The Trench Sew Along

I am not very good with “Along” participation.  Be it sewing or knitting, I am either before or way after but very rarely “Along”.  However, since the timeline on this one is pretty lax and the commitment level isn’t nearly as militant as some alongs  I thought I would give an this one a try.

  • Trench Sew Along Schedule

    May 24 — June 24: Pick out pattern, trench coat research, fabric/notions gathering
    June 25 — August 25: Work on trench coat, commiserate, learn and don’t give up
    August 26 or whenever you finish: Wear trench coat bursting with pride and maybe a little disbelief at how awesome it is

My Trench Sew Along pick it The Tikva Trench from BurdaStyle.

I have some gorgeous medium weight stretch satin fabric that will look perfect with this.  I also want to get a fabulously colorful lining for the peekaboo effect.  Given I should probably be making a more practical trench but this one has been on my list since it first came out.  So Step 1 done.  However, since I am a procrastinator extraordinaire with a two month window to work with  don’t expect to hear much about step two for a little while to come :grin:

The Perfect Find

Today I ventured to Downtown LA to pick up some knit fabric.  After loading up with 12.5 LBS of fabric for $2.00/lbs at the Michael Levine Annex, I headed over to the main store to browse.  While there I stumbled upon the PERFECT fabric!

Have you ever seen a fabric and have your heart skip a beat?  Then you clutch the fabric close to your bosom and look around ready to snarl at anyone who dares challenge your find?  Then you hold it out to take another look to make sure it as perfect as you thought and then do a little happy dance in the head because it absolutely IS!

Well, that was me with this knit fabric.

I MUST find the perfect pattern for this print.   I have 4.5 yards to play with.  I want it to be kinda boho, long to play up the print, and maybe a creative butterfly sleeve treatment.  Does anyone have any suggestions on patterns? I am leaning to BWOF since it just seems to fit me without unnecessary fiddling but I am open.

Thanks,

The hoarder

Finished Object: Vogue 1086

This dress was another wadder that turned FO.  I started this one back in July 2009 during the great dress making fest and just petered out when it came to the hem and the need for some franken fixing in the bust area.  However, after the euphoria of finishing my white top I finally had the momentum to get this one done too. Yay Me!

Pattern: Vogue 1086

Pattern Description: Slightly flared dress, mid-knee, has princess seams, very loose-fitting bodice with yokes, forming cap sleeves, above waist midriff and left side zipper closure.

Pattern Sizing: B5(8-10-12-14-16)  Increased from a 16 to18  in hips

Fabric Used: Asian Print Stretch Cotton

Notions Used: 12″/14″ Invisible Zipper, Hooks and Eyes.

Pattern Alterations: Increased from a 16 to18  in hips. I made adjustments ala Erica B.’s suggestions – I also raised the neckline by almost 2 inches. I also raised the armscye.

The Good:


  • That I waited until someone else had done this project…LOL!! :smile:  I made quite a few adjustments based on others experience, especially Erica B’s.  Without these changes I would have been mighty disappointed. I raised the neckline, which still gives some va va va voom action and raised the armscye which was quite necessary.
  • I finally got to use this rather busy but pretty cotton print.  The material has a bit of stretch which was unnecessary for this project and actually caused me a bit of heart ache that I might have avoided had I had a non-stretch fabric

  • I love the pretty gathers.  LOVE.THEM.

The Bad:


  • My waistband fabric was not sturdy enough for this patterns so it shows the seam allowance after ironing.  I should have added some interfacing to give it some weight. However, the Catch22 of that hypothesis is the waistband fabric near the invisible zipper is pretty bulky or maybe I sewed it too close but zipping it up is quite a task.  It just seems to get hemmed up at the bottom of the band so I have to work it beyond the beginning of the band then then it keeps going just fine.  I guess it is only a matter of time before praying it doesn’t break isn’t enough and the poor thing gives way :???:
  • Originally this dress was going to be a muslin for a much more fabulous fabric, but alas I am unimpressed so this pattern will probably not be made again anytime soon.
  • After decreasing the armscye I probably should have added back fabric to under the bust as it seems to be right underneath the girls.

