Slinky

 

  Because I’m a glutton for punishment ambitious, I decided at the last moment to take out a Valentines project from the shop. A slinky, sexy slip. Or two, since the fabric wasn’t expensive and there was room in the project budget.

 

Vogue 9015

The pattern is Vogue 9015. There aren’t a lot of slip options in the ButtMcVogue line (and I’ve already made Gertie’s slip and love it and wear it to death.) Now, Vogue 9015 is an absolutely gorgeous pattern, but a lot of that hangs on the lace being used. Fabricland’s lace is, um, a little underwhelming. I mean, the stuff I used was far and away the best in the store for this purpose… But it ain’t a patch on what the envelope is using. And having had the odd chance to play with really incredible lace, it’s hard to go back.

View E might be my favourite, but for project purposes I stuck to the simpler views C and D.

 

View D

Well, this is one of those things that seemed like a good idea (and maybe will turn out to be a good idea…) but I really hate working with slinky fabric. Neither of my versions is anything like as well finished as I would like, and my attempts to try out different methods of applying the bias binding/”facings” were not stellar.

 

Front Detail

For my first version, I followed the pattern instructions for shaping the neckline inset and while it’s not terrible I would’ve preferred, in hindsight, to “listen to the lace” more and curve my seams around the lace elements to avoid that seam down the middle. Frankly, I’d much rather have been working with the gorgeous scalloped-edge lace on the pattern envelope. ;)

 

Side stripes… kinda matched at the top, not at all at the bottom.

Because my lace was fabric and I cut it to shape to match the shape given on the pattern  (as per instructions) the shaped seam along the lower edge wasn’t terribly nicely finished, so I added the ivory rayon soutache to cover it, which it does nicely. I actually only had stark white soutache on hand, but fortunately I had just brewed a fresh pot of tea, so a quick tea dye and my soutache was just the right colour.

 

Back chevron: SUCCESS!

I cut a size 10 and made no alterations whatsoever; I did try to match  the broad repeat of the snakeskin stripes, although I didn’t have much luck at the sides. I love the chevroning in the back, though. I’m not sure if the length is perfect or if an inch or two more would have been better (or at least more romantic. ;) )

I had just about forgotten what a nightmare trying to sew all the binding pieces in place was, but looking at the photos it’s all coming back. The pattern actually has eighty million binding pattern pieces (they call them facings) but they were all basically bias cut rectangles with the odd notch here and there, so I ignored them and just cut some long bias pieces to what seemed like a good width.

 

Romantic pose.

At the last moment I decided to add strap sliders to the straps to make them adjustable. This was a great idea except that my round spaghetti straps don’t really fit the rectangular sliders very well; and to start I had made the straps too long, and then I shortened them and now I basically wear it with them fully lengthened. And I am short through the upper body.

It’s quite high cut in front (at least at the strap length I ended up with), which doesn’t matter for nightie purposes but could throw a wrench into any actually-wearing-as-a-slip possibilities. The pattern calls for a “front facing” (aka bias binding) that turns into the straps, but I didn’t want to put a solid strip of fabric behind my sheer lace, so I ran my straps from the side binding and just backed the front edge with a wee bit of clear elastic zig-zagged in place, to keep them from sagging.

 

Lace piecing in progress

 

For the purple, luxe version I resolved to let the lace lead, and had great fun matching the motifs to make the corner at the neckline, and adding some extra motifs partway along to give the lace more of a scalloped shape at the neckline. Alas that was pretty much where the fun ended.

In the snakeskin version, I attached my straps/binding basically as double-fold bias binding. Not the easiest in a slinky polyester. For the second version, I resolved to try the method suggested by the pattern, which is basically the same pieces but instead of the binding wrapping around, it’s stitched on the outside and folded to the inside and top stitched down. Which I’ve seen many a blogger do beautifully, I will add, to the point where maybe I assumed it wouldn’t be hard. Well, doing it on bias poly charmeuse was very hard indeed, and only partly because the seam allowance widths change so dramatically depending on your tension.

 

Lace, attached.

