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