With a project like this that’s going to take quite some time to finish, I think its always a good idea to make a muslin. I used to make muslins all the time of everything I was going to sew and now, I’ve kind of turned a little rogue and try to restrict the muslin making to only those things that I draft for myself or require a gigantic commitment of time. This coat for my man falls in the latter category. I made two muslins here because I want this coat to be as perfect as possible for him.
Lest you think that I’m married to someone who is in all respects very boring, let me undo that fantasy right now. Even though Mr. S told me that since I was making a coat for him I could take as many photos as I liked of him in whatever stage I was at, this photo shoot took some real coaxing. For one, I had just woken the beast up from a nap and two, this was the end of a very short weekend in which he spent the entire time doing homework (he just went back to school this fall). If he looks a bit strung out and rather wild, that’s because he is. It is almost Halloween after all! Ha ha!
Anyway, let’s chat about the muslins here. So just to update, I’m making the toggle coat from the Men’s Japanese Coat Book. In the first muslin we had some definite fitting issues. When I’m making something, especially for someone else, I think its important to note their view on the feel. The first muslin looked alright except for the sleeves – too short – but Mr. S told me that there was some serious tightness in the arms when he put his arms in front of him. Not only are we married and live in the same home, but we share the same broad upper back problem. Oh yes! Later this week I’ll show you how I fixed this problem and how I fix my own broad upper back problem. This is also the reason you see the slashes in the back here – its part of how I fix the issue. More on that later, promise.
So after I did a few alterations namely – lengthened the sleeve, fixed the broad upper back and raised the armscye – I think we’ve got something pretty great to work with. The second muslin shows the mobility in the arm and the added amount to the back. The back actually hangs quite nicely, but someone wouldn’t stand straight and put their head up! So naughty!
Next up – draft a lining pattern and add a zipper placket! Almost time to cut into the cloth! How exciting! Thoughts? How many of you live with a significant other who has the same fitting problem as you do?
I think the only thing that would complete this outfit is a hunting rifle. Don’t you? English countryside anyone? When I was a kid, my mom had a subscription to Victoria magazine. In fact, I’m quite sure she still has every back issue of that magazine because truly, it was a lovely little thing. I loved flipping through old issues and I especially loved how many redheads with fair and freckled skin were featured in the magazine as a whole. It was rather refreshing. As someone who was a tad self conscious about that, I learned to see my own beauty by looking at some of those wild haired and very english looking ladies. Not that you all needed a trip down my memory lane, but there you go. I feel a bit english today (this is not to say that I know anything of english life, except what I see on tv and read in magazines) and this outfit reminds me of some of those Victoria magazines.
This is the exact same skirt as my fuschia skirt just different fabric is all. It’s a self drafted number which is the reason it fits so wonderfully and feels so comfortable. It was a shop sample for my Yellow Bird class, but I recently stole it home so that I could wear it. It’s pretty lovely, if I do say so myself and I did a rather stellar job of matching the plaids. It’s lined and has that little pocket on the front – which I applied by hand – and also features a petersham ribbon waistband. The fabric came from somewhere, but I honestly couldn’t tell from where at this point. It’s a bit old.
The cowl-necked top is the Renfrew, made out of a wool knit. The funny thing about this particular top is that I had it scrapped in my “I need to do something to fix this” pile and was intending to make it into a dress. When I put on my little plaid skirt, I immediately knew that this would be an ideal top to go with it. I think the reason I had it scrapped is because as I was cranking it out, I was wearing blue jeans and I kept trying it on and thinking it looked so drab and lifeless in addition to thinking it was a lot of navy blue for one person. Just goes to show ya that coordination can be key. The belt (another shop sample) is also a self make, of course and well, there it is, readers.
I didn’t actually do my Everyday Wardrobe bit with this outfit, but as you can see, the look itself is a little upscale, but I’m completely comfortable. Totally wearable all day long, which is exactly what I did. The weather has already turned chilly and this is just the thing for an October day out! And now, if you don’t mind, I’m off to have a spot of tea and a crumpet.
PS ~ It’s been crazy busy around here, so sorry for the radio silence. I think I’m finally back to my normal, quiet life. Maybe. We’ll see, I guess. Have a lovely weekend Friends!
