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Sewing is therapy for me. I hoard fabric, patterns, notions, and spend more time shopping for fabric than I care to admit...

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Another winter coat

I had to make another winter coat and this time in a trend...mustardy-yellow.  Can you blame me? This color is all over the place and I love it!  Instead of being a year or two late, I decided for once in my life to be (sort of) on time!


When I viewed this lovely yellowish wool on Fabric Mart's site, I knew I needed to make another coat.  

 BUY THE PIECE 1.75 yards Sun Yellow Wool/Poly Melton Coating 58W

Content60% Wool/40% Polyester
Color(s)Sun Yellow
WeightMedium; Falls Away From The Body
StretchNo Stretch
Use(s)Coat, Jacket, Cloak.
CareDry Clean

I knew my coat needed to be warm but with so many wonderful patterns to choose from, it was going to be a tough decision.  After much consideration that took into account the warmth factor, trendiness, and also wearibility, I decided to make a duffle-type coat.

Here is the pattern a choose.  It is a uni-sex pattern.  I'd previously made it for my son and knew what I needed to do to make it fit me.  I didn't care if the coat had a 'tailored look' or not, meaning that if it was a little roomy, I could wear layers under it as it is pretty cold in the Northern Plains in the winter months.  The shoulders are slightly extended, and I am perfectly okay with that.  


I modified the pattern just a bit.  I left off the side seam pockets.  I asked my son about those and he said he preferred the patch pockets, so I went with just using those.  

The hood is nice and roomy, a purely functional feature.  I typically don't wear a hat so the option of a hood is welcome.  

I made my own shoulder pads of this coat and covered them with my lining fabric.  I love making my own clothing because you can add details such as that. 

Below you can see how I finished off all the seams on the right side of the fabric.  

 There was only one seam I was unable to do this treatment on and it was one of the sleeve seams.  I tried, I just couldn't manipulate all that fabric under the needle and get it to look right.  

Since the fabric doesn't ravel at all, to finish off the seams, I choose to topstitch 1/4" on each side of the seamline.  Also, since the fabric is a bit heavy, for the some of the details, such as the patch pocket flaps, I cut that as one piece, rather than two, and simply folded it over and stitched.  I had a much better result than trying to get a nice neat flap with two layers of fabric and interfacing.  Those corners just wouldn't behave as well as I would have liked!  The fabric looks a little orange here, but it really isn't.  

Next, I interlined the coat by fusing a batting to the lining fabric.  I love using a floral or unexpected fabric in my coat linings.  When you open it or leave it unzipped, others get a view they didn't expect.

I also decided to add a zipper to this coat as it doesn't call for one but thought the addition would give some added benefits of added warmth and overall comfort from the wind chill that is so prevalent in the northern plains of the United States.  Dang it gets unbelievably cold here when the wind blows!  If you have ever been on recess duty for 20 minutes you will know what I mean.  Typically there are no trees or other obstacles to stop or slow down the wind...

No winter coat isn't complete with a bit of fun and I decided the addition of a little faux fur at the collar would add the flair I was hoping for!  Sewing with faux fur isn't hard at all, just take a few minor precautions.

If the fur is 'tear-able' do so.
That is if you can make a snip at the selvage and rip to the other end, do it.

This is so much less messy that cutting with shears or a rotary cutter. 

If you must cut, use a rotary cutter.  This is far less messy than shears.  

Clean the blades of your scissors or rotary cutter before cutting another fabric

Be prepared for the mess of faux fur!
In other words, you will probably need to vacuum when you are finished cutting and sewing.

My toggles were purchased from JoAnn's along with the faux fur and zip.  Everything else I used for this coat was from my stash.

Wow do I love this coat and with winter officially starting not that long ago, I know I will face some cold weather with it during 2017 and years beyond!

