First Coat of the Season

camel coat 11

We have had a real change in the weather this week!  Suddenly the wind is coming from the North and winter is snapping at our heels.  Thankfully I have a nice toasty warm new coat to wear – with a hood to keep that wind out of my ears.  I shared the making of the coat in a couple of  Work in Progress Wednesday posts at the beginning of the month here & here.  Now here’s the finished article.

camel coat 3

The pattern is “jacket” 110 from October 2018 Burda.  I traced the 44 and added a 3cm FBA.  In hindsight, I didn’t need to add that much and would definitely have been ok with just half of that.  The fabric is camel/beige wool melton that is rather thick, and once seamed and enclosed, is very bulky!  But, it is warm!  The zip came out of the stash, and is also possibly a bit wider in the teeth area than a metal zip.  This means that, although I laid the front band on the placement line, it’s not quite wide enough to finish at the right point on the other side.  This means the snaps had to be reduced in size and the buttons don’t line up at the top.  But I’m not taking that band off!!  Far too much bulk.

camel coat 2

 

The buttons on the front band are vintage military brass buttons.  I had hoped to use these on the back band as well, but could only find two!  So the front benefits from these and I used vintage leather buttons on the back band instead.  Because you’ll never see the two together, I think I’ve got away with it.

camel coat 5

 

camel coat 6

The pockets are a great size, I used lining for the underside of the pocket flaps and for one side of the pocket bag, the other side is a scrap piece of cotton poplin Liberty fabric.

camel coat 8

 

camel coat 9

 

camel coat 7

I am really glad I have this new coat, a more casual offering than my “old” coat.  The pattern and instructions are pretty straightforward.  If I make this again, there are a couple of things I’d change.  My neck is too short (& my double chin doesn’t help) for the collar, so I’ll not be buttoning that shut.  However, I usually wear a nice scarf in the winter, so that will fill the gap left by not zipping to the top.  I will also revisit that FBA.  I don’t need all that width afterall.  The hood is great, nice and roomy, but it tends to slip a little too far forward.  This means you could be in trouble when crossing roads if you aren’t looking properly!  It just needs a little tightening up around the edges.

camel coat 10

But I would like to make it again, in a less bulky fabric!

 

Linton Tweed Biker Jacket

 

I’ve been holding on to this jacket for about a month now, waiting for the new owner to come and collect!  And the fabric’s been hanging around even longer!  If you’ve been following for a while, you’d have seen I started a Work in Progress Wednesday post, and the inner workings of this jacket were the very first of those!  Now you get to see the finished article, worn by Daughter No 1.  The pattern used is Moto Jacket 105 from September 2017.

 

linton biker 2
Linton biker jacket

I am so glad that I used a different fabric on the inside of the cuffs, waistband, ollar and for the facings.  Daughter No 1 likes to wear the jacket with the cuffs rolled up once, so you get to see the black fabric.  It has a line of sparkle through it so it’s a little something different.  I also love the silver zippers and snaps, they work brilliantly with the colours of the fabric.  The lining is blue herringbone viscose, left over from a coat I made for myself around 10 years ago, I was really chuffed that there was enough to be able to use.

linton biker 5
Contrast black welts to the zippered pockets

linton biker 4

linton biker 6

linton biker 7
Large silver snaps

linton biker 3

Daughter No 1 loves this jacket, it can be smart or casual, dressing an outfit up or down.  I love using fabrics and patterns in this way.  Here it’s worn with a boat neck Lark Tee and a pair of jeans, and it looks great!  She wore this jacket with a white tee, black jeans and trainers to the Stitching Show last week, and the outfit was perfect.  It will also look fabulous with the black crepe Pulmu Skirt I made her last year.

linton biker 1

Work in Progress Wednesday

 

Coat update!  Last time you saw it, it was all in pieces.  I’d done the interfacing and needed to tailortack and then get cracking!  So that was Thursday morning’s position.  By the end of the day I had assembled the hood, the back, the sleeves and the two fronts with the welt buttonholes.  I’d left the pockets to the last, because I knew it would be fiddly because of the bulk of the fabric.  Actually, they were fine, and the rest went together really well.

 

DSC_0032
Hood, collar pieces and facings sewn, no side seams!
collage coat pocket
Welt pockets. On the left you can see the bits of interfacing on the fronts, and the cut down dart to reduce bulk.

