Thursday, October 24, 2013

Finished Object. Goal Accomplished.

Well lookee here. I sewed myself a coat!! Early on in my sewing adventures, Gertie hosted a sew along for the Lady Grey coat & I was entranced. I couldn't believe people could actually sew their own coats. While mine isn't a tailored masterpiece, per se, it is definitely my proudest sewing accomplishment to date.  Here's the facts. And only the facts. After the facts I will ramble. Proceed with caution.

Pattern: Sewaholic Minoru

Fabric: Stretch twill from Fashion Fabrics Club
Notions: Thread & 2 zippers. Huge shout out to Zipperstop. I mailed a swatch of my fabric to them to match on Friday & had my zippers on Tuesday. Amazing customer service.

Size sewn:I muslined both a size 6 & 8. In the end, I sewed the 8 since I underlined with flannel & will possibly be wearing under bulky-ish sweaters.
Alterations/Design Changes: Added welt pockets. Shortened (at hem) 1.75". Raised elastic 1". Added .75" for broad back alteration. Omitted sleeve cuffs. Instead I made a self facing by lengthening outer sleeve fabric 2". I also graded down to a size 4 at the hips & probably could have gone down to a 2.

Also, instead of stitching the ditch for the collar, I hand sewed it. I just couldn't' get my stitches just right on both sides.
Likes: Loved the process. Love the finished product.
Dislikes: I do wish it had outer pockets, but there's about a billion different ways to add yoru own pockets, so it's no big deal. 
Time to Complete: I cut my fabric out on October 2nd, and wore my finished coat on the 20th. I didn't sew every day, and I took my time getting things just right.
New Techniques: Welt pockets! Separating zippers!
Total Cost: $57.85
Fashion Fabric $11.85. Lining fabric $27. Zippers $11. Thread $8. I'm not counting the pattern cost because I bought it almost 2 years ago :)

Alright. Let the rambling commence!  I actually pre-ordered this pattern when Tasia first released it. I was all set to participate in her sewalong and then I discovered I was pregnant. So it got set aside. For a year and a half.

With Fall approaching I decided to get this baby sewn. I muslined a size 6, which fit perfect. But in the end I decided I wanted a bit more ease to accommodate the flannel underlining & bulky fall sweaters.

The welt pockets were a major cause for concern. I've never constructed them before, but I also needed to figure out where to put them, what angle to have them & how deep to construct the pocket bags...without having them interfere with the hem or plackets. All in all, I'd say they're just right.  But I left the internal pockets just in case my welt pocket design was lacking.

I lined the hood, removing 3/8" to account for the seam allowance rather than a hem allowance. I also tacked it down by hand along the center seam so the lining wouldn't bag out.

The lining itself is a horrendous polyester; you know the type. It frays if you look at it wrong.  So even though the seams were all enclosed I was really diligent in zigzagging (and sometimes fray checking) my seam allowances. 

Instead of stitching in the ditch at the collar seam (couldn't get it to all line up just right even though I hand basted first) I just sewed it by hand. It took a little extra time, but all in all wasn't too bad. 

I omitted the sleeve cuffs, but I didn't want my lining to peek out at the wrist, so I created a self facing (I might be making that term up) by lengthening the outer sleeve pieces by 2 inches. This gave it a really nice, clean finish & if I sew another hooded Minoru, I'll likely use the same method on the hood.

In conclusion, I love this coat. A lot. And it was a good sewing exercise for me, too. It's the first 'Intermediate' pattern I've sewn (not counting bras) and I'm really happy with the results.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Minoru fabric choice

Left: Organic Canvas Cotton from  Right: Magenta Pink Stretch Twill from FFC
I ordered 2 different fabrics for my Minoru. I never do that. But I wasn't positive either was what I wanted. I ordered on the same day, moments apart, and of course, my fabric from arrived a week earlier than that from Fashion Fabrics Club.

Once I received the twill (from FFC) though, I was glad that I had waited to cut into my fabric. The canvas looks quite dull compared to the twill. But what really sold me on the twill was the price. The Organic Canvas Cotton cost $40 while the twill was a steal at $18 (including shipping). 

Since my sewing room makeover put a halt to all sewing for a couple weeks, I'm really looking forward to getting started on this! As it turns out, Pattern Review's Lined Jacket Contest starts today, so I'll be able to participate in that, too! There seems to be a number of us who are planning on sewing Minorus.
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