16 April 2014

By the Book or Not?

First, wow.  I can't believe it's been over a week since my last post.  With all that's going on, I've had ZERO energy to much of anything - include sleep.  Yes, I've been so tired that I can't even sleep through the night - which isn't helping my being tired.  Evil, vicious circle.  I digress.

That grand plan for a trench coat is still in the works, but it's a slow go.  I've sewn a grand total of 30 minutes (at most) over the last week.  In the short time that I've had to sew, I got to thinking about my process of making this coat and other projects.

To me, pattern instructions are suggested reading.  I follow them most of the time, but not always.  For example, the instructions for the trench coat have you construct the front, pockets, back, collar, sleeves, lining, and something else.  I started with the back first, then front, then pockets, and am now on the sleeves.  In fact, with every coat/jacket I've sewn, I started with the back and worked my way around to the front.

I also don't always cut out all the components in the beginning.  The only reason I have lining pieces for this coat cut out now is because I needed them for the inseam pockets.  Otherwise, this part would have waited until the whole shell was constructed.  

Interfacing?  Yeah, that gets put on hold until I need it.

These seems so sporadic and out of order.  Am I the only one?  Do you sew 'by the book' or not?


07 April 2014

Leibster Blog

Sewing sister and fellow one-letter name blogger, T, of u&mii graciously nominated me for the Leibster Blog award.  Awwwwww shucks.  Pop on over and give peep out her digs.  She's got a fantastic eye for color and style.  Many thanks, T!

The Leibster Blog Award is designed to show support for blogs with 200 or less followers.  Accepting the award has a few conditions:
  • thank the person who nominated you for the award
  • post the award on your blog
  • answer five questions asked by the person who nominated you
  • nominate five people and notify them
  • ask them five questions

1. What's your favourite fabric to sew? I like to sew mostly woven fabrics made out of natural fibers.  If it washes and wears well, I'm buying it and sewing it.  If I had to pick a single favorite fabric, it would have to be cotton denim.  It's super simple to sew and can be used to make skirts, pants, jackets, and even shirts - if the weight is right. 

2. Do you have a stash and, if so, how big is it? (The fabric police are watching!)  Do I have a stash?  Bwahahahahahahahahahaha.  No.  Bwahahahahahahahaha.  Not at all.  Ahem.

3. What advice would you give to new sewers?  Don't be afraid to make mistakes.  Even the most advanced/accomplished sewers pick stitches.  Striving for perfection can result in never getting anything done.  

4. What is the favourite tool or gadget in your sewing arsenal? Hmm.  Great question.  I don't have a favorite gadget, though I am extremely pleased that I made the decision to buy a giant (36" x 59") cutting mat.  The mat stays out on the cutting table 24/7 and I use it all the time.  It's particularly helpful when making alterations.

5. If you could sew an outfit for anyone (alive or dead) who would it be and what would you make them? I would love to sew an outfit for my mom.  I won't go into detail about why this isn't likely to happen.  Just know that if it ever did, the world would be so different for me.

To keep the blog-lovin' going, I'd like to nominate the following peeps:

BeaJay of On the Road to Sew Wear
Renee of When Needle Meets Thread
Michelle of happilycaffeinated
Towanda of Life is Sew Good  
Niema of Wearable Muslin

Here are my questions: 
  • Why did you start sewing?
  • Do you have a pattern company from which you sew the most?  The least?
  • When your sewjo makes a run for the border, what do you do to bring it back?
  • Why did you start blogging?
  • Is there a fabric that you will absolutely not sew?
I also wanted to nominate Nakisha (Sew Crafty Chemist), SarahLiz (SarahLizSewingStyle), and NothyLane (Aft Agley), but someone else beat me to it! 

I am thankful to be a part of such a great group of people.  You all are wonderful and I am grateful to share in our sewing and life adventures.


Up next:  the trench coat that just refuses to sew it self!

Until next time, peace!


31 March 2014

McCall's 5525 (trench coat): Progress

After finally catching a break from busy times at work, I got a chance to sew this weekend.  My trench coat is coming along slowly, but surely.

Remember these pictures?
Yeah, I didn't use any of this.  Hah.  I was looking forward to working some silk magic but ended up ditching that idea in the end.  I still plan to make the navy blue trench coat, but for fall instead of now.  The red stretch cotton sateen was a world of swears waiting to happen, so back to the stash it goes.

I went traditional with a sandy-colored cotton twill with a hint of sheen on the right side.  Despite the dull color, this was the right choice of fabric.  It's not too heavy and presses nicely.
I'm sort of half-following the instructions.  I completed the back first and fiddled around with the front - filling in blanks as I needed.  For example, I made the button hole in the back yoke before attaching it to the back.  Why in the world would you want to work a buttonhole after the whole coat is constructed?  In fact, the instructions save all of the buttonholes until the end.  O_o  Who thought this was a good idea? #FailWaitingToHappen
I'm not feeling the gun flap.  I hadn't pressed it yet in this picture, but have since then.  I'll give it another day on the dress form before deciding to keep or ditch it.  I don't know why it's puckering like this.  Maybe I needed to adjust the flap for the FBA.
I included a back stay out of pre-washed muslin.  I do this on (almost) all jackets and coats.
The jacket and sleeve hems are interfaced as well.  For some reason I thought the hem was 5/8" so I cut strips just slightly larger than that.  Then I read (somewhere) that the hems are 1 5/8".  Oops. 

Here's where the coat stands.  I have to refit the sides and decide on the gun flap before I can go on to the epaulettes.  In the meantime, I tried out button ideas and I think the dark brown buttons make the jacket look timeless.  Problem is:  I only have ten buttons and I need eleven.  I bought the buttons over a year ago and can't find them anymore.  Waaaah. 

That's all for now.  Until next time, peace!



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