A Coat in Spring Green

 

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I finished sewing this wool coat a few weeks ago, and wanted to share it, but the weather hasn’t been great for taking photos outside. The fact is, the sky probably won’t be clear for another month or so, and by then, it will be too warm to wear wool (fingers crossed). So today, I gave up and took photos indoors!

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This coat is Butterick 6292, a pattern that caught my eye when I saw the versatile collar!

 

 

I love coats with a military vibe (i.e.Burberry), and the button placement on this design definitely gives it that look.

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The wool is, well…green, a color I don’t usually gravitate towards, but this wool from Mill End Store was too cozy to resist. It has a very soft hand though, so I decided to underline the front of the jacket to give it a bit of body to hold the shape of the front lapels. I think this was a good move, because even underlined, the wool still retains its character, yet holds its shape. I lined the coat with rayon and used very thin shoulder pads to give the shoulders some definition.

Challenges:

  • This wool is thick – so making buttonholes on a double layer of fabric was a absolute night mare. I thought I’d lose my mind. My machine couldn’t seem to manage moving across the thick nubby wool so I put a thin layer of interfacing over each buttonhole before stitchng it. It worked! Then, when the buttonhole was finished, I trimmed the interfacing away.
  • Lining – – Even though I cut it according to the pattern instructions, it was an inch too long. Not sure if others had this problem, but it added a step because I had to trim it.
  • Back pleat – I eliminated this as I thought my soft wool wouldn’t hold a pleat. The coat still has enough room to accomodate a wide stride without it.
  • Button placement was a bit tedious – -there are alot of them 🙂 But I love the look so the end result made the effort worth it!

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I love my new coat, and, well…(don’t hate me)…I hope the weather doesn’t improve too quickly so that I can wear it!!! The pattern is definitely a keeper, one that I should probably make again, but will I? Hmmm, there are so many coat patterns in my stash that I want to try, so I’m not sure this one will make it into the queue again. Although I can imagine a version from twill or tweed….

Have you put your stash of wool away until next winter, or are you a die-hard like me?

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!

 

 

McCall’s 7430: A Knit Dress for Spring

IMG_9618I made this knit dress for a trip we just took to Santa Fe, but there was snow on the ground when we arrived so this dress never made it out of the suitcase, LOL! Still, I love wearing knit dresses, so I know this dress will have its day.

The trickiest part of this dress was positioning the stripes across the bodice and the sleeves.

Let me tell you….It took alot of pins and patience to get the stripes in the right place as I inserted the sleeves, but in the end, the effort was worth it.

I’ve made this knit dress pattern before and it’s now one of my favorites. McCalls 7430 offers a few variations that makes it easy to modify to give each version a fresh look. You can use contrast fabric for the yokes and the sleeve crowns as I did, or you can cut the entire sleeve from the same fabric as the bodice, or even make it sleeveless. There are collar variations too – a raised collar or a simple neck-band (my choice).

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I love a pattern that gives you alot of options!

Challenges: There aren’t any side seams on this pattern.

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This makes fit a little harder to modify. Because I’d made this pattern before (here), I wasn’t concerned, as I’d already done a trial run. The good news is, the pattern is well drafted and for me,  the size dictated by my measurements was perfect.
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The success of this dress depends in large part on the knit, I think. The fabric must have some weight and body so that it will give the dress some shape. A thin lightweight knit wouldn’t work because it would be cling too much and would show every bump. I was lucky to find this medium weight knit at Fabric Depot. It has just the right amount of weight and crosswise stretch. It’s a rayon/cotton blend which will make it easy to wear as the temperatures rise.  Now, if the weather would just improve around here.

New Mexico stole my heart last week, and the brief sprinkling of snow only made the high desert seem more exotic. Here’s one of the sights we enjoyed as we hiked.IMG_9384

It was a great trip, but it’s good to be back at my sewing machine:).

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!

