Twinkle, twinkle, little bat

More edgy photography by Tyo... if you tilt your head right you can see a few under-arm wrinkles left.

How I wonder where I’m at?

Hrrrmm. Working on this coat definitely does not produce the kind of instant satisfaction sewing a Lydia or a cardi-wrap does. But, I have conquered the sleeves of doom. Or, at least, we’ve fought each other to a standstill, an uneasy cease-fire marred only by occasional skirmishes as I tug futilely at the remaining wrinkles under the sleeve. It’s not perfect, but considering my limitations in the no-dressform department and my idiotic abandonment of the idea of using pieces from the same pattern that actually match… well, I can’t really complain. It took many rounds of pinning, basting, and ultimately a felt-tip marker, but they’re in.

Oh crap. Now I have to do that all over again with the lining.


I tackled that touchy subject, the shoulder-pad. Now, my original pattern called for 1/2 shoulder pads. Can we say 80s, anyone? I generally

Believe it or not, this is the inside of my coat (sleeve to the bottom). The blobby half-circle thing is the shoulder pad, the white thing is the sleeve head.

don’t think my shoulders need much additional breadth, plus I’m pretty sure I removed most of that ease when I petite’d the jacket bodice, but I figured I’d give some thin pads a try. I took two layers of my coat fabric, cut into half-circles and zig-zagged along one edge, with a smaller half-circle inserted between to give it a bit more substance. And, y’know, it really does smooth out the look of the shoulder. I also did my own improvised sleeve-heads, which I may even have inserted properly, and they seem to help, too, with giving a nice, smooth line to the shoulder. So I may be half-ass, but I’m only a half-ass half-ass. Or something. For some reason in the picture above one side looks pointier than the other, which is certainly possible but I don’t really see it in the real coat so I’m going to hope it’s an artefacte of the monster’s photography.

Anyway, here’s the front view:

Gee, I look short. That's kind of amazing, actually.

And the back view:

Coat back. I look less short, for some reason.

And this is the inside where the pocket is hanging out (Tyo figured you needed to see this. I’m mostly including it because it’s the closest we got to photographing my clothing today—the

Coat inside, and today's outfit.

Manequim cowl top and the black Jalie jeans again. I believe I’m wearing them both in this original picture, anyway, which is much more flattering than anything I can pull of today. I won’t lie, I came close to cracking and putting on RTW jeans today… but I gritted my teeth and got another day’s wear out of the black jalies. The nice thing about this overly-stretchy fabric-store denim is it doesn’t bag out as badly at the knees as the RTW does, which is usually my cue to change my pants. The ex-capris are washed now and assuming they’re dry by tomorrow I’ll be back in them. Isn’t this exciting?!?)

Ok, the hubby is whining that I’m not spending time (aka watching TV) with him, so I’d better go bum around support my marriage. Tomorrow… lining sleeves! And interlining.



Filed under Sewing

10 responses to “Twinkle, twinkle, little bat

  1. Pingback: Twinkle, twinkle, little bat « Tanit-Isis Sews | Bat Sleeve

  2. Sewista Fashionista

    Sometimes I see a tiny, halfie shoulder pad in coats when I have a repair to do. I used to wonder, “Why bother?” But there is a lot of wool weight hanging from the shoulder and the pad might supply some needed strength.

    You have mentioned it twice and I can tell the folds in the arms bother you. It bothers you because you are sewing it. But look around the world at how people fit into RTW coats. A lot of imperfections and gaps. I know that in winter, I grant people some leniency, since it is more important that they wear a coat than that it fits perfectly. Your coat is already fancier than a lot of outercoats I see, so I think folks will perceive that most.

    But I too get fixated on fitting issues so I did a quick scan of this book I have called “Fitting and Pattern Alteration.” It gives a few causes. See if any of these vibe with you and I will try to scan (printer is colicy!) and email their solution.

    Small shoulder joints – the folds are under the arm to the inside, but also along the side of the ribs in the bodice.

    Thin arms – no explanation needed.

    Inward rotation of the elbow – a friend has this but I would never tell her so but when she stretches her arms they kind of twist and L.

    • Well, the folds are definitely under the arm on the inside, and a few on the body as well. And the arms are definitely skinny (although I will probably usually have a sweater underneath which will bulk things up a bit. If it’s not too much trouble I’d love to see that fitting information (my email is on my profile page) for future use; I don’t think I’m going to mess with these any more :). And you’re right, no one but me is going to notice them.

      Re. shoulder pads—I looked at the ones in my old (RTW) coat, and they were basically two layers of self-fabric (not as thick as my current fabric) with a thin layer of foam between—hardly even there. So that’s the effect I was aiming for. I think it works 🙂

  3. Oh. So I see we’re married to the same husband.

    • Hee. Is yours convinced that if you’re hand-sewing/crocheting/doing a crossowrd/ANYTHING that isn’t staring straight at the screen, you’re not “really spending time” with them, even if you’re sitting an inch away? Because that drives me SO NUTS… 😉

      • Nope, mine’s not that bad… about THAT. But he’s still annoyingly into ‘togetherness’.

        As you might surmise, I am not about the togetherness generally speaking.

  4. Sewista Fashionista

    I will send along the scanned info promised from the pattern alteration book I mentioned. I am so not a techie that I could not find your “about” page for a personal email, but I wanted to touch base with you.

    I bought my last printer/scanner in 1999! Luddite, I know. Yesterday my updated 2009 hard drive said, “I don’t want to deal with this anymore,” and refused to let me connect or even reinstall my nearly vintage printer software.

    So I got a new one. I am installing it today and your info is first on my list for practice scanning. I can’t wait to see how this new one works!

    • Well, pooey on the old printer but sweet about the new one. My email is thyreal (at) gmail (dot) com. (Clicking on my profile picture should take you to the profile but I guess it’s not that obvious, is it? 🙂 ) Thanks again!

  5. Lisa

    I’m kind of a little late on this, and you’ve probably tried a million things already, but when you replaced the sleeves, did you also replace the armhole? I’m just saying this because sleeves can be really difficult to set, but I’ve replaced skinny sleeves for bigger ones, and replaced the armholes, and it works for me.

    • Yeah, ah, if you read closely you will see that I did not replace the armhole. This is because the armhole that went with the sleeves I used didn’t work for me either. Something was wonky and the shoulder seam ended up about an inch and a half too far back, which threw everything off. If I had a “TNT coat sleeve” I would totally use it… I just haven’t found one yet. /sigh

      Why yes, I am a glutton for punishment, why do you ask? 😉

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