Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Progress on the Trench Coat

I have made progress on my trench coat finally.  However, I am finding it hard to post every Friday.  My life is full of lots of things:  children who need to go to school, ballet, riding, basketball practice, soccer practice, basketball games, and dogs who go to the vet, and horses who need regular care.  However, I know that we all have full lives.  My husband often points out all the time I spend caring for animals.  But, I love the animals, as do the kids.  We get fresh eggs daily from our hens, and are serenaded morning and evening by our little diva donkey.  So, if I don't make much progress on my sewing, weaving or knitting, so be it.  There will be plenty of time once the children leave home and I am too old to clean stalls and care for large animals when I can spend my day weaving.  So, now, I just squeeze things in when I can.

Enough of that, just to show you what I have:

I finished my muslin and cut out my pieces.  I got my bodice made and put one sleeve in.  I finished the sleeve yesterday.  It took me all day to get the darn thing in.  I hate setting in sleeves.  The main problem was that the original coat had raglan sleeves and I tried to use the sleeve  cap preserving the length of the sleeve.   However, the sleeve cap was too deep, so I had to sacrifice the length which I will deal with later.  So, I got one sleeve in.  As you can see, I have two types of fabric in the bodice.  I ran out of enough fabric for the back and the collar piece, so I used some wool from one of the many pairs of pants that I have from my dad's old wardrobe.  

I saved the collar, and it went on easily, and I am in the midst of pinning and sewing back in the old facing which has buttonholes in it for the lining.  I will reuse the wool lining so that I can wear it 3+ seasons.  

I pinned the back skirt on as you can see above, but I am not sure I like it.  I may cut the pieces so they fit around the bodice, but flare out at the bottom, but we'll see.  I doubt I will get much more time to work on it this week, but hopefully can see some progress next week.  

My goal is to finish the coat before we go to Spain in April.  I need a raincoat for the trip.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Trenchcoat progress (or lack thereof)

I did finally squeeze in a little bit of time today to work on my trench coat.  My daughter was home three days this week with a bad cold and mild fever.  She likes to make jewelry, something I thought I would never get into, but it is something we can do together.  So, I sat with her one day and did make some sea urchins out of beads for a necklace.  I got the design out of a book by Diane Fitzgerald.  These are made of fabulous Czech glass dagger beads.  Once the necklace is done I will photograph and post it.

One day this week I spent running my son to the orthodontist and dentist, and today we had a surprise snow and school cancellation.

My son built a snow fort, and my daughter and a friend made cookies.  Unfortunately, the cookies went so fast I didn't get a photo of them!

Here is our cute "puppy" now all grown up hanging out in the fort.

I did receive my ribbons this week and some interesting Czech buttons I will use on the coat.

Finally, I did a bit of work on the bodice and draped the back of the skirt.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Friday Wardrobe Redo Update: Raincoat Part 2

I ripped apart my raincoat this week, in between caring for my son who is home sick with the flu again, poor boy.  I was thinking I would jump right in to cutting up, but better sense  prevailed.  I realized the fabric was quite dirty.  So, after getting a big pile of pieces, I put the wool fabric through the wash on Handwash setting and let it dry.  The label said dry clean only, so it was a risk.  The fabric came out fine, the hand hand changed a bit, much more drapey than before, and I haven't tested for waterproof ability.  However, now the fabric and lining are clean.

Next, I went through my patterns to decide what to do.  What I want is an elegant, yet rather funky coat  that is fitted and 3/4 length.  After looking through, I decided to use Vogue 8465.  I will not use the collar as is, and it will not be double breasted, but it is a good shape for the bodice with modifications.

I have started making the muslin and fitting it.  So, this is where I am to date.  I hope to be a bit farther along by next week's Friday update. 

  The other thing I did was to order ribbons and buttons.  I found a designer, Kristi Smart, whose work I admired when I looked through my back issues of Belle Armoire.  I won't be quite so funky with my design, but I did want a unique rather than off the rack look, so I went looking for special embellishments.  I have a few ribbons that I like, and I like to mix different ribbons together as you can see on my of my daughter's clothes such as the reversible Avalon jacket.  So, I went online and found some ribbon from one of my favorite designers Laura Foster Nicholson, who also happens to be a tapestry weaver.  I love her jacquard ribbons.   Have a look at her site LFNtextiles.  I also bought some ribbon a few years ago at Satin Moon Fabric Store in San Francisco.  What a beautiful store!  Anyway, I bought some Midori Chrysanthemum ribbon there and used it for a skirt I made.  I had only a few inches left and although it is now no longer made, I found some and bought 5 yards of it.  Finally, I was looking at special buttons and found some on a bead site which are Czech glass.  So, I will be using two of those.  I figured, since I am not using new fabric, I will buy some ribbons and buttons to make the piece special.  When the ribbons and buttons come in, I will share a photograph of them.