Winter Plaid Jacket

B 11-2010-133 side

So, after not doing anything with Marfy 1401 but letting it percolate in the back of my mind, I’ve come to the conclusion that I like the idea of that coat, but I don’t really like the idea of that coat in my life.  Why?  Well, simply put, I like… no…. LOVE the collar, but I just don’t need a long swing coat in my wardrobe.  If I need to dress up and it’s cold, I’ve got choices.  I could have played the Marfy down with the wool plaid, but in reality, I just want a casual coat that I can throw on and run errands in that isn’t a ski jacket.  Now, I hear you all.  Yes, I could have shortened the Marfy pattern, but I didn’t want to for some inexplicable reason.  I’m sorry to disappoint, but the Marfy Lab Coat project is officially dead.  So I went mentally wandering through my patterns for something else.

B 11-2010-133

B 11-2010-113 drawingEnter BurdaStyle’s November 2010 issue, #133.  It’s got bands, pockets and is a big, casual design with no fussing.  Win!  I chose this pattern because I liked the idea of bias bands with this plaid.  The fabric is wonderful.  It was a thrift store find a couple of winters ago that was originally intended to be a maxi skirt, but it was a bit on the heavy side, and so languished in stash until now.  I washed and dried it in the dryer about 3 times to get it to felt a little bit.  The process added the weight I wanted. The coat is not lined, but I lined mine with kasha lining. I made no adjustments other than sleeve length, although I did change up the construction a bit.

The first big change I made was to cut strips of bias for the bands and forget about Burda’s pattern.  I cut them 10.5 cm wide and washed them again to fray the edges a bit.  My idea was to overlay the edges of the coat itself and topstitch them into place rather than encasing the band between the coat and lining.  I wanted the casual frayed edge.  I did not interface the bands.

B 11-2010-133 front band

I measured 3 cm in from the edge of the coat and laid the inner edge of the top band along the markings.  There was a lot of easing and shrinking to do at the curved front bottom edges.  Once the top band was basted into place, I laid the band facing in place (wrong sides together) matching up the outer edges of the facing and band and topstitched them together.  Then I stitched through all thicknesses to attach both layers to the coat itself.  I really like how it looks.

B 11-2010-133 back band

I liked the idea of topstitching the pocket to the front, so I did that.  And I wanted a rolled-back cuff look but without actually having to roll the cuffs back.  The sleeves were long on me without the cuffs attached, so I trimmed about 4 cm and machine stitched the lining in place.  inside of sleeve

Then I stitched the cuffs and cuff facings together around the edges like I did the bands.  I folded them in half and stitched the edges together like a French cuff and laid the entire cuff over top of the sleeve.

cuffs

Needless to say, that’s a lot of layers, so I used a fell stitch to attach the cuff to the outside of the sleeve, and then a long back stitch on the inside to attach the edge of the sleeve to the cuff.  The cuffs extend past the sleeve edge by about 4 cm.

B 11-2010-133 pockets

It thoroughly snowed on Friday – FINALLY.  I’ve been waiting since October for decent snow.  Yesterday it was all sunshine and sparkles with a blue blue sky – just gorgeous!  The snow makes everything brighter.  I love winter.  Today, it’s supposed to rain, so the snow seen in the pics is actually half of what we got in about 24 hours last Friday.  Loved it!  Winter is supposed to be full of white fluffy cold stuff!

B 11-2010-133 back 2

I didn’t put any fastenings at the CF (I may change this later and add snaps) so I’m holding it closed with a belt.  Haven’t put any belt loops as of picture-taking time, but I think I’ll add some.  And now that the snow’s scheduled to melt in the rain today, I’m ready for those casually dressed errands without a ski jacket.

B 11-2010-133 front

Pattern Review: Vogue 7792

v7792 side viewWell, the coat is finished! It didn’t take that long to do, once I got started on it. As you can see from the picture, this is not the first time I’ve made this coat. I’ve made up this coat three times now. The first was in 2002 when DD1 was about 5 years old. I don’t have a picture, unfortunately. It was of a dark purple melton with a faux persian lamb collar and hat. The second version is on DD2, on the left. My DD1 chose the fabric (it was originally made for my eldest), but I didn’t purchase enough fabric, so it’s a bit shorter than I would have liked it to be. The latest version of it was necessary as DD3 had outgrown all the coats in the closet. Both coats are a Vogue size 10. You can see a picture of the pattern here.

sarah bella coatsI realize DD3’s is a bit big, but I’m hoping she’ll wear it next year, too. She’s very tall, and as she’s only 8, the coat will look perfect next year.

The beret and both coat collars are of a rayon faux persian lamb. I love this faux fur. I wish all faux furs were made of rayon, because you can steam them into shape without the fibres melting. The mystery fabric was interesting to sew. It behaved like a fleece, so required some care. I probably should have used a walking foot, but didn’t. I’ve left a 4 inch (10 cm) hem allowance on the cuffs, and pleated an extra 2 inches (5 cm) into the sleeve lining as a “growth” pleat. I’m anticipating DD3’s sprouting over the next year.

I was trying to be economical with this coat, and raided my button stash. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) I had to be satisfied with four different buttons. Some of them must be vintage, because they’re quite interesting. Hopefully you can get a closeup look at the picture. And I got stuck with the buttonholes, as you can read about in my previous post.4 different buttons

And here’s my pattern review:

Pattern Description: Children’s/Girls’ coat and hat.

Pattern Sizing: 4-6; 7-10; 12-14

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Absolutely!