In addition to a few other projects for myself, my mister has been pleading for a new coat so I’ve decided to break down and make him one. Actually he’s been pleading for two new coats – a winter coat and a trench – but one thing at a time, right? I rarely sew for Shawn (Mr. S) and its kind of sad really. I need to be better about incorporating his needs into my sartorial sewing world. We wouldn’t be able to afford the type of coat I’ll make, and really I love the prospect of delving into a bit of menswear. I thought it would be fun to take a journey together with you, especially as I’m working on the toggle coat version from the japanese pattern book. If you haven’t seen it, and don’t know what a japanese pattern book is, I suggest having a gander in this Etsy shop (I always buy japanese books from her and she’s so nice and her CS is excellent!). Japanese pattern books contain several different patterns in one book (all the instructions are usually in japanese) and this one in particular has some really beautiful men’s outerwear. I actually have a few different japanese pattern books, but this is the first time I’ve actually used one.
Duane from Mainely Dad has been a great resource as I’ve been working through the beginning stages of this project. Duane has made all of the coats from this japanese book – here’s his toggle version! And they are all insanely beautiful! I can actually credit Duane with giving my mister the idea that I could actually sew up a coat for him too (thanks Duane – no sarcasm here, truly). I actually did start tracing off a trench coat earlier this year for my man, but that abruptly ended when, I found that in addition to tracing off the
damn lovely pattern, I had to add seam allowances too! You guys & gals, I can be hardcore, but that’s really asking way to much of me. This is what sparked the idea and need for Double Tracing Wheels, different pattern papers and sheets of tracing paper. If you ever do anything like this, all I can say is, you really need to get yourself hooked up here because those tracing wheels and sheets of tracing paper are nothing less than magical! They shaved hours (I would say about 4 hours, seriously) off the tracing process alone.
So if you were wondering, to trace off the pattern, I put down some dotted pattern paper first (I could have used the medical exam paper too, no biggie, whatevs) then I put the tracing paper sheet – blue – face down on top of that and put the pattern sheet on top of that. Put down a couple of pattern weights here and there and then used that handy dandy tracing wheel, to not only trace the pattern, but add the seam allowance in one whack. I added a 1/2″ seam allowance – by the way, these tracing wheels do not do 1/8″ increments, which is really neither here nor there, but you know. For the hem allowances I added either a 1 1/2″ – sleeve – or 2″ – body – hem allowance to the bottoms.
The perfect fabric came into my possession at the American Sewing Expo too. It’s that Double Cloth Wool Coating from Wool House. When I presented it to my mister, and draped it over him to get a sense of how the color would work for him, he claimed that he wanted a cape instead of a coat. He told me to just serge the edges and put some sort of closure around the neck. By the way, he’s so full of
shit that his eyes are brown (truly they are). I’m planning to add/draft a lining for the coat, in addition to adding a zipper placket down the front. I’ll show you both when I get to that point. The lining for the body is going to be a black rayon satin and the lining for the sleeve and hood will be grey silk charmeuse that I’m thinking I’ll quilt to lambswool for added warmth. The coating is actually pretty heavy, so I don’t know that I need to lambswool the whole thing, plus Mr. S keeps his thermostat pretty high temped as it is.
So there ya go. I’m actually sewing for another human being besides myself. See? I can be generous…. Ever sewn for your man, woman or significant other? Tell me, any pointers? Any
tizzy fitting fits I should be aware of? If nothing else, you at least have to tell me that my plans for the coat are pretty amazing, right? I mean, silk charmeuse in the sleeve – I must really be in love! All I can say is, it’d better be cold this winter!
gonna be cold outside,
I recall typing earlier this year that I would be attending the American Sewing Expo in Novi, Michigan. Janet Pray (yes, the woman herself!) called me up and asked me to come and teach a few little classes there and I was only too happy to agree. Okay, Ok, I nearly fainted when she asked me, so I was only tooooo ecstatic to agree! The expo took place over this past weekend (I’m deathly tired, by the way) and it was AMAZING! I did a few presentations there, in addition to teaching short-ish and sweet classes in the Sew Cafe (a little make ‘n’ take lounge). I went and pitched my idea about the Everyday Wardrobe to several women, and guess what? It really got people excited! I have a really fun idea to share with you in the coming weeks that’s about the Everyday Wardrobe, participation based of course, and I think you and I are going to set the world on fire with it! Really fun stuff here.
In addition to having a great time teaching and meeting insanely amazing women + huge GIANTS in the sewing world (I shook hands with Judy Neukam, Threads Editor, and Susan Khalje AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!) I was rooming with Gertie! We shared a room last year in Florida and it was soooooo much fun to be roomies with her once again. I bought her book at the expo and she signed it for me and as I was reading through it and flipping through the fabulous pattern photos at the back, I found a little something on her resource page! She included A Fashionable Stitch shop in the resources section and on page 148! Thank you Gretchen – I’m thoroughly honored (blush, blush)! From what I’ve read of the book so far, I’m truly inspired! I’m loving all of the blouse patterns (total thinking Everyday Wardrobe gone vintage and a little upscale) and I might just have to break down and make the bomshell wiggle dress!
