Monday, 22 October 2018

Sewing a Winter Coat: Tips and Tricks

The evenings are getting chilly and that's a good reminder that winter is around the corner and thoughts of sewing a winter coat come to mind.  There has been a lot of reflection on past coat projects.  Here are a few of my tips, thoughts and tricks for sewing a winter coat.  

It's an investment in both time and materials.  Take your time and enjoy the process.

  • Invest in a clapper if you're working with wool fabric or if your coat has some tailoring.  It will make a difference to the quality of your pressing.

  • A walking foot is worth every penny especially when it comes to sewing several layers together. 
  • Do some research.  Check out the latest styles at the stores and then shop at the vintages shops to compare the differences.  Some vintage coats have some smart design features that you won't find in RTW and that you might want to adapt into your new winter coat. 
  • Give special consideration to your interfacing.  Back-in-the-day, my home economic teacher taught us that your interfacing should be the same weight as your fashion fabric.  Let me just say she was right.     
  • Consider how you'll use your new winter coat, are you able to stay warm while pulling off the latest Meahen Markle inspired look?  
  • Or do you need something to fend off the below freezing temperature and mind numbing wind chills?  
  • Adding an extra layer of warmth by underlining your coat could be an option that you might want to consider.  Although, I would like to avoid man-made fibres in my clothing I will admit that adding a layer of micro-fleece as my underlining fabric proved to be a way to stay warm during those brutal windchilled days.  It proved to out-perform cotton flannel and wool suiting as underlining fabrics.  
  • Coating fabric is another consideration.  I like wool because of its anti-bacterial properties but it is also warm. Melton fabric is a traditional wool fabric know as hard wearing and both wind and weather resistant qualities.  Today, melton fabric is often found to be a blend of wool and polyester dismissing some of those traditional admirable qualities.  So read your labels.  But there are also speciality fabric that are designed to protect against the elements.  Before considering your fabric consider they lifestyle you lead.  
This will bring us to choosing your pattern.

Are you looking for a look that is comfortable and all about enjoying the great outdoor in the autumn months?  Or perhaps you live in a climate that evades the deep freeze and you can get away with this as your winter coat?  Lucky you!     

Minoru Jacket 
The Kelly Anorak Jacket

Then perhaps the Minoru Jacket by Sewaholic Patterns or The Kelly Anorak Jacket by Close Case Files might appear to your adventurous side.

Or perhaps something vintage?

There are so many options out there that can help you create a winter coat of your dreams.  I say, just go for it.  You'll be surprised just how rewarding it is to make a winter coat and it's really not that hard.  Just slow down and enjoy the process. 

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, 14 October 2018

New Skirt: OOP Vogue 9701

I've been longing for a wrap skirt but it really isn't all that practical in the windy city with winter fast approaching.  Out-of-print (OOP) Vogue Elements 9701 turned out to be the perfect alternative, "a semi-fitted, straight, mock wrap skirt."  And it was rated "very easy."   

What more could I ask for?  Pockets perhaps?  

Would you believe it has that too?  This pattern is perfect.

The plan is to make it in a wool suiting but I thought to make one in a fabric I wouldn't mind losing if the fit wasn't just right.  I used a medium weight denim that was in the stash likely from the same decade this pattern originates.  I'm so glad it fits because in the denim this turns out to be a skirt that will hold up over the winter. And it's a dark denim so I'm hoping that I might also get away with wearing this for work.  Maybe with a white shirt but I digress... 

I shortened the above-ankle length (view B) three inches.  Other than that I cut my size.  I could have used the adjustments for the petite markings closer to the waistline.  Even though I like a high waisted skirt, I could have benefited from this adjustment instead of taking off the length from the hemline.  Something to consider for next time.  

The Stats

Fabric:  2 metres of 100% cotton denim

Zipper:  9" invisible zipper

Pattern:  OOP Vogue 9701 (found on Etsy)

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Iron, ironing board, cutting table, pins, pin cushion, sewing machine, invisible zipper foot, zipper foot, serger, threads for the serger, sewing machine and hand-stitching, new serger needles, self-threading hand needle, tailor's chalk, ruler, measuring tape, basting tape, scissors, thread clippers, and a cup of tea.  

Happy Sewing!  

Friday, 12 October 2018

Sewing thoughts...

When did thread get so expensive?  

Seriously, I could buy lunch for the cost of one of these spools of thread. That's just bananas. 

I bought the thread.

Will be brown bagging it for the next while.

What am I thinking? I'm always brown bagging it.  It pays for the thread.   

Besides thread, there have been thoughts of winter sewing.     

Vogue Patterns came out with their new Winter / Holiday patterns this week and not one coat pattern to be found. I really thought there might be a coat pattern.  

I'm re-visiting out-of-print Vogue 8934 to make a winter coat.      

Also planning on revisiting Simplicity 8529.  

Finally decided on which fabric to get with the EmmaOneSock gift certificate. It's an "all virgin wool sweater jersey" from Italy.  They don't sell thread.  

Pretty excited about this fabric.  

Can't believe I ordered a pink fabric.  

Over-the-moon excited to find a 100% virgin wool. 

Natural fibres won over colour choice.   

First time ordering fabric on-line.  

It was weird committing to a fabric choice that I didn't feel first.  

I hope the excitement doesn't fade by the time it gets here. 

Happy Sewing!  

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

It Finally Happened.

Wow, it finally happened. Simplicity 2372 is now an out-of-print pattern. I can't recommend it anymore since, well, it's no longer available on the Simplicity website. It's a real gem. If you're lucky enough to stumble across it over on Etsy or Ebay, I would suggest grabbing it. It does seem rare to find coordinate patterns now-a-days. Here is one more version of the dress.  

The fabric is a 100% polyester print left-over from an earlier, much-earlier, project. It feels great to make something else with this fabric.  Even though I'm not one to love sewing polyester, the colours in this piece of fabric are perfect for the season.  

The Stats  

Fabric:  2 metres 

Interfacing:  0.3 metres of fusible interfacing

Zipper:  55 cm invisible zipper

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Cutting table, silk pins, measuring tape, ruler, tailor's chalk, sewing machine, invisible zipper foot, zipper foot, blind hem foot, pin cushion, scissors, serger, thread, thread clippers, iron and ironing board.  

Happy Sewing!  

The Perfect White Shirt

Is there such a thing?  If I were to dream, the fabric would be white and made from natural fibres. It would have long sleeves, a menswear ...