Burda Style Wrap Coat and minky madness

emile

What was I thinking!

I’ve really been enjoying my fleece fabric adventures this year. So I went for the full Monty. During my recent trip to Orlando, I managed a visit to the Sewing Studio Super Store in Maitland. And in the Annex, I found this black minky plush, a real bargain at $4 a yard. Irresistible.

Note on the store: high-end knit and quilting fabrics, ditto the trims and so on, and more built-to-purpose specialized sewing machines than I’ve ever encountered in a fabric store. The Bargain Annex is spotty, and I felt lucky to go home with a piece of fabric.

The store put it in a big bag, and once home, I pulled it out to an absolute flurry of fleece fluff. As a starting point, here’s a pic of my constant companion during this project:

vacuum

I already had a pattern in mind, BurdaStyle 09/2016 #119 – a beautiful design, simple and elegant. I had recently worked on a muslin in sweatshirt fabric, so my confidence level was high.

line art

It’s so nice! I know it’s hard to see the details in black, but please squint a little.

5

6

Things I love: those kimono sleeves, the oversized pockets, and the set-in collar. About the collar. No way would I use this minky for a cut-on shawl collar, one that is an extension of the front, because of the treacherous clips at the shoulder. There shouldn’t be crying in sewing…

1

Sewing notes:

  • This is a challenging fabric because of the fluff stuff from cut edges. All my cut pieces went straight to the serger, and every single edge was serged before I even began sewing. Between my cutting area and the loft, I emptied my little vacuum twice. Even so, the fluff seemed to travel with me everywhere I went in the house! Takes patience…
  • I sewed a straight size 38.
  • Great fit!
  • I didn’t line the pocket, but I did face the top fold to stabilize it.
  • I shortened the length quite a bit. The original CB length is about 44″. I took off 5 1/2″. It just seems more balanced and interesting in the shorter length.
  • Incredibly, the coat has no front or neckline facing. I added both, self fabric without interfacing.
  • My sleeve and coat hems are a little less than 3/4″. I’ve found that a deep hem on fleece doesn’t always work well.

Machine settings:

  • I sewed all my seams with a long stitch (3.2 on my Juki) and topstitched with a 3.4 length.
  • And used a 90/14 ballpoint needle in my sewing machine. Also 90/14 universal needles in my serger.
  • I also decreased my presser foot pressure, from it normal 5 setting, to 2.

I had just enough fabric to make a neck scarf. This is hanging out on my sofa, it’s so warm on my neck.

scarf

I had just come home from the grocery when I took all these pics. It felt wonderful in that cold cold store!

3

Will I ever sew minky again? Sure. It was very messy, but I really like this coat!!

Ciao! Coco

B6251 Cute jacket!

j3

It’s perfect weather for working on jackets and coats.

This was quite a project. This pattern is intended for sweater knits, ponte, and blanket knits. The latter led me to try this in poly sherpa fleece. Interesting…

It’s a nice pattern with unexpected collar options. Views A and B have an attached collar, whereas views C and D have a ‘traditional’ shawl collar (the front extends into the collar).

B6251 line art

Just for giggles, here’s the line art from last year’s B6406 – exactly the same as views B and C on B6251. Go figure.

B6402 line art

Anyway…I did a muslin of this several years ago, view A, the jacket, in a very stable ponte from Girl Charlee.

e1

I found that the center front ended right at my crotch (I hate that word). And that the collar turned very nicely in the ponte. I even did buttonholes!

e3

I tried to use that info on this fleece version, and was partly successful. I added 2″ to the length and also lowered the CF curve by 1.5″. The jacket ends in a nice place in front – but the collar is just too bulky to do a natural fold.

j1

j2

Lemonade! Actually, I love this with the collar up! It’s so warm on the back of my neck.

j4

It’s meant to have a 3-snap closure, but for now they’re on order from Wawak. No way am I attempting buttonholes in fleece. This jacket will live in my car, to be grabbed for that cold cold trip into the grocery. The place that will trigger my Raynoud’s syndrome if I don’t wrap up (pic is from last December, after shopping for Xmas groceries). I asked once – they keep the A/C on 70 degrees.