A Quick Cozy Jacket and Ginger Jeans

After completing my two dresses for the Day/Night Dress Challenge, I needed something to cleanse my sewing palate. Usually, when I’m in that mood, I choose a simple pattern to complete. But this time, I decided to make a fun outfit including a new pair of Ginger Jeans. So in this post I’ll talk about the jacket first followed by the jeans.IMG_9097 3The jacket – – Yes, it’s March but it’s still cold and damp here. That’s why I decided to make my jacket from fleece, a first for me!

IMG_9073I  love slouchy jackets with big pockets so I couldn’t resist Simplicity 8468, a jacket with curved seams, deep pockets and cozy lapels.

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I made it from double sided fleece that I found at Mill End Store. Fleece is easy to sew too, if you know a few tricks.

  1. You don’t have to finish your seams because fleece doesn’t unravel. I did choose to serge my seams though, but only because I like the finished look it gives to the inside of the jacket, but it isn’t a crime if you don’t.
  2. To keep bulk down, trim your seams and clip your curves.
  3. Topstitching can be tricky because the fabric is so thick. Walking foots are nice for this, although I managed without.

The fit of this jacket is loose so I cut the smallest size but still had room to spare. It was a quick fun sew (less than four hours with cutting time). The jacket is unlined and the fit comes from the curved seams so it’s a breeze to sew. I’m so happy with this make. It’s the sort of jacket I love to wear, casual but polished. I’m sure I’ll make this pattern again!

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My first Ginger Jeans: Even though I’ve made several pairs of jeans before, I still feel some trepidation when I consider sewing another pair, especially when it means trying a new pattern.  There’s the time committment involved for one thing (this pair took 6 hours), and even if you put the time in, there’s the very real possibility the darn things will not fit or feel or look the way you want. It’s the risk factor that kept me from realizing my dream of Ginger jeans for so long. But, Wow! It was worth the risk because I love this pattern. I’m so glad I took the leap!

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Things I learned:

  • I find that a block of dedicated time is necessary to make a pair of jeans so I dedicated an entire Saturday to this project. If I take a break, I lose momentum and it’s hard to get my head back in the game at a later time.
  • I made View B (high rise version) and used a dark very stretchy denim (Modern Domestic) that isn’t too heavy.
  • If you can, use two sewing machines, one threaded for topstitching.
  • I use wonder tape (I should invest in the stuff) to hold things in place at tricky moments (pocket facings, waistband, zipper). Pins can fall out of denim at critical moments.
  • Baste side seams so that you can rip them out if the fit isn’t just right.
  • Interfacing is optional on the waist band. I left it out and I’m glad I did for comfort.
  • Heather (Closet Case pattern’s designer) suggests that you cut the legs out one at a time, rather than cut them on doubled fabric. That way you’re assured each leg is on the straight of the grain which prevents twisting once they’re sewn.
  • Pocket facings – – okay, I really struggled with this step (it was hell, honestly). It could be just me, but the instructions made no sense. I ripped the pocket facings out twice before I resorted to referring to my favorite pair of RTW jeans and mimicking their construction.  I also referred to the on-line tutorial on the Closet Case Files website, which really helps.
  • Back pocket placement – -The marked placement seemed low to me, so I raised them as high as they could go.

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Okay, maybe they aren’t perfect but they’re close enough and so comfortable! The legs bag a little which is likely because I left them a bit long as I’m always nervous they will shrink again down the road (Ha, yes, this is probably impossible, but I freak out over these sorts of things). There might be a bit of a twist on the left leg, or maybe I’m standing in an odd way :), but it’s not too bad. Otherwise, I love these jeans!  I’m really pleased with the fit. I think I may like this pattern even better than the Jalie’s I made here. I think I’ll cut out another pair soon. I need to make another pair before I forget how I did the pocket facings, LOL!!

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A new outfit that will be transitional for Spring, yay! What’s your go to jeans pattern? Have you ever made a jacket from fleece?

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!