Sew Over It: Knickers!

They say there’s a first time for everything … and this will be the first time I share a picture of my underwear with the world wide web! Although not my usual style, I really wanted to share my knicker making experience! As part of my quest for quick and fun projects, I stumbled across Sew Over It’s PDF knicker pattern and thought I would give it a whirl. I’d seen a few positive stories online of people making their underwear, and had never really thought it was for me, however as my sewing experience has grown, I’ve realised that someone, somewhere sews my underwear, so why shouldn’t it be me?! I taped up my PDF and decided to dive in!

The great thing about knicker-making is it is an awesome stash-buster and great for using up remnants of fabric! For my first pair I decided to use some drapey cotton voile from my stash which had been a bit small to do anything useful with. I paired this with some black knicker elastic.

The key to successful knicker making is stretching your elastic evenly as you apply it to your fabric. I have to confess, I didn’t do myself many favours on my first pair by choosing a really floaty fabric as this seemed to make this much harder! Although totally wearable, one leg hole seems to have turned out a bit smaller than the other. The fabric suggestions in the pattern do suggest a lightweight, drapey fabric, so I thought it would be great, but I’ve since made a cotton pair and they were so much easier! I don’t think I can attribute this solely to the fabric, as I think I needed some practice on the elastic stretching technique, but it certainly didn’t help. I did love the print on my first pair though, so I think I might come back for another go at these!

Not to be put off by my slightly wonky first pair, I came back for round two. Knicker making is really addictive once you get going and they are such a speedy project! I decided to dive in to my fat quarter stash for round two, which is perfect as one pair requires pretty much exactly one fat quarter. Finally, an excuse for me to buy more fat quarters! I’ve been waiting for the right project for this blue floral fat quarter for a while and I decided what better project than to wear those flowers close to me! I paired the blue with some white knicker elastic.

Second time around the results were much better! The fit is great and they are super comfortable!! Using knicker elastic is a bit of a step away from the Sew Over It instructions. I chose this method as I prefer the finish to the satin stitched edges of the fabric as suggested by the original patten. Although the finished make are less frilly than the pattern, I am hoping they will also be more durable and comfortable as a result!

Overall I’m pretty pleased with my final make and I’d encourage anyone out there to give it a go! I’ve already been rummaging through my fabric scraps for knicker sized pieces and have a few more pairs lined up! I’ve also discovered the wonderful world of trims – elastic lace, little bows, buttons and embellishments! It turns out making your own underwear is the ultimate forum for being creative! Have you given it a go? I’d love to hear about your experience!

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Seamwork Oslo Cardigan

I’ve been a bit short on time of late which has considerably slowed my sewing (and blogging!) efforts! As a result, I’m particularly drawn to sewing patterns and projects that can be made in an afternoon. They still give me the satisfaction of sewing something and getting my creative juices flowing, without me looking at a work in progress for weeks on end which just makes me feel a bit frustrated!

The patterns from Seamwork Magazine are absolutely perfect for these purposes. You might remember that back at Christmas time I signed up for a subscription. Since buying the subscription, I’ve made two patterns using my credits and I absolutely adore both of them! The patterns are completely true to their word in terms of the time it takes to sew them up and I always find them fashion forward and very wearable! Today I decided to take on the Oslo Cardigan which is actually from the first ever issue of Seamwork. When I saw the modelled version, I instantly fell in love.

The original photo that made me fall in love with Oslo! Photo Credit: Colette Patterns/Seamwork

I didn’t want to venture too far from the styling that Seamwork had done, which I know isn’t really that creative, but I just knew that this cardigan would be so handy in my wardrobe! Interestingly, the sewing gods were smiling down on me and I happened upon this lightly woven ribbed knit in the Karstadt Habadeshery. Not only did it instantly make me think of the Oslo picture I’d seen, but it was really heavily reduced to EUR 3/m, so I had to take the plunge!

I love the texture and softness of this fabric. It was also an absolute pleasure to cut and sew with. I really can’t believe I got it for the price that I did! I actually now have a nice remnant left over which I am thinking of making a cosy infinity scarf out of!

