31 August 2015

BWOF 9-2006-104 (trench coat): Complete

The coat is done!  Though it took a lot of movement from the universe to make this happen, it is finally completed.  

Fabric & Notions
  • 3 yards of cotton navy twill (stash; Fabric Mart)
  • 3 yards of plaid silk broadcloth (stash; Fabric Mart)
  • 1 package of red piping (stash; source unknown)
  • fusible interfacing (Mood NYC)
  • navy mottled buttons (Wawak)
  • navy mottled belt buckle (Mood NYC)
  • short piece of twill tape to use for hanging
  • bias cut fleece strips for sleeve heads
  • muslin for back stay
  • 80/12 universal needle (for shell)
  • 70/10 microtex needle (for lining)
  • regular sewing and serger thread

Size and Pattern Alterations:  I traced and cut a straight size 44 for my muslin.  I compared the pieces to another shoulder princess seamed coat (Indygo Junction 740) and was happy to see that not many changes were needed.  I used 5/8" seam allowances all around.  I sewed 3/4" seams at the start of the shoulder princess seam on both the front and back as a cheater narrow-shoulder adjustment.  Then, I tapered to 5/8" above the bust and 1/2" at the bust for a little extra room.

I did a 1" swayback adjustment by removing the length completely in the waist area and adding the amount to the hem.  This way, the side back seam lengths remained the same.

I took out a 1" wedge below the neckline; the muslin showed a bit of bunching in this area.

I also shortened the sleeves 3 inches (1.5 inches in two places).

I did not add a hem allowance since the "unfinished" length was slightly longer than what I wanted.

Instructions:  My brain was no match for this Burda word salad.  In addition to the instructions being sparse and confusing, you are to jump back and forth to other views for different parts.  Yeah no.  To construct the majority of the coat, I used the instructions for McCall's 5525.   To make the inseam pockets and pocket flaps, I used the ironically less confusing word salad from Burda 8-2009-107

Construction:  Sewing the shell was pretty straight forward; it's cotton after all.  The fabric was easy to work with and pressed beautifully.  The lining, on the other hand, was a pain in the ass.  Me and slippery fabrics just don't get along; plus the lining is a plaid.  It's an even plaid, but still.  Even though I pinned carefully and sewed slowly, I only managed to marginally match the plaid.  Using a walking foot made it WORSE! 

I brought this on my self.  =)  I had to have THIS lining with THIS fabric come hell or high water.  Yeah well, it was hell on high water, but I made it work.

Front/Front Facing Problem:  As many suggested and as I suspected, the lengths of the front and front facing were off.  Somehow, the front was 1/4 to 1/2 an inch longer than the facing.  This minute amount caused the massive amount of pulling.  I must have erred in tracing/measuring - despite checking my work twice.  Oh well.  

Kenneth D. King fixed it by taking a deeper hem and trimming the excess.  He also corrected the pattern by creating new stitching lines on both the facing and front.  The fix resulted in the coat being shorter, but it at least it's not pulling wildly like before.  I was ready to send this coat to a watery death in the Detroit River.  

I had the coat professionally pressed by my dry cleaner.   

Other:  I removed the sleeve loops because they were way too close to the hem.  If I make this pattern again, I will move the placement lines up 1.5 to 2 inches so that they're more proportionally positioned.

I added some red piping between the facing and lining because why not?  I did this on my last two coats and really like it.

The one thing I'm bummed about is the wrinkling along the bust curve.  

I picked and restitched this area a couple of times and steam-pressed it over and over.  Of course it's on the side that's not covered by the flap.  o_O  If I had enough fabric, I would have recut the side front panel and sewed it again.  Oh well.

I used navy mottled buttons in two sizes (large for the front and small for the epaulettes and belt loops).  It was surprisingly difficult to find a navy mottled belt buckle.  Thank you Mood!

Conclusion:  I am very happy with coat.  It will serve as a great transition between seasons or whatever we call the days between hot and arctic in Michigan.

As for the pattern, this was my trial run for my super warm tundra-life winter coat.  I don't know if I will use this pattern for that.  Even though Kenneth fixed the length issue, I don't want to run into the same problem again.  Maybe I'll make a muslin of the front with facing just to be sure it works.  I plan to go all-in (pad stitching, hair canvas, interlining) with the coat and want to make sure everything is sound first.

Up next:  Probably another coat or two.  And maybe some more pants.  I still haven't given up on Starting from Scratch.  I'm in turtle mode for a while.

Until next time, peace!


18 August 2015

NYC and MPB 2015 (pic heavy)

It was nice to be back in the city after not having visited since 2011. I moved away in 2004 and things have changed.   A LOT.  One word:  gentrification.  O_o  The rent really is too damn high.  Alas, I digress.

I arrived Monday evening, 3 Aug and was greeted by my friend with some good Jamaican vegetarian food.  Mmmmmmmmm.  I miss Brooklyn.

