Coat making inspires patience

I must admit, when I read blog posts about coat making I often wonder if they really need sooo many posts and sooo much time dedicated to them. I mean really. How much more involved could they be?

IMG_6600

The answer is a LOT. I have already spent more time on this coat than almost anything else I’ve made. And I only actually started sewing yesterday. I spent one evening cutting the outer fabric. Another plotting the lining. Then interfacing. Then the actual sewing began last night. But I only got as far as the darts on the front pieces. Then I was back to the slow process of basting the interfacing to the fronts. I got through that and then while working on the pockets I hit a wall.

Pockets: Inside and Out

The instructions for the pocket flaps leave you with the interfacing showing on the underside. That can’t be right, can it? Even if it is, I don’t like it. But the additional problem is, I trimmed the seam allowances (on BOTH pieces) so I’m worried about taking them apart and putting them back together exactly the size they are now. Because, of course, they are perfectly identical AND perfectly sized for the pockets.

I’m going back in. I want to get the lining together so I can see if it’s crazy to use a heavy-ish polyester knit as a lining. It sounds pretty crazy…but I hate shiny poly linings in store bought coats. So what are my alternatives?

Good mail day

Amazon wish lists are awesome. And husbands who buy you everything on yours are even awesomer ;o)

The Loot:

Please, contain your jealousy

 

Three childhood favorites and two new loves that are perfect for sewing background noise. Score!

I also got, you know a craftser NEVER lets a special occasion pass without asking for some crafty thing are another, two new sewing books.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am stunned by the awesomeness of Pattern Magic. I am thankful that I waited for the English version to be published and bow down to the greatness of those who puzzled out the Japanese version.  I now have the perfect sleeve for the coat that I’ve been sewing in my head. Do you all do that? Craft in your head?

Fit For Real People has the goods on coat sewing, among other things, that I will need for the project I cut out last night. I really wanted to use the black cord I mentioned in this post, but I didn’t have enough. I ended up using the wool I thought I would never make a project from. My mind was changed a little when I saw this awesome project. It helped that it was the only thing suitable that I have enough yardage of. I had to order another 2 yards of coating. I don’t know what I was thinking when I only got 2. Anyway. Off to watch movies and flick through Pattern Magic!

I knew there was a problem when he handed me the box….

It was too light. That much was immediately obvious. Wasn’t this box supposed to contain heavy weight wool coating?
Navy Wool Coating

Maybe I was expecting too much. It is definitely heavier than the suit weight 100% wool fabric I have. So, that’s good enough. I was hoping to be able to skip interfacing, but I think it’s necessary. Which sucks because I didn’t order enough. I’m thinking of making this really warm by using some lighter weight wool that is totally the wrong color and will likely never be made into anything (this is the danger of online discount fabric shopping) to underline it. Would that be entirely too warm you think? I know I’d like to have another cold weather option. My bubble coat is nice, but I can never buy them to fit nicely.

This striped fabric was also a part of the order and is also underwhelming me.

Spangly Stripes
It is described as Stretch Rayon Blend Jersey Knit Stripes Silver/Cream. But I didn’t anticipate that the silver would be so SILVER!! *does jazz hands*. Isn’t it possible to make something silver colored and not so spangly? I don’t know. I may still be suffering from what I will forever refer to as “The Great Glitter Incident of 2010“. There is seriously glitter EVERYWHERE in my house. I actually hand washed the living room floor in the hope that it would take some of it up. There is so much stuck to the kids, who actually played with the monstrosity, that I don’t have a hope of getting it off them anytime this year. Or possibly the next one.

I’m not really the spangly type. But I LOVE stripes. Maybe I can work this into a project with the rest of the white jersey I have. The cuffs and hem maybe. Like this shirt. That could work, since both are kind of thin to wear alone anyway.

I hate semi-disapointing fabric orders. Sigh.

31 years today

That’s how long I’ve been around ;0)
B-Day outfit, 3rd choice wins

This was not what I intended to wear for my b-day dinner date, but a huge surge of insecurity had me reaching for something comfy and cool to wear. I’m glad I made that choice and I’m happy I went out even though I REALLY wanted to stay home.

I planned on the Anthro inspired shirt, but there were too many decisions to make about pintuck placement and how much width to add for them. My mood was too sour for that much contemplation this past week.

So, I made a dress in the same style as this top only with the the gray from the skirt on the bottom instead. It was super clingy as is, so I made a lining. Which came out too tight and it created some very unflattering rolls and lumps. So the dress will have to wait for a proper slip to be worn under it. Nothing ruins a birthday like highlighting your stomach pouch and saddlebags, lol

So, this outfit won. The splatter print is a cotton/lycra blend and the solids are rayon blends. The skirt is lined with some really weird ribbed dot print nylon blend fabric (the same as the too tight dress lining) that works out well as it’s smooth and heavy. But would have looked crap as a dress. Or anything really.

