Little Red Riding (no) Hood

I finally got my photo shoot done for my coat. Trying to get this photo shoot set up was like herding cats! The things I do for you guys, LOL!Β  Anyway, we’ve pretty much covered everything elsewhere, so I’ll keep it pretty brief.

I think the coat turns out cute, the instructions are hit and miss, and I don’t plan to make it again. Would I recommend it? Sure, if you are in need of an adorable, yet impractical lightweight coat. (Seriously, I have actual flannel, wool, and lining and it’s not the warmest coat, but would work good above freezing temps.) If you wear this in less than freezing temps, you are going to be cold, no doubt about it, but you are going to be cold and sexy. Which is what is really important here, right? πŸ˜‰

IMG_0204 Edited-001IMG_0199 IMG_0206

P.S. I kind of wish I’d have blurred out my ugly tennis shoes, but there’s no way I was going to climb around in the creek bed wearing heels!

My shame…

First off, I want to say that yes the coat is completed. *HAPPY DANCE!!!!* But, you don’t get to see it until I get some cool modeled pics of it. Seeing it on my dressform just doesn’t seem to do justice to the sheer amount of effort that I put into a simple coat. So you’ll have to wait until tomorrow or Thursday when I can convince the hubster to take pics over his lunch break. πŸ™‚

Before I move on though, I just have to show you the amount of ripping out I had to do before the project was completed (and this was just the hem!!) My son kindly allowed use of his hands for the photo shoot. πŸ˜‰

Lots 'o Thread

Oh! And guess what came in my mailbox yesterday?!?!

IMG_0178 First Sewaholic

If you guessed my first ever Sewaholic pattern, you’d be correct!! I bought the Alma blouse pattern, and didn’t it come in the sweetest little package? πŸ™‚ I’m really excited to start on it, but first, I have to get to the shame I alluded to in the title.

One of my resewlutions this year was clean up the sty I call a sewing room. It’s terrible. So, here it is at it’s worst. (NOTE: I was attempting to use my brand new Flickr account to post the pictures, but I haven’t figured out how to do that, so I guess you’ll just have to click the link and watch the slideshow there. 😦 )

See what I mean? It’s just awful. It was such a pain to not be able to find the seam ripper I put down 5 seconds before. And don’t even get me started on the “treasure hunts” I’ve had to go on if I ever dropped anything into that pit of filth!! So as you can see I’ve also got some pics of it after I’d been working on it for a couple of hours. I’m pretty proud of my progress so far! πŸ™‚

Well, if I’m going to get to start on the Alma blouse tonight (fingers crossed!) or even tomorrow I’d better get back to it, things always seem to slow down after the kiddo gets home from school. πŸ˜‰

Can you tell what it is yet?

Here’s a little somethin’ I’ve been working on, can you tell what it’s supposed to be yet?

Almost Front Almost Back






Yes! My coat is starting to finally look like a coat! *Squee!!* It desperately needs a pressing, I think I’m going to rip out and resew the hem so that the lining fabric doesn’t peek out the bottom, there’s a couple of seams that I think could use some grading, and I need to do the sleeve hems, but I’m getting pretty close I think! Also, I’ve opted to do some sew in snaps with buttons over the top (or maybe not if I can put in the snaps invisibly enough and not have weird pulling.)

Technically, I’m not supposed to have flipped it right side out like this yet, but I couldn’t resist seeing how it was coming along (and also, I wanted to make sure I had sewn the middle seam correctly–there was some misinterpretation of the instructions or just poor instructions or something with the skirt facings–either way there was much swearing) and while it was flipped, I thought this would be the perfect time to take a couple of pictures of my progress. πŸ™‚

Anyway, hopefully ya’ll aren’t getting bored with the progress updates on this thing, but I’ve been so excited about doing something that was so far out of my comfort zone/skill set! It’s definitely been a learning experience so far!

Coat-in-progress shot

Just to prove that I really am sewing this coat instead of saying screw it I’m going to BCF and buying one that looks similar–because believe me, that option has been tempting–I’ve got an in progress shot for you. I have the upper shell finished (sans sleeves) and the corresponding lining (also sans sleeves) stitched together. My collar even went in perfectly the first time, which is a first–my collars never go in perfectly the first time, there’s always futzing to be done.

Partial Shell

I’m going to have to pick out part of the front facing and undo the pleats on the lining pieces, because my order of construction was apparently a bit sketchy, but it’s not too much, so it won’t be a huge deal if I take care of it now. I’m getting closer!




