A tale of impatience and disorganization

Bound Buttonholes

To ease my coat-making itch while sticking to the RTW tailoring schedule, I was going to try and bang off a coat for my second niece this weekend—basically this one, in a slightly smaller size, with a blue leopard lining rather than a pink. Despite an acute (if pleasant) case of inlaw-itis, I could easily have messed around with this for a few hours on Sunday, maybe even conscripting my mother-in-law for a bit of light cutting or something.

However, my notoriously disorganized, chronically un-sorted stash failed me. I would’ve sworn the rest of the black sparkly boiled wool was tucked safely deep in my main tub. I located the fleece lining and the flannel interlining easily. But despite tearing apart my “sewing room” three or five or seven times on the weekend, I can’t find the shell fabric.

Which I guess means it’s not in the sewing room. Which I guess means it’s somewhere else in the house. And despite searching every closet I can think of, I can’t find it.

I also can’t find the four metres of cream sweatshirt knit I picked up a few weeks back. This is even more disturbing. How do you lose FOUR METRES of a heavy-duty knit? Except that I wasn’t hoping to have a little jacket made out of it to take home with me over Easter. Anyway…


To assuage my itchy fingers, I got ahead of myself. I tried not to, really. I graded every seam I could think of. I took the plunge and made bound buttonholes. But then, last night everyone else was watching some incredibly dreary Jean-Claude Van Damme movie (it seemed to involve a lot of torture in a Russian prison), and I just couldn’t resist.

I stitched the shoulders and side-seams.

Probably I shouldn’t have. Probably Sherry has some secret technique involving seam tape and ninja seamstress fu, and I have now rendered my Spring Coat thoroughly un-tailored. If so, well, I will abase myself before the altars of the sewing gods and as penance look up how to actually oil my serger properly.

I’ve mentioned before that this is my favourite moment in sewing a top—when it goes from an assortment of flat pieces to a garment, however unfinished. Setting a sleeve comes close, but it’s still not quite that magical.

The back

So, the good, the bad, and the ugly:

The good: I am going to have a SUPER CUTE COAT! YAY!

The Bad: I think I must have sewn my back pleat a smidge too wide; the top is a bit snug and the side-seams seem to pull a bit to the back, something they didn’t do in the various other iterations of this jacket.

At this point, fixing it would require unpicking both side and waist seams, and I just don’t think I can face it.

the front

The ugly: um, well, the bound buttonholes are straight. I did manage that much. Their lengths… are a bit irregular. To put it kindly. Which has everything to do with me sucking, but anyway.

There’s a bit of funniness in the hang of the back skirt, but I suspect it can be fixed by reworking the pressing in the pleat a wee bit. On the whole, I do think the front looks good!

I made the pocket bags huge, and they’re a little low—not badly so, but it’s a bit odd to not rest my hand on the bottom of the pocket. I have realized wearing my winter coat, however, that my kids love to stuff their hands (holding mine) in my pockets when we walk, and a giant pocket bag is great for this.

I only planned buttonholes for the bodice, but as there’s not a huge overlap in the front, I may need something lower down as well. I’m thinking a sew-in snap or two… we’ll see.

Also, do you think it needs a little back belt (like, say, Patty’s)? Or would that be overkill?



Filed under Sewing

26 responses to “A tale of impatience and disorganization

  1. It’s lookin’ cute! 🙂 I think a back belt would be a nice extra – but not vital as the lines of the coat are pretty stylish already. Re: unpicking to get the pleat better… I think I would unpick if it were me (I’d be worried it’d feel to tight later on worn over other layers).

    Oh, and re: fabric going missing – I know what you mean! I recently had to re-organise and fold up my entire stash ‘cos I kept swearing that “X” was in “Z” place when clearly it was hiding elsewhere. Now it’s all ino 6 large plastic boxes (4 now reside in the loft/attic, with 2-must-have-boxes in easier access in the spare bedroom LOL). I took little swatches and stuck them onto paper with notes about which fabric was in which box, and how metres I had too ;).

    Fabric hunting in the house wastes too many sewing-hours!! I have learnt my lesson, all new fabrics/trims crossing my threashold shall all now be logged before being put away (hehe)

    • Wow, you are far more organized than I even aspire to be.

      I have a feeling I last saw the fabic in question hanging over the back of a chair in the basement rec room. Which means it may be at the bottom of a trunk of kids’ dressup clothes… though they swear not.

  2. this whole post was HA. in a good way. seamstress ninja kung fu 🙂

    yes, i think a back belt would rock– and your coat is going to be amazing!

  3. Ooh, it does look to snug in the bodice. And you’re not even wearing anything thick underneath it. I’m sorry to say, but I think you’re going to need to make some kind of fitting adjustment if you want to wear this jacket/coat over anything more than being nude. 😉 Don’t forget you’re putting in the lining too. right? sorry! Don’t mean to be debbie downer.

    It is a super cute coat on you and well worth the trouble to get it wearable.

    And look at it this way: at least you found out now before you got much further!

    • Grr! Curse you (and Claire) for being right! Although, I don’t plan on wearing this over layers. I have plenty of wintery coats for that.

      I really hate un-picking this fabric… even with the fused seams it frays like crazy.

  4. OOOOOHHHH I love it, so so cute. Even if the back doesn’t feel the best it looks fabulous! I can’t wait to see the finished product.

