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Showing posts from March, 2011

Stash Organization

For the last year or so, all of my quilting cotton fabric has been spread out on our ping pong table in the basement. Prior to that, it was all in a big box and I would dump it out when I needed something and then scoop it all back up into the box. Leaving it all spread out was much nicer, but also messier. And, it didn't make it easy to find what I needed. I would have to paw through all the fabric and often pieces would get buried and forgotten. It was time for a change.

This post from Anina of The Twiddletails Blog was just the inspiration I needed to get the mess organized. Several weeks ago, I sorted the fabric into color groups and got the right size containers. Since then, I've been gradually ironing and folding it all one group at a time in between other projects.

When I finished my coat, I gave my sewing space a thorough cleaning and then felt like it was time to move the organized fabric in. There used to be a rocking chair in the corner where the fabric is now. The w…

Coat Progress - Part 5

I hesitate to consider this the "big reveal" because the coat does look very incomplete without buttons and because the pictures are really lousy. Uncooperative weather and an overly busy photographer have conspired against me.


It was really windy outside when we took these pictures. This was the only one where the coat wasn't flapping in the breeze. I should have pinned it closed. It doesn't look so good here. The shoulders/chest are a good fit when the CF's are pinned how they will be buttoned. I used red thread to mark buttonhole placement on the right front and to loosely tack down the other button locations.


I really like the seaming on the back and the back latch. But, I feel really defeated by those sleeves. They look beautiful from the front, but they aren't smooth in the back. I think they look worse here because of how  I'm holding my arms, but maybe not - it's hard to know. I matched up the marks, but it seems like they must be rotated improp…

Coat Progress - Part 4

I'm just really not very good with in-progress posts. I thought it might be a good thing for a longer project like this coat, but I still just sew along without thinking to stop for pictures. Oh, well. I think this will be the last progress post before it is complete Woohoo!

Let's see...where are we?

The collar, which I didn't need to be so afraid of, is in.


After thinking about a few options, I decided to use weft-insertion interfacing in the collar and stand. To give the collar a bit of a roll, I used a lot of steam - first on just the undercollar, and then on the whole collar (upper and under) after it was together. After attaching the stand to the collar, I attached it around my pressing ham with pins, steamed the whole thing and let it sit overnight. I don't know how much of a difference that all made, but it didn't hurt anything.


The sleeves are set in with sleeve heads and shoulder pads.


They're also hemmed and lined.


The lining is partly inserted.

The color…

Coat Progress - Part 3

A nasty case of pink eye slowed me down a bit over the weekend, but I am still working away at the coat.

Some details...

Yoke with tabs:


Pocket with flap:


The pocket is lined. To ensure that none of the lining peeked out to the front, I slipstitched the pocket to the coat before topstitching. I placed the stitches on the underside of the folded edge of the pocket to prevent a flattened look. Burda's instructions don't include lining for the pocket, but a lined pocket feels so much nicer.

Back latch:


Burda calls this a "latch." North American patterns would probably call it a belt? I kind of like latch. I really like the seams on the back.

Construction thoughts...

This project is a bit of a stretch for me. My experience with tailoring and jacket/coat making is pretty minimal. It seems like something I might want to do more of someday, but right now I just don't have much need for tailored clothes in my life. So, for this coat I've been relying heavily on books and …

Coat Progress - Part 2

After muslining, altering, lining drafting, and cutting, the sewing has begun. And I think it's going to be better, easier and more enjoyable than I initially thought. In case I found that I needed to make adjustments to machine settings or technique, I decided to start with the small parts of the coat. That way if I messed up anything too badly, I could still re-cut it and start over.

So far, so good:


These are shoulder tabs (2 sets), sleeve tabs, back latch pieces, and pocket flaps.

Heh, heh...the tabs struck me as finger-like...I couldn't resist.
The pieces aren't perfect, particularly noticeable when they're all lined up next to each other, but I'm still happy with them. Even though the pieces are small, it took awhile to finish them since each needed to be stitched, trimmed, turned, pressed and topstitched. This fabric doesn't like to be turned - it seems a little velcro-like and wants to stick to itself rather than sliding over.


The pressing part went well th…

Coat Progress - Part 1

It feels like it has taken me awhile to get to this point, but I'm finally moving forward with my coat. This is a strange time of year to start making a winter coat, since we're so close to spring. Right? Spring is coming, isn't it? Actually, right now it is very windy and snowy outside my window and the temperature is well below freezing. Maybe it's a great time to start a winter coat. Sigh.

I mentioned this awhile ago, but the real reason I'm starting a coat now is that The Preacher and I are going to New York City at the end of March and I'm hoping to bring this coat along and have the buttonholes professionally done at Jonathan Embroidery. I haven't actually tried it, but I suspect that my machine wouldn't be very excited about doing buttonholes on a coat.

Initially, I was going to use Simplicity 2508 - specifically the view made in white on the right side of the envelope. I made a muslin to check the fit and found it to be okay, but after thinking …

McCall's 3830 - Denim Skirt

So. It's been a little while. Not a lot of sewing to tell about or show in this space lately. Hopefully I've have some coat progress reports to make soon. More on that later...

It seems I've taken a style that was new-ish for me not all that long ago and turned it into a very common piece in my wardrobe. When I find something I like I tend to overdo it, I guess. I give you another McCall's 3830 straight skirt:


This time I used a non-stretch denim and chopped up the front a bit to make it a little interesting. I saw a skirt like this somewhere and have had a rough sketch on my bulletin board for several months - too many months to remember where the inspiration came from.

The top-stitching is done with taupe thread and the triple-straight stitch.


I include the facings with the lining because I want the waist to feel stable and not stretch out and since the lining doesn't match the outer fabric exactly, I don't want to deal with it peeking out.

As you can see, th…