Sunday, January 27, 2013

In the Mood for a Reversible Coat

In the Mood for a Reversible Coat....

 I finally finished my reversible coat!!!!
I bought this fabric from Mood Fabrics...yes, the fabric store from Project Runway.  The fabric is a soft wool, black on one side and brown on the other.  Fabric like this deserved something unique and reversible. This project would make me think, like a killer sudoku at the end of the puzzle book.  

The first challenge, reversible seams.  Sewing them in the obvious way would result in a contrast on one side only.  So I knew I had to over lap the seams so that there would be half of a seam allowance on each side.  To do this, I had to baste a seam line on each piece, overlap them so the basting stitches matched, carefully pin them together and then sew on the basting line.  I then pressed the seam allowances open, top stitched them and trimmed the excess fabric off.  This was especially challenging along the sleeve.

When I had finished sewing together the coat, I realized that the coat was too loose for the the look I wanted.  I was not going to resew the seams, so I was faced with another puzzle.  I pinned out the excess fabric into a series of darts.  I had to carefully measure and draw the stitch lines for each dart.  I slashed the center line, overlapped the stitch lines and finished them like a seam  The perfectionist in me has issues with the darts, but from afar, the lines that were formed give a spectacular effect.  And the coat has a wonderful tapered waist.

The cuffs made me crazy as did the closures.  I wanted them to be unique but struggled with the design.   I made the cuffs two layers thick but kept sewing the wrong sides together, which made both sides the same color.  Frustrating.
For the closures, I read about bound button holes in Threads magazine.  I did some unusual sewing together of pieces and clever combining so that they could be reversed on the opposite side.  It took an entire Sunday for me to figure it out.  In the end, I think it looks really sharp.  I found buttons that were black and brown.  There could not have been a better match for the button flaps.

The only downside to my coat design, is that it does not have pockets yet.  I think I will put them in eventually by splitting open a seam and creating a pocket that gets pushed into the inside, depending on the way the coat is being worn.  For now, it will remain pocketless and I will enjoy a project complete.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Aunt Violet Would Wear This Dress

Aunt Violet would wear this dress....

My Aunt Violet made beautiful clothes, classic and timeless.  I grew up in the country but she lived in the city.  Her house was modern and she served the most amazing foods on lovely dishes on her big dining room table.  Oh, how I wanted to be just like her.  

I was given some of her patterns when she passed away and some embroidery that she did not finish.  These patterns and projects are some of the treasures that I keep in my sewing room.  Most importantly, she left me with an appreciation for vintage vogue and classic style.  So, when I saw the vintage vogue pattern for this dress, I just knew I had to make it.  

 The pattern pieces were all unusual, with the sleeves being the only two pieces that were symmetrical.  I barely had enough fabric but was able to squeeze in every piece while keeping them all aligned perfectly.
 The fabric is brown with a black stripe.  It is rayon, so it drapes nicely but keeps it's shape.  I love the pleats on the bodice and the y-shaped inset in the skirt.  This dress will be perfectly suited to a day at school.  And when I put my dress on, I will give a little nod to Aunt Violet, who continues to inspire me every day.