Sunday, February 26, 2012

Wooly Coat: Back and Sleeve Alterations

Alright, I guess I should do a quick update on my coat (Simplicity 2508), since it tends to motivate me, and goodness knows I need all the motivation I can get.

Plus I'm doing something tedious and I needed a break.

You can see that I got the shell mostly together, no thanks to the instructions, which neglected to mention the step where you're to attach the front panel to the front side panel. That instruction was buried in with another view instructions. Gotta love Project Runway patterns.

I finally got a chance to try on the coat, and I'm mostly pleased with the fit. From the front, anyways. The sleeves and back seems a bit too big. This is not really surprising, considering I opted to go up a size instead of doing an FBA. One day I'll remember why this is never a good plan.

Also, I think the strap thing that's supposed to go across the lower back is still too high, despite lowering it by about 1.5 inches.

So tonight, I removed the sleeves and took it in by a 1/2 inch from the lower back to the shoulders between the back piece and the back side pieces. I also shifted the back tab thing down by about 1.5 inches. To compensate for this, I also took in the sleeves by 1/2 inch on the seam under the arm.

Now I'm about to put the sleeves back in and pray that I didn't just bugger the whole thing up. *headdesk* I am far too lazy for this sort of thing. I'm aiming to get this put back together tonight, because I'm afraid if I don't, I'll never pick this coat up again.


While I haven't gotten any sewing done this weekend, I have (finally) hung up my art project. It's be complete for weeks, I've just been too lazy busy to hang it up. It may not be the fanciest thing in the world, but I'm pleased with it. Sorry about the awful pictures, my camera is on it's last legs, and I think it might be time for a new one.

The lace here was a gift from a friend, who found scraps of it at a garage sale and gave it to me. Thanks Sara!

I wasn't originally going to use this frame in the project. Despite that, it turned out to be my favourite.

As I mentioned before, I collected up a bunch of frames from thrift stores and painted them all white. Then I just used fabric, lace, and these stick on mirror sparrows to make a nice collage in the frames. They didn't turn out quite the way I pictured it in my head, but I'm pleased with it anyways. Better than the bare wall that was there previously!

The wide lace on the left was sent to me by Stacie. It's partially what inspired this project. Thank you!

This whole project was initially inspired by Tanit-Isis's post about lace, and a comment made by ElleC. I immediately latched onto the idea of framing lace, and knew that's what my collection of frames would be used for.

While I really do like the whole look, this has pushed my subtle bird theme to decidedly unsubtle levels.

In other news, I also managed to get my cork board hung up (finally) above my sewing table. And then proceeded to fill it up with all sorts of inspiration! If you look closely, you might have an idea of what I'm planning for my spring wardrobe.

If I ever finish this bloody coat, that is.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Happy Louis Riel Day!

I was planning on researching and writing up a nice post about Louis Riel and what he meant to the Metis and Manitoba in general. But then Graca at Sew Essentially Sew beat me to it and did a better job than I probably would've, so instead I'm going to direct you there.

Photo via Wikipedia

To celebrate, I was going to hoof it down to the Legislature Building to go oogle the statue of Louis Riel, and then go see what the Festival du Voyageur had to offer for the day. Unfortunately, I'm not feeling all that well today.

Instead, I'm going to work on my wool coat, which is sort of appropriate? Maybe? Not only did I manage to force myself to finish basting all the guts of the coat for warmth/structure last night, but I even managed to sew a few small pieces together!

Don't mind the pins on the pocket. I forgot to make the lining piece narrower than the pocket, and the pins are to hold back the inner fabric to keep it from showing when I attach it to the coat.

I decided to do topstitching in black. Sadly, my topstitches are sort of crap, because cripes is 4 layers of wool + interfacing hard to sew through! But the shoddy stitches don't really bother me that much, and I imagine it'll get better as I go. Now that I'm actually sewing this thing together, I actually feel inspired to work on it. Finally!

That is, if I can avoid getting distracted by my latest craft project...

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Crochet Hook Holder...Thing: A Belated Christmas Gift

This post is a long time in the making. Actually, not really, I've just procrastinated for way too long. Sorry Fuss!

Back before Christmas, a good friend of mine, Heather (Fuss), started up crocheting. Since I've been crocheting for most of my life, I of course felt the need to enable this new hobby and right away wanted to make something special as a Christmas gift. And what better than a crochet hook holder filled with all sorts of goodies?!

Of course, my procrastination genes popped up, and I didn't get it done in time for Christmas. One day in January, while chatting away in gmail, she mentioned that she'd bought herself a set of hooks and was planning to make herself a holder for them.

Cue panic.

Luckily it didn't take too long to finish up the gift, and off it went across Canada to her doorstep (or rather, postbox down the street). Her reaction was delightful and chronicled in her brand spanking new creative blog, FussWorks (go check it out! The pictures of her bunnies and dogs modeling things are adorable and their put-upon expressions hilarious).