Raynauds Dec 2016 (2)

Moving on – the ponte coat fail, BurdaStyle 90/2010 #127. I love the design and style, but it is just too big for me, even after I re-drafted it. I think the issue is that I used 4-way stretch ponte. It just keeps growing. It’s not meant for a knit, but I just had to try it 🙂 It’s so pretty.

c2

Parting shot: my Three Kings Day zygo cactus. Our cool weather kicks in a little late for Christmas blooms.

p1

What next? After a rather rocky start to 2018 sewing, I’ll have to think about that a bit. Tempting me – I still have a taxi yellow fleece in my stash. Outrageous, right?!

taxi

Ciao! Coco

 

Time for a knit duster …

Who can resist a fun unstructured duster when the weather turns cool…

Not I! I’ve spent hours in the past few weeks, just cruising duster patterns and lots of wonderful makes by sewists in the blogosphere.

Irresistible. I especially like the new Berlin Jacket by Tessuti and the Esme Maxi Cardigan by Named Clothing.

But I didn’t particularly want to invest in a new pattern. Trawling through my stash, I pulled out an oldie but goodie, the Heading for Adventure coat by Louise Cutting.

I made it in linen way back in 2010, but it was very large on me, even thought I sewed the size Small. And the linen really bugged my skin – I never wore it.

Nonetheless, the design details are so appealing. I love the piecing and topstitching. And Cutting’s techniques, which are beautifully articulated in the pattern instructions, are incredible.

 
It was a great starting place. But I wanted to go with the lines of the dusters I mentioned above – a softer neckline, an attached band, and slim-ish sleeves. And I wanted to use a knit fabric – a very lightweight rayon/spandex French terry that I purchased recently from Fabric.com. 
I was impatient to do all the re-drafting at one go, but I decided to be cautious. I actually sewed this in three steps. First, I cut out and sewed the entire coat from the Cutting pattern, using the size XSmall this time. And then I changed it, using the Jalie Cocoon Cardigan to redraw the neckline and draft an attached band, 
and the Grainline Studio Driftless Cardigan to alter the sleeves (I removed almost 6″ from the width at the upper arm – the sleeve was voluminous). 
This sounds like a lot of tweaking, but it was not difficult, because the Cutting coat is all right angles. It was easy to lay it out and draw on it with chalk.

Time for pics (this gray is hard to photograph – it almost shimmers here. Squint, please)…

I love the back drawstring! It looks very similar to the back of the StyleArc Winsome Designer Dress (posted here), but the construction is not the same, due to the placement of other pieces in the back.

The patch pockets are very over-sized and long. Fun! 

I’m off to JoAnns now, to get supplies for Christmas gifts. And I have to remember to tell my kids to stay off my blog for a couple weeks 🙂 Check out this adorable cat house from SeeKateSew! My weekend project…
Hope everyone enjoys a safe weekend, with lots of sewing therapy time…bye for now, Coco

Kwik Sew 2895 Denim Jacket – a second look

 

Levi’s jacket from the 80’s

Time to revisit a classic pattern, the good old jean jacket. It gets done in many ways, but I really admire the original Levi jacket – all those seams, welt and flap pockets, topstitching, brand buttons, orange/red button holes – what a  great look.

Here’s the thing – I doubt that it’s possible to make a convincing knockoff of the Levi classic. Maybe I should say it’s not practical – it’s sewn on industrial machines with fabric that’s been treated in special ways, and with thread that we just can’t source easily.

Solution? Buy one! I have a couple and love them. But I also like to fool around with sewing one. The leftover lightweight denim I used for my Strides trousers kind of stared at me and said ‘jacket’. Time to pull out Kwik Sew 2895…

 

It’s an easy pattern: the pieces fit together well, the instructions are great, and the collar is very cooperative. It has 36 reviews on Pattern Review! and seems a popular choice with sewists of many levels of experience. I sure like it.