The pattern calls for having the ends of the binding transition seamlessly into the straps in a technique that looked beautifully clever on paper and turned out to be a bit fiendish in practice, since I didn’t have the snip-to-the-seam-line that this requires in quite the right place. I ended up cutting them off and just stitching the straps in place, distinctly not the best look

After attaching the bodice lace, I had a serious crisis of conscience with the purple version, convinced that this guipure lace was way too heavy for my soft satin and even for the pattern in general. Trying it on told me two things—firstly, the length was perfect, so I didn’t want the lace to add to it, and secondly, egads, the static cling! I was basically sure the damn thing would never be wearable. Anyway, this was a store project, and The Project Must Hang, so I soldiered on. I was concerned that my wide lace would both stiffen the hem and sit awkwardly since it wouldn’t curve or flare around the curved hem. So I attempted to gently gather it in along the top edge, first with a gathering foot and then, when that failed, just by cranking up the tension on my machine. On the heavy lace, this worked really well, and gave it just enough ease (I hoped) to follow the curve nicely. I used a single length of lace around the hem, fudging the length slightly to get the motifs to line up perfectly. Fortunately the bias fabric was forgiving and happily stretched half an inch or so to accommodate this. The top of the lace looks a bit irregular in places from the gathering, but it’s not obviously ruffled and it seems to flow with the curve of the hem, so I’ll take it.

 Unfortunately, I got no modeled snapshots of the second slip before it had to go hang. I don’t think I even tried it on. I was just happy the lace at the bottom didn’t stick out like a hula-hoop when I was done. So instead I’ll leave you with one last view of the snakeskin version, just in time for Jungle January. The slips are hanging now, and looking gorgeous on the mannequins, so maybe by the time I get them back I will have forgiven their flaws. Maybe.

 

A slip for Jungle January

PS, I can’t believe this is my fourth post this month! Thanks mostly to drafts written over the Christmas holidays, but anyway, I’ll take it. Even better, I still have a couple more in the drafts bin. :D

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Plushy

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Inspiration in the middle.

Long ago I bought  (as I often did in those days*) a 70s pattern, Simplicity 8272. It was a pattern for a bunnyhug** with skirt and pants option, and the cover featured a gorgeous, muted blue velour version, styled with boots—effortless and chic and totally comfy. Yes, I did just use “chic” and “velour” in the same sentence… that probably means that there is something wrong with me.

Anyway, when this extra-stretchy luxe velour showed up at my Fabricland this past fall, I commenced petting it immediately. It has a thick, dense pile, lots of stretch, and gorgeous weight, and is super-duper soft. And came in the perfect shade of muted blue. It would be perfect for Simplicity 8272.
Except.
1) It’s freakin’ expensive,
2) it’s super stretchy, and the 70s pattern is designed for “wovens and stable knits.” No lycra required.
Both problems seemed to be solved by deciding to make it a store project using contemporary patterns to get something with the same feel.
For the skirt, I picked Burda 7143, figuring I would use one of the McCall’s in-print patterns that I had (McCall’s XXXX and XXXX were the main contenders, though neither was quite right.)
DSC08413OK, so I’m gonna say right off, this is a weird pattern. It’s simple, or at least it should be. It’s designed for wovens with a stretchy knit waistband—using the stretchy velour for the skirt part didn’t seem to be a problem. It’s not a full circle skirt, though it’s close. Here’s where the weirdness kicks in: the pattern piece is meant to be cut on the fold (or rather, mirrored) twice—but the fold/mirror line is not the grain line (nor is it a simple 45 degrees to it or anything else that would make sense).
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Weird layout.

This broke my sewing brain into eighty million little pieces, and I spent way more time staring at the pattern layout (which in Burda envelope patterns is printed right on a corner of the tissue) than I should have to for a pattern clearly labeled “easy.” My GUESS is that this has something to do with a) the size of the pattern piece, and b) how they want the print to fall if you’re using something like a plaid, as in the envelope  picture.

