Guest Posting at Gracious Threads

Hey all! Today I have my very first guest post over at Gracious Threads for her Embellish is for BOYS series! Come on over to see what I made for Dax!

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If you have done any applique for the little boy in your life make sure you add your project to her linky party for a chance to win 1 yard of fabric from the Purple Seamstress.

Elizabeth

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Tackling the Channel…

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Pretending that I’m not wearing this sweater in 30 degree weather…

I just got back from a quick blog photo session with Andrea and Kristin so I actually have multiple projects to share! So rare! And I plan to get the rest of my stack of finished projects photographed this week before so many of my obliging friends depart the city. As in move far, far away. For good.

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Most of the projects that I have to share are knitting so best to start there and spread the sewing out a bit! So with no further ado… The Channel Cardigan (project details can be found here)! This gorgeous, squishy delight is brought to us from the delightful imagination of Jared Flood.

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Ignore the terribly wrinkled skirt!

This sweater was part of the Brooklyn Tweed Winter ’14 collection and I have been drooling since I saw the first photos.  Instant knitting lust! I was temporarily intimidated by the 5/5 difficulty rating but I quickly got over that. Then I was thwarted by my stash diet as this project is a bit of a yarn hog and I didn’t quite have enough in my stash to cover it. However, I had some yarn to exchange at Romni Wools and mixing colour lots on commercially dyed yarn is generally pretty safe so I forged on!

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Stable buttonbands for the win! Gorgeous, heathered yarn for the win! Awesome vintage buttons from
The Workroom for the win! So much winning!

This project was done using Cascade 220 Heathers in Peacock and while I was a little unsure of this colourway before I started, I am now in love with it! The purple and green strands make this yarn almost luminous when the light hits it (see above photos for most representative images of the colour). I’ve never worked with the Brooklyn Tweed Shelter that the pattern called for so while I can’t really comment on how it compares, Cascade 220 does seem to be a fairly common substitution. This cardigan is HEAVY though so the loftiness of the Shelter yarn might not be a bad plan if your stash diet and/or budget isn’t prohibitive! Today was 30 degrees in Toronto so putting this sweater on to take pictures was a little miserable! But next winter I am going to be a happy camper in this baby!

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As always, knitting from a Brooklyn Tweed pattern is a delight from start to finish. Their patterns are always well edited, are usually error free and explain every technique in excellent detail.  It’s rare that I need to look for tutorials online when I’m working from a Brooklyn Tweed pattern. My last couple of projects have been from Quince&Co patterns, which has only made me that much more appreciative of BT’s attention to detail.  Sadly, I have yet to encounter a Quince pattern that was error free.  Anyone else have that problem? I’ll freely admit that it irritates the hell out of me, even if the mistake is an easy one to figure out. But I digress…

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Elements that I love on this cardigan? The tubular cast-on. The raglan sleeves. The giant shawl collar. The dense and stable button band. The gorgeous belt loops. Gauge! I’m a tight knitter and therefore usually have problems getting gauge on projects. However, I tend to be spot on with  Jared Flood’s patterns, which is always a relief!

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Elements that I dislike? The belt! This sucker was a misery to knit and I find that the edges of it are uneven enough to drive me mad! I also wish that the belt loops sat a little higher on the body as they don’t quite hit my waist. Since that is a problem I could have and should have corrected while knitting, I’ll table the complaints for now! I also find the collar a little awkward as it is. Another button or two would be a huge help but since I don’t currently feel like undoing my work, I’m going to settle for a couple of snaps. It might also be that I knit a little too much fabric for the button bands; I definitely knit the side with the buttonholes a wee too long! Oh well…

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Not a clue what I was doing here!

All in all, I’m not sure which element(s) deserved the 5/5 rating as I think this was fairly straightforward make. The textured fabric requires more attention than straight stockinette but otherwise? Not a difficult pattern so dive in if fear has been holding you back!

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And a little fun from Kristin! The sweater looked fabulous on her!

So what do you think? Any interest in making this sweater? You all share my love affair with Brooklyn Tweed designs?

It’s late and writing coherent sentences is becoming increasingly challenging so I am going to leave it at that for now. If I think of anything else to say tomorrow then I’ll add it!