On Tuesday, I met with Kenneth D. King to get help on my trench coat.  This...

...now looks like this:

Kenneth said that the facing was too short - something several people noticed and that I suspected as well.  I don't know how that happened because I measured twice before I cut anything.  Oh well.  He deepened the final hem and trimmed the front a bit to meet the facing.  He made these changes to the pattern as well.

Here's Kenneth working to fix my coat.
During my visit with Kenneth, I got to see both of his hair coats and a jacket he made that doesn't have any vertical seams!  Gaaaah.  Why didn't I take a picture?! 

When I returned home, I took the coat to my dry cleaner to give it a really good press.  Now I'm ready to add the buttonholes and buttons.  And belt.  And sleeve tabs, if I keep them.

Kenneth also showed me a foolproof way of inserting an invisible zipper.  He learned the method from Lynda Maynard.  To keep this post on topic, I'll write a separate post showing the method.  I promise!

Tuesday evening, my friend and I went to see a taping of The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore.  I've been to talk show tapings before (Montel Williams and Ricki Lake); I'm always amazed at how small the studios actually are.  I guess the camera really does add 10 pounds.  Or something.

I've yet to watch the episode we saw.  I know the jokes already.  Hah!

On Wednesday, I headed out to New Jersey to meet with my friend Kyle of Vacuuming the Lawn.  I had never been to Princeton and love the quaint peacefulness of the town.  We walked around the campus and I got to see some of its lovely architecture.  

After lunch, we went to Kyle's home to check out her sewing digs.  I got to see and hold Kyle's Amy Butler Mum Pillow.  I remember following along as she made the pillow and marveling at the finished project.  It was like meeting a celebrity!  

I also got to see Kyle's fantastic spectacular (fantacular?) Butterick backpack.  Everything about this backpack is perfection:  design, fabric, and construction.  If she wants to retire soon (like tomorrow), she can make a living off of selling these!

Thursday and Friday were spent roaming the garment district.  I wanted to do a little pre-shopping before meeting with everyone for Male Pattern Boldness day.  And shop I did.

I stocked up on knits from Spandex World and lingerie elastic from Pacific Trimming.  I also bought a very nice wool coating from Kashi at Metro Textiles along with several other pieces of fabric from different stores.

textured knit
Anne, Kyle, and I all bought cuts of this fabric.
quilted fabric and hardware for Simplicity 2153 anorak

heavy-weight Ponte in black, coral, navy, and cream
rayon lycra
cotton lycra for t-shirts and underwear

Spandex World has superb natural fiber knits.  I've been a loyal customer for a few years and recommend their products.  They're not cheap and rarely run sales, but the quality is worth it.  NAYY, just a happy customer.

Saturday was the big day for two reasons:  (1) it was the fifth anniversary of Male Pattern Boldness day, and (2) it was the fortieth anniversary of my hatching!

During dinner that evening, I was surprised with a birthday card signed by Kyle, Anne, and Tomasa.  And this awesomeness:

I've been wanting one of these zippered pouches since FOREVER!   Kyle made it just for me!!!  I was - and still am - very moved by her gift!  Inside the pouch were these:

Bwahaha.  Love!  My cuts and scrapes will be in high-style from now on! =)  Thanks Kyle!

Earlier in the day, we met up with the rest of the MPB attendees - first viewing the current exhibit at the FIT museum. 
I met James from craft space continuum.  His energy was delightful and his dog food bag bag was neat!  Yes, you read correctly.  He made a shopping bag out of an old dog food bag.  The details can be found in this blog post.

The FIT exhibit showcased garments inspired by global fashion capitals.  I didn't names of the designers.  Oops.


I think the third photo (lower left) is from DKNY.  

Of course there was more fabric and notion shopping.  I picked up a couple pieces of denim for more jeans and lots of elastic to make elasticized waistbands like Kyle does

Finally on Sunday, my friend and I went to the Met to see the China Through the Looking Glass exhibit.  All I can say is WOW.  If you're in NYC, definitely make time to see the exhibit.  I took several

photos, but will only show this one:

This is a dress made of pottery.  I now know what to do with the overflow of bowls and plates that I currently have.

Okay, two more.  I don't remember who designed these dresses; they were gorgeous!

That's it for the NY trip.  I enjoyed it immensely and had a great time.  I feel my sewjo coming back and that's definitely a good thing!

Until next time, peace!


13 August 2015

Catching Up

Hello!  It's been nearly two months since my last post and I have a lot of catching up to do!

When I said that damn trench coat would need a lot of magic closet, I didn't think I would grab a chair and join it!  In a nutshell, I've done a little bit of sewing, had some health issues/more family drama, and spent a week in NYC. 

I still don't have a camera, so I probably won't do full-on reviews of the stuff I've sewn recently.  I will post some pictures soon.  I will also do a recap of the wonderful time I had with Kyle, Tomasa, and Anne at Male Pattern Boldness Day 2015.

More to come soon!  I hope. =)



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