I don’t know that this will be like the behind the scenes of other people’s businesses, but for me, I’m going to start giving you some of the behind the scenes from a fairly personal perspective. My perspective. This remains to be seen if this is really a good idea, but as with a lot of things in life, we try something and analyze our mistakes and then from there get better. My first behind the scenes snapshot back in December/January had some rather dramatic repercussions. Sigh…. Oh the drama! Sometimes my inner drama queen really likes to play up the drama. Having been a shopowner for several months now, I’m here to say that the drama queen has definitely been humbled. He he.
“You’re sewing again.” A friend brought this up to me earlier this week. It’s true. I’m sewing again and hopefully this gives you an idea of how things have been for the past several months (busy, in a word). Maybe I should state for the record that I’m inspired again. This translates into sewing things that work again. I have sewn a few things over the past few months, but to say that they really worked….meh. The Yona Coat was probably the first thing in a long time that I’ve sewn that I felt really really good about. Before we start getting too serious and melancholy, let’s just say that awesome stuff is on the horizon. That feels good enough to be inspired by and good enough to sew for. Ha ha! Yay!
My quaint little brick and mortar has changed rather dramatically over the past several months too. For the most part I’m working full-time in the shop. This is good. This is very good. One thing that was getting to be more and more obnoxious was trying to juggle schedules for individuals who wanted to work in the store with things I needed to get done while I was at the store. So it was much easier for now to work full time in the store and voila! Things about the shop and for the shop started getting accomplished at a much faster pace. And its been very good for me because I really needed to sense the heartbeat of my store on a much more intimate level. Running around like a chicken with my head cut off wasn’t allowing me to do that.
Autumn has officially arrived at A Fashionable Stitch and it was time to change up the decor. Pulling out old fall outfits and putting them up in the store to inspire actually ended up inspiring me. Oh how I love Fall! Its such a magical time of year! Decorating your own shop – on a very very tight budget, oh wait! there is no budget! – is really really fun. I’m always up for a challenge like this and so its been fun to start revamping the store for fall. I’ve also had to get creative for things that I’ve really wanted and don’t have the funds for. I’ve wanted fabric signage for such a long time. And then boom! One day it hit me like a ton of bricks that hey, get some paper, fabric and a fabric bolt and there you go. Instant signs! Yay!
Among many other things this year, I had to become an instant gardener for the flower garden in the front of the store. I have to say people, though I like gardening, I am so over taking care of this! Ugh! In fact, I’m just about to go out and weed and water today (not that this has helped my poor dead zinnias). Much rather be taking care of something inside the store.
Speaking of. This is a fabric hoarder’s dream….. Shipments of fresh fabric just arrived!
Best Weekend Wishes!
Marlene Dietrich, here I come. The best complement to this coat would be a stunning pair of leather gloves, a shot of cognac and a cigar. Puff, puff. Keeping warm on those unusually crisp fall outings never looked quite so chic. Who said plaid was only for lumberjacks?
Pattern: Yona Wrap Coat by Named
Made in the U.S.A by the one and only Sunni Standing with fabric especial from A Fashionable Stitch – 100% wool plaid coating (with plaids impeccably matched, of course), Lined in flannel backed acetate Kasha coat lining. Collared in a sultry soft cotton velveteen.
No expense was spared in the making of this luxurious coat. What Sunni wants, Sunni gets.
I was thinking about making myself a coat this year. I mean, I think about making myself a lot of things every year (who doesn’t) but you know, life happens. You get sucked into a vortex of so many things you want to make and you absurdly think that you can until you actually start making something and you realize that you don’t have time to make all the things. It’s a weird phenomenon and I often wonder whether the same thing happens to all of you. In my head I have a smashing line-up of fall outfits to crank out. In reality, I have an alarmingly small amount of time to crank them out. Goodness, at least this coat got done.
I did decide on getting this coat done. I was determined! I have a plentiful amount of fabric in my personal stash, but low and behold, I had been eyeing this particular plaid coating for what seemed like an eternity from my shop. It’s so weird, by the way, to still want fabric even though I have a shop full of it. Anyway, when the new Named Fall patterns made their debut, I was all over this coat like white on rice. For the most part, it had everything I wanted.