G’night Peeps!

Sara

Lemon Squeezey Pullover…

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Hello! I’ve had this post sitting as a draft for well over a month and I’m still at a total loss for words. How to describe this make…?! Nonetheless, today is a good day to talk about Amy Miller and her designs (more on that in a bit) so off we go! This is Sperry, done using Cascade Superwash Sport with a little Mirasol Nuna for the contrast stripes (project notes can be found here). Absolutely no complaints on the yarn front as both are excellent to work with, wear well and are very reasonably priced!

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I knit this sweater last August and have yet to wear it out of the house, which is why I am calling this one a fail. I can almost see Andrea, Kristin and Gail shaking their heads at that statement! They’ve all seen this sweater and told me I’m nuts but I have my reasons! Actually, just one reason, which you can see below. The stupid i-cord edge on this thing will not lie flat! Drives me absolutely bonkers!

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What do I like about this pattern?  Everything! Well, almost everything. It was well written with no mistakes that I could find. Amy describes this as a “top-down raglan construction with a quirky shirttail hem make Sperry fun to knit — cool stripes and a lightweight yarn make it fun to wear” and I think that sums it up nicely. Though the cascade sport is definitely on the heavier end of sport-weight yarns so I’m not sure I’d call this a lightweight make. Not to mention the fact that this is 100% wool! Let’s just call this pullover perfect for Fall/early Spring in Toronto and leave it at that!

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The fit on this is not quite what I was aiming for but similar to my Kara cardigan, this had the recommended positive ease a few months ago. My bad! And this leads me to my issue with the i-cord edge as I don’t think the tails on this sweater would roll as they do if the sweater did not fit quite to snuggly! Also, this was my first time working such an edge (please remember that I am relatively new to knitting!) and I should have gone up at least one more needle size.  Probably two.  If you look closely, you can see that my i-cord is too tight and it distorts the bottom edge of the sweater. This is all an easy fix, mind you as I can easily remove the i-cord and redo it! Problem is that I have yet to find the motivation to do so. Gail also suggested that I do a rolled edge instead and I think that’s actually a great idea… again, assuming that I ever undo what I’ve already done!

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I really, really love the colours, the stripes and the overall look of this pullover though so maybe that will be motivation enough to either fix it or to suck it up and wear it as is!

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Now. Getting back to Amy Miller. She has some excellent patterns to choose from and I’d recommend you give them a try! To make that nice and easy for you, she has a coupon code available for a a free pattern for a few more hours today (ends 5PM CST on May 7th) to welcome a new addition to her family! You can find out the details here.

Despite all appearances, I have actually been sewing and I do have a few makes that I will share soon! In the meantime, happy sewing and knitting!

Sara

Finnley’s Summer Wardrobe

I have big plans over the next month or so to sew the majority of my kids summer clothes. Fabric has been bought and patterns have been picked, but not much more than that has been done so far. Last weekend I did make a start and whipped up a super quick tank and some capris.

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For the tank I used the rio racerback tank from Peek-a-Boo patterns.  I picked this one up as soon as it was released because I knew it would be a great staple for my daughter’s summer wardrobe.  Plus I am a sucker for a good knit pattern.  Love, love, love sewing with knits.  So quick!  This top took about an hour to make from cutting to hem.  I have plans for a few more tanks and at least one dress.  The triangle fabric is from Girl Charlee and can be found here.  The one thing with sewing for toddlers is that their clothing doesn’t take a lot of fabric and I still have about 2/3 of a yard left.  What to do with the leftovers?

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The fit on the tank is really great.  I cut a 3T for the width, but made it a 4T for length.  I especially love the racer back!

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To go with the tank I just happened to have some aqua stretch denim that I picked up for 50% on a recent trip to my local Fabricland.  Totally lucked out and it was a perfect match for the triangles (plus a couple of the other knits I picked up from Girl Charlee on my last order).  I decided to try the host pants pattern from LouLouBee clothing that was part of the most recent Pattern Parcel.

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The host pants are a super popular pattern and there are lots of adorable versions where the fit is excellent.  Unfortunately the fit on Finnley’s pants is not quite what I was going for.  She very clearly fit into the 3T measurements, but there is a ton of extra fabric on the back of the pants, especially in the bum area.  The waistband is adjustable and I had to tighten it quite a bit just to make them stay up.