Apart from the horrors of PDF taping, which I did earlier this week in front of the TV, the cutting out of this pattern went relatively smoothly. I cut an L up top and graded to an M on the waist and hips and it seemed to really turn out quite well. I think I benefitted from the fact that it is a slouchy fit anyway, which is also perfect at the moment with my ongoing weight loss project.

To be honest, the most time consuming and difficult part of this project was rethreading my serger in white. I’ve changed threads on Serge now on numerous occasions, and never with any trouble, but for some reason today it was just not happening! I must have spent an hour cursing my machine, before promptly falling back in love with it as it whizzed through these seams in no time and gave such a lovely finish! It looks so professional and solid on the inside, which is great, as I think this one is going to be worn and washed a lot!


I didn’t have any construction issues and the pattern instructions were really clear and easy to follow. I really am realising that I’m starting to benefit from experience now too, as things like putting in sleeves have started to become second nature.

I’m delighted with the finished result. There are so many features that I love on this one – the collar is chunky and cosy and I love the upturned cuffs! I’m planning on wearing this versatile cardigan both on weekends with jeans and sneakers and at work with some smart trousers and heels! For EUR6 and 3 hours (one hour of which involved me swearing at my serger) I think this project will be well worth the investment!

How about you? Have you made anything from Seamwork? Do you have saintly patience for PDFs? Are you and your serger best buds or sworn enemies? I’d love to hear from you!

Stag Print Button Closure Cushion

 

As I’m trying to lose a little weight at the moment, I haven’t been sewing many garments, as I’m scared of putting all that effort in to them and then only being able to wear them for a few weeks. As a result, I thought I’d focus a little on home furnishings and other smaller projects, just to keep my sewing mojo ticking over! One of my favourite home decor things to make is cushions. They’re such a good blank canvas for really beautiful fabrics!

On my last trip to the UK, I treated myself to these gorgeous fat quarters. I really like stag print at the moment and little animals with antlers seem to be turning up on all sorts of my things!I thought they would make a great cushion, and now I have my serger I needed an extra “sewing chair” cushion, so decided to use these fabrics for this special project.

As I’ve made quite a few envelope closure cushions in the past, I decided I wanted to use this project as an opportunity to practice one of the new skills I had committed to learning in 2016 – buttonholes! I thought that doing buttonholes on a cushion would be a great way of practicing without having to worry that I would ruin a garment I had spent the whole afternoon making. It was also a great opportunity to use up some of my buttons from my overflowing button jar!

I decided to test the one step buttonhole foot on a scrap of my fabric first. I have to say, I don’t know why I put off doing this for so long! Although I had to spend 20 minutes or so going through my manual, finding the “button hole lever” and making sure I got my button hole foot on the right way round, it was much simpler than I expected! It tok a bit of practice to get the sizing right, but apart from that, my Pfaff made it super easy! Now I want to put buttons on everything!

Apart from the buttonholes, there wasn’t anything too challenging about this make. I love the finished effect though. I also feel like both sides of the cushion look nice, so it’s nice and versatile! I chose some quite chunky buttons in a complementary brown to finish off the cushion which I think match quite nicely.


All in all I am delighted with my finished cushion! I’m sure it will get lots of use as I get to know my serger! Now I’ve gotten over my buttonhole fear, I’m also ready to finally tackle my Tilly and the Buttons Mathilde Blouse, so watch this space for that one! How about you, how are your new year’s resolutions coming along? I’d love to hear from you!

Hand Appliqué Peg Bag

This isn’t the most exciting post ever, and certainly not the most technical, but I wanted to share this super speedy make with you that turned out way better than expected!

After showing my mum my cute little laundry travel bag I made, she asked if she could have a little drawstring bag to keep her clothes pegs in. As I love to make little drawstring bags and they are a super simple make, I was happy to oblige!

I’ve been trying to find a use for this gorgeous floral fat quarter that I bought at the Millets Craft Shack for a while. I thought a peg bag was a sort of Cath Kidston retro piece of homeware, so actually the bright florals were a great fit!