The top is SO easy to make. I’m going to do a little tutorial about it soon. And the skirt is just a front and back attached to a double fold waist band. Super easy, especially on a serger.

I also made these peacock feather earrings. Which provided some comic relief when one went rouge from the earwire and got stuck to the collar of my coat. Lol, I am not an experienced jewelry maker.

We went to my favorite place and ate a really great meal and came home to children already put to bed. Perfect! Today, I spent 2 hours wondering around alone while Missy was in art class and then we went to Target and bought a Barbie toy from hell that has glitter all over my apartment, children, dirty laundry, myself and my husband. Happy Birthday to me ;o)

This was the first thing she bought with saved allowance and money given to her by grandparents. I wanted to caution her against it, but we agreed that she could buy what she wanted this first time. Well, she has used all of the glitter and the thing is pretty much useless now…way to learn a lesson about spending wisely. I couldn’t have planned it better.

Oh, you can see my minimal hair growth in this picture:
B-Day outfit, 3rd choice wins
It’s a little longer than it looks, it’s still curled pretty tightly here. It’s growing in nicely, if slowly. Well off to de-glitter.

Don’t mind me…

I’m just making a list and keeping it where I can’t lose it. I have written out so many fabric plan type lists that I either don’t adhere to or lose and then can’t remember what I wanted to do with what. So, I’m going to list it here where I can click right back to it.

The birthday shirt has been replaced with the birthday dress (which is done and used up all of my gray jersey, which is awesome) and earrings and leather cuff bracelet. So that shirt goes on the top of the list.

  • White shirting = Anthropoligie inspired shirt
  • Olive green suiting = loose cargo pants
  • Olive green suiting (I bought a TON) = Nadine Jacket (this is partially cut out)
  • Cream Pique Knit = Longish Henley Dress/Tunic (my own pattern)
  • Black Unclipped Cord and Olive/Black check plaid for lining = Trench Coat
  • Navy Wool Coating and striped Navy Sateen for lining = Another (Trench??) Coat
  • Black Shirting =Twinkle Sews Tunic (the cowl neck/kangaroo pocket one)
  • Navy Cotton Sateen = Wide Leg Pants (modified pattern obvs.)
  • White Rayon Blend Jersey = Top(s) (my own pattern)

Okay. Let’s see how much of this stays the same ;o) Either way I won’t have to remember.

Birthday Shirt?

Firstly, there is a lot of blog activity today. Thanks for stopping by wherever you all are coming from!

Now, onto the title topic. My bday is next week (Saturday) and I was just informed that there will be a dinner date on Friday. We are not really huge on celebrating things on or near the dates they occur because…well lots of reasons. There are six of us and trying to come up with, keep up with and celebrate with specific deadlines just seems like a lot of work to me.

Despite that, I figured we might use the occasion of my birth to weasel someone into keeping the kids so we could go out. But I knew that it might not necessarily be next weekend. Anyway, I was thinking I might make myself something to wear like I did last year. I actually had an outfit in mind (one that I made and haven’t blogged yet) but I was waiting for these boots I ordered roughly last century to arrive. Well, they have and I don’t think they will work with the outfit (booooooooooooooo!).

But they might work with something like this (which is, of course, from Anthropologie):

Anthropologie Inspiration

In white with tight black pants. Maybe… I think I am sufficiently over the trauma of the BurdaStyle book pintucks to get on with this many in one project.

I was thinking of using pattern “D” from Stylish Dress Book I as a jumping off point.
 "D"

What do you think? Crazy to make something else when I have different boots that will go perfectly well with the other outfit? Make the damn thing and use up some more of the ton of white shirting I have? Either way I will have to do something to keep the sad away while all of my friends are at Rhinebeck this weekend.

Softies for Maribel

I’ve heard of The Maribel Foundation before, but the softie drive was always popping up on my radar after the deadline to submit or at a time when I had absolutely no time to contribute anything. This year I will fix that.

 

I’ve already recruited my kids to help. It will be a great opportunity for them to learn about giving to charity, in a real world application rather than a discussed sense. This organization and other like it that strive to help children, foster children in particular, always affect me deeply. My children are fortunate enough to have no concept of what neglected children go through. This gives me a good opening to discuss it with them. I think it’s important for them to know so that they don’t take what they have for granted. And it will also do them good to know that every softie, stuffie, plushie, toy or trinket made on my machine is NOT for them.

