Category Archives: Trench Along

Grrrr!

You see that?  That purple wool up there?  Yeah?  Well, I’m mad at it.

Why you ask?  Well, I spent a little over two hours last night pulling threads to find the grain.  I was doing the fringe method because the thread method kept breaking.  I mean the thread that I pulled kept breaking because the thread that makes up this wool fabric are very fuzzy and grab at each other.  They’re not slide-y and smooth making the pulling a thread method virtually impossible.  The self-same fuzziness makes the fringe method equally as difficult too.  About an hour into it I realized that I could cut off the fringe as I pulled to keep the fuzzy factor at a minimum.  That speeded things up, but it still took me two hours to find the straight of grain. 

Why does it matter?  Well, I am really excited about this coat and want it to be a successful garment.  If I sewed it off grain, it would twist and pull and then I’d never wear it.  So, pulled and cut, pulled and cut, and pulled and cut for two hours last night.  Needless to say, I never got to the actual cutting out of the pattern.  *big sigh*

But tonight is another night.

Wish me luck.

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Muslin-y Pictures of S2311

Last night’s session with Thea was very successful.  I continue to be excited about this coat.  I just adore this pattern.  Did I mention that it is well-drafted???  And the collar/lapel is just about as perfect as can be.  LOVE. THIS. COAT.

So, I realized some errors I had made, but it’s all good.  No animals were harmed in the making of this muslin.  😉   I forgot I had changed the seam guide on my Featherweight from 5/8ths to 1/2 inch, so all my seam allowances were an 1/8th off. 

Oh, and I figured out why my bobbin thread kept breaking.  Now this is just a theory as I have not really researched it, but I think the needle position must be in its highest position when you pull out your work.  I think the way the machine works is that having the needle position high changes the way the bobbin releases the bobbin thread.  Oh maybe I’m on crack here, but it’s just a theory.  I experimented last night with keeping the needle up at its highest position whenever I removed my work after a seam and I had no problems whatsoever with the bobbin thread all night.  So, I think I’m on to something here.  However, this mild success in using the Featherweight did not convince me to use it for this coat.  I am still going to use my Emerald 183.  I think I need to practice on the Featherweight with less complicated, less important projects first before I sew something like a coat.

Thea helped me fit my coat.  She agreed with me that the fit was basically fine but I could use some shaping in the back to remove some of the bulk there.  The pattern provides a center back seam, but there is not much if any shaping in it, so we added about a 3/4 inch of shaping out from the waist tapering to the hem and yoke.  It looks great now.  We inserted the sleeve pretty easily.  Thankfully there is not an excess amount of ease in the sleeve cap, so very little easing was required.  There was also easing for the elbow which I love.  Gives great shaping to the line of the arm as well as being practical for something pointy like an elbow.  I should mention that I was mistaken about the pattern calling for sewing on the sleeves in the flat.  I just misread them because they have you jump around the instruction sheets from Coat A to Coat B instructions. 

Thea also helped me figure out how to attack the back yoke to the front and collar better.  The pattern itself is missing some markings, so that was part of my problem. The other was not know how to properly sew a squarish u-shaped piece to a straight piece.  I will explain that later.  Ingenious method though. 

Without further ado, here are the pictures of the muslin on me!  I wore a suit jacket to fill out the coat a bit.  I am really pleased with the fit and look of this coat and can’t wait to start cutting out the purple wool.  Please ignore the goofy faces.

Note: the muslin is really stiff. the wool has a softer drape.

Again, the back will be smoother in the softer wool

Happy sewing everyone!

Lots to Show and Tell

I’m back from the wilds of the Midwest and have lots to report.  I met my new niece Chloe who’s cute as a button.  Jack fell in love with her and was so sweet with her.  He loved caressing her little head.  So cute to see him be so tender.  🙂 

As for those of you asking for pictures of the dress in action at the wedding (ahem, Karen), sorry but no actions shots were taken.  I just was not in a dancing mood I guess, and I felt shy about asking anyone to take a picture.  Here’s my take on how the dress “wore” though.  I’m stealing the interview idea from Tasia

How did the dress look?  It looked pretty good standing still and as I was running. 

What do you mean by “standing still” and “running”?  Well, when I stood talking to people it looked great.  It was also fine as I was running to the wedding after the taxi driver dropped me off at the opposite end of the pier.  I had to sprint about two football lengths in 7 minutes with another wedding attendee.  Both of us looked mahvelous!  😉  

So how did it look sitting?  Funny you should ask actually, as that was the part with which I was most dissatisfied.  When I sat down at the wedding ceremony, my dress rode up so high pooling at my waist and thighs, almost 3 inches of my lining was left exposed for all to see.

Why on earth did it ride up so high???  Well, I suspect the underlining was the culprit.  I used silk organza because I was being all fancy.  The last time I underlined (the Christian LaCroix skirt), all I had on hand was cotton batiste, which worked, but this time I was prepared with yards and yards of silk organza.  As most of you know, silk organza has a stiff hand, which helps enormously with preventing SBS (Saggy Bottom Syndrome otherwise known as bagging out) and wrinkling.  It also has the added effect of giving the fashion fabric more body.  In the case of my Vera Wang fabric, too much body, as the brocade had body already, just needed the protection against SBS.  I should have used cotton batiste in retrospect.  *sigh*   Live and learn I guess…

Any other things you liked or disliked about this version of B5147?  I’m so glad you asked.  Dislikes: If you’ll recall, I altered the armscye to cut in towards the chest.  Boy was that a big oops and I will be putting that back in.  Now everyone has the viewing pleasure of the fleshy area between my arm and chest.  Isn’t that a great visual?  Bet you didn’t know that area could even be fat.  Likes: Love the scoop neck.  Not too deep but just deep enough.  I also pegged the skirt near the knees and really like that silhouette.  And I loved the sheathier look of widening the fisheye darts in the front of the dress; they were much more figure flattering.  I will definitely keep those changes for future iterations if there are any.