One thing Cath Kidston does really well is Appliqué. I love the way it gives things a really crafty, homeley feel. I’ve never done any appliqué before, so thought I would take this opportunity to follow Cath’s lead and try some!

I cut out some little paper letter templates spelling the word ‘Pegs’. (Side note- I am realiably informed by some American friends of mine that America does not recognize the word pegs and therefore they had no idea what I was on about, or why I would write ‘pegs’ on a bag.  As such I humbly offer a translation for my American readers which I believe to be ‘clothes pins’.) I used these templates to carefully cut the letters out of some contrasting blue fabric. I then set about hand stitching them on with some yellow thread in a decorative but practical blanket stitch, which I’d had a bit of practice on while making my espadrilles.


You will see that my hand stitching still leaves a lot to be desired! However I did realize by doing this that I am increasingly enjoying sitting and hand stitching in the evening. It totally relaxes my mind. There’s something so peaceful about the rhythmic motion of repeatedly pulling needle and thread through fabric. Who knows, maybe a foray in to cross stitch or embroidery could be up next?!

Once I’d finished applying the letters, I finished off the bag with some contrasting blue drawstrings. This is the third one of these I’ve made now and I was quite proud that I no longer need to follow instructions. I eyeballed for sizing on everything and it actually worked out really well! The more I look at it, the more pleased I am with the finished result. I hope my mum’s pegs (clothes pins ;-)) enjoy their stylish new home!


How about you? Have you tried any new skills recently? Do you also enjoy hand stitching? Is there any easy embroidery or cross stitching I could start on? I’d love to hear from you!

2015 Retrospective and 2016 Sewing Goals

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I may be a little late with the New Year’s greetings, but better late than never ‘ey?! There are a lot of retrospectives at the moment about hits and misses of 2015 on blogs … I too have had my hits and misses of the year – I guiltily confess that I am a more zealous poster of hits than I am of misses!

Despite me thinking that all of my makes when they are finished are my best make yet, there are certainly some that have worked out better than others. For me, hit criteria include anything from having had lots of wear, to being practical, from being beautiful, or to simply bringing me joy. With these criteria in mind, here are my hits:

My Mum’s Quilt: This quilt was a true labour of love, but I love everything about it now it’s finished. I’d learned a lot from my first few quilts and enjoyed having the opportunity to put this in to practice. I love to think of my mum enjoying this quilt and I hope it stays in our family for years to come!

Collette Patterns Moneta: Moneta was the output of my first dressmaking course, so not only is she an incredibly practical garment to wear, but she also holds sentimental value of nights spent at sewing school with Christine. I learnt a lot making this dress, especially about altering a pattern. I’m almost too scared to try and make another, as I don’t think any will be as good as the first!

Tilly and the Buttons Coco Dress: Everything about making this dress was a joy. The fabric choice was perfect, it was my first time using faux leather, I love wearing it, it’s cosy and warm, chic and comfortable … the list of reasons why this dress is a hit is endless! Ironically though, this pattern also contributes to my misses. I tried to make a second version in black, with a boat neckline rather than the cowl neckline and it was a disaster. The fit was bad, I tried to rush it, the boat neckline flashed my bra straps in a really unflattering way … the list of reasons it was a miss is endless. In the end I didn’t even salvage the fabric I am embarrassed to say!

Espadrilles: I love these because they were something totally new to try! The pattern is a great way to use scraps and I found them so comfortable. They were also a good opportunity to practice hand sewing. I really enjoyed wearing them on holiday in Asia, and shall look forward to wearing them all next spring and summer!

Scrappy Leather Coin Purse: This was a totally spontaneous make and it must be a hit because I’ve used it every day since I made it! I’ve become really attached to it. I never thought of myself as a small purse person before, but somehow it really works for me. It’s simple, soft, classic, and I got to try out sewing leather with my machine while I made it. Awesome!