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Thankfully when her top is pulled down it becomes less obvious. I would like to try the pattern again, but will have to do a bit of tweaking to make it work.  To make the pants into capris I used this as a reference and then simply rolled the pants up to make a cuff.  Simple to do, but makes the pants perfect for spring.  I tacked the cuff down, but they could easily be taken down and turned into pants in the fall if I so desire.

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Fit issues aside, it is a great outfit that was made just in time for the warm weather we are having this week!  Comfy and easy to move in which works well for playtime, such as digging in the dirt with sticks with little brother!

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Elizabeth

Linked up with:  Tuesday Sews

 

 

Matinee Dress Blog Tour

Recently I was one of the lucky few picked to test Jennifer’s very first pattern, the Matinee Dress!  I love testing patterns (and test a lot of them!) but was particularly happy to be picked for this one. It’s adorable! Considering that this was Jennifer’s first pattern, I was incredibly impressed by the quality and am happy to report that she has produced a professional pattern with excellent diagrams and very straight forward and easy to follow instructions.

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What initially drew me to this pattern was definitely the plunging back.

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The pattern features a bunch of different options so you can easily customize it: cap sleeves, hem band, or you can even make a peplum.  Jennifer even adds a section with suggestions for additional modifications you can make to personalize your dress or top, such as adding a ribbon as she did here.  For this version of the matinee dress I did make one modification, which was to omit the sash as I thought it would break up the stripes on the front of the dress. However, I did want to keep the button closure so I made two short pieces using the sash dimensions and sewed them to the dress when attaching the bodice to the lining.  I love how this feature turned out and I especially love the pop of yellow against the blue and white stripes. Nice splash of sunshine to welcome the spring!

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The fit on this dress ended up being excellent, although I have to admit that this was my second version as my original dress was a wee large on Finnley and didn’t do this pattern justice!  Thankfully Jennifer added a whole section talking about how you can customize your pattern sizes to get the perfect fit for your child.

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This is the original dress that I made for testing which is too big all over and overwhelms my daughter.

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The back of the dress gaped and it doesn’t take much to see undies which is not something anyone needs to see!

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Fabric choices for this dress are pretty open which gives you endless options to make a more casual dress with quilting cotton or a more formal dress from satin or taffeta.  For my second version I used a striped quilting cotton and alternated the direction of the stripes to add visual interest.

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Thanks so much for the chance to test your very first pattern, Jennifer and I am super excited to see what you come up with next!

Elizabeth

Linked up at:  Inspire Us Thursdays

Princess Sofia Inspired Dress

Back with another make for Project Run and Play.  This weeks theme was to make an outfit inspired by a favourite vacation spot.  Although we haven’t actually been there yet I choose Disneyland since Steve and I are constantly talking about when we will take the kids there.  Currently we are waiting until Daxton is a little bit bigger so he will really be able to enjoy it.  Anyways, when I think Disneyland I think of all the characters and how all the little kids like to buy expensive costumes to look like them.  Finnley is currently in full on princess mode so I knew I wanted to make her something inspired by one of the Disney Princesses.  Although she loves them all I decided to go with Princess Sofia.

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I didn’t want to make a big princess gown or anything that was too costumey so I picked the elements that I liked from the original dress and tried to incorporate them into a more wearable casual dress.

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For the bodice of the dress I wanted to try and recreate the cap sleeves and the wide neckline.  I started with cap sleeve version of the geranium dress, but I extended the bodice to make it sit on Finnley’s waist.  I also made the neckline have more of a boatneck shape by using this tutorial.  To the back I used pearl snaps for a closure.  The bodice sits a bit lower than I would like, but after shortening it three times I was having a hard time convincing myself to remove it from the skirt and try a fourth time.  I feel a little bit meh with how it turned out.

Back bodice

The scalloped skirt overlay was a must to make this dress even slightly resemble Princess Sofia’s dress.  To make the skirt I used the full width of fabric with a bunch of extra fabric added to the length.  I then folded the extra fabric towards the right side and traced scallops on the bottom and sewed around the lines.  Finally I trimmed the extra fabric and turned them right side out.  In case this makes no sense you can refer to this tutorial for a better idea of what I did.  I also used a rectangle for the white underlay but made it less wide so it wouldn’t be as full.  Both layers were gathered and sewn to the bodice.