For the most part. When we’re talking coats and jackets, of which I’m a particular connoisseur if I do say so myself, there are so many elements that I am fairly particular about. Let’s take the issue of pockets for a minute. You know, patch pockets are fine, but I had no intention of patch pocketing this coat. In coats, I’m particularly keen on pockets that are easy to sink my hands into and keep my hands warm. There is nothing like a welt pocket for this job in my very humble opinion. Coat pockets, for me, have got to be easy to put my hands in. I am so over awkward coat pockets! Are you with me here? Suffice it to say, I drafted my own welt pocket for this coat and if I do say so myself, its one perfectly placed welt pocket. Look at that sinking action! Yes!
I also drafted a new lining pattern for Yona. I took the time to actually trace off the coat’s original lining pattern and then I made sure to check all of it against the outer shell pattern and such. Hmmm… There were a few things I didn’t care for and a few things I thought might become problems so I just decided to draft my own lining and then that way, all would work. Which it did, beautifully. I also traded in the under collar for a bias cut, seam down the center version. Something you would find in the Tailoring book. I felt it would help with the bulk issue considering this fabric was a nice thick heavy wool coating. Other than these few quirks, the pattern for the outer shell was lovely. We got along great. I made but one fitting change and that was to add some width for my hips. Cut my fabric out and bam, I sewed a coat for myself.
Of course, I have to talk about the fabric. It’s from my shop. This was a plaid wool coating that we’d had lying about for a bit. It’s rather thick and heavy – perfect for a coat and the plaids were uneven (meaning they weren’t perfect squares). Because the plaid is uneven or unbalanced, the plaid on the sleeve is only matched using the dominant plaid (and only in one direction) which is that grey stripey bit. People, I could do some serious workshopping on plaids. I love them. It’s weird that the challenge is so satisfying to me. Oh my gosh! I’m a nerd! And by the way, if you’re looking for this product in my shop, hold your horses a bit while we get all the wool coating options uploaded. We’re working like mad men on it. Plus we’ll get the Kasha coat linings up and ready for purchase in the online store too. We’re almost there actually. Yay!
Well people, I’m seriously considering a sewalong for this coat. It’s crazy because when I’ve done sewalongs in the past I feel crazy, but I think its time to do another one anyway. Who would be on board? Would anyone want to do a sewalong for this coat? Isn’t it high time I did another sewalong? I believe it is.
And just in case you didn’t catch my J. Peterman lingo, its one of the most fantastic catalogs to peruse if only for the rather cheeky descriptions of the merchandise. If only I had a gift for such malarky. If only.
Bring on the crisp fall weather!
Several weeks ago, Corinne of The Sewing Affair ever so kindly invited me to be on her ongoing podcast. If you don’t know anything about Corinne, you should hop on over to her blog and get to know her! She’s delightful to talk to and was very gracious as a host as I rambled on and on and on. She’s starting up a sewing studio in Canada where it looks like she’ll be teaching others how to sew. That is very exciting! Anything to keep the sewing bug alive eh? Yay!
You’re in for a long haul if you listen to the podcast featuring me. Oh boy! I’m such a rambler and that’s exactly what I did. Ramble, ramble, ramble. But hopefully there are some grains of interest there. Ha! Hop on over and have a listen.
In the podcast, I talk a bit about how hard its been for me to combine my world of blogging with my world of being a brick and mortar shop owner. People, I can’t have two separate personalities anymore! So, even if you don’t live here in Utah, you’re still going to be in the know about local events surrounding my shop. This blog is a huge part of who I am. Something that I’ve felt was too sacred to let the brick and mortar shop intrude upon! But this is silly thinkin and now the shop is becoming a huge part of my life too. So, without further rambling…..we’re having a shop event at the end of September! Yay! If you live in SLC, Utah or think you might be here for a visit, it would be worth your while to stop on in.
The September Soiree will kickstart our Autumn Sale event. It’s an after hours party + sale. Yay! We’re excited about it. We had a little something like this back in February which was quite fun and now that its the best time of the year, its time to have another party. Not to mention, its just fun to sew for fall and if I do say so myself, we have a beautiful fall here in Utah. So if you can, be there or be square! Look for our contact and address info, here.
If you’re looking for an online shop sale, don’t worry! That’s coming up too! I’ll spill the beans for that in the ensuing weeks.
Happy Monday Everyone!