It goes without saying that I also spent wayyyyyyy too much money there. But truly, friends and cohorts in sewing crime, if you knew what I found, you could hardly blame me. I have to make you just a little bit green with envy, so here goes. I bought some really beautiful wools from Wool House which is a company based out of Toronto, Canada. I loved the selection and I couldn’t help but flash winning smiles at Bob Moosa, the charmer who was working the booth. What makes fabric shopping more fun than just the fabric? It’s the people selling you the fabric, folks. If sales people aren’t supposed to be charming, who is? Bob is all about the charm. He knows his wools and his selection is really vast. You simply must call and get swatches – if only to talk to him! He’ll make you feel like a million and you’ll get some wonderful fabrics too!
The Material Girls had this really cute dobby-like cotton that I simply could not resist. A japanese print, it’s just the ticket with these snaps I purchased from the Snap Source people. You guys every heard of the Snap Setter? I had heard about it before and was very interested in seeing a demonstration for it in person. For me, it did not disappoint. If you’ve ever tried to apply a snap to a blouse before – and I have – using the crummy Dritz plier tool is for the birds. Love snaps? Get this tool! So easy to use, so genius and they make every color and type of snap you could ever want plus they have varying sizes of snaps – a real bonus, in my opinion. Who doesn’t want to make a button up shirt with snaps? This is totally Everyday Wardrobe approved! I’m planning to possibly carry this tool with selection of snaps in the future in the shop, so look for those in the nearish future.
Last stop, Mendel Goldberg Fabrics, based out of New York. If you only knew how long I’ve been looking for a Chanel style boucle, you would have stopped dead in your tracks, like I did, when I saw what this booth had to offer. You guys, this IS Chanel boucle, not just Chanel style. Yeah. I’ve wanted one of those Chanel jackets for forevah! I’m not going to lie and say this wasn’t expensive, because it was, but I’m sooooooo in love with this fabric. As if it wasn’t enough that I actually found my long lost boucle soul mate, Gertie and I went halvsies on this silk and cotton brocade. Sooooooo amazingly gorgeous! Mendel Goldberg also has a swatch service and because these types of fabrics are truly kind of a rare find, if you too, have had visions of a Chanel jacket lined in quilted silk charmeuse with a chain weighted hem whilst sleeping, you absolutely must call and get some swatches. The ladies running the booth were fabulous!
And because I didn’t want to write an extra post about this, I thought I would just tack it onto the end of this one. Just soos ya know, I’ve just barely finished photographing and adding……………..LAMBSWOOL to the shop! For those of you doing Gertie’s Coat Sewalong or the Anise Sewalong, you might be interested in picking up some of this for added warmth. When this stuff finally came, I almost pinched myself because I couldn’t actually believe that I was able to source it. I’m selling it in cream for now and I’ll be getting it in black very soon too.
Eat your eyes out,
In case you think I’ve been sitting on my duff, I haven’t. I’ve been so busy with extras this season (which, to be perfectly candid, I’m rather mad at myself for taking WAY too much on) and so I’ve been trying to keep up with stuff and sadly, the blog is always the first thing to suffer when my world starts going up in flames. Sorry about that! I do promise to be much better in the future.
Anyways, just in case you think the Everyday Wardrobe was a short-lived thing, its not. I’ve actually been hard at work on a rub-off of my mom’s old boyfriend jacket. I cut the lovely jacket out of a cherry brown ponte knit and at this time am deciding whether or not to partially line it. I’m thinking yes, in a silk charmeuse – which PS if you don’t have Connie Long’s Easy Guide to Linings, you absolutely NEED it! It’s an amazing little book! One of the best books I own I think! In addition, this is not just some fly by night jacket. It’s meant to be paired with this NWG – a real NWG from me old closet.
Now that I’ve got you a little caught up to date with a bit about me and my nutty life at the moment, I thought I would mention that Steph at 3hourspast is having a pre-sale for her very first pattern. It’s a dress……made from KNIT! That’s right folks. Doesn’t it look fabulous? Not to mention, this is sooooooooo everyday wardrobe friendly. Go snap one up NOW! Do have a gander over to Steph’s blog too, where she’s been talking about how to dress for your everyday for a whole bunch longer than I have – it’s so refreshing! Enjoy!