  5. Oh yes, do the belt. Super cute! Good job!

  6. Taran – your coat is SO cute! I wish I’d redrafted my bodice to have princess seams 😦 also, I have the worst time fitting coats. I want them to fit like a dress. And I want my dress bodices to be tight enough to make the wearing of foundation garments unnecessary… With my coat, I did a lot of my fittings wearing thick sweaters, and then ended up with a coat that’s really too big (although the shoulders are still pretty narrow!)

    I think you can skip the belt, since you have a pleat in the top. I thought my coat looked sort of strange with the gathers just appearing out of nowhere on the back skirt….

    And i recently lost two and a half yards of voile (that was $15 a yard!!) I tore the house APART looking for it, convinced I’d tucked it in with another project. I ended up giving up and buying more and recently noticed that the missing fabric was neatly folded and sitting on the appropriate color-coded shelf in my basement stash. Apparently, when searching I’d jumped straight to I THINK IT SLID DOWN BEHIND MY SEWING TABLE and forgot to check the stash. Sigh.

    • I don’t think your coat *looks* too big, if that helps :). Princess seams vs. darts is actually one of the reasons I didn’t go for the Sew Serendipity coat… aside from, y’know, not owning the book…

      That voile would’ve driven me nuts! This coating IS driving me nuts… and of course I’ll find it after I give in and go hunt down some more… /sigh.

  7. Kimbersew

    I can relate to this entire post! yesterday I actually began musing making myself a swimsuit- that’s how itching I am to be sewing, but trying not to rush past any of Sherry’s tutorials. Swimsuits are never my real go-to project, more like a road-block to turn me away from sewing entirely. And I love pockets big enough for 2 hands. and I love your blog. cheers!

  8. I think it looks super cute, and I’d probably do the back belt like someone suggested. Love it. You’re so brave doing a self-drafted coat!

    Sherry didn’t exactly tell us where to stop, did she? She said “sew” and bade us do our welt pockets? Right? Maybe I should go back and re-read….

    • Well, she only covered up to (I think) princess seams and sleeve seams (and of course I don’t have a pocket jet), so I kinda think I’m rushing things… I’m hoping there’s not too much I can screw up for side-and-shoulder-seams (I do need to remember to reinforce my pocket stitching…)

  9. This jacket is looking amazing! I love how dress-like it is, but yet not at the same time! The colour is a little unexpected, but very nice. I really like how the front looks.

    I have nothing constructive to add, just gushing praise. 😀

    Although I’m super excited to be tackling a project that has POCKETS!! I sort of want to make the ones on the dress I’m making soon bigger, since they seem too small to comfortably put my hands into (delicate little lilies they are not). That’s super cute, your kids insisting on holding your hands and sticking them both in your pockets. 🙂

  10. back belt! back belt!!! it’s soo cute already, i can’t help but try to push the cuteness factor a bit farther 🙂

  11. Amy

    I love it, secretly I’m kind of glad further steps are waiting because I spilled, (ur, completely poured) water all over my pattern pieces and had to re-trace a few over again. Not as frustrating as not being able to find fabric–been there, too! And I think a back belt would be really cool.

  12. Cute! I wouldn’t add a back belt, I’m a fan of simple.

  13. My house is in such an utter state of chaos all the time that I’m constantly looking for things. On the other hand if anyone else touches/rearranges my craft area I go BONKERS. It doesn’t help that I share the space with my 7 year old daughter who is just as creatively messy as I am.

    As for your coat, I think it looks awesome but I do agree with the ‘a bit snug’ that others have put in. Maybe even just a half inch of ease would help?

    I’m glad that we’re waiting on the sew-a-long as well. I gotta catch up (on the other hand, I’m doing a cropped jacket so that’s like cheating)

  14. I love it & know you’ll do whatever you need to, in terms of unpicking or what – I think you are more, far more conscientious in that regard than I currently am (but I’m trying!) It will be lovely though & you’ve got to that stage now where you can see what it’s all about. How super lovely to design mama pockets (bit of a sideways thought, but is it the closest we can get to being a kangaroo?!)

    • Hmm, fixing my mistakes is not really my forte, either… but I’m trying, too.

      I did a fair bit of baby-wearing when my kids were young, which is practically kanga-riffic (although it really is disappointing that human babies can’t cling the way ape and monkey babies can…). At this point, I’m just pleasantly surprised that my kids are still willing to hold my hands in public. 😉

  15. Sewista Fashionista

    I think a little back belt or some detail would be nice. You know I lost a maternity pants pattern which I REALLY need right now. Turns out that Kwik Sew hadn’t put the instructions in the pattern envelope. I emailed them and then stuck the pattern in my “Waiting” file in the file cabinet. When the instructions came in the mail I put them with the other patterns and never went back to the “Waiting” file. Then I forgot about it. It was during that hazy dreamy stage before sleep that I suddenly remembered that I had misplaced the pattern while trying to be super-organized. Maybe your fabric is the victim of the same kind of impulse and you will find it soon in a somewhat logical but kind of “off” place.

  16. Joy

    Those princess seams are lovely! The whole thing is looking great.

    And I like the “pocket alteration” for extra hands.

  17. I love how those princess seams line up with the pleats, and the design of the back. It’s going to look great. I keep looking for the perfect coat pattern and now it seems I will have to draft one myself. I know all about stash. The more I try and organize it the less sure where I have put anything. Oh I wish for open shelves instead of suitcases and tubs in closets!

  18. Sue P.

    Lots of support for a back belt from others, but since you asked…. the fit on this is so fantastic, and the lines so simply perfect, I would leave it as is. It is adorable on you.

  19. Pingback: Jonesing | Tanit-Isis Sews

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