I ignored it and cut four pieces, on grain, not on fold. I think I ran the nap of the velour up, for that “extra rich” look.
Once I had decided what I was doing, it was ridiculously quick to whip up. The “waistband” piece, as drafted, is REALLY tall—I shortened it a bit since my fabric was super thick and I didn’t want to fold it over. I also added elastic to the inside of the sides to keep it nicely scrunched up. I like a bunchy, scrunchy waistband on a knit skirt, to sit right in the hollow at my hips.
But, having completed the skirt and being quite, quite happy with it, I realized that the bunnyhug** I had been envisioning wasn’t quite right. It would end right where the skirt waistband bunched, and I just wasn’t digging it. Although I think a matching, very cropped version would be adorbs at some point.
Anyway, I jumped ship and made a Nettie for the top.
DSC08412OK, so despite several attempts and quite a few successful crop-top versions, I haven’t actually had a Nettie that I was willing to wear out of the house yet. Mainly due to fabric that was either not stretchy enough or not thick enough—finding the two in combination seems to be tricky. And this fabric is both in spades—win! I also made sure to take the time to do the snap crotch; I always want to skip that step and just have it done!!!! but really I won’t actually wear the result if it doesn’t have the snaps. Note to self. Anyway, I made the one alteration that I ACTUALLY need with this pattern (shortening the armscye a teeny bit), and the result is basically perfect (although because I insist on both low back and low front it does tend to spread a bit and expose my bra straps. Meh.
I am really, really happy with how this turned out. It’s warm and comfy and PJ-like and still stylish and I actually like wearing the matching pieces together for a “dress” effect.
I definitely need a black Nettie…
*A habit I am trying to curtail lately purely for space reasons, plus I don’t find myself at the thrift store on a weekly basis anymore…
**Hoodie

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Skirtles

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The Teacher Skirt

After the craziness of Christmas I was determined to get my January Fabricland project in. This is kinda the last chance, as we have to use fabrics from the current season, and the spring stuff is already starting to come in. And I really wanted to do something with this gorgeous, heavy brushed cotton that came in too late for Tyo’s shirt. Ok, it’s still not actually heavy, but it feels more like garment fabric and less like something intended for PJ pants. I was seriously considering a Deer & Doe Bruyère, but while I loved the mental image, I wasn’t sure if I would actually wear a plaid shirt myself (I’m not really a button-up kind of gal). I’m noticing that I often make something (especially shop projects) less because I want that item to wear than because I think it would be a great idea for a particular fabric. Fun process, but not really a practical way of wardrobe building. I mean, my wardrobe is pretty built at this stage, but you know what I mean.

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Swishy!

Then it hit, rather like a lightning bolt. I love it when that happens. Vogue 8882, which I’ve been ogling since I first noticed it. A long, plaid version. Boo yeah.

Best part? The plaid was not overly expensive and so ate  up only about half of my project budget. Which sent me on the prowl for part 2 of the project—how about a fun short fancy version, more in keeping with the luxe look on the fashion envelope. Bring on the Chinese brocade!

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Blurry, but so cute!

Ok, so let’s back up a bit. This is a circle skirt pattern. There are no pattern pieces that you couldn’t draw out with your grade four geometry kit. The only added detail is the pleats, which are arguably the selling point, but they are every bit as fun as you would think. I don’t know if I would actually have paid the full Vogue $$$ for this pattern, pretty as I think it is, because it is so extremely basic. But getting it with the project—perfect, and it is a cinch not having to calculate anything. It comes down to which you have more of, I guess—time or money.  The rectangular waistband is really wide, which could be a problem if you are quite curvy in the waist, but it works ok for my rather columnar build.

I made the size 12 based on the waist measurement, which is fine. I was a bit dismayed, though, when I got the pattern tissue open and realized that the longest version was still only 27 1/2″ long! I mean, I know I’m not short and I have a lot of leg, but the drawing of this version made me think of something between calf and ankle—27 1/2″ is upper calf on me, barely longer than “just below the knee.”

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LOTS of skirt. :D Also, stupid spot of sunlight throwing everything off.

So I added 4″ to the plaid version (10 cm for those who use sane measuring systems). I was a little worried this would end up too long, but I have to say I am extremely happy with the finished length. Exactly what I was going for.

My daughter says it looks like a teacher skirt. I said that that had better be a good thing.

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I worked disturbingly hard to get those lines to match up across the lapped zipper.