As of now, I would like to use this seriously amazing book for my projects:

This book is without question an exceptional example of a craft book. I know that there are many bloggers who’ve received book deals from the work they introduced online, but I don’t think there is anyone more deserving that Hilary Lang. I have several of her self published patterns. They are all phenomonal and produce well made dolls if you follow her instructions. We have eight Wee Wonderfuls creatures in our home. Two Spacemen, two Olives and four, no FIVE Wees. I’m lucky that my children appreciate and love their handmade toys as much as their store bought ones. They have quite the handmade menagerie when you add in the ones I’ve made from my own pattern experiments.

I can’t wait to try out these new patterns and I’m super excited about them going off to a good home where they will be loved!

Ideas. One a day for a month.

This is a challenge much more suited for me than writing a novel in a month. Ideas I can do. Ideas are my playground. I LOVE to come up with story and movie and picture book and play and sitcom and 1-hour drama ideas. Where I stumble? The actual writing. Which, ya know, is a pretty important part of being a writer. Some might say the most important, but you can’t write if you don’t have ideas. Can you?

I say all that to introduce you to what I will be keeping busy with in the month of November. While some write their novel or knit their sweater or blog once a day, I will be developing one picture book idea per day for the entire month. It’s a challenge hosted by a new-ish to me blog, Writing for Kids While Raising Them, picture book author Tara Lazar’s online home.

As Austin Powers would say: The idea business is my bag, baby!  I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve been trying not to write out anything that I’m thinking of now, which is mostly pondering ideas that I’ve thought of before.

This event is prompting me to do something that I’ve never done before, put some of my writing online. This is not a picture book, but rather a short script. I wrote it to enter a competition for the funding to shoot it but, as usual, the winner was someone with a lot more experience under her belt (at least it was a woman, and one of color too!). It’s short and simple, which was required for the competition. It’s called Reunion*. I hope you like it.

*All work posted here is my property and is for personal reading only. It is not to be copied, shared or re-posted without my express permission. By dowloading this pdf you are agreeing to those terms. Thanks!

Spirale de Cuir Earrings

Here is the tutorial I promised for those earring!

NOTE: The head pins in the pair in this pic are larger and thicker than the ones in the tutorial. I didn’t have more of these for the photos. The larger base allows the bottom of the spiral to sit on the edge and prevents it from sliding through.

Done

I hope some of you enjoy making and wearing them! They are comfy and light. Wearable and quite effortlessly stylish. I think they’d make a great addition to any wardrobe.

Enjoy!

Edited to add: I bought the leather I used to make these on etsy from Double J Journals. Great customer service. She showed concern that I get my package in a timely manner and was pleased with the quality. The leather pieces were in great condition and large enough to make many different kinds of items from.

Hat Obsessed!

Hat Obsessed!

Hat Obsessed!

These are my third and fourth hats sewn from this pattern.  My aunt said I looked like a twenties movie star in the second one I made. But that’s not the reason why I made so many. :o

I’ve made so many for several reasons.
One, I have a large-ish head that poses some fit challenges ;o)
Two, I am missing most of my hair and that also poses some fit challenges.
Three, I made some rookie printing errors for the first two*.
Four, the pattern is friggin’ awesome and SO EASY!

Seriously, I made these two in about 20 mins. The black version (bottom) is made with denim from a pair of jeans that there wasn’t a chance in hell of me fitting in again. Absolutely NO chance. The lining is a skirt that was in the repurpose heap for the same reason.

The blue version (top) is made from two purchased fabrics (stretch denim and 100% cotton poplin), but just the scraps leftover from other projects. There’s another reason to make this hat, it’s superb for using up scraps. I like the weight and sturdiness of the black version. That denim is pretty thick. The blue version is more pliable but still very wearable.

The other patterns from this seller are more expensive. Offering this one so inexpensively is a great idea. I must admit, I am cheap. I was skeptical of paying so much despite the fact that I’ve always liked many of the designs listed. If they are all drafted this fantastically, my next sewing related purchase will definitely be this cloche. Price be damned.

I must also note, how extremely helpful and generous the designer, Sue, is. She emailed me TONS of free resources, tips and instructions in addition this pattern. The directions for which include pictures and written instructions. Though you hardly need them, what to do is so clear. I can’t rave enough!

*These two are sewn from the pattern exactly. My first version was too small because Adobe set the printing to 97%. The second one I made larger on my own. And for these two I finally noticed the percentage error. The instructions TELL you to check this but, alas, I did not. Regardless, each and every time, the pieces went together like clockwork. And now my kids have two more hats to play in.

PS- I made those earring I’m wearing, too. With leather scraps I bought from this etsy seller. I will do a little tutorial this week.