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Outerwear

Indiesew Fall/Winter Collection: Tamarack Jacket

October 20, 2017

I was really happy to see that the Tamarack Jacket was going to be part of the Indiesew Fall/Winter Collection. It’s a great transitional layering piece and exactly what I need for chilly mornings when I am out walking my dog. I had plans to make the coat last year, but the temperature dropped before I was able to start and I missed my window of opportunity.

I learned a lot on this project! It was the first time I’d done anything involving quilting, a walking foot, or cotton batting. I used 1.8 metres of fabric for the outside (Essex Linen in Espresso) and the lining fabric (Kona cotton). I made a straight size 6 – my usual Grainline size – and was able to get away with a crib-sized piece of batting rather than a twin. It feels a little big, but I am happy to have a size that I can layer sweaters under (anything that helps me put off getting out my winter coat is a win in my book.)

I opted to keep things simple by using the horizontal quilting instructions and choosing hook-and-eyes for closures. I’ll save the snaps and the diamond pattern for my spring version. I found the Grainline sew-along post on bias binding to be very helpful and kept it open on my laptop as I worked.The process was surprisingly straightforward.  The result is so clean and neat and felt like sewing magic. (Quilters! I had no idea about those corners!) I went back and forth on the welt pockets, but I think I will add them in after all.

While I love this jacket, it helped me realize why I make garments and not quilts. I find the actual quilting to be quite stressful – all those lines to keep straight. I also had a hard time seeing my chalk lines under the light of the sewing machine and I ended up with blue hands. Next time I will hand-baste over light chalk lines (you can still see a faint echo of the chalk now and if anyone has any suggestions on getting it out I would love to hear them). I would also use heavier thread. I increased my stitch length, but depending on the light, you can’t always see the quilting.

The jacket itself is warm and cozy and I will admit, worth the straight-line stress. It came out looking pretty classic, but it also holds up well after a visit to the dog park, too. I love the look of the bias binding against the tweedy linen and the curved hem.

Project: Essex Linen Tamarack Jacket

Total Cost: $116

Pattern: c/o Indiesew

Fabric: $90 (includes batting)

Notions: $26

Total Time: (includes cutting out the pattern) 14 hours.

Size: Straight size 6

Fit adjustments: none. Next time I will size down and do a narrow-shoulder adjustment.

What to work on: unclenching my jaw while quilting would be a good start!

 

Thank you so much to Allie for inviting me along on the blog tour. You can see the other projects using the links below!

Oct 18: Grainline Studio
Oct 20: My Handmade Wardrobe
Oct 23: The Doing Things Blog
Oct 24: Sweet KM
Oct 25: Sew House Seven
Oct 26: Threadbear Garments
Oct 27: Sew Liberated

Slow Fashion Army: Pauline Alice Quart Coat

December 7, 2016
Pauline Alice Quart Coat

Pauline Alice Quart CoatPauline Alice Quart CoatQuart Coat Insideimg_5650 img_5654 Pauline Alice Quart Coat 3Second up in my series of coats is the Pauline Alice Quart Coat. This coat is far more tailored in both style and construction than my Cascade Duffle Coat. This dramatic coat features many design elements, including princess seams, epaulettes, pleats and exposed zippers on the sleeves. I used a black Melton wool and Kasha (a double-faced satin/flannel fabric) for the lining.

I learned many new techniques for this project. There is so much interfacing in this coat (you can see more behind-the-scenes on my Instagram) and I certainly appreciated the extra effort once it all came together. I ended up adding even more interfacing to the collar and tacked down the side pleats because they were giving a fluting effect to the bottom of the coat that I wasn’t keen on. This was the first time I’ve put exposed zippers on a sleeve and also the first time I’ve MADE BOUND BUTTONHOLES! They aren’t easily visible in a photograph of a black coat, but they are there and they are glorious. I used the Sewaholic tutorial for reference and just took it step by step. Like everything in sewing, it wasn’t nearly as complicated or scary as I expected it to be.

I did have a little trouble with the instructions though. There are multiple steps in text followed by several illustrations in a row and I had to really focus to stay on track. The instruction booklet comes in three languages, so I can understand that a more detailed layout would result in something the length of a textbook. There is also a pdf “sewalong” and I found myself using that more often.

I am very proud of this garment. It’s a great coat – maybe even too great. It doesn’t look homemade, so no one (who didn’t already know that I was working on it) has asked me if it’s my own work. It feels like a secret I am bursting to casually drop into the conversation:

“I made this.”

Project: Pauline Alice Quart Coat

Hours to complete: 45

Total Cost $208.49

Pattern: $19.99

Fabric: $157 for outer and lining fabric

Notions (buttons, zippers, thread, shoulder pads etc.): $31.50

Fit: Straight size 40. I could have used a small swayback adjustment in the back.

Techniques: Bound buttonholes, shoulder caps and pads pleating, hand sewing.

What to work on: More scary things! Bring on the bras!

Burberry, by Me: The Cascade Duffle Coat

November 22, 2016
Cascade Duffle Coat

Cascade Duffle Coat Cascade Duffle CoatCascae Duffle Coat 4Cascade Duffle CoatCascade Duffle CoatCascade Duffle CoatCascade Duffle Coat

All images by North by North Photography

While I am passionate about mindful consumption, there is one category of clothing that I have decided not to place any restrictions on: outerwear. In previous years, I would only have one cold-weather coat, which I wore day after day after day, after day, after day. I live on the East Coast of Canada (we are basically North Maine), where snow is a usual occurrence from November well into May, with more than our share of storms thrown in for good measure. It is a very long season and I am often feeling as frayed at the edges as my sad coat by about February. So, in the interest of mental health, I hereby declare this the Year of the Coat!

First up in my series of outerwear is an item that I am so proud of, the Cascade Duffle Coat from Grainline Studios. I have been hoarding this beautiful Burberry fabric (bought online at Mood Fabrics) for over a year. I must have ordered exactly as much as I needed for my size (straight size 10) because I had just enough. It was scary to finally cut into it after all this time. I’m unsure of the fiber content, but it is so soft and warm. The only way I think of to describe it is sumptuous. I used Kasha for the lining (a fabric that is satin on one side and flannel on the other) and the coat feels cozy and substantial. It’s the nicest winter coat I’ve had in years and I finished it without a moment to spare – I saw my first snowflakes today.

As other sewists have pointed out, there are indeed 40 pieces to this pattern and the construction took me several 8 hour days and then some. I dyed the cording for the toggles with tea in order to tone down the original brilliant white colour. I love them, but I’m not sure how long they will hold up under bags and scarves and general winter weather. I may change them out for some made with twill tape instead. The coat itself is long, but I will take all the winter protection I can get! The pattern offers either a cropped or a long version, but I think I would like to try something that’s in-between as well.

When I told Alexa and Luke from North by North Photography that I wanted to have an outdoorsy shoot, they immediately suggested a trail that I’ve never been to and I’m so glad they did. Not only did I get some fantastic photos, but I also had a great morning hiking around the woods with them.

 

Project: Burberry Cascade Duffle Coat

Total Cost:$264 CAD

Pattern:$22

Fabric: $220 (including the coating, lining and interfacing)

Notions: $22

Fit: No alterations.

Techniques: Bagging a lining

What to work on: Gathering all my supplies in one go. I wish I had picked out fancier toggle buttons in the year I’ve had the fabric. I was all set to go with this project and then realised that I wouldn’t be able to get any toggles other than these locally.