On the weekend I attached the zipper to the centre front and made up the collar, attached the hood and facings.  I attached the zipper before I sewed the shoulder and side seams, figuring that it would be far easier to do with less fabric and fewer pattern pieces flapping about.  I also attached the collar and hood pieces before sewing the side seams.  If fact, I didn’t sew the side seams until I’d finished all the faffy, bulky work on the front.  It was tricky enough to do flat, I can only imagine how frustrating it would have been had the sides been attached.

DSC_0039
The front

Things got really tricky with the front tab and collar, there were so many layers of wool that it was tricky to get it all in under the foot of the machine.  This is one of the times when I am very happy to have a sewing machine that weighs so much!  I really don’t think I’d have been able to manage with a modern, lightweight machine.  Then adding the front fastening band made more bulk and made things worse.

I am unhappy with the position of that piece, I couldn’t get it higher as the machine pushed it down every time I forced it under the foot, even when I basted it in place.  It also seems to be too far from the centre front, and I think that’s because of the width of the zipper.  I really should have attached the band closer to the front.  Monday wasn’t a great sewing day, I had a re-occurence of my nasty headaches and attempted to work through it.  It wasn’t one of my best ideas, and I had no relief the next day either.  So now I have a pretty much finished coat, but I’m unhappy with that band and know it will be a mission to move it.  So I’m inclined to leave it.  But I know it’s not right.  Grrr

collage sleeve
Left, sleeve head tipped over; top right, pinning the sleeve in the seamline; bottom right, sewing the sleeve into the armhole, sleeve side up.

In contrast, the sleeves went in so easily!  If you’re making a jacket or coat, run a line of long gathering stitches 2cm from the edge of the fabric, just one line, and pull that up slightly, to give you the shape of the sleeve head.  Then pin it into the armhole with the armhole folded back, and the sleeve over it.  Next, pin on the stitching line, parallel to the stitching line, easing the fullness into the sleeve head.  It’s fiddly and the pins bite, but it gives a great finish.  Then you sew the seam from the inside, the sleeve side up, picking out the pins as you get to them and using both hands and almost all your fingers to smooth out the fulness and avoid puckering.  Once you’re happy with it and the hang is good, sew in the sleeve padding.  This can be purpose made wadding or you could cut bias strips of your fabric and fold in half longways.  Stitch just before the original sleeve seam and fold it over and into the sleeve head.  Some jackets need this step, some don’t, it all depends on the look you’re after.

DSC_0047
Looking up at the shoulder pad on the left, into the armhole with the interfacing and padding showing.

The lining is in, and the hem handstitched in place.   The lining is from The Lining Company.  It’s an acetate/viscose twill, and it’s shot, so you get a lovely shade of colour, depending on the direction in which you view it, and which side you use!  I chose  the Light Blue Fawn colour, which looks fabulous with the colour of the wool.  I’m using the blue-er side but have decided to use the other side which has more of a gold tone to cover the snaps for the front.  I was hoping to find a brass/bronze colour snap in the time I had, but I couldn’t.  So simple silver snaps are now covered with the lining.

collage coat lining
Lining details

DSC_0051.JPG

I had originally intended to finish the coat to wear to the Knitting and Stitching Show in London tomorrow, but the weather is not showing me I’ll be needing it, and I haven’t got the fastening band buttonholes done yet either.  I guess that although my headaches have finally passed, I’m not in quite the right place to finish today.  I’ll get it done over the weekend, and hopefully some proper photos will follow soon!  In the meantime, I’m looking forward to my first visit to a big London sewing show!

IMG_20181008_212315_216.jpg
From the back

I’ll show you what I buy over the weekend, all the fabric I bought at the NEC earlier this year has now been made up, so I’m kinda justified in getting a bit more! 😉  And I would love to find the perfect fabric to make up another dress, The Assembly Line’s V-Neck Dress.

 

Three Points

This is a project I’ve been quite keep to make since spotting the pattern in the magazine.  I liked the section seams of the sweatshirt (111 from February 2017), the opportunities for colour blocking and, most importantly of all, the chance to use it to use up some of the left over bits of ponte, quilted jersey and fleece fabric taking up a fair bit of room in my jersey fabrics box.  I really do need the space for full lengths of useable fabrics!

I decided to trace the smallest size, the 36.  The pieces are massive!  On the sheet the front and back main pieces are just half, so I flipped the paper over and made them whole.  This means that if I’m using leftovers, I know immediately how much space I need!  There are enough of a couple of fabrics for this pattern to work, but I couldn’t make up my mind where to start.  So I drew out a couple of tops and coloured them with the colours of fabric I have to try to get somewhere.