The construction was very basic for this one. I painstakingly matched the plaids horizontally along the side-seams, but completely forgot to think about vertical matching. My CB seam matching is not bad, though, and the walking foot really does help with not having the stripes crawl around on you between pins. The hardest part (actually for both skirts) was getting the overlapping parts of the waistband to be the exact same width. I actually unpicked the brocade three times, which is perilous indeed with brocade. And very unlike me. :P

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Hem by machine.

I hemmed by serging the lower edge with my differential feed turned all the way up. This produced enough gathering to give a nice 2″ hem at the bottom. I’ve been making friends (very slowly) with the blind-hemming function on my new machine, but this time it definitely did the trick. I use the blind-hem stitch with my stitch-in-the-ditch foot.

Also I added pockets, since this was supposed to be the “practical” version. You can see them in the second image. They turned out a little small, but still better than nothing (I can fit my hands in fine but not my monstrous phone.)

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THE CUTE, IT BURNS!!!!

Version two is much less practical, both in length and fabric. I have no idea where I will wear it. (OK, I’ll wear it to work, since being ridiculously overdressed is kinda my baseline at both my jobs. But not until it warms up a tiny bit. No colder than -10C) I wish I went to plays or the symphony or things like that, so I could wear it there, but that would require being Cultured.

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Front

The shortest two versions of this pattern include pattern pieces for a faced hem. Now, I love a faced hem on a circle skirt but I hate the part where it basically takes as much fabric for the hem facings as for the skirt itself. YIKES. So I’ve always used bias facings in the past, carefully ironed into shape. But I didn’t think that the poly-whatever brocade would bias all that well, plus I figured if I’m not willing to do hem facings when someone else is paying for the fabric, when will I ever?

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Faced hem

So I sucked it up and did it and I love it to bits. You really can’t correct for bias drag with this kind of a finish, but I doubt it’ll be a problem on this short skirt in this crisp fabric. And if it is, well, it won’t be the first wonky circle skirt I’ve worn happily. I love the weight it gives to the skirt (and I didn’t even interface the facing, as the pattern suggested.)

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Zipper

I’m kinda absurdly proud of my lapped zipper on this one, too.

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Back view

Here’s a back view, since I think sewing blogs should include things like that. And apparently I didn’t get one of the plaid skirt. :P

DSC08407Of course, it’s a project, so now I have to go and hang it and I won’t get to wear either of them for a month. /cry. The best projects are the hardest to hang…

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Kibbles and bits and bits and bits

In the post-Christmas exhaustion I have been cleaning (a little bit) and sewing—a lot of small, quick things, often using scraps.

 Back during the Xmas sewing, I was cutting a bunch of Jalie raglans and had a lot of awkward, diamond-shaped scraps that were, it turned out, perfect for underwear. I cut out two Cloth Habit Watson bikini bottoms, but didn’t have time to finish them. Now, I do. I used a mixture of FOE (I have a massive stash of black, narrow FOE) and clear elastic. We shall see which is better to wear.

 A month or so ago I nabbed another remnant of this waffle-weave cotton. It’s the perfect tea towel fabric, but at regular price it’s still a bit expensive for tea towels I don’t really need. At remnant price, though, it’s irresistible. I cut the 1m remnant in four and hemmed and, voila, four new tea towels. The waffle weave makes it super easy to fold the narrow hems, too.

 I was trying to be good and resist this map themed fabric ( I love maps), even when it went on sale, but when there was just 1.5m (maybe 1.7?) left on the bolt, I caved. I was thinking sundress, but that’s not much 45″ fabric, and when I got it home I realized it would go really well with my bedding as pillowcases. There was just enough to do two, envelope style with the opening in the middle back, as per my husband’s preference. Only downside—matchy matcherton that he is, he’d now like a full duvet set of the same. See above about how I took the last on the bolt. >_<

  Then Osiris was getting whiny about all the sewing for other people, so I made him a sweatshirt. I used the same Kwik Sew pattern, 2133, I did for his sweater last year, which I can’t find a blog post for? WTF? How did I miss that? I need to blog that. Anyway, this one is much less intricate, and really took about 3 hours all told. Maybe less. The only request he had was that it be a bit roomier than the last version. Well, it turned out that my grey sweater knit was tubular, and that the total width was only about 1/2″ more than the sweatshirt pattern. So I added a similar amount of width to the sleeves and didn’t have to sew side-seams. (This makes sewing in the raglan sleeves a bit weird, but it worked fine.) 