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Not so sure this dress scream Princess Sofia, but since that was what I was going for I am going to say success.  I do love how the skirt with the overlay looks, but am not completely happy with how my bodice turned out.  Thankfully Finnley is happy with it and the fact that it is purple means it should be pretty easy to get her to wear it.

Angled view

Taking photos of this girl is becoming increasingly difficult and there were a whole lot with this super unimpressed little face.

Side view

I did have plans for next weeks theme but they are feeling far more ambitious then I am in the mood for lately so not sure if anything will get finished.  I do have the fabric picked out and a definite plan for week 4 so will be back then!

Elizabeth

 

 

My Late Latte Cardigan

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Back again with another sweater!  I did warn you that I was playing catch-up on the knitting front!  Unlike Kara, this cardigan is actually a recent stash-busting make. My knitting goals for the year (described here) were simple. No more yarn! And, for at second at least, I also vowed No more patterns! Sadly, that pesky Siren called Brooklyn Tweed quickly shot that second vow down! I’m not feeling too badly about it though as I’m pretty sure that Jared Flood and his gang can do that to the most resolute among us!  Anyway, this cardigan did use both a pattern and yarn that I’ve had for awhile.

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We take a break for some photo silliness.  My friend Anne was taking the pictures as I tend to be a bit *ahem* stiff in photos so it’s always best if I am comfortable with the person taking them. Hopefully without an audience! However, at some point I looked over and realized that her roommate Roland had joined us and my reaction was pretty funny.
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Some hand knit socks along for the ride!

But I digress. This is Slanted Sleeven from Ankestrick Patterns (my Ravelry notes are here). There were elements of the design that caught my attention straight off (the ribbed waist shaping and the contiguous shoulder construction to start) but I wasn’t really interested in knitting it until I saw this version from fellow Torontonian, Tammy (while you’re there you should take a look at her project page.  Her work is frickin’ amazing!). One look at the actual pattern though and all thoughts of making this were shot down.  Way, way down! I do NOT enjoy how this pattern is written as I find it awkward and cumbersome to get through. Don’t get me wrong. Everything you need to make this sweater is in there and I found no mistakes. It just wasn’t my favourite. My gauge was also way off, which was just another deterrent.

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Eventually I decided that I could use a simple wardrobe staple so out the pattern came.  The yarn I opted to use was Woodland by Classic Elite Yarns.  Once again, this was my first time working with it and it was certainly interesting! It’s a nettle/wool mix that felt a wee toothy to work with but other projects on Ravelry assured me that it would soften considerably with washing. I haven’t found that to be the case, but my tolerance for yarn with a little bite has gone way up since I started knitting and this one is not a problem. I also find the fabric it makes is a little stiff but I suspect that will change with wear. I wanted this make to have a good amount of positive ease but I think it’s safe to say that I went a bit overboard. Oh well! It’s comfy and I reach for it often… even with the single elbow patch (will get to that in a second)!

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My primary complaint with the pattern itself is the button band. It’s narrow and flimsy and gapes open even on this cardigan where there is absolutely no stress on the front when it’s buttoned up. This is not an unusual problem with buttonbands but it’s one that annoys me more than most. I often solve this using some grosgrain ribbon to stabilize the area (examples of this are here and here), but that wasn’t an option this time around. Anyway, this is something I consider more and more with my pattern choices these days. I started the Channel Cardigan by Jared Flood this weekend and I have high hopes for the button band on this one!

So. Back to the elbow patches. I’m finding this sweater a bit boring so thought that elbow patches might help. Thoughts? I sewed on the one (made from some dark brown ponte that I had lying around) and remain undecided! Opinions on their inclusion or the materials that could be used to make them, colour, etc are most welcome!

OK. Back again soon with the dreaded yellow pullover and OSHIMA (the fastest make in history and the sweater that I have been living in since I finished it)!

G’night!

