Sunday, September 14, 2008


You know when you "see" something in your mind...well, you want it to look that way when you're done! That's exactly how this coat turned out!!!

This is Butterick 6900 (OOP of course, but I do see it's still available on their web site and you might be able to find it locally still). The fabric is from Needle Nook Fabrics. It looks like leather (even more so in person - thought DH was going to have a coronary imagining what I spent on a piece of leather this size) but is really some type of synthetic. I chose to do some minor design changes to achieve the look I was going for.

As I mentioned in the previous post, I don't care for pockets on the front of my coats. Since I'm a purse fanatic (as in I have over a dozen to coordinate with my clothes) I just don't use pockets. So to me, they end up looking like bulky pieces of fabric. I'm not a string bean by any stretch of the imagination, and I don't need extra pieces of bulky fabric! And if I do happen to have pockets, my kids think they can stuff things in them while we're out - I become their own personal carrying system. So I eliminated them.

Second, I changed the buttons ever so slightly. I was snoop shopping online, and came across a coat that I really liked that had this double button effect. Eliminating pockets is one thing, changing where the buttons go was a little more...intimidating. Now that I've done it, I don't why I felt that way, but going into this project, I did. Either by well executed planning or beginners luck, they ended up exactly where they needed to be (as in the middle buttons are in the middle of the chest and I don't have gap-osis to deal with if I button up the coat). My DH, who barely pays attention to what I sew (if I'm happy, he's happy) commented on how he really liked the look of the double buttons. That's about as high praise from him as it comes! I definitely think it made the coat (particularly since I took off those welt pockets, lol).

Another small change I made was to top stitch the seams. Part of this is due to my dislike of the HUGE seam allowances that are given. They were so incredibly bulky after sewing just one or two, that I knew I had to trim them down. This fabric was a little tricky to work with (I think I'll be investing in a Teflon foot in the near future) so I couldn't trim them down too close. By top stitching, it added a little more design detail, as well as kept the seams from curling up on the inside.

Due to the stability of the fabric, I chose to use a very light interfacing in the collar. In retrospect, I think I should have gone one degree firmer on the interfacing. The collar is a little floppier than I would have liked, but really, not bad at all. I also only ran a 2.5 inch strip of interfacing down the front facing (where the button holes would be). While I wanted the stability for the button holes, again, I didn't want to add to much bulk. If I'd been using a denim or a twill I would have interfaced the entire facing.

This coat is roomy, which is a positive for me. Our winters are very cold here and I like to be able to layer. Since this coat is more decorative than functional (there's no way it's going to keep me warm this winter) I'll be able to layer comfortably and still move around, lol. If I wanted this to be an actual cold weather coat, I would have used a heavier fabric and lined it. This still would have allowed for ease of movement, but probably wouldn't be as well suited for layering.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Sewing is very therapeutic for me. It may not seem like it to my husband at times (I get aggravated when I have to frog stitch) but it really allows me to get my creative juices flowing as well as sooth my soul. Only someone who sews really knows what I'm talking about.

This morning I woke up with the sewing mojo going. I have some lovely faux leather in red that I want to make a jacket from. I am on a kick with jackets right now, despite the fact that it's still very close to being 100 here (99 is our predicted high). I've already cheated and bought a knee length denim coat (but I got it for $12 on sale, how do you turn that down?!) but just like having coordinating shoes and purses, I like my coats to coordinate as well. And having a fun, non practical jacket (aka, red) is nice too. So despite the fact that I have more kid sewing to do, I'm going to take a break today, and sew for me.

So I've pulled out this lovely red fabric, and what do I find with it? The perfect coat sized buttons that will match beautifully. Clearly, I've already thought through this fabric on some level that I bought buttons. I wonder if I had a pattern in mind? Yes, that must sound odd, but like most fabric stashers, I buy fabric because it speaks to me, not necessarily with a specific pattern in mind. (A thought my poor husband finds quite horrifying!)

In my mind, I can "see" this coat finished, even without a pattern:

  • I want a hip length jacket

  • I do not want to line this jacket

  • I want clean lines, not a lot of added details

So I'm thinking my pattern of choice is going to be OOP B6900, view A (white coat in the photo). It's a little longer than I want, so I may shorten it by about 3 inches. I've NEVER had to shorten a pattern before!! But there are no princess lines or other design features to make this tricky, so I'm not worried. And while I think the look of the welt pockets is nice, I actually hate pockets on the front of my coats, so it's a feature I'll be eliminating.

I'm going to go hunt through my sewing books on guidelines for ease on jackets to determine proper fit and then I'm just going to go for it!