Then I asked Daughter No2 which she prefered.  Typically she couldn’t decide either and said she needed to see the fabrics first – in person!  But I really wanted to make the sweatshirt.  So I laid the pieces out on some of the left over black and white ponte that I’d made my last Uvita Top in, and placed the sleeves and triangular side panels on left overs of plain black ponte from Daughter No2’s long cardigan.  I liked the idea of the sides being solid in colour.  I figured that if she didn’t like it, I’d offer it to Daughter No1.  Once I started actually sewing, I figured I could always keep it for myself – it was that wide!

img_20181001_194441_3736961607062156857963.jpg
The sweatshirt, with all its width!

contrast sweatshirt 6

The essentials of the top are simple enough, especially if you’re not making the version with pockets.  But the pocket instructions got me all befuddled.  I obviously wasn’t having a brain fully engaged day, because I made a fluff and had to make do in the end.  And in the end I realised what I should have done!  So here’s a tip, if you’re planning on making this top.  The pockets are KANGAROO pockets!  If I’d realised that in the beginning I’d have understood the instructions immediately and done them correctly!

contrast sweatshirt 5

 

contrast sweatshirt 4

Anyhow, I am now pre-warned for the next time!!  But will there be a next time?  Maybe.  It’s definitely going to be fabric dependent.  Daughter No 2 was home on Friday for a quick visit to collect her winter coats and take them back to Birmingham.  She was initially unsure of the top when she saw it, but decided she rather liked it once it was on!  The verdict was positive, but only in a fabric that is fairly soft and has drape.  She wouldn’t want it if the fabric had too much body (it would be very boxy) and with that width it’s not what she’d wear.  But this one she likes!

contrast sweatshirt 2

 

contrast sweatshirt 1
Sweatshirt 111 February 2017

 

 

Work in Progress Wednesday

I’m making a coat!  Oh yes, I made a decision and I’m running with it, running pretty quickly, because I want it finished to wear to London next Thursday!  I traced the hoodie coat from the October 2018 Burda magazine yesterday and made a toile to check for fit.  I knew I’d need an FBA, I just needed to know how big – & I suspected I’d need a bicep adjustment too.

dsc_01924998546486760179531.jpg
The toile of coat 110, Burda 10/18

I needed to move the bust dart down 2cm as well as doing a 3cm FBA, and I widened the upper arm area, the bicep adjustment, by 4cm.  Other adjustments I’ve made to the pattern pieces are to add width and depth to the outer standing collar, the facing edge of the hood, the outer sleeve tabs and back belt piece, as well as the pocket flap.

dsc_02083103623866420221838.jpg
Weft insertion fusible interfacing on the sleeve heads

The starting point of the coat is always the interfacing.  I’m using Gill Arnold‘s weft insertion on the yokes, front and back, under the arm on the side body piece and in the sleeve head.  I’ve also cut 5cm wide bias strips to interface the hem area of both the sleeves and the jacket body.  I’ll also interface the centre front, about 7-8cm wide, and the outer standing collar piece with the same.  I’ll use the fine sheer interfacing on the inner collar, the front and back facings, the front fastening band and the hood facing piece.

dsc_02071831465923998214625.jpg
A nice big pile of cut out pattern pieces.

My fabric is a gorgeous camel-beige coloured wool and cashmere melton that I bought at the NEC about 4-5 years ago from the Rosenberg and Sons stand.  It was a fabulous price, only £10/m!  So I was fully justified in nabbing 2m, even though I had no idea of what I’d make back then, and it’s languished in the stash until the right thing arrived.  I used to have the right lining too – but I used that in the grey houndstooth jacket I made Daughter No1 back in August!  I’ve managed to cut the front facing, hood pieces and back yoke from the left over pieces of that lining and have ordered another metre of the same colour from the Lining Company.  It will hopefully arrive by the end of the week!

The opening zipper for the front and the front band buttons have come out of the stash.  It’s not normal for me to have such a long open ended zipper in the zip box, but I’d bought it years ago to mend the zipper on something else and then changed my mind and got someone else to do it for me! (lazy…)  The buttons are vintage minitary buttons in the most beautiful weathered brass.  Unfortunately I did not have enough to use ont he back belt as well, but I did find a pair of leather buttons in teh button box that will do the job just beautifully.

dsc_02108933831325183468459.jpg
Left back, interfaced pieces needing no tailor tacks, Middle, un-interfaced pieces needing tailor tacks, right, the lining pieces, and bottom left, the interfaced pieces, needing tailor tacks.

