Monthly Archives: December 2010

Oh Frabjous day!

… to keep up the literary theme, although it’s been a while since I read the Jaberwocky, so I don’t think I’ll go any further with it today. My mother preferred reciting “The Walrus and the Carpenter” for some reason. Which always made me sad when they eat the oysters. That might be why I don’t much care for Lewis Carroll (shocking, I know).

Patterns!!11!1!!!!!

Anyway.

My patterns arrived! Happy dance! I made my firstest-ever Etsy purchase a month or more ago, two vintage patterns from the Cupcake Goddess’s Etsy Store. I excercised great, great restraint and did *not* order one of her darling tailor’s ham and sleeve roll sets, although if she ever does some in spiderwebs or skulls (preferably black and pink) I might not be able to resist.

Why so long? Well, aside from the fact that I payed by echeque, which takes some time to clear, the package arrived in a plastic sleeve from Canada Post apologizing for the damaged condition “it was received in”—edges chewed up and water-damaged; it apparently spent some time lost in transit. My heart pit-a-patted.

Fortunately, Her Divine Cupcakeness had packaged the envelopes in a sealed plastic sleeve (complete with well wishes) within the cardboard shipping envelope, so all was well. I am now the proud owner of Butterick 3364, a fitted men’s shirt pattern, and Simplicity 5728, an adorable little dress. Both date from the 70s, the dress earlier, the shirt, I think, later.

Butterick 3364 and Simplicity 5728

Let’s start with the dress.

I bought this pattern for one reason and one reason only. At my grandmother’s house on the family farm, in the closet of my mother’s old bedroom, hangs a dress of almost exactly this same pattern. Even the colour and print are very similar to the long version. The only glaring difference is the fold-over collar. And I always have liked that dress—which fits me divinely, or at least did last time I tried it on, probably when Syo was a baby—except for the fabric, which is a godawful, polyester-knit-flannel-scratchy stuff that could only have been spawned of the 1960s-70s. The little floral print is a bit twee, as well—I don’t really do prints, as you may have noticed. But the bones of the dress, the lines—killer.

So when I saw this pattern, in a 34 bust, I almost bought it straight away. I forced myself to wait on it, but a month later it was still there, and I still wanted it. So I jumped.

The only downside is while it’s a 34 bust, which is only one inch over mine, it’s also a junior petite. The junior part is good—I am not exactly full figured—but, er, it’s drafted for someone five foot nothing. That’s 1.5m for the metric folks who aren’t clinging illogically to an arbitrary and outdated measuring system. That’s a more than half a foot shorter than me.

Still, adding length can’t be that tricky, right?

So, stand by for Adventures in Grading… although given how prolific I am when it comes to sewing dresses… well, it may be a while. Ceylon has been marinating for several months now, after all.

Butterick 3364 Views

The shirt, obviously, is for my hubby. I’ve been wanting a princess-seamed shirt pattern for him for a while, ever since I saw Peter’s version. You see, y’know how you look at the measurement charts, and very often ones’ bust measurement, say, is several sizes smaller than one’s waist measurement?

Well, my husband has the opposite problem. In fact, the man has a 40″ chest and a 32″ waist, which would make him spot on for his size… if he were female. This is when he’s “fat”(he also has Body Issues to do an anorexic proud)… any number of times during our marriage he’s had a 28″ waist, which is the same as mine on a good day. That’s an 8 to 12″ drop from chest to waist. Mine is about 5″. On a good day. The bastard.

McCall's 7123 front view

Anyway, all bitterness aside, this means that most dress shirts fit him like the boxes they are. Which is fine if that’s what you’re going for, like the shirt I made him last summer… but I can’t help but fantasize about something different. Something a little more fitted, that actually flatters the body he’s got. Especially nice, this pattern has options for with and without princess seams, including back darts like the tailored men’s shirt draft Laurianna posted on.