The honeymoon is definitely over…

And shit just got real. I feel like I’ve been working on this coat my entire life at this point. Whenever I go down to the sewing room we glare at each other in mutual hatred. Whenever I’m not downstairs working on it I feel guilty that I’m still not finished. I’m trying really hard not to just half-ass it like I want to, but I’m not going to be able to hold off on that urge much longer. Let’s recap my issues so far, shall we?

  • Short on fabric for the original coat pattern idea, so opted for a different (but still cute) pattern.
  • Barely enough fabric to squeeze this coat pattern out with my minor screw-up.
  • Searched high and low to find Ambience lining at a store I could visit IRL.
  • Failed to take into account that I’d need at least an extra yard of the 45″ lining fabric so had to buy more (OK OK, so I conned my MIL into picking it up and bringing it to me).
  • Failed to take into account that I’d need at least an extra yard of the 45″ flannel interlining fabric (to be fair, I bought this a year ago when I bought the wool, so it wasn’t like I just didn’t learn my lesson with the lining.) So guess what I’ll be doing very soon so that I can cut out the last 2 pieces of my coat?
  • Forgot to add length to the front facing piece after doing the FBA on the bodice. I’m afraid since I didn’t quite get them lined up that I’m going to have to take teeny-tiny seam allowances on one of the front facing pieces (or bigger ones on all of them), but I’ll make it work. I’m short enough that I think I can get away with that pretty easily.

I’ve also learned a couple of things while doing this process:

  1. I really hate Ambience lining. I’ll take a slippery charmeuse over this stuff any day, at least the charmeuse doesn’t slip right off my flannel-covered ironing board and try to slide off the table every time you look away. I don’t like the way it feels either, so I’m definitely going to skip it in favor of pretty silk for future lining projects once I use up whatever I have left of this stuff.
  2. That quilt spray adhesive that I purchased for my son’s quilt has actually come in handy–I sprayed it on the flannel, stuck the pieces of lining to it, cut around them, and then serged them together. Don’t wait around though, this stuff evaporates (and thus loses its adhesion) fast! I’d cut out a piece and then serge it immediately, don’t cut out several pieces and then try it.
  3. Quilt spray adhesive gets everywhere and it’s hard to get off your fingers.
  4. Quilt spray adhesive also stinks to high heaven, and may or may not give you a major headache. Or maybe that was just the sinus infection that I may or may not be trying to get.
  5. Starching heavily doesn’t seem to work on Ambience. I starched the hell out of it and it’s still hard to work with. Also, it creases easily, but doesn’t iron flat very well (probably because it doesn’t want to stay on the ironing board!)

Anyway, I’m almost done cutting pieces out. I’ve only got a couple more pieces of interlining to cut out before I’m ready to assemble. I think the assembly should go pretty fast, since not only have I sewn up like 3 muslins, but also there just isn’t much too this coat. Everything that is cut out is serged, interfaced, etc., so it’s pretty straightforward after I get those last couple of pieces cut. The one thing that I’m really not sure about is fastenings. My inspiration coat (which I only saw once on a gal in church) had metal clasps like these:

Cool, but how on Earth do you attach them?!

Cool, but how on Earth do you attach them?!

I also kind of like these, but only if I can find them in a silvery finish (I’m a hater of all things gold-ish toned, especially brass/bronze).

But I’ve also thought that maybe making some loops in the front and putting in buttons like the Vogue coat that I had as an option in the beginning would be nice too. Not to mention it’s probably the easiest option. But then, what color of buttons? Black? Shell? Wood? Fabric covered?

Given my particular figure, I don’t think a belt is the best option for me, and I can’t figure out a way to add a zipper without making it look sloppy.

So there you have it. All the excuses reasons I still don’t have this coat done. Tomorrow, I shop for more fabric and finish cutting out. This thing WILL be done before this weekend, (except for permanent fasteners, possibly) because I hope to sew up a quick cardigan before Saturday. Unless I get hit with a sinus infection. But I’m trying to be positive. Mind overΒ  matter and all that.

Bonehead mistakes…

I’m really slow getting around to this coat, but I’ve got some of the pieces cut out. I thought I had them all* cut out, but then I realized that I’m probably the world’s biggest idiot. I forgot to lengthen the front facing piece so that it matched my FBA on the front bodice…..D’oh! Head, meet desk.

I have just enough fabric left to cut out another piece with the extra length, but only barely.

* “All” is a term we’ll use very loosely–since I don’t have the lining or interlining pieces cut yet. I’m dead serious when I say that I have/will cut this entire coat out 4 times–and I’m not even counting the muslin.

