The new winter coat project

I’ve started back up working on my winter coat. I gave up on it last fall after I finished sewing most of the coat together and found that the Thinsulate lining I had added for warmth made me look like the Pillsbury Doughboy! I had to take the entire thing apart and remove all of the too-puffy material. (Oh yes, that would be after I hand-basted every piece together before sewing!).

I used Vogue pattern #8626 as my starting point but altered a few design details;

  • changed the collar to a very tall (and hopefully warm) stand-up style
  • and lowered the back empire seam to be at the waistline
  • added a belt at the waist

The fabric is a very soft wool in black and I added a shocking-pink lining. To give it some “pop”! Here’s a photo of the pink lining and the facing…getting ready for its pressing.

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I’ve just got a few steps remaining:

  • finish pressing up the hem
  • hand-stitching the lining along the hem
  • adding buttonholes
  • sewing on the buttons
  • making the belt

I’ll post the finished pics later this weekend.

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Zig-Zag Fabric Pillow Cover

I wanted something new and cheery for the living room sofa so I found this great zig-zag fabric at IKEA. (They have some great fabrics at amazingly low prices! I highly recommend checking them out, especially for the upholstery-weight fabrics.)

The fabric is a heavy-weight fabric, yet still soft to the touch, so it should hold up nicely as the accent/relaxing pillow on the sectional in the living room.  I made two of them.

The colors are grey, red, pink, yellow and black zig zags, which looks great with the dark grey sectional and the red and orange accents around the living room. (The little orange pillow I made a few months ago.)

The backs of the pillow covers have lapped zippers so that I can remove the covers and throw them in the washing machine for cleaning.

These were REALLY easy and quick to sew.

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Copying my favorite knit swing top

My favorite top this summer is a very stretchy swing top from Bisou Bisou.  I figured it would be an easy top to knock-off. . . and it was!

I took measurements from the swing top and drafter my own pattern based on those specs, tweaking them slightly along the way.

Since I was going to use a solid fabric, rather than a print, I decided to add contrast neck and armhole trims as well as a contrast wide hem border to give it a bit of character.

Here are pics of the original (print-fabric) swing top and my knock-off (orange solid fabric with contrast trims) swing top: 

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I’ll post a few photos of the work-in-progress soon.  Overall, I’m pleased with the new version, although I’ve already altered the pattern to be a bit less A-line near the hem and decreased the AH trim length (I would have liked it to be a bit more snug to the body).

I may try another version, this time with a drape-y silk fabric rather than the stretch knit.  It’s got enough ease in the chest and sweep to work. . . I think!

Weekends mean more creative time!

The long holiday weekend means there’s more time for creative projects. Yeah!!

I read a blog post on Zite about making your own pouches for misc. items (I can’t remember at the moment whose blog it was — I’ll look and post it here later.)

I had some cute graphic fabric — black and white fashion dressforms.  I made the first one, about 4″ x 3 1/2″ with a zipper closure. It’s lined in white cotton/poly with an interlining of batting.

Three layers that make up the pouch; lining, batting and outer fabric

Three layers of the pouch

The batting was used to make a quilted appearance when I topstitched the outline of each dress form for texture. (If you look closely you will see the white stitching along the outer curved edges of each dress form on the fabric.)

Dressform images with white topstitching along the curved edges.

The three layers with topstitching along the graphic dress form curves.

Here’s the finished product:

finished pouch with zippered opening

The finished pouch with an off-set zipper closure.

Next up…the larger pouches using the same fabric. I may move the zipper closure to the TOP edge for easier access to the contents.

These pouches are great for carrying items in your purse (or in my case, my backpack!) and with multiple pouches that all match it makes for a nice set of organizing tools for your bag.