McCall’s M6992 in florals: This is definitely one of my most worn makes. I love the colours, the fabric and the construction was a joy (apart from that incident with the two left sleeves which we shan’t mention again!). Interestingly though this is a second pattern where I had a miss second time around. I made this pattern in black lace covered jersey with solid black sleeves – exactly the same size, similar fabric, but it just didn’t come together that well. If I’m honest with myself, I think I thought the first one was so great I’d just whip up a second one in no time, and I wasn’t as careful as I could have been. It’s not unwearable, so not a total miss, but certainly not my favourite.

Burda Sweatshirt 6718: I made this sweatshirt for my boyfriend and he wears it a lot, so I think that counts as a hit! I also made a second one for my dad for Christmas, and although I am yet to see evidence of him wearing it, it does fit him and the construction was great. The second one I made was also my first full project with my new serger, so it’s a hit in terms of symbolising Serge and I finally becoming friends.

I also have an as yet unblogged hit … the Brooklyn Skirt from Seamwork. This one has been a total hit for me, from construction, to fit, to practical use! Coming to a blog post soon!

So that was 2015 … what about 2016 I hear you ask?

This year I’d love to take it up a notch … there’s a few things that I’ve not ventured towards and I’m thinking now might be the time!

  1. Buttonholes – for someone with a button collection as large as mine (I just LOVE buttons), I really do need to make more garments with buttons and buttonholes. I’ve had a very jersey focused year this year, as I love the comfort and easy care factor, but I think it’s time my buttonhole foot and I really got to know each other. I’ve never even tried one!
  2. Lining – I am yet to line a garment … I’ve always found the concept a little scary. I know however I need to master this if I would ever like to conquer my coat aspirations. I have my eye on making a Brooklyn Skirt in a wool brocade with an exposed zip which would be crying out for a lovely navy blue lining. Let’s see if I brave it!
  3. Serge – I want to spend more time learning how to optimally use my serger. I was lucky to get an amazing overlocker book for Christmas, so I think I’ll be spending a lot of time with that first!
  4. Homeware – as we are moving house this year, I’d love to try making blinds and curtains, which I’ve never done before. I think this could be a really useful skill for the future, and could also save us some money, so definitely worth a go, any tips much appreciated!
  5. Full Bust Adjustment – To be honest it’s amazing I’ve gotten away with not doing one for so long. However I’ve really come to realise that just cutting a bigger size and grading down at the waist and hips doesn’t always cut it in terms of a professional looking fit.

So that seems like plenty for me to be getting on with! I will keep you updated on my progress! Wishing you all a happy and crafty 2016!

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Half Yard Heaven Notice Board

Even I am the first to admit that my love of fat quarters may have gotten a little out of control. I’ve become somewhat of a fat quarter tourist, and if I happen to find a nice bundle on my travels, it must come home with me as a souvenir! I’ve been filling up a little suitcase with them, and have decided that I may as well use them for decorative purposes on display on my craft table!

A trunk of fabric joy … 

I did, however, receive a fabulous Christmas Gift which should help me enjoy my expansive collection to the maximum! My brother and sister-in-law got me this great book, Half Yard Heaven, by Debbie Shore, for Christmas, and it’s got lots of great projects in it! They are accompanied by lovely pictures and step by step instructions. It’s one of those lovely books to have a flick through when you have the itch to make something from your stash. Nothing needs more than half a yard of fabric, so it’s great for scraps too!

The first project I set my sights on was a fabric covered noticeboard. We’ve had a rather sad looking Ikea cork noticeboard in our hallway ever since we moved in. Prompted by the lovely pictures in Half Yard Heaven I decided it was a prime target for a makeover!

I chose to use my fat quarter bundle from Rowan, which contained a lovely selection of coral and black florals. One coral fat quarter was the perfect size for covering the cork board. I then made three small pockets using a couple of strips from two other fat quarters in the bundle. Despite following the book’s instructions, my pockets turned out quite small, so if I were making one again I would definitely make slightly larger pockets.

This was my first time wielding a staple gun, which was a little bit scary. PB ran for cover as I waved it about ominously in our lounge! Stapling in to wood was pretty hard work – but was worth it for the results!