 

It is really hard to photograph this fabric! A few sewing notes:

  • I made a muslin 2 years ago in white denim. And never wore it – it was a little snug on me. For this one, I stayed with the size Medium, but straightened the side seam from armscye to waistband, an increase of about 2″ in the waist. The resulting relaxed bodice is much easier to wear.
  • I extended the cuff band to form a button tab.
  • Because the collar does not have a collar stand, I added facings to the front and back neckline. I just don’t like ‘fold under and hand stitch’ finish that’s often suggested for this type of collar – it’s messy.
  • And I got out the big snap tool and used antique brass button snaps instead of buttons.

 

 

Fun with the inside, in wasabi green kona cotton.

 

 

Here’s that Pres-n-Snap tool, which I ordered from Sailrite a couple years ago. Kind of a splurge, but I love it. Because it’s levered, I can close it easily, it’s not at all hard to do. The 15 mm snaps are from Pacific Trimmings, a totally fun online store.

A note about denim: it ravels famously, in any weight, and it has a lot of bias stretch, even without any lycra. The first thing I did was to serge the edges on all my pattern pieces and staystitch any curves that might stretch out.

Now, about those britches – these are favorites, made with McCalls’ 6291 cargo pants pattern in a tie-dye denim from JoAnns. I’ve worn this pair a few times on the blog, but I’ve never mentioned them specifically. The cargo pockets on the legs don’t show in this pic, but they are there, no button flap. And the hem is plain, no elastic cuff.

Kirsten Kimono tee with 9″ added to the sleeve

 

These pants are easy to make and easy to wear, with an elastic sewn-on waist that doesn’t bunch up a lot. My very first version here

And it’s time for a fresh cup of coffee. I’m headed up to the loft, where I have a pair of purple pants in progress 🙂 Hope everyone enjoys a nice weekend.

Ciao! Coco

Burda Style Athletic/Bomber Jacket!

Gosh, it seems like forever since I posted.  I just haven’t been well. Short hospital stay the first week of October, and it has taken a while to get back on my feet. Aargh.

When I came home, Ashley and D. ‘moved’ the loft downstairs into the dining area, and I’ve actually enjoyed a little sewing. And today Emile took on some modeling for me.

This bomber jacket is so cute – Burda Style calls it an athletic jacket, maybe because the sleeve is not set-in. I’ve been wanting to sew one for months, but just couldn’t settle on a pattern.

Burda Style 05/2014 #110

I finally chose this pattern, out of the many out there, for a couple reasons: it’s unlined, and it has a round neck with no ribbing. I think the ribbing on my neck would make me crazy 🙂

I also thought I might be able to adapt the band on this pattern for a button band, since I don’t use zippers. In the end, I just redrafted the front edge:

  • I extended the front and front self-facing by 1.5″ to form the button band area. 
  • And added the ‘classic’ button square at the ends of the waistband ribbing.

Another change I made…I ended up using faux welt pockets. I originally sewed in the pocket bags, but didn’t like them. So chop chop!

Inside views..

I used a corded denim, which is a little stiff at this point after only one washing. It’s a little ravelly, so all the seams are serged or bound.

Loving these button snaps…

Behind every good button snap there’s a good tool, and believe me, this one is worth every nickel it cost me. It does all the work – I’m so excited to have this hunk of metal! Many many thanks to Anne, at Clothing Engineer, who has a wonderful review and tutorial on the use of this fantastic tool.

Pres-n-Snap, from Sailrite
15mm ring snaps, Pacific Trimming

I’m going to put snap buttons on everything!!

One last sewing note. I didn’t go for ribbing – I used remnant cotton/spandex jersey knit for my cuffs and waistband – works like a charm. 
This was an interesting project, but it turns out that this grey jacket doesn’t match anything in my wardrobe! So funny…
Ciao! Coco