Why, hello there! Remember me? I have to tell you all that it feels like ages since I was here. Like, physically and mentally here. Those posts back in April, May, June, July and August – sure I wrote them. But to say that I was all there and into it and feeling it? Nah. Friends (and don’t you dare say you aren’t friends because I need friends) its been a journey these past few months. A journey to get to the present. Wow. Did I just say that? Don’t take me too seriously now, but I will say that I’m here today. Right here, in this moment. Feels good.
My parents recently bequeathed me an iphone. I’m going out on a limb here to tell you that I haven’t had a cell phone for a few years now. How ever did I manage? I tease, but hello Instagram. Its like my new favorite thing to do. I have a fun sewing project to share more in depth next week, but here’s some gramming from this week.
This is serious people. I’ve actually finished a project! A coat no less and I would like to add that I finished it in pretty record time. I mean, at the rate I’ve been going with stuff these days, this was nothing less than miraculous. Excuse me while I give myself a pat on the back.
Hope you’re about to have a great weekend. Three cheers for TGIF!
Mr. AFS and myself had this grand idea of going camping this summer. This is not to say that we’ve never been camping, but going and leaving the shop is/was a big deal. I thought it would be all the more grand if I made camp shirts for the occasion. And only give myself a week to do this. Keep in mind we had muslins, fitting, alterations and plaid matching to do here, to say nothing of sewing the shirt and all that that entails. But If there was ever a call for flannel, its camping. If there was ever a call for plaid, camping is just the ticket. The awesome thing in all of this is that the mister here abhores plaid. Can you believe this? Can you believe that this man is married to a woman with a slight fetish for plaid and he hates it? I told Mr. AFS that it was possible that I could get some houndstooth flannel instead and he nearly had a heart attack. Would not stand for “houndstooth.” Heavens no! Now it was plaid or go home. So we went with plaid. Sheesh!
Well after all that emotional turmoil, I picked out some plaid cotton flannel, a sewing pattern for me and for him and went about sewing these things up. His is Simplicity 1544 and this pattern is a winner. Not too many troubles really. I made a muslin and found that the armpit was little high for Mr. AFS and he needed a bit more room in the upper back. Shortened the sleeve by a few inches too and then we hit gold. For myself, I used McCall’s 6649. This pattern actually came with a Craftsy class that I am working my way through and loving! I thought that in the process of fitting this pattern and getting all the kinks out, I would go ahead and make it up a few times. This is the first make and I still have a few kinks to go. Interestingly enough, I don’t usually get all the kinks out until about the 3rd time. That’s really just the way it goes. I mean, I don’t know if that is the way for everyone, but I tinker until I’m perfectly happy and then I make a permanent copy and blah blah blah. Someday I’ll bore you with that process. For now, you should know about this Craftsy class though. The idea is that you take this pattern, fit it and then reverse engineer it so that it is put back in sloper form! From there you create all these different tops/blouses. So much fun! Definitely recommend. To anyone.
OK, so enough of that. I had the same beefs with my pattern as my mister did with his. I increased the upper back width, though I’m going to do a little more as I don’t think I did enough and then goodness gracious, I had to take like 3 inches off the sleeve length. I feel I may have overdone this part a bit, but when my arm is at rest the sleeve hangs precisely where it’s supposed to. There are more kinks to work out here, but I’ll save those for next round’s roundup.
Being on a timetable for these shirts and as any good procrastinator would, I put these off until the last minute. The night before we left on the camping trip I was still doing buttonholes and attaching buttons. So these felt a bit rushed. Barring that, I’m surprised they turned out as well as they did. The plaids are matched pretty well and I feel I did a pretty good job with navigating the bias pieces too. Overall these were pretty successful. Mr. AFS wore his and loved it! He’s never worn or owned a plaid shirt in his life, so this is serious people. Mine turned out pretty good too. I did manage to cut a hole in mine. Don’t ask me how that worked or even how I did it because I have no idea. But I patched/mended it and now my shirt has character if nothing else. Sigh….
The idea was to get pictures of us actually camping in the shirts. But wouldn’t you know, it rained. And it rained. And it rained. We cut the trip short because of all this rain. I know. All the work of making these shirts and we weren’t able to get j.crew perfect pics of the event. Such is my luck! Ha!
At least there’s flannel for the next camping trip, or possibly some romantic getaway in the near possible future. I almost went matching plaid shirts. We might still have to do that. With some line dancing and cowboy boots for fall. Plaid flannel = true love!