Sara

The “Better Late Than Never” Kara Cardigan

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Finally!  I have seamed and taken pictures of my Kara cardigan and am ready to share!  I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I actually knit this beauty last July and have yet to wear it out.  It was my first foray into seaming and for some reason, I was extremely reluctant to dive in! A little intimidation and some serious finishing procrastination (in general!) meant that this sat for months in a ziploc bag in my overflowing WIP drawer.

2014-03-29 17.20.37I took it out and blocked it in the fall when Gail posted her extremely gorgeous version but that’s as far as I got. A little push from Andrea and Kristin and an upcoming visit from Gail in which I wanted to play twinsies and I found the missing motivation needed to finish this right up. Took no time at all, which only emphasizes how ridiculous I was being!

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Anyway, on to the deets (my Ravelry notes can be found here).  This is the Kara cardigan from Cecily Glowik MacDonald. I made this using the Cascade sport, which was my first time working with this yarn. Cascade never disappoints in my opinion and I won’t hesitate to use this particular base again. It was inexpensive with surprisingly nice stitch definition! This sweater was designed to be worn with a good amount of positive ease and I will say that the fit here is a wee more snug than it would have been had I finished it in July! A common theme this year but rather than whine about arthritis, injuries and an increasing departure from the marathon-loving athlete that I was, I’ll just say that I still love this sweater as it fits now! Andrea and Kristin have also tried this on and it looked great on both of them. My point is that I really think it’s hard to go wrong with this pattern!

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i-cord edge

I’m  trying hard to remember if I made any significant changes to this pattern and none come to mind. Again, such a procrastinator! I did finish the ribbing using an icord bind-off and I quite like the tidy edge. The only downside was that I had never tried this method before and I didn’t realize how rigid it was. It’s not terrible here but I do find it a bit tight at the back of the neck. A patient few minutes with some steam and gentle pulling has loosened it up though so all is well!

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Taking a nap?

It’s late and I can’t think of anything else that needs to be said about Kara.  I wasn’t joking when I said that I have been slow with the finishing touches on my makes these days so be prepared to be bombarded with sweater posts this week!

Cheers!

Sara

Rainbows Sequins and Unicorns!

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Sewing along with another season of Project Run and Play and this weeks theme was to create an outfit inspired by a zoo animal.  I really wanted to pick Finnley’s favourite animal which happens to be a unicorn.  Now I realize that the unicorn is not actually an animal, but rather a mystical creature, but I decided to go with it anyway.  So what do you think of when you think of a unicorn?  For me rainbows and magic jump to the front of my mind.  The starting point for this outfit was the skirt.  I knew that I wanted to incorporate a rainbow and this dress from Caila made came to mind.  I used the idea of the ombre flying geese, but instead I made a rainbow and used that for the side panels on a the skirt.  I especially liked this idea because the triangles reminded me of a unicorns horn.  The flying geese are made from broadcloth and the pink is a solid quilting cotton.  The actual skirt is a simple gathered elastic waist skirt, but when gathering I made sure to not gather the side panels.  I used this tutorial for the flying geese.  I love how this detail turned out.  It was my first time trying any sort of quilting technique and it was much easier than I expected.  The only difficulty was that my machine did not handle all the layers when assembling the skirt and after more skipped stitches then I have ever seen and every adjustment I could think of making, I just used my serger and hoped everything lined up correctly!

Skirt panel

Next I wanted to try and incorporate the idea of magic, which makes me think of sparkles and shine.  This is where the sequins come in.  Sticking with the rainbow theme I used a rainbow of sequins to add some sparkle and colour to a basic t-shirt.  I spent a couple hours hand sewing a ton of sequins to spell the word “einhorn” which is unicorn in German.  No special significance other than I wanted to incorporate unicorn without being too literal and this was my favourite way to spell unicorn in all the other languages.  The shirt is the Anytime At All tee by Shwin Designs made with 3/4 sleeves and about a 1/2 of width taken from the sleeves and body to make a slightly slimmer fit.

Sequins

To bring it all together I wanted to add an actual unicorn somewhere and decided to do so on an accessory that Finnley would enjoy using.  What little girl doesn’t love a purse?!  The purse was trial and error and it actually ended up working better than expected for my first attempt.  Not quite a perfect circle, but otherwise I am happy with how it turned out.  The purse is made from black linen and the unicorn was added using freezer paper and fabric paint.  I had meant to add some hot pink piping around the purse, but forgot so instead managed to find some pink leather cording at Michael’s which I used for a strap.