Now that all the pieces are interfaced, I’m left with the job of tailor tacking everything and getting started with the fun part – putting it all together!

October Sewing Plans

Oh boy, I can’t believe how quickly this half of the year is going already!  I swear the first half of the year was much slower.  I thought I had loads of time to think about my Autumn and Winter sewing, plenty of time to make coats and jackets and waterproof warm things before the weather changed.  No so.  So what have I been dreaming of then?

Well, I had hoped to finally make and finish the coat I started for Mr W in November last year.  I am pretty determined that it will be finished by his birthday at the end of this month, so I need to get cracking.  I also need a new coat myself.  And I have some planned for the girls!  Not only do I need to make coats, but I need some new tops for the winter, having make a whole load of new tops for the summer.

Coat fabric I have, the stash is coming up trumps in this department!  I have some coppery pink twill that I bought earlier in the year to make two versions of the long coat from February 2017 Burda.  I’ll make them different from each other by adding a different lining, using different buttons and possibly adding piping or something.  I have managed to get a fitting for Daughter No2’s coat, it fits pretty well but needs the sleeves lengthened by 4cm, the overall length needs to be 4cm longer and I’ll need to widen the shoulders.  Daughter No1 will try on her toile this weekend.

Then for me, I’m undecided.  I have some camel coloured casmere that I had thought of using for the Bamboo from Waffle Patterns, but I wonder if the pattern is too straight up and down for me.  Then I browsed this month’s Burda magazine and saw the jacket 110.  I like it!  But I also like the peacoat in the plus size section of the September Burda.  I’ll have to toss a coin I think!

collage jacket patterns
Peacoat 127 & jacket/coat 110

Then there are tops.  There are two that really tick the boxes for me that I’d love to make this month, top 103 is from August 2018 Burda.  I liked the working drawings when I first got the magazine, but still haven’t managed to trace the pattern.  Again, the stash will come to the rescue here, I have a piece of viscose that’s been trying to be used for ages now, and I think it’ll be great as this top.  Then in this month’s Burda, there’s an interesting top/blouse, 112.  The insert is what caught my attention, and again, I have just the right piece of black and white print viscose in the stash!

collage two tops
Blouse 103 and 112

Of course, there are still items to make for the girls,  Daughter No2 has her eye on these elastic waistband pants from September 2018 and the sweatshirt 108, which is on my list too.

pants 103
Pants 103, September 2018
sweat top 108
Sweatshirt 108

For myself, I still want to make a pair of Burnside Bibs.  They were on the list from last month, and still need to be toiled.  Then there’s the Monthly Stitch’s Indie Pattern Month this month!  I left it too late to decide what I was going to try to do, so I might get a chance to enter the second week’s challenge, and the third.  But it will definitely depend on TIME!  I think this is going to be another busy sewing month!  What are you sewing this month?

Undercover Super Hero Cape

Everyone should have one, their own super hero cape.  When I was a kid it was my swimming towel, corners wraped around the straps of my swimming costume.  This long cardi is 126 from January 2011 issue of Burdastyle.  Daughter No2 had picked it out earlier this year, and I dutifully purchased 3m of black ponte from Fabworks to make it.

black cardi 4

Then I sat on it, prettier and more interesting patterns constantly jumped ahead of it.  Then finally in August, I put it on “the list”.  Now I had to get on with it!  Only 3 pieces, it was so quick and easy to make, I don’t know why I’d put it off for so long!  The overlocker was put to good use, and the sewing machine was drafted in for the twin needle stitching of the hems and front edge.

black cardi 2

The magazine has two versions of this cardi, one called a coat (126A) made with boiled wool and with a belt, and this one in jersey, as part of their loungewear collection.

black cardi 1-017367284501438773782..jpg

 

black cardi 3-018827451280377632551..jpg

It’s a great pattern and I really want to make another, or two, one for me and another for daughter no 1 – at least.   I rather fancy one in a nice russet coloured boiled wool.  Just to find the right colour somewhere!  So, made back in August, this cardi was made about a month ago, and one of my entries for that month’s BurdaStyle Challenge.  Given that it’s already nearly the end of September, I wonder when I’ll blog those things I’ve made this month…