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes. The instructions for this coat are particularly easy to follow and well-written. There are no errors.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I was initially drawn to it because of the back pleats and the length options.sarah coat backI personally love a long winter coat, and my girls are happy to have dress coats to wear. I also liked the hat pattern. It’s got a little of that jaunty Parisian air to it.v7792 beret

Fabric Used: light teal wool melton and white kasha lining for DD2’s coat. Dark teal mystery fabric, silver kasha lining for DD3’s coat. Rayon faux Persian lamb for the beret, collars and DD3’s belt.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I did not make any design changes either time. This is a lovely pattern and it’s got a lot of ease and movement to accommodate different shapes of little people. I know it’s an OOP pattern, but if you can get your hands on a copy, the resulting garment is worth it.

It’s outgrown, so now what?

Home Coming (AS&E #66)

I’ve finally decided to part with a winter coat I smocked for DD1 about 8 years ago.  It’s another pattern from Australian Smocking & Embroidery Issue 66. It included a little purse, which I thought was a cute touch.  The roses and leaves are made from strips of cashmere.

It was my first attempt to smock a heavier fabric by hand…. I mean actually marking the fabric and pleating it by hand, as it was too bulky to put through a pleater.  What’s a pleater?  A little hand-turned wonder that pleats the fabric for you, saving a lot of time, not to mention ensuring that the rows of pleats are precise.

But back to the coat.  It’s a beautiful coat – a little heavy – but warm and there is so much wear left in it!  Why keep it in my closet for someone 30 years down the line when I can always make another one – and would enjoy it, too?  So I handed it down to a friend who has a daughter younger than all of mine.  In a way I’m happy that it’s going to someone who will appreciate it, but on the other hand it makes me sad to part with it.  This particular friend’s mom was a seamstress, trained in Italy, so I know she appreciates the work that goes into a garment like this.  But it’s hard to part with something that has a lot of love and time put into the making of it.

Just last night DH managed to encourage me with an offhand comment about how art isn’t really worth anything until there’s someone willing to pay for it.  In his defense, I see his (time = money) point, but it still is a hurtful and sad comment.  Is what people create really so “worthless” if there isn’t a return on the investment, so to speak?

purse with roses

I know I would be very hesitant to fork over what this purse is actually worth in terms of material and labour (maybe $15?)  if I saw it in a store, but is that because I know I could make it if I really wanted to have it?  Because I’m not one of the “rich” that don’t think twice before paying ridiculous amounts of money for one-of-a-kind garments?  Or because I don’t think it’s worth it or that it will be tossed after 3 days of use?  Yet I love to spend my time to create an item like this!  It’s enjoyable, I’m pleased with the tangible result of what I spent my time on, and it most definitely gives me a creative outlet…. a place to wind down and relax while I do something that I love!

 

Pattern Review: Burda 02-2011-102B

B 02-2011-108B front

Yay!  A UFO is off my sewing table!

Pattern Description:  Jacket from the Mamma Mia! collection from the February 2011 issue of Burda Magazine.

Pattern Sizing:  36 – 44

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?  Yes, it did.

Were the instructions easy to follow?  This is one of those sewing DSC03479courses that Burda has in their magazine.  To be honest, I glanced at the directions occasionally, but I did not follow them exactly.  I did find their method of attaching the notched collar and facing interesting.  First you completely put together the collar:  under collar, upper collar and collar stand so you have a complete collar without the jacket.  Then attach the front of the facings to where the collar notch begins.  Then you put in the collar proper.  It was a very different method compared to what I’m used to (that being Vogue Patterns’ method of fully assembling the lining with the upper collar and then attaching it all to the jacket as one step.)  I think I like Burda’s method, because it gave me the opportunity to deal with turn of cloth on the collar.  It was also a simpler way of getting things to line up properly.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  I liked the shaping of the jacket and the 3/4 length sleeves.

Fabric Used:  Olive green linen from my stash and cotton voile remnants for the seam finishes.  I did not do a Hong Kong finish – I bias bound all the seam edges.  B 02-2011-108B interior

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  I did a complete 1-inch FBA.  This was the reason for doing an unlined version in linen that I may or may not wear.  I wanted to see if the adjustment would work with the style, on me.  If it did, bonus!  If not, then I wasn’t sure I’d bother with tweaking it more.  I’m not really crazy about how deep the darts are.  This may be due to linen’s crispness.  Wool would definitely shape better.  Perhaps gathering the front under bust dart along the

Isn’t that a problem with sewing for oneself?  It’s one thing to try on endless garments and styles in a boutique, but one never really knows if the garment you’ve cut and sewn is a) going to fit; b) flatter your figure; or c) be something that you like enough to actually wear.

The other issue I had with this is the armscye and the fit of the sleeves.  And wouldn’t you know it, but Claudine’s post and links therein were the darned answer I was looking for – down to every single minute detail.  I love sewing blog land!  Everyday I learn new things (or, as I said to DH last night, how much I don’t know).  So for the next version, I’ll be re-drafting the sleeves and the armscye.  Surely this is easier if one has a bit of pattern drafting experience (not me) or a clone to fit (I don’t), so I’ll do it the hard way:  making notes about this version and analyzing photographs!

One other note to self:  the high hip adjustment.  I neglected to add that into this version.

I only put one button on, and incorporated the buttonhole into the waist seamline.  I had intended to do bound buttonholes (for practice), but remembered that I hadn’t saved any cutting scraps.  So, only one button!

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I do intend to make this up again.  Karin’s tweed version of this is stunning (I’d love to put a link to the post here, but Google won’t let me – her blog at MakingTheSeam has been removed apparently?!?!?!?), and I’m thinking it would be a good style for some broderie anglais I have in my stash.

DSC03474