to create a garment. The garment you create must be a garment wearable by a person, such as a dress, top, trousers, skirt, jacket or jumpsuit. Accessories do not qualify. You may use any pattern you wish (commercial, self-drafted, draped, etc.). Note: you may also reverse the order of rule 2 and 3, modifying the garment after construction, if that works better for your selected technique.

So, what to do?  I immediately started to panic, then gave myself a stern talking to and settled down to think what I should do.  I wanted to use what materials I had at hand without having to purchase anything, therefore I was left with four options:  dyeing, embroidery/beading, smocking or other fabric manipulation, or painting.  A couple of fabrics that have been mouldering in my stash popped into mind:  a yellow-ish embroidered linen whose colour I had grown to loathe over the years, some golden yellow cotton piqué, or the remnants of peach linen from Vogue 1175.  I did dye more than one (for back up purposes, should the first project be an utter fail), but I thought I may as well use the remnant of peach mid-weight linen, since it mattered the least to me.

linen before

Now, I have no idea what I’m doing with fabric paints or dyes.  So I just jumped in.  I had brown, red, purple, pink and white/opalescent fabric paints that I chose to use after finding an inspiration fabric.

textile paints

I had no method and no plan.  I just went to work.  First I splattered with brown.  When I was done, I realized I didn’t have enough brown paint and should have watered it down… a lot.  *shrug*  Nothing I could do, so I forged ahead with the red.  I took care to splatter it differently, but ended up using a scrub brush to give large brush strokes to the fabric.  Ghastly, thought I.  Let’s see what the purple will do.  I mixed some of the pink with the purple to create a lighter shade and dry brushed it in places.  The texture of the patio stones (yes, I did this outside) rubbed through the purple… kinda cool.  Then I splattered with opalescent/white.

It was the most horribly ugly anything I could have possibly created.  Ugh.  What to do?  Find the empty paint pots, add a lot of water to each, and splatter the fabric with the diluted mixture again.  Seemed a bit better….  But I was still horrified at the result.

I let it dry for about 2 hours (not the recommended 24 hours), and rolled it all into a ball and put it into the dryer on high for 40 minutes to set the paint.  When I took it out, I hated it.  I had a tub of avocade green dye sitting unused after dying the yellow embroidered linen (a much happier result for a different project) earlier that day, so I cut off a piece of the peach linen and stuck it into the dye along with some lightweight RPL that I was planning to make into a cardigan.

In about an hour, I checked the peachy linen and it was still very peach.  I was at least hoping for something in the brown range… y’know… pink and green together should make some sort of brownish shade.  Not this linen.  It was peach, and it was going to die peach.

Not to be beaten, I thought I could try leaving the entire mess in the dye bath overnight.  I began to wet the linen, and the paint started to smudge off.  Brilliant!!  I put it into a hot wash, then the hot dryer again and was much happier with the worn, faded look of the paint.

linen after

I was still truly horrified at the result, but my darling eldest daughter and DH insisted it didn’t look as bad as I thought it did, and both declared I should continue with the project.  DH also had very specific ideas about the jacket pattern I should choose, but I only had 1.75m to work with.  In the end, I chose this lovely little number from Burda 2/2014.

Burda 2/2014 #128

The shaped yokes and sleeve cap pieces would be useful, I thought. So I set to planning and cutting around my red paint splatters and brushstrokes, which seemed rather gory to my mind.  I had visions of blood-splattered clothing from a crime scene.  Ah well…. at least it would only cost me time.  Besides, I was starting to enjoy the challenge of working with what to my mind was an impossible piece of fabric.

Burda 02-2014-128 jacket front

So here’s the finished jacket.  About half way through the construction I almost threw it all away, but my DH and DD1 insisted that I should finish it and that it would be much better than I thought it was.  I won’t bore you with the construction details, except to say that Burda’s instructions for the reverse corners are atrocious.  Vogue would have walked the sewer through the procedure step-by-step and thoroughly.  So I went my own way, which I will share in a later post.

Burda 02-2014-128 interior finishing

It is unlined, except for the shoulder yokes and sleeve caps, which was fell-stitched into place.  I used a hong kong finish on the facings and lower armscyes.  All the seams are flat felled for a clean interior.

Burda 02-2014-128 jacket

After finishing the construction, the jacket cried out for something other than the paint, so, to emphasize the shoulders, I followed the painted patterns with beads in brown and reds.

Burda 02-2014-128 beaded shoulders

And the result?  Well, I think this is going to be something that actually gets worn, despite it’s short length.  It’s not wonderfully styled in these photos, but I was in a hurry to meet the entrance deadline for the Bee.

Burda 02-2014-128 2

If you’d like to see more pictures of this project, please check out my Flickr album.