Saturday, August 8, 2009

The new vintage

As much as I WANT to sew something for MEMEME, I'm stuck with not really having suitable fabrics in my stash (I have a lot of I-won't-find-this-again-on-sale type fabrics - mostly far too dressy for what I actually need), and since I'm still breastfeeding and loving my nursing tops I'm not bothering to make any other style just yet. So instead I've been working on my own designs and drafts.

I saw this totally adorable vintage coat pattern on Thornberry's blog, and just HAD to interpret it myself. Winifred Aldrich's drafting for childrenswear book had exactly that yoke detail covered, so it was a snap to draft. Sewing had to wait till today when I was able to get to Spotlight for thread.

The fabric is a lightweight cotton, so I doubled it. Normally I'd have hand basted the layers together as for underlining (which it is), but I figured that with such small pieces I could control them well enough, which has proved to be the case.

I am a total sucker for inset corners. I love the fiddling and precision required to make them come out nice and crisp. For this coat I had to use an unconventional sewing order to get the armhole sewn in the round rather than flat from hem to wrist. Here's my construction order:

Firstly I fused scraps of interfacing to the inset corner seams and drew on the stitching line.

Then I stitched immediately inside the drawn line and clipped to the stitching.

Next I sewed each seam to within a few centimetres of the underarm.

After sewing fronts and back in this manner I sewed the side seams and the underarm seams on the sleeves, then finally the lower armhole seam. I think that garments like this sit better when the sleeve is set in rather than sewn as though flat.

After topstitching this entire yoke seam and sewing one shoulder to hem sleeve seam I realised that I hadn't applied the rose applique/embroidery I'd intended to put on the front. DOH! So now I'm doing that. It's the same one I did on this coat. I, um, kind of like roses.
Now that I have the threads I needed, I can make progress on several other garments in production. I almost hope I don't sell them because I want them for the twins!

Karen, the cover I'm making for Dad's boat is tent-type canvas. He got it from a manufacturer locally. We copied the style of a cover on another boat, and while the style and measurements were set before we started, a lot was worked out as we went. It has a clear plastic zip up door, and is intended to be a roof when they sleep on the boat. I'll post some pics next time he comes over to work on it. It's a very big job, and requires the two of us to sew - my machine handles the canvas just fine, but I need Dad to take the weight of it because it's too heavy for my machine to drag off the floor!


  1. Oh I know what you mean about fabrics. I'm a sucker for dressy fabrics that I have no place to wear. I really do need to quit buying them and their matching patterns, and sew more boring basics. Says she who bought yet another dressy fabric today. :)

  2. what a cute pattern, I can see why you put aside your youyouyou sewing for it.

    I'm a sucker for dressy things too ... my chanel jacket being a case in point, although it's beginning to look like it might belong more and more to playcentre after all .. "clown suit" is the word that springs to mind.

  3. YOu know, I saw Lara (Thornberry) working on this jacket, fondled the packet and wished it was in a size to fit my girl.... I never actually thought to draft it myself. Brilliant idea. I have the Winifred for kids book, too.... hmmmmm....