Purse

This outfit turned out pretty much exactly how I had envisioned it in my head which makes me super happy.  Plus Finnley told me she loves everything about the outfit and that makes sewing for her so much fun!

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Elizabeth

Linking up with:  Make It and Love It // Friday Favs // Simply Create Thursdays // All Things Pretty // Sew Can Do

The Beast (aka Sara’s Albion Coat)

Hello friends.  I’ve been a bit absent on this blog of late.  Apologies.  I’ve got a few things to share but will admit that life has gotten in the way of the making of late.  That said, this project has sucked up a lot of my evening and weekend time in the last month! Four muslins and a fit bootcamp with Andrea, Kristin and Sarah for starts!  So.many.changes!    I may do a post describing the fit changes that I made but first…  my friend Anne modelling!

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If you’re at all familiar with the Colette Albion pattern (and of course you are!), then it’s probably fairly obvious that I made some changes. I had originally planned to make this jacket in its original form for my Brother (still plan to do so!) but didn’t think I had any need for such a coat in my own wardrobe. However, on a search for RTW duffle coats, these two gorgeous coats from Burberry popped up and I was sold!

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I really loved the casual style of the grey one with the extra pockets, relaxed A-line shape and cropped length.  I also liked the idea of making the neckline taller or adding a collar as this would make the coat far more functional in a winter and wind friendly city like Toronto!  However, I also loved the deep pleat in the back of the red duffle coat.  I think it makes a boxy coat just a touch more feminine.  Anyway, after coming across these, I decided that I did indeed need a duffle coat in my life! The sewalong that Colette Patterns was hosting was just the icing on the cake!

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Sadly, disaster struck in the form of muslin #1!  First of all, one should always pay attention to the actual pattern instructions when they are  making a muslin and not assume they know how everything goes together based on previous experience! I made the size small (this is a unisex pattern that was really drafted with men in mind) based on my upper bust measurement. Then I made the mistake of adding the facing to centre front.  Oops!  Turns out that the facings were for the lining only! Needless to say, this muslin was HUGE! The facings ended up being a serendipitous mistake based on my plan to extend them at the top and add a collar. That’s the absolute truth and I am sticking to it!

2014-03-09 17.20.28OK.  I’ll attempt to quickly sum up the muslin stage, which hurts as the muslin stage was a solid 3 weeks of work while the actual sewing was only a week. A crazy, crazy week filled with late nights and little sleep but who cares!  It’s done!  Anyway, my second muslin was a straight size XS but I didn’t love this one.  It still had a lot of the same fit issues as the small (extra fabric at the front due to my addition of the facings, droop-y shoulders, low armscythe, etc). However, I found the XS a wee tight in the arms and across the back.  So I took the size small muslin to the fit bootcamp and stood like a lump while Sarah and Andrea slashed away amid mad chatter involving numbers and technical jargon. They did a rounded back adjustment (a big one!  Yoga, you and I need to be better friends), a forward shoulder adjustment and pinned a bunch of fabric out of the front (starting at the shoulder seam and working down to the hem in a line parallel to the grainline).  Now that I had taken that extra fabric out of the front, I widened the darts that were now in the back yoke after the rounded back adjustment (Andrea, please feel free to correct my jargon as I’m not sure that is the correct term) to eat up some of the extra fabric and used the feed dogs to do some easing to eat of the rest of it.  Incredibly, everything worked out!

2014-03-09 17.22.22I was tempted to do a narrow shoulder adjustment but decided that I liked a slightly relaxed look to the shoulder and the addition of shoulder pads kept everything from dragging and sagging.  I did try correcting the sleevehead to match the forward shoulder adjustment as Heather demonstrates here but my muslin and all of the horizontal balance lines told me that was a no go. The original sleeve worked much better.  I also raised the base of the armscythe a half inch using a tutorial found in the June/July issue of Threads (thanks for pointing me in the direction of this, S!).  This was a challenge without a large work surface! Using the same tutorial, I also took in the side seam a half inch at the armscythe and removed a quarter inch out of both sleeve seams to match. I still find it all a bit low and restrictive but it’s not too bad now that the lining is in.  Gives me lots of space for layering with those big sweaters I so love to knit.

