October 26, 2015


...God bless the child who chooses an uneven plaid for coat making!

When I first posted my fabric selection for "The Amazing Coat Sew-along" one of my highly skilled SEWING MUSES, Bunny commented "Ooo, uneven plaids - those always scare me...".  I immediately thought "Oh, snap!, I'm in trouble now!  If they scare her, then I should be terrified!  Maybe I should put this fabric back in the stash and choose a solid.  But them she added, "but I know you can pull it off Ok, if she thinks I can - then maybe I can!  

Another SEWING MUSE - Rachelle offered this advice, "when sewing plaids - it's alright to be off a fraction of an inch, but no more than 1/8th inch, BUT the sleeves of your coat ABSOLUTELY MUST match the front of the coat - ABSOLUTELY!  Alrighty them!  The information about being off no more than 1/8th of an inch actually helped me sleep better - for real!   The sleeves went in without a hitch which was a miracle seeing that I borrowed the two piece pattern from a Vogue pattern.  There are no puckers AND they absolutely match the front of my coat!!!!

It has taken a village to get me this far in the process.  I wanted to give a shout out to my Sewing Muses (my village) who advise and cheer me on with confidence.  Hopefully this will be the last time you are forced see the inner workings of the coat.  I plan having the job completed before the end of the weekend...

October 17, 2015


...so this is what you have to go through when you JUST HAVE TO HAVE a plaid coat - the matching process!
My blogger friend Sheila CTK suggested that I hand baste first and then stitch.  That tip helped so much. And Rachelle - Smoking Needles always suggests hand basting when setting sleeves.  Why can't I ever remember to hand baste first???  After sewing a little bit here and there during the week, I'm at a point that I could stitch the back to the front at the shoulder seam so it's finally starting to look like an actual coat.

I still need to install a front chest shield - couldn't do it before stitching the shoulder seam because the way the lapel/collar is made I couldn't decide on the actual placement before hand.  I can now make my "Finish Line List" of sorts:
  • chest shield
  • pockets and side seams
  • sleeves, sleeve heads, shoulder pads
  • front facing & upper collar construction
  • make a decision to make double breasted or leave as a wrap coat with self tie belt
  • insert lining
  • hem
Doesn't seem like this list will take much time at all; but you know how that goes...

October 14, 2015


...one step at a time, a little work every night equals winter coat making progress.

Lapels and under collar padstitched and roll lines pinned.  I'll stitch the tape down tomorrow night.

October 12, 2015


...since I've always been a book lover with a thirst for knowledge - I added several new titles to enhance my library:
I already have the first edition of this book and kept trying to convince myself that nothing new had been added to the updated edition.  Since I'm not so sure of that I went ahead and purchased.
I should have added this book long ago because Lord knows I don't know everything about inserting linings.

I had planned on getting this book but just never got around to it.

 There's nothing like a well equipped library of books that you can read in bed hear fall off the bed in the middle of the night...

October 11, 2015


...sewing can be hazardous to your health?
Even though I am starting to  incorporate many newly learned machine tailoring techniques into my garment, I some how still feel the need to do a whole lot of hand stitching, for instance, I didn't feel that the wool I'm using for my coat was heavy enough (or had enough body), so I used my muslin as underlining by hand stitching it to the coat pieces.  I guess I really over did it this time! Sitting in one position for hours -  looking down - while securing this underlining to all of my main coat piece seriously aggravated my already delicate neck.  Cost me a Chiropractic adjustment (which believe me I gladly paid) and set me back two days from working on my coat.  I could have bought some nice fabric for the cost of that doctor's visit, OUCH!  I'm always afraid that the underlining will shift around inside my garment if I don't tack it to death. A little research and reading up on how to attach underlining would have saved me money, time and pain - cause I found out that ALL THIS HAND STITCHING IS NOT NECESSARY.

Maybe you already knew, but just in case you didn't, Craftsy has an excellent write-up all about underlining - What it is, it's purpose, and the best way to apply/insert it.  If you'd care to read about it, this is the link...

October 8, 2015


...how the coat making completely consumes my life.  However; this time, I am determined that I will NOT stress, but rather enjoy every minute of the process.

Fabric all cut out and thread marked

I can sit for hours working on it (when I have the time), because I can't wait to see the finished product.
Check out my back stay
This is the coat back with the yoke attached.  It has been underlined with part of  what use to be my muslin.  After tacking the underlining down, I thought I'd have a bit of fun after finding this pretty batiste feeling large paisley print in my stash by using it as my back stay.  I've been freed!, from feeling guilty about incorporating "unconventional materials" in my tailoring techniques.  I don't have to use "actual muslin yardage", it's alright to use old sheets or even print fabrics for the infra-structure of my coat - because it's my coat.   Love it!.  Maybe I'll think about the back stay when I'm wearing the coat later on and chuckle about it to myself - haha...

October 5, 2015


...I mentioned that my gravity fed steam iron went out last weekend; also mentioned that I had a backup.  Can you imagine my shock when the backup iron started releasing steam and just wouldn't quit!  What a mess!, and a sewing setback!  Because I press as I go people; I didn't even feel like working on my coat after this happened.  Of course, I have several regular irons, but, it's just not the same - I'm spoiled rotten by the weight and amount of heat/steam that my gravity fed iron produces.  But, thank God for BBA (bounce back ability).  A friend is picking up another iron for me in Atlanta today and I should have it tomorrow afternoon, so on with the show.

I finally had some time to work on fine tuning my muslin for the Amazing Coat Sew-along and I am very pleased with the results so far.
Simplicity 2311view B - short coat
  • I've marked the lapel/collar roll lines; these markings will be transferred to my actual pattern.
  • Inserted a 2-piece sleeves borrowed from Michael Kors' Vogue 2873 peacoat pattern that fit really good with only minor adjustments.  Thank you Michael Kors! This is the second time that I've morphed a coat with his 2-piece sleeve pattern; I once put it into in Indie Pattern jacket project too.  I'm also contemplating adding the over-sized cuff  from the Vogue pattern as an alternative design feature, - mmmmm just might be an interesting detail.
  • The muslin might be just a tad too large - I'm debating if I need to increase the side seams or leave it as is since I'm actually planning to wear the coat wrapped.  If I decide to take it in that will be an easy remedy.
  • Often times I'll use the actual muslin to underline my coat.  Since my wool fashion fabric is not that heavy I might underline.
Now to work on matching this plaid up.

With patience and no interruptions all should go well.  I'll be cutting later this afternoon...

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