I struggled a bit to get the pocket placement straight though. You end up in a vicious circle, as you can only place the pockets straight once the fabric is taught and stapled down, but if you do that, you can’t sew them on! As a result it took a bit of guess work, but for me they are functional enough! I finished the board with some thin elastic which minimises the need for extra pins. Overall I’m pleased with my finished make! It was pretty speedy too. I’m already plotting my next one for my craft room in the new apartment!

Christmas Gift Quilt

I’m so excited to finally share this mega sewing project with you now it has been gifted to my lovely Mum! Back in the spring I promised my Mum a patchwork quilt for her bed and bought all of the materials. However it took slightly longer than I’d expected and ended up being a Christmas gift!

Mum had said she wanted something bright and colorful, so I bought a lovely selection of green and blue jelly rolls in patterns and solids. These jelly rolls are cut and composed by the lovely Andrea of Quiltmanufaktur in Frankfurt Sachsenhausen – she has a fantastic eye for colour combinations! As Andrea makes her jelly rolls herself, they are half the size of those you buy in the States – from memory I think they have about 20 strips, so I bought 6 I think to make this quilt!

I loosely followed the free Jelly Roll Jam Quilt instructions – for those of you who have never quilted before this is a great place to start and I love the accompanying YouTube video! After I’d made all of my strip sets, I cut everything up in to rectangles and laid them out.

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You’ll see I am not the most accurate cutter! I really need a bigger cutting mat and a sharper rotary cutter! (A bad workman always blames his tools!) Having accurate squares always makes life so much easier when it comes to piecing. What I love about this quilt is the variety of patches, prints and colours. My absolute favourite is this one:

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I love the cute little tigers that pop up every now and then!

When it came to laying out and piecing it together, I didn’t follow the Jelly Roll Jam’s instructions. With this number of prints and colours there were so many sets of blocks that I sort of just did it by eye. I think it turned out pretty well in the end though!

Basting this project was a bit of a beast – I have to confess that the basting and the quilting are the bit I enjoy least, particularly when they are this big! I end up having to take over the lounge and crawl about on all fours which is very undignified! I keep promising I will try that fabric basting spray … Maybe next year? I got the beast basted in the end though and set about quilting!

I am very lucky that my lovely Pfaff has an extra large arm space for quilting. I don’t think I’d dare tackle a project like this without it! It’s also got some fancy quilting stitches which I thought I’d try out – I did wiggly lines and loops in horizontal and vertical lines to create nice square patches on the back. I loved the finished effect, although was slightly regretting it half way through as loops take twice as long as straight lines!

I finished my quilt with some binding made out of leftover jelly roll strips connected together. This is my favourite way of doing quilt binding as the jelly roll strips are the perfect width and also colour co-ordinate with the quilt top! I always use this YouTube tutorial on getting the perfect mitred corner and it works for me every time!

After attaching the biding all that is left is hand sewing the binding down to the back of the quilt. I’m not normally a hand sewer and will use the machine where I can but this is one area where the machine just doesn’t cut it! I’ve learnt to love sitting in front of the Telly completing the final step by hand, with the aid of the most amazing wonder clips of course!

So here she is, the finished quilt!! I am super happy with how it turned out – it was definitely worth the many hours that went in to making it! Every time I finish one I think ‘never again’ and about two weeks later I’m already thinking of the next one … Maybe I will just pick a lap size next time?  

It was great gifting this quilt to my mum on Christmas Day! Such a happy (partially) handmade Christmas!!

A Tale of Tea and Scraps

I’m not sure why but sewing seems to have awakened a fanatical recycling obsession within me! Now I can’t throw an old item of clothing away without ripping all the buttons off for re-use, or discard an old hoody without taking the cord out or get rid of an old pillow case without chopping it up for quilting, or put gift wrap in the recycling without saving the ribbons! I have bags literally stuffed full of scraps of fabric from past projects, and there’s nothing that brings me more joy than finding a way to use them!

While I was on my Cambodian travels I found this delightful teapot.