The crochet hook holder was pretty easy to make. My quick and dirty schematics are shown above, and the hardest parts were 1) figuring out how long to make it, and 2) sewing all those straight parallel lines dividing the hook pockets. I sort of wung the first part, deciding that longer was better, because everyone winds up with way too many needles. For the second part, Sheila of the Marble Stash group suggested using a strip of painters tape and sewing next to it before shifting it over to sew the next line.

There's a lot of pockets. I cut a piece of fabric the length and height that I wanted for the hooks, and bound the top edge with a piece of straight-grain tape (is that what it's called? Non-bias bias tape made from the shell fabric) before basting the pocket piece to the inside fabric. I found the bound edge really helpful for keeping the hooks nestled tightly in the pockets. For the pockets themselves, I sort of just wung the spacing, going from widest to narrowest across the length. I figured this would give lots of space for different sized needles.

The pockets were probably the most fun part. I wanted to bring the pretty batik fabric I was using for the shell fabric inside the holder, and this was a great way to do it. I also wanted to line the pockets so that there would be no frayed edges.

The patch pockets with the flaps were easy to figure out, but the zippered pocket was a little big more work. If anyone is interested in a tutorial for making a zippered patch pocket, just let me know. I'd be glad to put one together. The lined inside is a nice touch.

Once all the pockets were attached to the inside fabric piece, I simply put it and the shell fabric right sides together, sandwiching the ribbon ties inside, and stitched around, leaving an opening to flip the whole thing right side out. A bit of top stitching around the edge, and c'est fini!

I'm super proud of how it turned out considering I was making it up as I went. It's a good thing I really like my buddy, because otherwise I would've kept it! Enjoy your crochet holder, Fuss. Happy crocheting!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Basting Woes - Part 1

HEY LOOK! I'm working on my coat! This is cause to celebrate, because I've been putting off basting all the bloody inside pieces to the outside pieces almost as much as I put off cutting out the pieces to begin with.

Or in the case of the interlining, the inside pieces to the other inside pieces.

I'd originally planned to baste the interlining to the shell fabric, but after consulting the RD-CGtS, I decided to attach it to the lining fabric. Plus the wool shell is awfully thick, and I don't think my machine would appreciate another layer there. I plan to treat the interlining and lining as one piece before sewing everything together.

Okay, I ought to get back to it. I have...*counts*...15 piece sets to baste together. Oh crud, now I wish I hadn't counted them. *despairs*

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Book: The Dressmaker

Once again, I've been lazy and completely uninspired to write any blog posts. Until today, when I found this book in a local used book store. I'm so excited that I wanted to share it with you!

It's The Dressmaker, and was produced by the Butterick Publishing Company, copyright 1911. Yes, 1911!

Just seeing the completely different styles showcased in the illustrations make it worth the $19 I dished out for it.

Never mind how different this dressform's shape is:

But besides that, this book has a lot of interesting and useful advice. I've been toying with hand-stitching the buttonholes on my winter coat (if I ever get that far), and I think the chapter on buttonholes in The Dressmaker will be really useful.

I also think the chapter titled The Care of Clothes will be helpful as well. I know I have at least one garment that has iron staining on it, and it'll be interesting to see if the solution suggested here will help.

If you're jealous of my pretty little find, then you might be interested in this. Apparently the Library of Congress has contributed a digital copy to as a free download, so go yonder and obtain!

Sunday, February 5, 2012


So I'd completely stalled out on working on my coat, mostly because of this:


So much cutting! And cutting wool too. DO NOT WANT. So in an effort to force myself to do it, this was the only project I allowed myself to bring to a sewing meet-up today with a couple other Winnipeg sewists (these two awesome ladies here).

Seriously, we need a name. Brenda suggested the Marble Stash, mostly because we always go to the Marble Slab afterward for The Best Ice Cream Ever. Plus stash-busting yay!

Anyways, Brenda and Sheila put up with my whining and moaning and bribe attempts, and somehow I managed to finish cutting everything. That's probably mostly because Sheila is awesome and lent me a pair of scissors that were willing to cut through the wool without eating my fingers. But seriously, look at this blasted pile of fabric parts:

Ridiculous! This coat better be worth it, because that's FOUR different types of fabric there. I cut each piece in at least two different types of fabric. Ridiculous.

Anywho, after much (much MUCH) consideration, I've decided to just use the brushed cotton for an interlining. I hate being too hot, and if it's a -35C day, then I'll just add a layer underneath. I layer like a cake on a regular basis anyways. Plus our winter has been stupidly mild this year, so forget it. Thank you everyone for your input on the interlining!

Now I just need to sew the blasted thing.
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