And I love the idea of making him shirts because, although he wears them frequently, he won’t wear any with breast pockets, ever, and far prefers a mandarin collar to a roll collar. Which reduces the selection in RTW by about 80% right off the bat. But for me—it just means I don’t need to fuss with de-70s-ifying the collar that comes with the pattern (although really, it’s not at all bad by 70s standards anyway).

Now the only trick will be getting him to actually wear a fitted shirt. (See above about Body Issues.)

In Lady Grey News

Padstitching in action

… a relentless weekend of hand-stitching has produced results. I have pad-stitched lapels!

I did something resembling pad-stitching on the collar of Tyo’s coat, if you recall, but only after it was constructed, relying on the thickness of the fabric to let me bury my stitches within the fabric; the actual stitch used zig-zagged back and forth, rising to the surface in a tiny bite at each corner of the zig zag. Anyway, another idiosyncratic feature of an idiosyncratic coat.

But this time, I determined that I would do my research first. Unfortunately, the

format of Gertie’s video on padstitching wouldn’t play on my ipod, the main computer was off because it’s been randomly shutting down lately, and the padstitching illustrated in the taloring book Santa’s going to put in my stocking didn’t look much like Gertie’s either (it was pretty much straight along the lines). I also checked out my Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Sewing, which had padstitching more like what I thought Gertie was getting at.

Pad-stitching for zig-zags

After a certain amount of experimentation, I got it figured out (or I think I have), and if you do it right you can get the illusion of a series of zig-zags of thread across the surface… I don’t know if that’s actually important, but it looks nice. Now I just need to brace myself to finish the bound buttonholes. Inspired by Kbenco’s long version (in turn, apparently, inspired by my winter coat, yay!), I decided to go for four, functioning buttonholes, because A) I liked the higher, shorter roll of the collar, B) I think it looks better if I am not wearing a belt, and usually I don’t like things belted at my waist), and C) it’s more like Tyo’s coat this way.

This is what happens when you hold the pad-stitched lapel upside down

Hmm, maybe C) isn’t actually a good thing.

Now, the miracle of pad-stitching is not really obvious when you look at it flat on, or even when worn, so let me demonstrate (see left). Even if you hold it upside down, the curl remains, flexible but undeniable. Nifty!

Anyway, that’s already more post than I imagine any of you wanted to read, so I’ll let it go at that.

And, as the Cupcake Goddess says:

Happy Sewing Adventures!

 

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Look what I did!

I spy, with my little eye, something that looks like a Lady Grey!

Oh, oh!

Oh, see!

See what I did?

Look, look! Funny, funny sewing.

Sorry. Syo’s on a Dick and Jane kick, believe it or not. My aunt gave her a set of board-book reprints featuring such classic tales as “Jane and Mother” and “The Funny Baby.”

Now, I’m a big fan of classic children’s books. Maurice Sendak and Dr. Seuss; Robert Munsch and Dennis Lee (those two might actually be Canadian phenomena, but they still rock). A dozen more that I could reel off. Top-notch children’s literature is critical, not so much for the kids—they’ll listen to pretty much anything—but for your own sanity, because you’re going to be reading these books again and again and again. I think I made my parents read me “The Secret Garden” seven times when I was Syo’s age.

… But somehow “Dick and Jane” were notable in their absence in my literary upbringing.  I suspect my mother may have had an active role in this, although maybe it was just the 80s. I was sort of under the impression that “Dick and Jane” were dull, cruel readers that children of an earlier time were forced to read in grim school-rooms, probably under threat of The Strap.

Apparently not. Apparently, they are fascinating, enthralling masterpieces of prose for that child on the cusp of literacy, craving the familiarity of a limited, repetitive vocabulary. Apparently the serene, white, nuclear world where Mother vacuums in heels and pearls while Dick and Father throw a baseball and Sally ties Spot’s ears above his head so they don’t splash in his water dish, is just what my younger daughter relates to.

Hrrm.

At least she’s reading, right?

As long as no one’s expecting me to vacuum in heels. Pearls, maybe.