The Ugly:


  • After making all the alterations, my neckline still gave me trouble.  Some was due to the stretch fabric and the fact that I did not stabilize the neckline.  Ooops :sad: Ah well, it didn’t destroy it but did make it a little wonky…you live and you learn.  The other part was the pattern, in that the bust was still floating away from my body a bit as you can see in the pattern itself.  I had to do some Frankenstein fixing on the inside.  Amanda, with her amazing finishing skills, would have shuttered at the fix :smile: but better to wear than to wear not.
  • I wish I had discovered tricot lining before finishing up this dress.  It needs some tailored details to hang better on the body due to the cotton.  Since I am going all Jguyver on this dress maybe I will do an after thought slip with some handstitching and hem tape to hide the madness.  Or do like a sane person would and make a slip :smile:

Conclusion?  It was okay, but I can’t say I love it so it won’t be made again anytime soon.

Finished Object: BWOF 01-2008-108

So here is my first FO of 2010!! It only took 2 years!! :smile:

Ah well, it has marked my on and off return to the sewing room so it deserves some kudos (instead of the stink eye) despite the ridiculous lag in completion time.

Pattern: BWOF 01-2008-108 Shirt

Pattern Description: Parisian chic presents a short, shaped blouse with a bib insert, tie- collar and puff sleeves! Team it with a beret, pencil skirt and ultra-long gloves for a trendy look.

Pattern Sizing: Burda sizes 34-42.  Increased to a 46 and again in hips to a 50.

Fabric Used: White on white striped stretch cotton shirting

Notions Used: 1/2″ Buttons

Pattern Alterations: Increased to a 46 and again in hips to a 50. Petite adjustments. 1/2″ swayback adjustment.  Increased sleeve band length

The Good:


  • I love the results of my swayback adjustment!  This is my number one favorite feature of this FO.  I have to say it really did make the difference. Although I didn’t know it at the time, my swayback adjustment is exactly like the one done my The Slapdash Sewist so you can look there if you want to know which one of the many variants I used for this adjustment.
  • The fact that this is my first white shirt and I actually feel like I will wear it.   I normally don’t wear white because it is such dirt prone color.  I mean is shows EVERYTHING.  This shirt is no exception, but I feel I will wear it because I made it.  One of the psychotic perks of sewing.
  • That it is finally finished!! I believe I cut and began stitching this top back in 2008 for a PR wardrobe contest that I never finished.  After getting stuck on the button band with little to know time left to finish up, I had to throw in the towel on the contest which resigned this garment to two years in sewing purgatory.

  • I love perfectly done topstitching and this garment pretty much has it.  I credit my patience and an adjustable blind hem foot.
  • Thankfully I measured my bicep circumference before making the sleeve band. With my upsizing of the pattern, the total length of the sleeve band would have been 15 and I increased mine to 16.5 based on my measurements.

The Bad

  • Because of the stretch in the fabric the bust point has some little wrinkles that make me sad.  But knowing all the work that went into all the topstitching and such I got over it quick

The Ugly

  • Ok, so after reading the Burda direction two years later I was finally able to comprehend what the hell they were talking about in making the buttonband.  It was not that it was particularly hard, it was that is just didn’t seem to match up as I thought it should.  Later I found that although they state “no allowance at lengthwise edge of front band”  they did not mean eliminate BOTH seam allowances just the one that attaches to the shirt….at least I THINK that is what they meant.  Guess I will find out next time I make this top.

Overall, I really like this shirt and will make it again.  Next time I will probably use a different sleeve finish as a girl only needs so many puff sleeve blouses.

Peacock Apron & CathrineHolm Pots

Peacock Apron & Cathrine Holm Pot

My obsession with Cathrineholm has finally been satisfied to a sufficient enough level for me to refocus my obsessive nature back to decorating. However, the amazing colors have now saturated all areas of my creative mind and are popping up all over.  One direct result of this infusion of color is my new peacock apron. This apron is a combination of the McCall’s Vintage Apron 3979 and the waistband directions from the apron in In Stitches.