  
The biggest change was that I made the wrist and bottom bands a lot looser—apparently the snug ones that came with the pattern are not to his taste. He says he is much happier with the result. 

And I made a Jasper Dress for me, finally! But that needs its own post…

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Little elves…

… Would have been desperately welcome.

PJ-Palooza

In the end, I did pull it off. Despite having as much No Time as usual, I made more Xmas presents than I think I ever have before. Four pairs of PJ pants, above.

Chemo-Raglan

Two Jalie raglans, one for my husband’s grandmother and one for my cousin

Jalie Raglan Tunic Dress. So hard not to keep this.

A couple of Jalie shrugs, and a Star Wars pillowcase.

Shrug + Pillowcase. Both have been gifted and no better photos were taken.

Whew!

The only ones I have any energy to cover in depth are the PJ pants. I used some random Kwik Sew patterns for skinny sweats for my very skinny nieces, aiming for extra length and WAY overshooting.

Long enough?

 

For my own kids, I used the Sewaholic Tofino PJ pants, which I’ve had in stash for an aeon or two.

I cut the size 0 in both cases, because it was easier and the reviews seemed to suggest that Tofino was fairly ro0my (Tyo’s butt size would have put her in a size 2. I think either would have been fine.)

I took advantage of the part where these are pull on pants and DIDN’T grade up to a larger size at the waist (even Tyo, who is much more pear shaped than either Syo or I, would be at least a size larger in the waist.) This means not so much gathering at the waist, I guess, but I think it makes for pretty sleek looking pants. Other than taking off some length in Syo’s version, I MADE NO ALTERATIONS! No raising the rear waist or dropping the front, no round-butt alteration… partly because they’re PJ pants and partly because Sewaholic’s pants-draft is the bomb. Well, for those who are generous in the deriere*. Love it.

They are quite wide-legged pants. I wasn’t going for skinnies, so that was fine, but if you’re looking for sleek PJs this might not be the pattern for you. Personally, I’m in love with the side panel, especially in a contrasting colour. It just makes them so much more special than plain PJ pants.

Tyo's Pair

Tyo’s Pair

The whole PJ-Palooza actually started when this Monster High flannel came in at a REALLY good price. You see, Monster High came out (at least around here) a year or so after Tyo had officially “outgrown” dolls (Yes, Kid MD, I know… kids!) and Tyo was all like “where where those when I was little?” and will totally secretly watch the TV show and stuff if no one is looking. So it just had to be. And Monster High pants for my nieces were a no-brainer as well. I could have just included Syo in the theme, too, but I really wanted something that would bring about that inner squee…

Fairy Tail Logo

I may or may not have mentioned before that she’s all about the Fairy Tail these days.

 

Seriously, fan-fic-reading-ly obsessed.

Sadly, as far as I can tell, Fairy Tail fabric is non-existant outside prepared items (not to mention virtually impossible to Google since Google assumes you’re good with anything “Fairy Tale”.

However, it does have a fairly stylized and easy-to-trace recognizable logo. And that outer panel on the Tofino pants leg is just begging to be applique’d on. As always when applique’ing I used Steam-A-Seam to stabilize and stick everything together. What can I say—I’m a one-trick pony.

New Sewing Machine has fancy applique stitches!

I had almost enough fortitude to face three appliques—so I opted for the asymmetrical thing and put them all on one leg.

Fairy Tail Applique

Since she declared this the Best Christmas Ever on the basis of these pants (as well as some Fairy Tail jewelry from my brother and some more of the mangas from my Dad), I will deem my efforts successful.

Buttonholes for waist ties

One other cute feature of the Tofinos is the tie in the waistband. Now, the way I consructed it is NOT the way the pattern directs (I was kinda confused about the pattern directions, but I wasn`t reading very closely.) I added about a 5″ length of non-roll elastic between the two halves of the tie, so it’s both adjustable and elastic. The kids seem to be a bit mixed in reaction to this feature—I think they would’ve probably liked a built-in elastic, maybe with the tie as well, but that seemed like a lot of work. We’ll see—it can be modified at any point, after all. This was the fist time I’d done buttonholes (for the ties to run through) using my new sewing machine, and it did them very nicely indeed, although doing buttonholes on a single layer of waistband (plus a bit of interfacing behind that section) is pretty much the ideal conditions, so it doesn’t prove much.

 

 In any case, I’ll call that Christmas Managed. :)

*I do not have a generous derriere at all, but a well-developed swayback mimics some of the bubble-butt issues, namely the unequal lengths in front and back rise and the gaping-above-the-butt issue.

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Old Professor cardigan 

  I’ve been basically obsessively fangirling over Thread Theory patterns since the first ones came out. I love their styling, their presentation, the whole vibe. Plus, Canadian! To the point where I actually re-purchased some patterns I already have in PDF when the paper versions came out. What I haven’t done, though, is make any yet. How terrible. I’m perfectly happy to hoard thrift store patterns til the cows come home, but if I’m going to pay indie prices, I should really be using them. 

Ever since I first got the Newcastle cardigan, like two years ago? I’ve wanted to make a version for my father. If only because I thought he might wear it and I know my husband won’t. The hold up was the fabric—nothing suitably classy ever seemed to present itself. 

  Well, I said before that this was a good fall for sweater knits* at my local Fabricland—one of them that came in was this gorgeous speckled thing that looks knitted on the outside but fleecy on the inside. A little bell went off inside my head that this was THE ONE. And just in time for my Dad’s 70th birthday, too. 

Since it was a rather pricy fabric, I had hoped to do it as a shop project, but a colleague yoinked the men’s cardigan slot so I had to resign myself to waiting for a sale and hoping the bolt didn’t sell out in that time. 

It didn’t, quite , and eventually the required yardage made it home with me. 

Once I pulled out the pattern again I remembered the cool contrast yoke option and really wanted to play around with it. A round of stash diving eventually turned up several meters of this olive green, slightly stretchy textured faux suede. It’s that odd olive colour that looks green under fluorescents and almost brown in regular light. But it was basically perfect, and a gift from another colleague who was de stashing last year. Win!

 

green faux suede also goes well with my costume gas-mask piece. Win! ;)

 
 Working with this pattern was really a pleasure.  I loved the drafting (lots of notches) which made things like setting the sleeves in flat super easy. (As per instructions! They actually instruct you to set in the sleeves flat!) They call for lots of knit interfacing, and I was happy to add it in wherever it was called for. Plus some knit fusetape a few other places. :)I made about a mile of bias tape with my faux-suede and bound the inside of the facing and also the top of the hem. Which is super yummy and I then got no pictures of. 😝 

 

pressing the button band. you can see the knit fusetape I added, too.

 My presser/clapper helped a lot with pressing the fluffy polyester fleece/knit. I used a wool setting and it was mostly fine except for the collar, which I over pressed a bit. It doesn’t look different but it feels a bit scratchy. 

   
 I throughly enjoyed the pattern and the construction, but I didn’t get a lot of good pictures. 

 

Buttonhole samples

 I finally used some gorgeous, manly buttons Claire of Sew Incidentally sent me AGES ago (seriously, like five years? She did not have the blog yet. 😁) they are beyond perfection. I had a bit of a crisis over buttonhole thread colour, but in the end that’s no big deal. 

  The biggest worry, with such a gift, is of course the fit. I made the XL, and since the reviews indicated the sleeves were long, I didn’t add to them as per the usual family adjustment. I think they will be ok, though. 

Though if they’re not, I will never know. My father will never complain, and he’s the sort that he’ll probably wear whatever I make, at least when I come over to visit.  Right now, the only thing missing is elbow patches… I’ll add them at some point when they’re required, I suppose. 

* I feel the need to add a caveat here—Fabricland got a much bigger variety with some interesting fabrics. The fibres and overall quality are very run of the mill—lots of polyester, a tiny bit of acrylic. My white sweater is already pilling like crazy. If you want genuinely gorgeous sweater knit, go drool over the O! Jolly shop or something. 

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Small and purple coats

Simplicity

Simplicity 5934

My best friend (long ago recipient of this slip as her wedding gift) has finally joined me in the adventure of parenthood, albeit a decade late and two provinces away. Two years ago I made a cute little coat when her first daughter was a baby. Despite my misgivings about the size, it turns out she was able to wear it all that winter, so I’ll call that a win. This past summer my friend and her husband had baby number 2, another girl, and again opted to spend some time, albeit more brief, visiting here. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to make another coat. And use up a bit more of the same purple coating. (I have enough for at least one more size up, too.) What was I thinking when I bought that?

Q wearing the first coat

For a quick refresher, this is what Big Sis Q looked like, when the little coat still fit her.

 This time the pattern of choice was Simplicity 5934, another 70s kids coat pattern, in a size 2. Q is now just shy of 3, but the chest size was a match, and once again I added some length to the sleeves and the hem.

Simplicity

Simplicity 5934, with bias undercollar and “cut here for lining” lines!

This pattern has the same overall lines as the first, though it lacks the cute yoke feature. I initially thought it had facing pieces but no lining, but the pattern pieces are marked with separate cutting lines for the lining. And there  is a separate under collar piece, cut on the bias and allowing for turn of cloth and everything! (OK, the fact that I had been working with some insipid modern McCall’s coat patterns that can’t even be bothered to include real facings may have left me easily impressed.)

Lining back

Lining back

The lining ended up being the real star of the coat, though. I couldn’t find any more Kasha flannel-backed lining in stash, cry, so I had to settle for some random ivory satin and a heavy flannel (left over from the winter petticoat) for underlining.  I had done a cute little hand-quilted “Q” on the back of the first coat’s lining; for this one I knew I didn’t have it in me to hand-quilt, so I decided to try my hand at a wee bit of machine quilting a more overall pattern. I’m not much of a quilter, but I do have a walking foot for my Rocketeer, so I spent a wee bit of time testing how it worked with the two layers (smashingly!) and what kind of shapes I could manage. Q now has little sister T, so I doodled up some Q and T shapes for the centre back, and a swishy braid (ok just two windy lines) for along the hem.

Front lining, mid-quilting.

Front lining, mid-quilting.

For the front pieces, I worked in an A and a D, for each of the parents. It’s either really cute or way over the top saccharine. If you think the latter, you do not need to tell me. ;) Frankly, I’m just impressed that I was able to doodle up some decent-looking letters freehand—no printouts or templates were involved. The wash-away blue marker worked just fine, but for the first time I can see why the stuff that just disappears on its own would be handy, too.

Back lining

Back lining

I did some stupid things in construction, like forget that I had added a back-pleat to the lining so it ended up looking kinda gathered when I eased all that extra fabric onto the facing.

Green Bear

Green Bear

Now, the 70s pattern has cute pocket flaps, but no actual pockets. Q has been carrying around a very tiny green teddy bear (imaginatively named Green Bear) for the last several months, so obviously a pocket for Green Bear was mandatory. I guessed at the size, made a lined patch, and hand-stitched it on for invisibility, with knots every other stitch since, um, preschooler. The fit turned out very well.

Try-on

Try-on

I haven’t gotten a report on wearability since they returned to the coast a few weeks back, but we did manage to get her to try it on. (That only took most of a week of coaxing.) Although I’m hopeful she will enjoy wearing it (she seemed to like it once it was on), even if she doesn’t, her mama’s excitement is always more than enough for me! :D

With bear in pocket.

With bear in pocket.

Confession: I don`t actually think I’ve topped the CUTE of the first coat (tinier is always cuter, plus the yoke feature is adorable) but I’m pretty proud of the lining, at least, and feeling a distinct twitch towards making myself a quilted skirt or something. And A has promised me pictures of BOTH girls in BOTH coats as soon as little T is big enough for the smaller one.

My monkeys

My monkeys

Syo and Tyo agree that it’s pretty cute.

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