When I returned from my travels I had terrible jetlag and needed something simple to do that would keep me awake, so I set about sewing a quilted coaster for it to sit on. This was a perfect opportunity for me to delve in to my scrap bag! I found these great scraps of Moda jelly roll which I had used to make a quilt. A couple of left over patches were the perfect size for the top and bottom of the coaster, and I finished it off by making my own ‘candy striped’ bias binding by sewing other scraps of the fabric together. I used a remnant of some batting from a quilt project for the insides and I was so pleased with how it turned out!


I still had quite a lot of scraps left over in these colors though and I was still awake, so I thought why not go the whole hog and make a matching tea cosy?!

There are loads of great online tutorials on making your own tea cosy, so I followed this one and then added a few bits and pieces of my own. I drafted my own pattern based on the measurements of my teapot (yep- my teapot has a made-to-measure cosy haha!) and then cut out two patchwork outers from scraps, two pieces of batting and some plain black lining. I then set about quilting in a diamond pattern which I did by eye (shh- don’t tell anyone my diamonds are wonky, I was jet lagged!) All you need to do then is just sew round the top, not forgetting to insert the little loop. Easy!

What I didn’t like about this tutorial is that it doesn’t suggest you finish the inside seam. Maybe I’ve become a bit fanatical about sewing looking as good on the inside as it does on the outside (only my teapot will see the inside of the tea cosy after all), but it just really bugged me knowing that the seam was all exposed and you could see the batting. As a result I improvised with covering the inside seam with some black double fold satin bias tape that I had in my stash. I love how it looks now! (Yes I think I’ve gone quite mad!) I finished it off with some more of my patchwork candy striped self made bias binding.

So here is my finished cosy in all its glory! Never did I think I’d be making a tea cosy, but it was quite a satisfying make and a great patchwork stash buster! There’s something really satisfying about sewing something pretty and useful out of something that could just as easily have been thrown away!


What about you? Do you used recycled materials and scraps in your sewing? Do you have any other fun scrap busting projects for me? Is my need to hide exposed seams in the inside of my tea cosy the final proof that I’ve gone mad?! I’d love to hear from you!

A Fabric Adventure

I’m back from South East Asia after the most amazing break and wanted to share some small tales of my travels with you. I was surprised to find that sewing followed me on my travels (which is daft really seeing as Cambodia is one of the world’s biggest garment producers!). I saw everything from huge garment factories to individual seamstresses and it really gave me some sewing food for thought.

On the one hand, I am glad that through sewing my own I am not contributing to the cramped conditions of thousands of Cambodian women crammed on to trucks to go to work in the factories every day. On the other hand, for those women it is a valuable source of income. Many of the factories that were busy last time we were in Cambodia are now up for sale … apparently Cambodia just isn’t cheap enough anymore and people have cottoned on that “made in Cambodia” is not always a good thing. It makes me sad to think of all those women out of work. I guess it’s a fine balance, like most things in life! One thing is for sure though – those women have got some major sewing talent!

We visited the beautiful Psah Tmey or Central Market in Phnom Penh which sells everything from food to jewelery to trashy logo t-shirts! It’s in a beautiful building with a great big central dome and off the dome are a maze of corridors!

Down one of those tiny corridors I was amazed to find a world of fabrics by the metre and seamstresses working away on the most amazing vintage machines. Everything from Juki to Singer was represented and the seamstresses were getting fantastic results. It made me ashamed that with my fancy computerised snazzy machine sometimes I can barely put in a zipper haha!

Of course I couldn’t help but indulge a little in the mountains of fabric on offer. You had to be truly dedicated to the cause to rummage through this little lot …. hats off to PB for waiting it out as I shopped!

We were lucky enough to chance upon a stall with a really lovely and friendly owner. He wasn’t pushy and just gave me a chance to peruse. They had everything from jersey to silk, so in the end I decided to purchase a selection. The poor chap seemed a bit perplexed as to why I would be buying so much fabric, he even asked me if I ran a business. When I told him I just liked making stuff I think he thought I really was mad! Here he is measuring out some fabric for me. He had to literally climb out of the mountains of fabric in his stall to cut it for me … he really was drowning in fabric!

