Tuesday, August 14, 2012


One of my sewing goals for this year is to make a jacket. Last year, I caught "coat fever" but it was quickly cooled when I realized how much work a coat would require.

So, nix to the coat. Yes to the jacket.

It's rarely cold here in central Texas. There are some nippy days in January but for most of the cooler weather, a light jacket is all that is required. Of course there are hipsters and those who perpetually suffer for fashion that will don a coat when the temps dip below 70 degrees. I am not one of those people.

Ideally, I would love to make my own trench coat. I always catch hell trying to find jackets and coats that fit my shoulders with sleeves long enough to make it to my wrist. I bought a trench coat last year from Target. It was great with the one exception being the shoulders. The coat was not designed for anyone with broad shoulders. I even went up a size. That only helped a little. I got it on clearance for $25, so I overlooked the shoulder problem.

Trench coats, just like every other coat pattern I've come across, are a bit time consuming and complicated. Also, I fail to see the point in making something that I will only wear a couple of times during one month of the year.

So, I lucked up on this jacket pattern from McCall's. It looks like a trench coat minus the lining and all the details that would make it an actual trench coat.

McCall's 6517 View D

I already own two khaki blazers and the aforementioned khaki trench coat. My fall wardrobe needs a bit of color. I think this jacket would look excellent in navy twill or better still, burgundy twill...just like this coat from Banana Republic:

Belted Cotton Trench

McCall's 6517 is such a simple pattern (I read through the instructions already) that I could add some details without complicating things. Perhaps I could add buttons down the front. As is, the jacket has no closures except for the tie belt.

The fabric hunt begins now. I won't actually start work on it until next month. I probably won't wear it outdoors until late December.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sewaholic Cambie: First Look

I'm too tired to write a formal post about this lovely dress. That will come later. For now, here are some pictures:

This was my first time sewing a Sewaholic pattern. I am quite pleased with the result. There were no real fitting issues despite this pattern being designed for pear shapes and I am the opposite of pear.

That's all for now. More info when I've had some rest.

Friday, August 10, 2012

So, this is love.

I've just fallen in love with a pattern:

Nicola - Victory Patterns

I've visited the Victory Patterns site before but nothing interested me.  I saw the above dress and now it's on my sewing list. An interesting wrap dress? Sign me up.

It will have to wait for a bit while I finish my Sewaholic Cambie dress. Despite me being the polar opposite of pear shape, the fit is pretty good. I'm working on View B with the gathered skirt. This keeps me from having to make any serious hip adjustments, an adjustment that I've never had to make before.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Notes on sewing

Ever since I was 11 years old, I've had some form of a diary or journal. Honestly, I was obsessed with blank notebooks. Most of them contained scribbles and notes about all sorts of random things. This love of scribbling in blank books led me to my current obsession: the sewing notebook.

Sure, I could take photos of patterns and store them in my phone for reference. I could just scribble a grocery-type list of notions for when I visit Jo-ann or Hancock Fabrics. I tried both of these methods. I ended up with an alarming amount of post-its stuck to the bottom of my purse.

I needed something a bit more tangible and travel-friendly, with room for swatches. I stopped by Half Price books and here's what $5 got me:


I love having a sewing notebook. I'm able to write down ideas whenever inspiration strikes. I also plan future projects:


I printed out line drawings from pattern websites and wrote down all the fabric requirements. This was really helpful when I shopped in the Garment District back in May.

It's also handy for things like button guides. Math isn't my forte, so trying to figure how many inches equals 2 cm was a pain in the ass. With my button size conversion chart, I can figure it all out with relative ease:

Yes, I do need a chart this basic.

And there's even a pocket in the back for swatches:


Moleskine notebooks work as well. I was being cheap the day I bought this notebook. It serves it's purpose and keeps me organized. I'd be lost without it.

So, how do you keep your sewing notes and ideas organized?

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