Anyway. Look at that! Genuine Lady Grey progress! I laid out my fabric (this is the remnants left after Tyo’s Russian Princess Coat). There was just over 2m of the red (although functionally not very wide since it’s so off grain) and just under 1m of the black. And, I had enough fabric! The belt may be touch and go (I’m not worrying about it at this point… worst case scenario it will have a seam down the centre and lining fabric on one side), but I had enough! The collar and facings will be black, which I think will be supremely striking.

I managed to squeeze both fronts and side fronts and a collar out of the 2m of (very narrow) hair canvas I had bought a while ago, but there won’t be enough left over for a back stay, which I would really like this coat to have, so I’ll have to pick up more. I also didn’t have quite enough of the super-light-weight interfacing I used to stabilize the whole back pieces (this is a knit fabric, remember, with a disturbing amount of lengthwise stretch), and I can’t find the rest of the pattern to cut the lining, but I did what I could with what I had today, and I should be able to keep busy with the hand-stitching until I can make it to Fabricland to get the other bits and pieces. Hopefully the rest of the pattern turns up before I need to cut the lining, otherwise I’ll be winging it. Which, given the number of fitting tweaks I made might not be a bad idea, but I’d like to have the option, anyway.

If Tyo’s coat is the Russian Princess Coat, will that make mine the Czarina Coat?

Coat back. Ready to catchstitch down the seam-allowances by hand.

Anyway.

See Tanit-Isis! Look, look!
See Tanit-Isis sew.
Tanit-Isis sews and sews.
Funny, funny Tanit-Isis.

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More fun with Lekala Patterns

Or, The Unfortunate Effects of Poor Fabric Selection

Lekala knit top 5675

I got this fabric (bottom right in the photo) from the thrift store a month or two ago. It’s a light sweater-weight rib knit, very stretchy but not very drapey. I thought it would be ok for a cardigan-type top, a more fitted one rather than something drapey like the Simplicity one.

So why on earth did I think it would be good for taking a shot at this Lekala pattern? Can I plead temporary insanity?

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned before, but I’m a sucker for peekaboo clothing. Peekaboo backs in dresses, peekaboo shoulders; slit skirts… so yes, this top (scroll down) tickled my fancy right off the back: cute peekaboo detail, not too much skin showing since I’m attempting to be more demure in my old age, still warm for winter.

Twisty pattern piece

I printed it out, compared with my Lydia pattern, and again the only modifications I made were lengthening the bodice and the sleeves. The shoulders are more square than on the Lydia and the armscye and waist are much shorter (shorter even than my altered Lydia, where I shortened the armscye and raised the waist). Of course if you actually ordered the pattern it would be to your own length measurements, so probably most of this won’t be helpful. I added to the bodice only at the hem, and likewise to the sleeves.

It took me a couple of tries to figure out how I

Twist top... sweater version

wanted to finish the front; I double-layered it to simplify the finishing. If you look at the picture of the pattern piece, I sewed the two layers of the piece together along the red lines; I did the same with the middle portion of the lower bodice. Then I sewed the blue lines to the outer portions of the top of the lower bodice, so that all the seams are enclosed.  Despite my best efforts (and liberal use of clear elastic) it wound up quite stretched out, but that reflects on my fabric choice rather than the pattern, I think. I had to turn the bottom of the peekaboo-opening under and tack it on the inside, creating a bit of a “U”, because it was stretched out too badly. It looks okay, but not ideal.

I had to take in the shoulders a bit, again I think due to the spreading tendency of this fabric. I could probably take a bit more width in in front of the armscye, but again more due to the fabric than the pattern.

Oooh, the swayback!

After the trouble I had with the fabric spreading in the upper bodice and shoulders, I didn’t even want to contemplate doing a hem. So I did a rough ‘n ready lettuce hem on the serger on both bodice and sleeves (basically I just ran it through as usual but stretched while I did it). This means that the sleeves are extra-

Front view

gooey-long (which I love). Oddly, I didn’t have to take them in for width, which I’ve had to do before when using “growing” fabric.

I put the shoulders in flat, and they went in very nicely, which is always a plus.

I also took in the side seams after construction, curving in by a good 3/4″ at the waist. Again, due to the growing fabric.

On the plus side, after its initial sagging it doesn’t seem to be growing too much more, and it is quite warm. In the photos it doesn’t look half bad (if I do say so myself), though I feel like the fairly stiff fabric folds oddly as I move. I will definitely have to give this pattern a try in something a little more slinky in the future.

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A loud little shirt

I think my eyes are bleeding...

Well, Syo’s request is complete, though I think I’ll be seeing after-images of this print for days. Overall, it went fairly well. Unsurprisingly, the shirt pattern I used as a base had way too much ease. It was designed for wovens, so I did go down a size, but evidently that wasn’t enough. So I took out about an inch of excess from each side and under the arm to get it to a fit she would approve. Fortunately with this design I didn’t need to worry much about what that would do to the armscye.

There were the usual technical glitches that crop up when I wing it. I decided in

Can you spot what's wrong here?

advance that I would sandwich the front of the straps in between the drape and the shirt bodice, so that it would be firmly and neatly attached with the end hidden inside the double-layer drape (I didn’t want to attempt to do the back of the straps this way as I was pretty sure I would mess the length up). However, my first attempt at this fabric sandwich resulted in the picture at the right. That’s the straps peeking out from underneath the drape. Not going to work. So I had to pick them out (which took forever) and re-position.

It turned out that the way things rolled, the under-layer of the drape needed to be shorter than the outer, so I had to trim it off, after.

A satisfied cutie

Then, my first attempt to sew the lower edges of the drape together to make a nice, enclosed piece (except for a small opening that had to be hand-finished) failed, leaving me with a mobius-strip-like wad of fabric that couldn’t be unravelled. So I cut off the seam on that (no way was I unpicking that much), which cost the drape some width. Ah, well.

My next attempt, fortunately, did work. I tried to take a picture of what I did to show it but it made no sense to me looking at it after, so I’ll leave it to your imaginations. Unfortunately, pinning wasn’t really an option for this method, so combined with the somewhat irregular trimming and cutting, the drape didn’t end up all going together as flat and smooth as it might. Ah, well. The look’s not bad (perhaps I should’ve rotated it all an inch, that way the pulling would look more intentional?)

The hems were kind of my waterloo. I used my latest double-needle. Can we say

Side view

“tunneling”? My usual trick of ironing wash-away stabilizer into the hem before sewing failed because the stabilizer would not stick to this slippery swimsuit-feeling fabric. To make matters worse, the serged edge I put on the bottom of the shirt (to neaten the inside of the hem) kept squishing up between the two needles, making the tunneling between them even worse. And while this wasn’t the wiggliest knit I’ve ever worked with, it is the wiggliest slippery knit. So don’t look too close at the hems… it ain’t pretty.

And no, I didn’t make her a matching skirt. That’s Tyo’s contribution so far, turning the remnant of the fabric into a wrap skirt.

Also I couldn’t find my twill tape for putting in the tag, so I substituted a bit of pink seam-binding from one of the vintage sewing notion scores. It seems to be working, though we’ll see how the transfer adheres after washing (I find it sticks better to the textured twill-tape than to the satiny ribbon I’ve sometimes used).

Straps and a cute little label

Now Tyo can’t decide if she wants a shirt like this, or a sweater like my Kimono Lady Grey (which she’s been stealing on me, by the way). I told her I’m not making her any sweaters unless she agrees to hand down some of the myriad of bunnyhugs (hoodies to the rest of the world) she’s been hoarding for the last few years—y’know, the ones that don’t cover more than half her forearm but she somehow can’t quite give up?

The construction is a mix of the old stretch stitches on my regular machine and the serger; mostly depending on how much control I needed at any given point. Perhaps someday I’ll be able to construct things entirely on the serger, but not yet.

Next up: more fun with Lekala patterns (and unfortunate fabric choices… sigh…)

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An introduction, and more fun with drafting!

My machines

I would like you all to meet my long-neglected serger, Janomelock JL-603A, to be precise.

She is no beauty. She has neither the range of features of a new serger (4-thread setup, differential feed, easy to thread) nor the charm of a truly vintage machine (though as sergers go, I guess she’s pretty vintage). I’m guessing she dates to the late 80s or early nineties, when my mother-in-law used her to create figure-skating costumes for my sister-in-law . I wrangled her out of my mother-in-law five or six years ago (possibly to my sister-in-law’s disappointment, although she got the regular machine and doesn’t use it as far as I can tell). Whatever manual she came with has long since been lost, and my efforts at finding one online have come up completely bust, so I really have only the sketchiest idea of how to use her. In her favour, she serged just fine for me for the first three or four years I had her, even though I didn’t even know how to thread her properly for most of that time.

Then, about two years ago, I tried serging without the blade. I can’t even remember why, except that I knew the blade could flip up and I wanted to see how it would work. It worked fine, although there’s not a lot of room to the right of the needle/blade to maneuver fabric, so it’s really not much use. Then I went to put the blade back down and serge something normally.

The blade is stiff and kind of fiddly. I somehow put it down halfway.

Everything locked up in a terrifying grinding machine-screech.

I freaked out, ran around the room, eventually figured out the problem and got the blade in place properly, but the damage had been done. Everything sewed just fine—but the loops didn’t form. One of the loopers was hopelessly out of position.

And there she sat for about two years. Intermittently I’d take her out, vainly hoping that by re-threading yet again she’d magically recover. It didn’t, of course, work. Finally, a few weeks ago, I bundled her up and trotted her down to the sewing-machine repair shop. And there, for the low, low price of $100, they not only revived her, they threw in a package of needles.

This would be a bit more thrilling if I hadn’t seen a nearly-new, barely-used serger on Kijiji a little while ago for only $150. But anyway—

I can has serger! Now I have no excuse not to finish my seams. My knit tees can be

Syo's shirt

that much closer to the holy grail of “Ready To Wear”. And, I have the perfect project to try her our on:

Syo wants a shirt like my Frankenpattern shirt. I was not super-keen on the off-the-shoulders look for a seven-year-old (ok, largely because she wouldn’t be able to wear it to school), so with some back-and-forth, we settled on the design on the right, which is off the shoulders but with wide straps. She requested the short sleeves, as she always gets too hot with long sleeves (weird child).

I hunted through my rather limited stash of children’s patterns and found an early 90s-cum-50s ensemble that includes a fairly basic shirt to use as the block. Drafting the “cowl” wasn’t too tough (just a bunch of measuring off the block), assuming it ends up looking vaguely like the picture. The fabric will be this crazy print (to the left in the picture) that Syo picked out from the bargain section a while ago.

Syo's cowl pattern

In sick-baby news, Syo is much recovered, Tyo is sick and moping but not actually vomiting, my stomach is unsettled but that might just be from sympathy. So aside from cramping my style, all is well.

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How do you say…

Kimono-inspired Lady Grey

Lady Grey in Japanese?

The kimono-styled Lady Grey is finished (for a given value of finished, anyway). And it is warm and cozy, for a given value of cozy.

I was up half the night with a vomiting Syo, followed by home with the same recovering child today, which does not make for a glamorous day. Therefore you will have to deal with headless, as well as grainy and dark, photos. Sorry.

This was overall a fairly quick ‘n dirty effort. There are no facings, no lining, I narrow-hemmed the front opening and bottom, did a wider but not particularly tidy hem on the sleeves (I’m not convinced they’re perfectly the same length, either >_< ), and one shoulder is stubbornly pleating despite my redoing it. However, there are a couple of features that are worthy of mention:

I drafted a shawl collar!

I am particularly proud of how this worked out. Probably it would not work in a neater, less slouchy fabric, but the result is exactly what I was going for. I measured the length from my back neck to the bottom of the collar, and drafted out the following pattern piece:

Shawl collar pattern piece; cut two on fold

The long straight side is the collar length; the short straight side is the fold at the back of the neck. I sewed the two layers together, turned right side out and pressed, and stitched it to the collar, then graded the seam-allowance and top-stitched it down so that it wouldn’t flip out, since there’s no facing. This seems to be working better than I would have thought.

The collar, waiting to be turned right-side in and sewn on

I also topstitched both sleeve seams.

Yes, look at that (if you can see it):

Sleeve, showing both topstitched seams

This required a little bit of sneaky sewing I’d read about but never attempted before. I don’t think I’d want to do it on anything much longer or narrower than these rather wide, short sleeves, however it actually wasn’t too tricky and worked out fine.

Topstitching inside the tube

You turn the sleeve inside out, and basically sew down the inside of the tube. Yes, everything ends up bunched around the needle, and you can only sew about two inches at a time before you need to re-arrange your bunches.

Finally, there was the “obi”

This is lifted generally from the Kimono-Style Bunnyhug, although hers was

actually attached to one side of the front. Mine is not, because I have fantasies of making other, coloured versions to spice up the plain black. In some of my fantasies about this sweater, I actually sewed the buttons on to the front of the sweater (so it could close without the sash, too), but then the buttons would have had to go through not only the coat front, but two layers of “obi”. And I would’ve had to sew twelve buttonholes instead of four. So I didn’t. We’ll see if I come to regret that or not. Also I was worried that the front of the coat wouldn’t be stable enough—the sash itself is double-layered and I put a bit of knit interfacing at each end, beneath the buttons and the buttonholes, whereas the coat fronts are a single layer with a narrow hem along the edge. And yes, as in the photo above, the buttons are very slightly green. This may have compromised my attempt to make a neutral sweater I can wear with anything. We’ll see.

Back view

Here’s the back view, highlighting the unevenness of the peplum (this is the part where the S-curve of the swayback actually takes up more fabric length than my comparatively straight front, shortening the back). There’s some funkiness in the upper back, I think having to do with my seams stretching somewhat as I sewed, but again I’m not overly broken up about it, and it may even smooth out in the wash.

The sash nicely takes care of all that pesky lower-back fitting, too. :)

Front view

And here’s the front version. Unglamorous, as most straight-on shots of my front are. I don’t do cinching well, but I’m theorizing that if I cinch from right below my bust down to my natural waist (as here) it may actually work. What do you think?

The shoulders are a tiny bit wide, but that’s probably just because there are no shoulder pads in this version.

Did I mention how much I love that collar?

And just so you can trace the evolution from concept to reality, here’s the line drawing again:

Fantasy jacket, side view

front view

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Haphazard progress

Lady Grey---side view

So, I have now stitched up the bodice of my mutant Lady Grey. In a way, it’s good, as it works something like another iteration of muslin for the pattern. In particular, it’s highlighting how my severe swayback alteration is playing havoc with the peplum (and still needs tweaking), but anyway.

Lady Grey---Back

I opted for topstitching. Lots of topstitching. This adds a bit more structure to the sweatshirt material, and will also (theoretically) make the inside a little neater since I’m not planning on lining it at the moment and my serger is still MIA. Lining would probably have been a good  idea, but I don’t have any fabric suitable for a stretch lining in the stash.

The lumpiness in the upper back is mostly show-through from the layers underneath; there might still be a bit of extra fabric there, but I think it’ll be fine for this version. As you can see the upper part of the swayback is fitted very nicely, but it all kinda goes to hell below the waist. I suppose the peplum is designed that way, but I feel like a gentler flare at the back would work better for me. However, it won’t be happening in this version as I did all the topstitching before I sewed the side seams to try it on, and I’m not particularly inclined to pick it out at this point

Bust curve, with topstitching

Almost as an afterthought when I was mussing with the pattern, I flattened the bust curve a little bit (very unscientifically) and I’m quite happy with the result. I don’t have quite the cups Colette is drafted for.

