Archive for June, 2010

Intro to my trench

I am a few days behind in sharing this.

Here is my trench plan…such as it is.

I actually picked my fabric before I picked my pattern. I saw lightweight taupe fabric massively on sale ($2.00/metre) and I couldn’t resist buying enough for a knee length coat. I have no dressy lightweight coats so making something trench like seemed like a good move.

I’ve decided I want a coat with a bit of a flared skirt so I plan to base my trench on Vogue 8346. My online researcho see if I could find a pattern that was more appropriate than this one has lead my to the conclusion that I want a slightly rockabilly influence to my coat. As I don’t quite qualify as a fashionista, this was intrguing to discover. In the end, since I already own the Vogue pattern, I decided to stick with it.

I basically intend to make view B (double breasted, knee length, notched collar) with more buttons than  the pattern indicates as well as a waist tie and epaulets to give it that trench feel.

Here is a brief shot of my fabric. I wish I could remember exactly what combination of fibres it is. I’d guess polyester with nylon in there somewhere but I would not be surprised if it contained plenty of “unknown fibres.” 

I haven’t picked a lining fabric yet. I’m hoping to find something contrasting. I also haven’t picked out my buttons so my trench is definitely at a very early stage in its development. Hopefully I’ll progress with this faster than I have with some of my other projects.


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Hello! I’ve been planning to sew a trench coat for a while and missed the boat to have one done for Spring so when this sew along started I though it was the perfect motive to make a trench for Autumn. I picked my pattern a long time ago, it’s McCall’s 5525 and I’ll make View C but lengthened to be a similar to View D. The look I’m after is quite a traditional Mac which is why I chose this pattern with features like the epaulettes, sleeve button bands, front yoke and back flap.
The fabric is a navy blue cotton with a waterproof backing. It’s surprising lightweight so I think it will give some rain protection without being too warm. I live in the South West of England and we have a lot of rain in Autumn but it’s not cold. However, after reading marynanna’s helpful post on her experiences with waterproof fabric, I’m a little concerned that there are too many seams and details in the pattern for this particular fabric. This is my first time taking on such a big project so that combined with the unusual fabric could leave me tied up in knots. We’ll see how it goes once I start making it up. The lining I have is a pale pink viscose with an outline flower pattern which is part of the weave (you can just about see the pattern in the right hand picture below). I had planned to line it with a shocking pink but the polyester really didn’t feel luxurious enough and this pale pink is much higher quality.
When I first joined this sew along I thought I was nicely on track with my pattern chosen and fashion fabric bought, but progress since then has been more than a bit slow. All the pieces are cut for a muslin and I should really get to work on sewing them up and I also need to buy the interfacing, buttons and thread. There’s certainly a lot of work ahead for me but I’m excited to see if I’ll end up with a trench I can wear.

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Advice needed


Finally I traced the patterns. But before I cut the muslins I would like to ask you for some advice. I know I need to lengthen the body of the coats for I am tall. Lately I discovered I should also adjust the top patterns  for a slight swayback and narrow and forward sloping shoulders. So, could you please help me with this altering dilemma – to adjust the length only and then cut the muslins, or make all the adjustments and cut afterwards?  I read somewhere that you make only one alteration at a time.

Thank youuu!!!:-)

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I found a pattern I like, Marfy 1038. The link to it is here: http://butterick.mccall.com/f1038-products-5687.php?page_id=1222&search_control=display&list=search
I didn’t realize it comes with no instructions and that you have to draft your own lining, and facings. Also, their patterns have no seam or hem allowances. You get an envelope with the cut pattern in it, folded up. (OMG!) Lucky for me, Yorkshire Lass sewed a similar pattern, Marfy 1751, and posted her instructions here: http://sewing.patternreview.com/review/pattern/37638
So wish me luck! I’ll be starting my muslin, which I’ll make out of a heavy cotton/lycra fabric I bought at Wal-Mart for $2 a yard (before they closed all their fabric departments here in Texas — boo hoo!). My final fabric will be a rainproofed yellow cotton I bought from Fabric Mart a while back. The pattern is above the knee, and I’ll lengthen it to below. I will not line it. because here in Houston, the problem with most raincoats is they’re too hot to wear when it’s raining. Our monsoon season is in the summer.

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Hi there everyone…

I think I am up to date on sending invites to all who have requested to join the Trench Sew Along.  If you haven’t received, please let me know.  Also, if you are having problems starting up your wordpress.com account and logging onto the Trench Sew Along dashboard, let me know.  I will try to help you out.

I am really excited at the great participation we’ve had so far and looking forward to seeing everyone’s progress.  For myself, I am still looking at patterns and have been distracted by other projects.  But I hope to start working on my coat in earnest really soon.


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Fabric Sale!

Fabric.com is having a 50% off sale on Tropical Worsted Wool Suiting. I don’t have any experience with this fabric so please don’t think I’m recommending it personally. The description says “These gorgeous tropical weight worsted wool suitings are light weight, airy, sturdy and very breathable, which makes them the perfect choice for stylish warm weather apparel. Use them to create fashionable suits, jackets, slacks, skirts, pants and more! ” They’re 100% worsted woo, only $4.99/yard, and come in a ton of colors and various plaids and stripes.

I’m ordering a few yards. Even if I don’t love it for my final coat, they might be good for a wearable muslin, right?

How is everyone else coming with pattern and fabric choices? How are the muslins looking? Anyone cut into fashion fabric yet?

Happy Stitching!


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Hello, there!

Maybe its a bit odd that someone living in central Arizona would join a coat sew-along, but I’ve seen so many fabulous handmade coats lately that I jumped at the chance. I’m very much a beginner and this will be my first lined jacket. I’m undecided on the pattern right now, but I’ve narrowed it down a bit. I would very much like a peacoat length jacket with a statement collar. I would also like a jacket that is versatile and can go from casual, worn with jeans, to dressier, worn with skirts and dresses.

Butterick 3914 from etsy seller "monicacarmel"

Butterick 3914 from the 70s has a great collar and I like the length, though I would probably leave off the patch pockets to make it more streamlined and modern. I can see this in a statement color such as deep red or a bright turquoise.

My frontrunner is surely Vogue 8623. I adore the oversized collar and pack pleats. I love the idea of showcasing some fabulous buttons. Plus, a few fabulous reviews on Patternreview.com and Carolyn’s stylish version really romanticize this pattern to me. I picture it in a charcoal-grey type wool with a contrasting lining, maybe a fun shade of lime.

The only thing is that I will be in Zurich, Switzerland and various other parts of Europe till the end of July (tough life, right?), so I won’t be near a machine to get started. Instead I’m just going to take my sweet time searching for a perfect, luxurious fabric and lining while I am here. Certainly there is a fabric store in Milan or Paris, am I wrong? 😉

I’m looking forward to seeing how everyone’s progress goes, even if I’m late to start. It’s exciting to see MaryNanna’s success with coats in the past, Sherry’s superb drafting skills, and Barbara’s very thorough pattern investigation. I blog over at 98 Red Balloons, feel free to pay me a visit.


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