Will you make any more B5147’s?  Hmmm… Not sure.  My teacher Thea thinks that I can get a much more flattering fit with less fiddling around with a princess seamed sheath dress, so I am going to try another dress soon.  I’m considering the Simplicity Amazing Fit sheath dress, S2648.

What’s next in your project queue?  I am finally getting to my Fall coat for the Trench Sew Along.  I am making another Simplicity pattern, S5380.  I already have my purple wool, bought the purple charmeuse at the PR Shopping day a couple of weeks ago, and today I ran out to buy cotton flannel with which to interline the coat.  Not sure how much tailoring I am going to end up doing.  We’ll see how in depth I’m willing to go later.

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Ok, enough with the pseudo interview.  Do you want to see pictures of my new baby up close and personal like?  I’m talking about the Singer Featherweight 221 from 1938 that received this past weekend.  Oh boy am I excited and yet a little intimidated.  The directions on how to just thread the machine don’t make any sense to me.  It came with a bunch of feet, most of which I have no idea what they are for.  Can any of you deduce their purposes?

Original manual!!!

My very own buttonholer!!!

Slightly broken zigzagger with inscrutable manual

Here are the feet for which I have no idea of their purposes:

I think this might be a quilting guide but a slightly bent one

a ruffler perchance?

some kind of binder? if so, what kind?

Let me know if you know what feet I actually have.  Can’t wait to start playing with them all.  I am super excited about the Singer Buttonholer!!!

Happy sewing everyone!

Paralysis

After professing my love for natural fibers, I came home to sew last night and found myself paralyzed with fear, unable to sew.  I think I talked myself out of finishing my silk twill dress.  Not because I don’t think the fabric won’t be a good boyfriend and behave itself; I think it will.  But because I started thinking about the zipper.  I’ve noticed that the bottom of the zipper in my black and white bamboo skirt and in the stretch cotton chambray version of B5147 protrude a little.  I’m just not sure why.  I can’t figure it out.  And if that happens with this dress I will be very upset.  I don’t want any major flaws.  Little ones I can take because I doubt a non-sewist would notice those, but a pokey zipper?  I think everyone will notice that. 

*sigh*

I think I just have to get over this.  It doesn’t help that I’ve lost momentum on this dress since I last worked on it.  That stupid birthday week and my friend visiting put some distance between me and my dress.  In this case, distance does not make the heart grow fonder.  😉  

I have a work event tonight, so I won’t be able to work on the dress until Thursday night.  Oh, and Robin just reminded me of the natural fibers contest going on now at PatternReview.  Doing a PR contest was one of my goals for 2010.  I’m pretty excited about entering this dress into this particular contest.  The deadline is August 10th.  I definitely can make that.  Maybe this is just the kick in the pants that I need to finish this dress.  Yeah!

In other sewing news, I finally picked out my pattern for the Trench Sew Along!  The new Simplicity Fall line came out and there was a great lined coat in the line up.  I love it!!!  Check out my post at the Trench Sew Along to see the coat.  And if you’re considering making a trench or any kind of coat, please join us (just let me know in the comments and I’ll send you an invite).

Happy fearless sewing everyone!

Heating up!

Things are heating up at the Trench Sew Along!  We’ve had more people join, introductions are rolling in and projects are developing.  And most importantly, fabrics are displayed for our drooling pleasure.  (I can’t believe how much of a fabric whore I’ve become!)

I just posted about the patterns I’m considering.  Check it out and weigh in!

Trench Coat Sew Along II

Well, the Trench Sew Along II is starting up with some of the old cast of characters and a few new ones.  If you would like to join us in making a trench or a coat, please do.  Let me know in the comments below…

Happy sewing everyone!

Confession and Announcement

My post title sounds so grandiose, doesn’t it? 

Remember when I organized my sewing area and put up shelves in the bedroom closet for my fabric stash?  Well, since then my sewing area has gone to the dogs.  At least in regards to the fabric stash.  Each new arrival keeps getting added to my chair.  After the debauchery that was PR Weekend Philly, here is what my chair looks like now.

OMG!  And the confession part of this post is that I accidentally bought more yardage from FabricMart.  It was an accident.  Honest!

Now for the announcement…  I met Sara of Trench Sew Along fame at the PR Weekend and she mentioned that she’s renewed her interest in finishing her trench.  Then, coincidentally, Robin said she wants to make another trench coat.  And I’ve been itching to make another coat too.  So… 

We’re reviving the Trench Sew Along.  If anyone wants to join us, please feel free to do so.  Either leave me a comment here or there and I will start the process to add you to the blog. 

I’m finishing up my knit top and starting another pencil skirt tonight.  Wish me luck.

Happy sewing!