(Also, doesn’t it look cute with a contrast puff and then a narrow sleeve? Kinda Shakespearian…)

Speaking of Colette’s draft, I was ogling my Ceylon pattern again the other night. I have a sinking feeling, however, that it’s going to require some serious muslining, as it will need both a major swayback and, I’m rather sure, a small-bust adjustment.  Again, I’m torn whether to make the size 0 (which matches my bust and hip sizes), or go up to a 2 and do an SBA. Which didn’t seem to work particularly well for this coat. Grumph. Maybe I won’t tackle that until after I have a duct-tape double to do fitting tweaks on. Also, I was planning to grade the waist panel from 0 (or 2) at the top up to my actual waist size (6) at the middle, but looking at the pattern pieces that would actually give me a convex waist! I’m rectangular, but I’m not literally apple-shaped (yet, anyway). The waist-curve on the pattern is definitely a bit extreme, but I don’t think I can go up more than one size. And then there’s the darts to think about (ugh) and whether to add a center-back seam (I’m told that’s the way to go when swaybacks are in the air). /sigh. Anyway, a lot to think about for that pattern.

Why, yes, I will cheerfully insert fly zippers ’til the cows come home, but double-ended darts send me running for the hills.

Next step: collar (I think I’m going to cheese out and do a straight band, like a traditional kimono collar), “obi” wrap, and how to finish the #%$# hems.

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Coats for Kids

It is possible I have a (doubtless seasonally affective) problem with coat-making.

At least, this is the best reason I can come up with to explain why I suggested to my husband, this morning, that perhaps I should make coats for our nieces for Christmas. If I do this, it would bring my year’s tally of coats to 7 (not counting the Lady Grey, which is technically “in progress”). These are the same cuties that last summer received the Oliver & S Ruffle Halter top and Popover tiered sundress.

Yet another kids' coat pattern

I’m thinking of reiterating the same McCall’s pattern I used for Syo’s first coat, made last winter before I’d even thought of starting a sewing blog. It’s a cute little pattern that can be either fun or classy, depending on how you make it. The only downside is that it’s not lined (WTF… why would you make a kids’ winter coat pattern, with specific instructions for making it in fun fur and not include lining/interlining instructions??!?), but I fudged a lining for it last time without too much trouble, so I’m not overly concerned.

I’m not actually intending these to be winter coats, at least not of the roll-around-in-the-backyard-in-minus-30-weather type. But they could well be look-nice-for-Christmas-at-Gigi’s-house (Gigi is my mother-in-law. Momo is my mother. Grandma belongs to the assorted great-grandmothers, except for Kokum-Nana.), and I’d like to think that my sister-in-law is chic enough to dress her kids in super-stylish coats once the weather warms up a smidge. I’m dreaming of a nice black wool melton, with suitably bright preschooler linings, but we’ll see what sales are (or aren’t) on at Fabricland this weekend. Hrrm, maybe I should call my sister-in-law and quiz her about the idea. Even better, there’s already a size 3 traced out by the pattern’s former owner :), and I made Syo the size 4. (Hmm, I must’ve nabbed the above picture off the internet. My pattern has sizes 3-6)

Syo's cute coat

Yes, I know, more theoretical sewing. I think I’m chicken to tackle the alterations necessary for the franken-lady-grey. Or maybe just burnt out from the preposterous write-a-thon that was Tuesday. And tomorrow’s parent-teacher interviews (ulp) AND dentist appointments, Saturday’s Christmas pictures AND a birthday party, so I don’t really see getting anything done before Sunday at the earliest. And there’s a rumour my brother-in-law and my hubby’s step-dad are coming into town for the weekend, and will want us to drive across town to visit them at the hotel rather than come to visit us, which could well kill Sunday as well.

Whew. I’m tired just thinking about it.

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