Thanks so much for reading!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Another fav pattern! Simplicity 2054

Do you own this pattern?  If the answer is no, why not?  I do have to say it is one of my favorite dresses.  I've made it at least 4 times and between DD1 and DD2, they steal it from my closet, so I will continue to make more.  It is that good!

Image result for images simplicity 2054

Every view I've made has been B.  I love C, but find those cute little sleeve slits hit me awkwardly, so I end up hacking those off and making an elbow-length dress.  

I could just use a different pattern, but why?  I've worked out all the fitting tweaks, so I just keep trucking on with this one.  

DD2 swiped this dress from my closet.  I was glad she wanted it and has worn it!  It looks cute on her but was fitted for me.  I will continue to work on fitting her as time allows.  

I like to stabilize the neck area in knits by first stitching a layer of staytape to the neckline with the edge extending barely past 5/8".  When you fold the neckband to the inside and topstitch it in place, it more than covers the slight edge of the tape you used to stabilize the area.  

I also use double sided fusible stay tape by SewkeysE on the sleeve and lower hems.  That stuff is pure magic!  

DD2 loves this dress.  I am happy she wears it and enjoys it.  I am sure there will be more garments made from this pattern.  

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Morgan Jeans

It has been a while since I made a classic pair of jeans and I realize how much I missed the process of it all!  Jeans are FUN to create and not that difficult if you have a great pattern to follow.  :) 

I choose the Morgan Boyfriend Jeans pattern by Closet Case Patterns.  If you've been living under a rock, and haven't heard how uber popular the Ginger Jeans are by Closet Case, then you've missed out!  I haven't tried that pattern myself, but the reviews are just amazing with everyone getting great results!  The Morgan is described like this: Featuring a mid-rise, traditional five-pocket construction, contoured waistband, tapered leg and button fly.  Morgan fits snugly through the hip but relaxes and conforms to your curves with a little wear.  Size up for a sloucher, more casual fit.  Choose between a regular or cropped inseam, add an optional leather waistband patch.  

                             Image result for images morgan jeans by closet case patterns

This is my wearable muslin--can you believe the fit I got right out of the gate?  I made only one modification to the pattern and that was to make my usual swayback adjustment.  I did this at the area where the back yoke connects to the back pant leg but only made the adjustment at the center back and tapered to nothing at midpoint.  

With all the Christmas goodies I have been eating, illness, and no time to maintain running or exercise, I found myself between sizes.  I went with the smaller size in hopes that it wan't a poor choice!  Sorry in advance for the butt shot!

Is this denim fun or what?  It has been in my stash for about a year.  I purchased it from Fabric Mart and was waiting for something fun to do with it.  I should note however that the pattern calls for regular denim with no stretch, but I didn't find the stretch had any effect on the overall garment finish.  

I hemmed these as long as I could, given they are designed for a woman that is 5'6".  I am 5'7".  In the cold months I typically wear boots so these would be tucked inside and in the warmer months, I would either have sandals on or roll these up.  I do really like the length.  As with denim, residual shrinkage in the length can occur so I will keep that in mind if these do tend to shrink up.  

I added a few of the fun little details that the pattern mentions--leather patch and rivets. 

The button fly was masterfully designed and super easy to install.  This is my first pair of button fly jeans and it won't be my last!  

For next time, I may size up for that slouchy look, or try the cone denim the pattern calls for that naturally grows as you wear it.  

I had so much fun creating my Morgans!  I hope you'll try this pattern!


Monday, December 19, 2016

Need a waist? Try McCall's 7430

I don't know about you, but the older I get the harder I have to work at eating right, exercising, and such in order to have a waistline.  This time of year is super difficult since everyone I know makes wonderful little yum-yums!  If I don't start on them, I am ok, but if I take one, well the day is blown.  I simply can't resist.

Image result for images McCall's 7430
So, off to try McCall's 7430 which gives you the illusion of a well defined waist!

Image result for images McCall's 7430

Look at those lines!

