Sunday, November 30, 2008

Moving at the Speed of Mud

At least that's what it feels like to me.

I started planning this coat back when the Great Coat Sew-Along started, though I was too late to sign up. I don't think I'd have moved any further along if I'd been involved officially; I think I needed cold weather to kick my butt into starting. But here's what's next: BWOF 9/2007 #104 (with thanks to Kisha, who's planning to make it in fake fur and who brought the style to my attention after having looked past it for a year).

The fabric is a bitter chocolate textured wool coating from Gorgeous Fabrics. The lining is gold peacock-feather brocade from Jomar. The buttons are from Pacific Trims in NYC. The fabric and the buttons have been at least 3 different planned coats by now, but for some reason, this one made the cut.

It's a great basic shape, and I've made just enough changes to make myself happy - eliminated the sleeve cuffs so that the sleeves are full length, lost the invisible closure and added buttons (buttonholes to be made in NY at a later date), and lost the welt pockets for patch pockets - or side seam pockets, not quite sure yet.

This is not just because of my enduring fear of welt pockets, but because I don't think they're the best look for the coat I have in mind. Put it this way - if I tried the coat on in a store, I probably wouldn't buy it because of them. So they're history.

Isn't that the best part of sewing?

So far, I've got the lining constructed and it fits. Instead of doing a muslin, since I'm already running behind on this, I used the lining as the muslin and while it's not something I'd recommend for a more fitted garment, for a raglan-sleeve coat, I managed to get away with it.

Yesterday I cut the wool, having block-fused it last Monday. Holiday weekends are wonderful, except when you don't have any time left to accomplish anything. Today I attached the hair canvas to the fronts - and found out, annoyingly, that what my local store touted as "traditional hair canvas" was in fact "fusible hair canvas" which, if you're trying to do this the long and painful way, as I am, kind of defeats the purpose.

But because this is going to be a really busy week at work and I won't be able to make it down to the Pennsylvania Fabric Outlet on 4th Street, which is the only place I can think of that does have the real stuff, I went ahead and fused it. From the wrong (right) side, you can't tell the difference, and it really does give a nice heft to the fabric, so I'll get over it. But I'm a little cranky at Karlin's Fabrics right now.

For the back of the coat, I cut a piece of interfacing - slightly heavier, think men's suit-coat interfacing - and stitched it properly to the back of the coat. I figure since I won't finish this until at least January, I should have a little something extra to protect me from the cold.

Other than that bit of progress, it's been a really slow sewing weekend. I got all the fabric purchased last weekend washed and up on the stash shelves, I worked out a plan to partially destroy the workroom so as to make it larger and more efficient, and I took about 4 hours yesterday to lay waste to the back yard and get it ready for winter. A whole different set of aching muscles from the ones caused by leaning over the sewing machine.

And tomorrow is back to work. A full week, for the first time in a while. I'm not looking forward.


AllisonC said...

I'm working on a skirt in that brocade fabric in black/blue colourway (also at the speed of mud)! Look forward to seeing how the coat comes along.

Elaray said...

I am in awe of anyone who makes a coat! Maybe one day I'll try it. Keep us posted on yours.

PS: I finally made it to Jomar!!!!!! Knits for $1.00/yd!!!!!!!

Gretchen the Household Deity said...

This is my first five day week in the office in what seems like two months. It's gonna hurt.

Meg said...

I really like this coat pattern. And you do have to move at the speed of mud to make a coat, so don't fight it. It's gonna be fabulous, though.

Sewer-Sewist said...

I'm so glad that you're making that coat, as I've had my eye on that pattern. The lining you chose is just beautiful...

Connie B said...

Those buttons are awesome! My coat is at the same stage yours is!!! We should have practiced welt pockets together when I was there! Now get back to work!

Dana said...

I second your first paragraph! Now that the cold is here, I (almost) made my coat in a weekend. Mines not the long, hard version though.

Love those buttons!