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I kept the patch pockets but made them a bit smaller to accomodate the cropped length and rounded all of the edges.  Similarly, I rounded the edges of the sleeve tabs to be consistent and just to soften the coat and make it a but more feminine.  I kept the side seam pockets (drafted my own to keep things small and tidy) and added a double welt pocket with a flap above the patch pockets, successfully ripping off my Burberry inspiration coat!  I used the flannel lining fabric for the pocket bags of the inseam pockets to avoid a lot of bulk.  I lined the patch pockets with a bright pink rayon bemberg (also used to line the sleeves) using some tips from this book. I used the same pink bemberg for the pocket bag of the welt, again in an effort to avoid unnecessary bulk.

2014-03-09 16.56.57 I wanted to add some leather accents using leather scraps that I had picked up awhile ago. They’re small, which limited what I could use them for so I went for leather bound buttonholes (using this method). These were a time sucker but I love them! Well worth the effort!

2014-03-09 17.19.49And then there is the collar. Sigh. I really wanted the collar to be the highlight of this coat and while I think it looks great, there are still things I wish I could change.  To start, I spent a lot of time trying on RTW coats to decide what kind of collar/hood combo I wanted.  In the end, I decided that I prefer having a stand collar that is separate from the hood…  I really, REALLY hate the feeling of having the collar being tugged backwards when the hood is attached and down! So I kept the hood as is and I will say that this is an excellent hood! The perfect size and shape!  I left it unlined and flat felled the seams as I didn’t want it to be a major feature and detract from the leather accents. I drafted the collar piece and on the muslin I was quite pleased with how it turned out. On the jacket?  Well, I have a few issues with it. It’s stiff! And I think it looks a bit like it should have a giant helmet attached to it! I honestly think it could support the weight of a helmet!

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Not at all irritated by the collar!

And on me, it looks like I have no neck but on my tall friend Anne, the collar looks great and she loved it so maybe I’m being hypercritical. I do love the leather accents on it!  I want to have mitered corners with the leather but by the time I got to making this, I was tired of the whole project and didn’t want to take the time! So I’m going to call the collar a success. Besides, the wool and leather will soften over time so I’ll feel less like I’m being choked by it!

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I used this buffalo plaid flannel for the lining of the body but used hot pink bemberg for the sleeves (easier to get it on and off). I’ll have to take a picture of the entire lining as the pink really is an awesome pop of colour!  I had planned to use the pink to make piping between the inner facing and the lining for another pop of colour. I have the piping but forgot to add it and again, was tired of the project at this point and didn’t want to redo anything unnecessary. Perhaps if I had not already graded the seams! I also added an inner welt pocket that holds my cell phone perfectly!

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I think that about covers it! Well, I did also add the deep pleat in the back but there’s not much to say about it. I’m not sold on the back tab that I made and I think I might make a bigger one with leather bound buttonholes. Certainly the entire coat needs better buttons as they are a definite feature. I plan to go digging through the vintage button collection that Karyn has at the Workroom to find something outstanding to finish this all off!

Finally, here are some pictures of me in the duffle coat.  The fitting was done on me but I really think this works better on Anne, which is funny as we are not built the same way.  She has broader shoulders, is much taller and does not have the generous booty of a pear-shaped woman!  Thoughts on the fit on each of us?

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All in all, I am pleased with the fit of this across the chest, shoulders and back. It looks a but big across the back on me here but I’ve only got a T-shirt on underneath. This is not a lightweight coat and is more likely to be worn over my usual winter layers and the fit accommodates all of that. Again, I think the collar is the wrong height and shape for me and the overall length… not so flattering.  It needs to be a bit shorter so that it doesn’t hit me at my widest point.

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In short, when I wear this I feel a little dumpy and irritated by things I wish I could change. When I see Anne in it, I think “shit, I made that!  I’m AWESOME”.

Make sure you check out the rest of the sewalong entries here!  There are some seriously gorgeous coats in this pool!

Sara

Linking up with:  Make It and Love It