Oh, and unless someone tells me that it absolutely won’t work, I’m planning to use this tutorial from Poppykettle to make my own sleeve heads, but I’m going to use fusible interfacing to do it. I figure for a coat that doesn’t call for anything of this nature it’ll be sufficient. I know, I’m such a rebel. πŸ˜‰

The Coat Project: Alterations

I finally finished muslin 3, and I think I have it pretty much nailed. I’ve got a bit of twisting on the sleeve when my arm is down, but it disappears when my arm is up. I suspect that I forgot to add back some of the width I had removed on a previous muslin, so I think I’ll add back a bit more width to the shoulder. OK, it wasn’t there this time…. ???

Ed. note: I’m leaving this in here because it might be useful to someone else, but apparently it doesn’t apply because I think my muslin might have just been hanging up on the baggy t-shirt I was wearing yesterday. In case you are wondering, I got the idea from this pattern review for a Minoru jacket on PR. She said that it wasn’t enough length over the shoulder, and while I thought it seemed like it was exactly where it should be, perhaps it’s not. Or, maybe I screwed up the grain when I was hacking on that hot mess that is the sleeve.

BTW, if you are wondering about the alterations I did, here’s the list:

  • FBA (Full bust adjustment)
  • NWA (No waist adjustment AKA letting out a couple of the darts a bit)
  • Narrow shoulder
  • Broad back (using this method from Slapdash Sewist)
  • Forward shoulder adjustment (sleeves only, based on this method from PhatChickDesigns)
  • Full Bicep Adjustment (I got the method from the Better Homes and Gardens Sewing Book)
  • Also used the bicep adjustment from Nancy Zieman (note to self: learn how to draft sleeves)

I even have some pictures to show all the alterations I did so that you can get a better idea of the changes I made. It seems like a lot of alterations, and it is, but I learned quite a bit from them, and while my fit isn’t “perfect”, I’m not going to let the perfect be the enemy of the good. And lets face it, this is pretty darn good when you consider how many challenges there are to fitting my particular shape. I may make one more teensy adjustment–I think I’m going to make an angled fold in the front of the bodice to make it just a titch shorter along the center front edge, because I think that there’s maybe just a bit too much length there as it gapes…I’ll have to think it over, because the wool will be more bulky than the muslin is, and honestly, I’m not wearing the best bra I own either (OK, none of my bras are all that great right now) so I may need that extra room when I am wearing a bra that gets the girls up where they belong. I may have just talked myself out of doing that….funny how that works, isn’t it?

Anyway, enough blathering, take a gander at the pictures and see what you think, I welcome any and all comments/criticisms (as long as they are polite), because I’m not one of those people who asks for an opinion and then gets upset when it’s not what I want to hear–if I was, I just wouldn’t ask.

The best laid plans of mice and men…

I never really understood what mice had to do with planning, but that’s the saying, so there it is. πŸ˜‰

So about that coat…it turns out I don’t have enough fabric to make the Simplicity coat, even after removing some of it’s amazonian proportions (seriously, I think that model must have been like 7 feet tall). But, all is not lost! I just happen to have enough fabric for several other options, which I’ve narrowed down to 3, though I’m leaning more heavily towards one. In no particular order, they are:

Vogue 8465: the hip length peplum one should work.

McCall’s 6442. I kind of like how the collar is also a hood. Also a bit of a squeeze, but likely doable.

Burda 12/2011/104 coat. I’ve actually got this magazine in my Burda stash. The seaming is less pronounced on their finished coat, don’t really know how obvious it would be in my version.

Any particular version strike your fancy? The Burda one I’d have fabric left over, at least according to their guide, because it only uses 2.5 yards. Maybe I could make a matching hat–ha!

To help me out, I’ve created a poll and I’d love it if you’d take the time to share your opinion with me. πŸ™‚


I’m taking the plunge!

I’m getting ready to try something I’ve been meaning to try for a while. Sew up a coat. As I write, the wool is shrinking in the dryer. I’m using this method to shrink it, in case you’re wondering. It’s a red wool from Hancock Fabrics that I bought the last off the bolt last year. I will likely cut this on the floor, so that I can make absolutely sure all of my pieces fit, since I know this will be a tight squeeze, but I’m usually pretty good about being able to make things work with shorter yardages (or have enough excess to make something else).

The pattern? I’m hoping to make the blue version of Simplicity 2508. But, who knows, as short as I am, the short version may be long enough. (BTW, I wanted the white version, but apparently it’s suggested that people with my particular figure stay away from double breasted coats/jackets. I would say “phooey” on them, but this coat will be fairly expensive and time consuming, so I don’t want one I’ll hate when it’s done.)

Stay tuned for the muslin, I’m sure this will be an interesting experience. πŸ˜‰

Anyway, I have no idea how this post got so lengthy, so I’m just going to wish everyone a fabulous (holiday) weekend!!