Mustard-Plaid Car Coat

Mustard-Plaid Car Coat

Mustard-Plaid Car Coat
My top five favorite things about this Mustard-Plaid Car Coat:

1. I made it from yardages donated to me: both the shell fabric (a plaid constructed with a knit backing), and the interlining (a polyester fleece). The only bits I purchased were the thread, interfacing, snaps, and jersey lining. Upcycling BOOM!

2. The quilted lining (pictures below), which make it so soft and cozy!

3. The build of the coat itself: it has a lovely one-piece collar design I’ve not worked with in any other pattern. Just gorgeous!

4. My plaid matching (top notch!) – matching at front, sleeve, and cuff – and also back-collar, yoke, and back. I was wearing a (certain name-brand) plaid shirt today, which sets a retail price for simple plaid shirts at $100 to $200. They’re plaid-matching has nothing on mine!

5. My double-welt pockets. I’ve been working on my own method for these pockets and I am getting it down. Beautiful and sturdy!

Mustard-Plaid Car Coat

Cloned Basketweave Coat

Cloned Basketweave Coat

Photos of gifts and sewn items trickling in, now that Christmas is here and photos can go public. A while back a friend in the UK sent me her coat to clone. She needed it upgraded, size-wise. We talked about fabrics and she chose a beautiful basketweave from Mood Fabrics. I chose a champagne-colored lining, a pattern for a coat base, and off we went!

Cloned Basketweave Coat

 The new fabric (left) was quite a bit heavier than the original garment. The bulkier fabric made a very different result when it came to the gathers and freeform pleats. (Well. Very different to me, but most people probably wouldn’t notice!)

Sizing up a rather complex garment was no picnic, either! But things seemed to turn out beautifully in the end. Collar:

Cloned Basketweave Coat

Front pockets: the original garment had these very small in-seam pockets – just big enough for a ladyhand. The pockets were also located in a pleated area and are rather hidden. I absolutely loved the look of the ecru satin with the shell fabric.

Cloned Basketweave Coat

Hem and lining:Cloned Basketweave Coat

I sent over the parcel a few days ago; upon receipt yesterday, my friend had to pay £38 in VAT. I’ve sent many things overseas and that’s the first time that’s happened – or at least, that someone told me about it.

Finishing the coat meant – another coat! (for a friend: photos pending), and my Christmas gifts for Ralph and the two kids. As per usual my Christmas was full of a great deal of creative exploits!

“…are more questions of coat and waistcoat than some people imagine.”

Two Fabrics, Felted Yarn

I have a hard time imagining ANY of you have some free time this holiday season – although this earnest part of me hopes a few of you do. If any stitcher reading here is inclined, I wanted to announce I am currently taking Kenneth D. King’s class, “The Carefree Fly-Front Coat” on Craftsy.com (I bought the class when it was on sale for $14.99). Since I’m sewing the coat, I am also available to help anyone else who wants to take the class.

Even if I wasn’t available for assistance, the class itself is great for the following reasons:

#1, the tuition includes Vogue 8841, a classic, easy-to-sew coat pattern. The pattern itself is anywhere from $6 to $20, so this is a great value.

#2, you draft most of your own pattern pieces (using just a handful of the original pattern’s pieces), which is a great way to get used to HOW exactly to do this.

#3, This is truly “tailoring at its simplest, and finest”, to quote the instructor. You will learn plenty of non-threatening but very valuable sewing skills which can be applied to many, many different garments!

#4, Mr. King is a wonderful teacher. He is not only clear and concise, he is a pleasure to watch – and to chat with, as he is very available via the classroom comments!

Vogue 8841

A few caveats. I would definitely consider the Craftsy class for intermediate stitchers – or beginners who have an accomplished seamstress helping them. None of the skills needed are “over my head” but, for instance, a beginner who does not know how to properly align grain, cut fabric, alter patterns, and sew perfectly accurate seam allowances will likely not end up with a great coat.

If anyone here is taking the class and wants any advice on fabric selection, et cetera, please post in the comments. I’m happy to help!

Dharma Skye

Recipient To-Be

Meet the child who will be getting the custom-made, gratis, “Wollen Jas Blauw” (except it won’t be wollen nor blauw, I’ll bet…)

Dharma Skye

Dharma’s mother wrote me:

“… Dharma Skye. She is 2. It is unlike me to ask to be considered for this gift but our sweet Dharma is missing her right hand and always wants her sleeves rolled up to be able to have her right arm free to use it. I was thinking a jacket that fit her right arm would be awesome. Not sure you would want to make a jacket with two different arm lengths* but that is what would work for Dharma …”

I had eleven applicants for the jacket, most of whom sent me email. I truly hope I didn’t miss anyone, in responding via email.

If you are reading here I want to thank all who responded, and who wrote a bit about their child. Many sent pictures and I almost died at how sweet all these children were. There was this one baby in the bath? I WANTED TO SMASH MY EYES OUT, FROM THE CUTENESS. I wish I could just get paid and sew coats, the perfect coats, or whatever, for every child who needed or wanted one.

Thank you so much, dear readers and supporters.

* Wow. I so want to sew a jacket with two different arm lengths. I am incredibly excited.