The market had some fabrics with some beautiful prints and colours which I was very tempted by, however I really wasn’t sure what I was going to use them for, particularly as I’m currently making winter clothes at home! You see … I did try and be a bit sensible!

So here is what I ended up adding to my stash:

Flower Print Cotton

 

Navy Blue Daisy Print Jersey

 

Leaf Print Chiffon

 

Stripy Chiffon

 

Spotty Chiffon

There’ll be a whole lot of French seams going on with this chiffony lot! I bought a total of 15m of fabric for 30 dollars …. amazing! I think I was quite restrained not to buy more! I also picked up a whole bag of buttons for my button jar and a beautiful piece of white lace for the bargain price of 3 dollars. All in all a very successful haul considering I hadn’t planned to buy fabric or notions on my travels at all!

I had an absolutely wonderful time away! Beaches and coconuts and I even met the real life Ernest the elephant! A dream come true! Now I’m back it’s time to get festive and finish off those last Christmas gifts!

Contemplating Coats

As I prepare to head off to hot hot climes, I am doing something rather ridiculous and contemplating coat sewing. When I first started sewing, I remember reading  DidYouMakeThat’s chronicles of sewing V8548 and thinking that sewing a coat was an insurmountable task open only to super human sewers such as Karen. However, the more I have gotten in to sewing, the more I am tempted to give this coat thing a go. Here’s a list of reasons why I think sewing a coat would be fun:

  1. I find it incredibly difficult to find coats that aren’t double breasted and where the buttons don’t strain over my top half or alternatively look like a sack. Sewing a coat that fits me would make me feel smug and delighted.
  2. Sewing a coat would appear to give me a great opportunity to use some chunky buttons. I do love a good chunky button.
  3. Sewing a coat would expose me to using new materials – scary can be fun right?!
  4. Sewing a coat is necessary – my current dress coat has seen better days!
  5. Sewing a coat would be a long term project that could see me through the cold dark month of January.
  6. Sewing a coat would hopefully be a timeless and classic addition to my wardrobe.
  7. There seem to be plenty of participants in the V1467 Pea Coat Sew Along – If all these people can do it, why can’t I?!

With those 7 reasons in mind – who wouldn’t want to crack on with a coat?!

Helpfully, the McCall Pattern Company shared this great blog post today, helpfully entitled “If You’ve Never Sewn a Coat Before, Start with One of These Patterns”.  It was like they’d been reading my mind. There’s some great and very wearable coats in this selection. My particular favourites are Butterick B6244, Vogue 9136 and Vogue 9156.

I also really like Butterick 6143, Simplicity 1254and New Look 6325 (not from the McCall’s selection).

As it stands, I think I would be wise to choose an unlined coat as my first attempt, so I think that takes Butterick 6143 off the list for this time round. I’m keeping it in here as an aspirational piece though, it has everything I am looking for in a coat pattern! A full skirt, fitted waist, nice collar, chunky buttons *sigh*. When I’m looking for something to sew next Autumn, I hope by that point I can return to Butterick 6143 and whip up a lining in no time!

Between the rest it is a tough call – I think Butterick 6244 is very on trend in terms of the Coatigan look, although no chunky button usage there! I love the hood on Simplicity 1254, but then I equally love the draped cape look and chunky button of New Look 6325. The stand up collar of V9136 looks very snuggly, and yet V9156 looks very practical for wearing over work outfits. I think I’ve got some tough decisions to make! Any suggestions? What would you pick?

Here’s hoping I can pick up some bargain priced wool or felt in the January sales – nobody else will start coat making at that point in time right?!

With thoughts of coats I shall depart off to sunnier places to wear my Espadrilles! I will miss sewing and the sewing community, but it doesn’t hurt to be offline once in a while! I’ve got stacks of things piling up on my pre-Christmas sewing list, so I’m sure there will be plenty of sewing to be done when I get back! Enjoy the rest of November people!