Thursday, January 22, 2015

Vogue 8933 - Hot pink wool coat

I am not fond of winter. Having lived my entire life in south Texas, I am a winter wimp. The only thing I do like about cold weather is the reason to wear cute outerwear. For the past 3 or 4 years I have purchased a coat in January after they are all put on sale, and have the standard colors of beige, black and white. (Also yellow, but that’s not exactly a standard color.) This year I decided to try my hand at making one in a bright hue. I swatched this bright pink and purple checked wool from Mood Fabrics and fell in love with its texture and weight.

I chose Vogue 8933 because it has simple lines and wouldn’t cut up the large squares of my fabric too much. I really liked the angled fronts of this design as well as the asymmetrical closing and welt pockets. I had to cut the collar way down as I feel chocked in high necklines. The back collar is 2″ high, so I believe it was reduced by at least 2.5″. As drafted, the collar of this coat is super tall. The overlap was also very wide, so I trimmed it down on both sides as well. I did that on the fly, though, and just eyeballed it to what I thought would look good.

Another fun thing about this pattern is the ability to wear it in different ways. I can snap it all the way up on cold days when I want my neck to stay warm or unsnap the top when I want more of a casual look. And I LOVE the pockets! I finally conquered my fear of making welts and am so proud of these. This pattern does include side pockets so you can choose which ones you want to undertake. I chose the welt pockets to add a bit of interest.

I cut a straight size 12, my usual Vogue size, and made no alterations for fit. The only changes I did make, other then the collar, were to interface the welt area on the coat, leave off the interfacing on the actual welt flaps and omit the topstitching. I also added 1/4″ shoulder pads. I cut the fabric in a single layer in order to match the lines horizontally and vertically, and I cut the backs so that they would have the same size squares down the center seam.

Typically, when working with wool fabrics, I’ll throw them in the dryer with a damp towel and dry on hot. I forgot to do that this time until after it was all cut out. Happily, when I tested a square with my high powered steam iron, it did not shrink. This fabric has a black webbing on the underside which makes it not ravel as easily as other textured coatings I’ve worked with.

Dressform pictures:

Here you can see the texture of the fabric better. The website calls the color of the lines grayhound but I found them more of a lavender.

I love the look of these giant snaps but they always take forever to sew on. I did my own thing when placing them on the coat. The directions call for hooks and eyes at the top of the collar which I ignored. Also, since I changed the size of the collar, I had to position the other ones so that the front would fall open nicely when the top snap was undone.

I used a lavender viscose lining for the interior, also from Mood. It’s a little thicker then ambiance and I thought it would be good for a coat. All the hems were done by hand which I actually really enjoy.

This is the first coat I’ve ever made and I’m thrilled with the results. I’m not a huge pink lover but this hot pink is such a happy color. If I have to put up with the cold I might as well do so in something that makes me smile.

Note: Both fabrics were purchased with my Mood Fabrics monthly allowance, as part of my participation in the Mood Sewing Network.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Outfit of the day - Sweatshirt Saturday

My Saturdays are usually spent sleeping in, having a late breakfast, taxing the boys to their various practices (golf for Nathan, swimming for Daniel), and a family errand or two. I like to look put together, comfortable and casual. This fashion sweatshirt I made while pregnant is perfect for that. I paired it white my red leather jacket, waxed skinny black jeans and metallic wedges.

I was hoping to post the coat I've been working on for the past few weeks but I still have some finishing to do on it and don't want to rush my way through. After wrangling large amounts of fabric around and putting up with the mess of clipped threads and graded seam bits, the finishing of a lined garment is always my favorite part.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

McCall's 3830 - White lace skirt

I have wanted a white lace skirt for several years now. They were all over fashion blogger's websites awhile back and I kept pinning them to my "sewing inspiration" Pintrest board. After swatching several white laces I finally settled on this beautiful white re-embroidered lace from Mood Fabrics. It had the textural qualities I was looking for as well as the large scalloped edges. For the underlining and lining I used a soft taupe silk crepe de chine, also from Mood.

The pattern is my TNT straight skirt pattern, McCall's 3830, which I have made numerous times. In order to have an uninterrupted scalloped hemline I had to peg the skirt slightly, making it more of a pencil shape then a straight skirt. I used the exact same sewing techniques for this skirt as I did my green lace skirt, so you can visit that post if you want more information. (Also I can't get this skirt over my dressform's hips for any nice interior pictures.)

For this skirt I opted to use some white Petersham grosgrain ribbon for the waistband. This is an easy method for making a waistband that doesn't need any handstitching along the inside. I have done this once before for yet another lace skirt, and was quite pleased with the outcome.

I was careful when cutting out the lace to match the motifs along the center back seam. I tried my best to match them along the side seams as well, but because of the pegged hem there is some slight twinning there. You have to really squint to see it though, so it doesn't bother me. I'll bet you didn't even notice it until I pointed it out, right?

Other then the extra care that goes into sewing with slippery silk fabrics, this was an easy garment to stitch up. I think I have enough lace skirts in my closet now. ;)

This little girl wanted in on the photo shoot!
Note: Both fabrics were purchased with my Mood fabrics monthly allowance, as part of my participation in the Mood Sewing Network

Friday, January 2, 2015

Outfit of the day - Casual silk

Happy New Year to you all!

I've done a year end review only once or twice in the 7 years I've had this blog, but honestly this year there's not that much to review. I only made 15 things, a few of which were maternity that never got worn (which is why I don't make maternity) and a few were dresses for my daughter. I was pregnant most of the time and either had low energy or no mojo. HOWEVER, this year I am determined to sew more and try to do a better job of keeping up with this blog.

To that effort, here's what I wore today running around doing errands with my kids. I'm wearing my Vogue 1367 blouse that I made while pregnant, which really is a great item to throw on with a pair of skinny jeans and boots and run out the door.

My 10 year old took these pictures and I think he did a pretty great job.
I do have a new skirt to get pictures in but that will have to wait until the weekend when I have access to a more senior photographer.