Sunday, September 22, 2013

Finished Object, Plus a Start

The finished object I’d like to share today is largely a repair job.

 A half dozen years ago I bought a vintage wool coat at a thrift store. It and others were destined to be cut up into strips to be made into a rug. But I decided I liked this one coat too much to do anything but wear it. It was warm, comfortable, and roomy enough to wear medium to light-weight sweaters underneath.

Other than some wear on the cuffs, the outer wool shell was in great shape. The lining was another story altogether. The fabric was literally ripping apart, particularly at stress points such as the underarm and pockets. Sewing and re-sewing those points gave the lining a few extra years of life, but at year 5 (and finding yet-another tag warning me of the poor garment condition when I picked it up from my dry cleanerr), I knew I needed to either discard the coat, or replace the lining. I opted for the second.

Though it was “just” a lining replacement, this was a skill-builder for me. This marks the first time I’ve created a new garment (or in this case a new garment lining) using an existing garment as a pattern. Because the old lining needed to come out anyway, I cut along the seam lines, and used those pieces with seam allowance added back in to create new pattern pieces.

I'm sure there is a way to machine sew the lining to the cuff of the outer shell, but that’s a big spatial and order-of-tasks puzzle. After messing with it for a few minutes, I realized that it would be much quicker to machine sew the lining to the shell body, and afterward hand-tack the sleeve lining to the shell cuff.

With temps in the upper 70s and 80s and winter still a few months off, it may seem like an odd time to have put this to the top of my sewing queue, but I had planned to do this last winter and in the blink of an eye it went from “cool” to “cold” and frankly it seemed more important to wear the coat in s shabby form than be without it as well as have the increased pressure on outcome and time management while figuring out how to accomplish the repair.

The project is complete, but not without a few issues. Somehow the pleat at the center back of the lining isn’t at the center back of the shell, even though the shoulder seams do line up. Hmmmm. I also folded the pleat wrong because I’d intended the seam to be hidden inside the pleat not exposed at the leading edge. And the lining hem hits the hem of the garment 1/4" off at each side of the opening. None of these problems do I consider to be worth dwelling on, as they will be invisible the vast majority of the time.  More importantly, I bought this coat about 5-10 more years of wear for about $15 dollars in supplies and my time. WIN!

 Next up in the sewing pile is the most ambitious fitted sewing project of my life: Vogue 1061 Today's Fit by Sandra Betzina.

Vogue patterns are almost always ambitious. This one, a hooded long-sleeved tunic with a side tie closure, is constructed from 11 pieces. All sizes are included in the pattern, which means there are nine different lines to keep track of on every single pattern piece. More importantly, I need to determine which lines to use for different fit areas on the garment because I’m not a single size gal.

I bought the fabric for this over two years ago, and actually had the bizarre plan to knit this up in two weeks so I could wear it on a fall business trip to Canada. That clearly didn't happen, as you can see from the uncut pattern tissue, and uncut fabric.

The final fabric is a deep red heavy knit, but given the complexities noted above I decided I should make a muslin out of an inexpensive similar weight knit fabric. That beauty will be made in Pepto-Bismol pink. Awesome!


If all goes as planned, I hope to at least lay out a plan of attack with a first attempt at the math today. Cutting will come on a later day. With it being a heavy knit, this tunic is a late fall/winter garment. I have all the time in the world to proceed with care and caution.

No comments: