Friday, November 19, 2010
Completed Project: Toddler Dress Coat
**Caution: Super Long Post Ahead**
I am so excited to finally show this to you guys. I finished it about a week ago, but was holding out to get pictures of Shawn in it. Well, Shawn is being less than cooperative. So, here it is, sans adorable model. I worked on it for about 3 weeks (not daily) & I cannot even begin to tell you how proud of myself I am.
When I started this project, I knew it was going to be worn often. I knew it needed to be hardy. I also needed it to look nice. It is, after all, a dress coat. Before I began it, I promised myself that I was going to take my time with it. If there was a seam I could do better, I would rip it out & do it over (and over & over, if necessary). I wouldn't take shortcuts. If I felt myself rushing, I would take a break. I would iron each seam. Before I took any major steps I would sleep on it & come back to it. And I did. I stuck to all those things. Which is part of the reason it took so long to complete. But it was worth it.
DMK Easy Wear. I was surprised when I received it. The instructions & diagrams were computer drafted. This was the first pattern I had bought from Etsy that didn't have actual photos. And you know what? I like it. Very professional. Very easy to decipher. The actual construction of this coat was beautifully easy. Everything made sense & no steps were left out.
Having never done it before, I did get confused when it came to attaching the lining to the coat at the sleeve ends. I convo'd Karen (the pattern maker) & she directed me to this tutorial. It was very helpful, and I have a feeling that I'll be using it often. So, I got the lining attached & went to turn the coat right side out, put my arm through the hole & sure enough, something was amiss. I panicked a bit thinking maybe I sewed the arm in backwards, but realized that if that were the case the other sleeve would be wrong too. Turns out I just twisted the sleeve lining when I was sewing it to the coat. Easy fix.
slip stitch has improved but once again, it wasn't good enough. So, I used transparent thread. It wasn't the funnest thing to work with--it's just like fishing line--but the end result is....well...invisible. Exactly what I needed. When my mom gave it to me out of her stash I didn't think I'd ever find a use for it. Now, it seems, the possibilities are endless.
Buttons were also a a challenge. It was surprisingly difficult to find just plain ol' brown jacket buttons. So, I grabbed a button cover kit from JoAnn & used left over fabric to cover them. Looks great. Speaking of fabric, the outer shell is a brown minky. Soft & warm without being bulky. The combination of a bulky coat & a car seat is such a hassle, and more importantly, not safe. The lining is a cotton shirting I got from my MILs fabric stash (which I refer to as my Fabric Library) I initially wanted something fun, but nothing really struck my fancy at Joann, so I went for "nice" instead of "fun" and I really love the results.