Archive for August, 2010

And I’m off!

I have finally started on Vogue 8623. Today I cut the pattern, traced the sleeve/yoke pieces and lengthened the sleeve. Tomorrow I will cut into a lightweight grey wool for the outer portion. I still need to decide whether or not to underline and order lining fabric. My goal is to have this jacket done in about two weeks. I will likely consider my first version a wearable muslin and then make it again when I find a coating fabric that I love.

Vogue 8623 Jacket

On another note, does anyone have words of wisdom when it comes to choosing buttons? There are so many fabulous buttons out there, but a lot of RTW jackets have very plain buttons. Do I go with a fabulous, bold button or something more understated? I’d love advice!


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Late out of the gate

I’ll admit it. I enthusiastically signed up for this sew-a-long, chose a pattern, bought my fabric, and for the last two months, my trench has looked like this:But this weekend, all of that changed.

I was finally able to cut out the pattern and make a very basic muslin. I realized, as I was figuring out the fit, that I need to make sure I make it a little bit looser than the blazer I tried to make a year ago because it is a coat and I may want to wear heavier clothes under it at some point.  This means I didn’t spend as much time tailoring it as I could have, although I did make sure the bustlines were in the right place (it’s a princess seam). I also cut out extra pieces to create the epaulets, cuff bands and belt

Now, my trench looks very similar to Tanit-Isis’s lovely coat. It, looks like this:

At this rate, I likely will not have it finished by the 26th, but hopefullly it will be ready soon after that since it’s almost September and the Canadian heatwave seems to be cooling a bit.

The part I’m most concerned about is actually the sleeves. I find sleeves rather challenging to set in. Then, the last time I tried something remotely like this, I had difficulty matching the outer layer and lining on the sleeves. I found that I could work it out so that it seemed smooth when pinned, but once  I stitched the lining in place, the sleeve would bunch horribly. I’m hoping to avoid that problem this time.

So that’s where I’m at. I’m behind, but I certainly haven’t given up.

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Inching along

My coat, cut out!

I cut out my coat! (well, the fabric, not the lining). Not much progress, but better than nothing, right? Where are the rest of you at?

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I finished the trench!  I am pretty happy with it even though it was one of the first things I tackled when I began sewing again about a year ago.  I would do a few things differently if I had known then what I know now.

Mostly, I enjoyed sewing McCall’s 5525.  The back yoke is not symmetrical, just fold it and cut out on fold to rectify this.  I think the sleeve “belts” are too long.  Somehow, my lining for the body of the coat was not long enough, but the sleeve lining was fine. I thought it was awkward to sew on the buttons after the lining was installed, I didn’t want to see the the button thread on the lining so I lifted it up to sew the buttons on. Seeing the picture makes me want to tack down the back flap. It’s too…flappy.

I used a prefused, sort of quilted faux python print. It was a dream to sew, it had a lot of body and didn’t fray much. I used a cheery yellow Ambience for the lining. I found some dreamy rubber buttons at Vogue Fabrics that just go.

I got stuck on buttonholes, and so it languished for months, but now it’s done! I saw on a blog a preview of the September Burda, and there is a trench very similar to this one!

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It rained heavily the other day in London. I caught the tube to work and was pondering my ill-advised work wear when I turned to look at the lady beside me. Of course, she was not incorrectly attired. No, she had on a trench coat. And that’s when I realised that despite being fooled by a surprisingly dry and warm summer; this is England!! It always rains here and Autumn will be here quicker than I can blink. So in other words, I’ve been shamed into action! Here is my Trench Coat Muslin from what was previously my sister’s duvet… (Yes, I hope she’s not reading this either…)

I’m pretty pleased with the fit overall. I like the length, although for some reason unknown to me I cannot cut a pattern out without it always having a different length at the hem. Whilst i’m loathe to admit it, It probably is running a little on the small side because I have put on a bit of weight since I measured myself and cut out the pieces. I’m really not sure about the storm flap on the front though, I think it sits weirdly above my bust and it’s not quite how I was imagining it would look like. I also tried it with and without shoulder pads in but I think I will just leave these out in the end as I think the shoulder pads make me look a bit ‘Dynasty’…

Apologies for the terrible photos – my camera has some auto-focus issues!

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I’ve found it!!!

Ok, I know I have been MIA from the Trench Sew Along, but I’ve been very distracted with my TNT project at Sew A Beginner.  But I received an email from Simplicity last night about their new fall patterns and I meandered over there to peruse the new selection.  And lo and behold, but what did I see? 

Simplicity 2311

Why, S2311, of course.  I love the short version with the wide lapels in camel on the left hand side of the pattern envelope.  What do you think?  Wouldn’t it be perfect for my imperial purple wool??? 

Imperial Purple wool coating from Fabricmart

And the bonus is that this pattern is fully lined.  FULLY LINED!!!!  I don’t have to do mental gymnastics to make this coat. 

I’m so excited!

Happy sewing everyone!

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Marfy Coat #6

After two weekends being unable to sew, I returned to the muslin to replace the sleeves.  Here’s how I did it:  I have a jacket that I’m happy with the sleeve fit on, so I used the “tape” method to make a pattern from the existing sleeve. I’m sorry, but I can’t remember the lady’s name that I learned this from at the ASG convention in Dallas some years back.  You use painter’s tape or duct tape, and start by tearing off small pieces and sticking them along the seam lines. You use short pieces so you can follow the curve of the fabric. After you have the edges done, you fill in with strips of tape, being careful to overlap them, so  that you make a continuous sheet of the tape. I did not copy the entire sleeve, as the jacket has 3/4 length sleeves with a cuff and the coat will have long sleeves. Notice I didn’t fill in completely with tape, but I did use enough, including the cross pieces to keep it from distorting when I pulled off the tape. Then, gently remove the entire tape piece and adhere it to paper. Now you have your outline. Be sure to add seam allowances. (I’m used to that now, after making this pattern.)  So, here’s a picture of my friend holding up the pattern piece, and one of the new sleeve.  And, lo and behold, the sleeves just SLID into place!  At this point, I’m abandoning the muslin for the time being (it will be too hot here in Houston to wear it for months to come) to start work on the actual coat.  I need an extra month to finish it, as the next extended sewing period coming up is Labor day weekend.

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