This is a close-fitting dress that you want a hefty knit for. The black is a beefy ponte I purchased a ton of when Hancock's went out of business last summer and the black/white is a fun textured knit I purchased from Fabric Mart.  I love both of them!

You really want to get a good fit throughout for this to skim the body instead of feeling like a sausage in a casing.  I prefer not to look like, or feel like I am a sausage.  

I made my usual swayback adjustment, FBA, and sloping shoulder adjustment.

I tried this on before hemming the sleeves.  I let them out a bit as I thought they were very slightly short.

Isn't the contrast fun?  It was easy to sew, line up your seam lines, and seems to be well drafted.

I love this dress!  


Saturday, December 17, 2016

Jean jackets for little people!

Have you sewn a jean jacket for little ones?  I had to make this.  I had enough left over red denim from the jacket I made for myself and so next up was this little project.  Kwik Sew 3113.

Kwik Sew Toddlers Jacket & Pants 3113

With Kwik Sew directions, of course they are awesome!  Especially with an older pattern such as this.  And the details!  Can you see all of them? 

Two-piece sleeves, cuffs, three piece front with in-seam front pockets, front flaps, and lower hem band.

Lots of top-stitching make this such a fun project!  

I had so much fun making this!  I added some embroidery from Anita Goodesign and the embroidery collection is Como Se Llama.  


How fun is it?  That silly-looking Llama on the back!

I just love the details of this, oh wait a minute!  I already said that!

 This little jacket size T1, is for a little gal due around the middle of March.  DD1 doesn't want anything too girly or frilly, so this is my attempt to make some fun little garments for her.

Here is a parting shot of the Llama.  She's pretty BA.  

I hope you'll try this pattern.  It is a classic and loads of fun!

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

What makes a seamstress advanced?

Have you ever thought about how you rate your sewing or crafting skills?  I do all the time!  When I jumped back into sewing after about a 15 year hiatus, I knew I was beyond beginner, and advanced beginner but wondered what new techniques, new fabrics, new fitting issues had arisen due to a 15 year older body so I rated myself as intermediate.

Well, that was almost 5 years ago.  I would say that I have improved in fitting myself and others tremendously.  I would say I've brushed up on some skills I had only partially attempted in previous years.  I have become better at taking risks with fabric and with styles.  I do however still have the occasional flop that's due to either a poor style choice, poor fabric choice, or poor execution due to sloppiness.  Does anyone else occasionally experience this?

But....does that make me an intermediate or an advanced sewist?  I wonder....

Just a note, I am NOT looking for compliments.  I am merely sharing thoughts.  I do know what I will or will not do with my sewing level at the beginning of 2017 on SPR.  I am wanting to know how you all have come to your personal conclusions regarding your sewing ability.

Will you please share your thoughts?

I'd love to hear them!

Happy sewing!


Sunday, December 11, 2016

The Stacie in RED!

I love red, I love denim, and I love jackets....Can you see what will happen here?  If you guessed a red jean jacket then you were right!  

And here is the pattern I used: 

Trendy jean, denim or woven jacket

This is the Stacie Jean Jacket from StyleArc.  It really is a simple rendition of a jean jacket.  

It was starting to snow as DH took pictures for me.  

I used my typical size 12 for SA patterns with the following adjustments: Swayback adjustment and also sloping shoulder adjustment.  I didn't make an FBA based on how the pattern tissue fit me.  And, I will never, ever, ever button this. 

The sleeves are just right as is the length.  I am 5'7" for reference.  

I used real metal snaps and appled those instead of button holes along the center front.  

At the flap pockets, I used two metal, silver-colored buttons from Joann's.  
I love the look.  I should also state that I used fusible interfacing at the collar, front facings, waistbands, and pocket flaps.  I am really please with how this turned out.  If you follow the directions, cut accurately, stitch and topstitch carefully, you'll end up with a great jacket!  

Thanks for reading!