Peacock Apron

The fabric was one I have had in my stash for some time.  I loved it and wanted to make it into a skirt, but with just a little over a yard I knew that I was never going to fly.  So I waited for inspiration which came via my CathrineHolm pots and their combination of blue, green, and orange.  Through them I finally decided that my future fancy kitchen would need a fancy apron to don while making my culinary masterpieces.

Peacock Apron & Cathrine Holm Pot

Now I have already shown you my green and yellow pots but these are my latest and potentially the last additions to my set.

Cathrine Holm Pots - Blue Three pot set

The blue set was an ebay buy.  I was lusting after a yellow set, but that went by the wayside.  Fueled with ebay adrenaline I spotted these and bid.  I am so glad I won these even though they were not my first choice.  I love the depth of color and the fact that they are helping me to expand into other areas of color.

Cathrine Holm Fondue Pot

I found this fondue pot at the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market in NY.  I bought it for 5 bucks!! There was a yellow pot there too but it was pretty beat up.  This find was the highlight of my NYC shopping trip!  It has a chip on the other side but for 5 bucks I was not going to get all indignant about it :smile:

BTW…thank you all for your wonderful suggestions for NYC! I didn’t have much time so a lot of sights went unseen but I will give you the lowdown via a future post.

Week in Chic: 10/9

Heh, just realized I jumped into the future last week as it actually said 10/9 in the title before I changed it :smile:

Anticipating… A great time in New Jersey/New York due to all the wonderful ideas!!  Thank goodness for blogs too because I just found out that I am going to NY on the first Yarn Crawl of the City!  I hope to visit a few while I am there but neither my mom or my aunt are knitters so I don’t want to bore them.  Between Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market, Housing works thrift stores (various locations), Purl Soho, and Mood that is a pretty busy schedule for only 1.5 days of shopping in NY.  The rest will be quality time with the extended family.

Oh and I still need some help with can’t miss NJ/NY food choices too.

If you know of any good places to eat near any of the locations I stated above please do tell.  If you have an eatery suggestion that is not near any of these locations but is so good I need to make the journey, please share that too as the schedule is still pretty flexible.

Loving… My new Cathrineholm pot…soon to be POTS!! I got my first one and the quality of this pot is fantastic!! So the fact that it looks gorgeous is just icing on the cake.    These are not show piece pots though so I will be scoping some recipes that call for dutch ovens so I can giggle to myself now that I actually have one.

Savoring… the new Fall-ish weather.  I love it when it is chilly but not bitterly cold and that time is now.  I am dreaming of stews, crusty bread, and knitting.  LOVE the fall.

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Knitting… The Heathered Hoodie Vest.  I know I said that before but now I have proof!!  The yarn is so yummy.  I am loving this knit.

Orla Kiely Sewing Machine Cover - Front Side in Cabinet

Sewing… some quicky projects such as my new reversible sewing machine cover.  I used some Orla Kiely tea towels I found at GW Consignment for $1.99, some fusible fleece, and some leftover ribbon I had from a gift.  Process: I fused fleece to orange side, trimmed everything up, sewed the sides with ribbon in seam, turned inside out, sewed bottoms together.  A few hours later and I had a quick cover for my machine that lives in the cabinet.

Orla Kiely Sewing Machine Cover - Front Side Orla Kiely Sewing Machine Cover - Back Side Orla Kiely Sewing Machine Cover - Side with ties Orla Kiely Sewing Machine Cover - Recyling the tag to spruce up the solid side

(Click for larger view)

I plan on making another fully enclosed cover for my portable machine and serger.

I am also feeling another Weekender Bag.  I have this great upholstery weight fabric from JoAnn’s that is just screaming to be a Weekender.  Better get out my oyster shucking gloves to fend off all the pin pricks.

Dreaming… about work and my co-workers which is a sign that I am really stressed out.  Hope this vacation gets me back into restful sleep.

Planning… some wallpaper DIY projects.  I got some wallpaper samples from Hygge and West.  One will be to decorate the inside of my sewing cabinet.

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Here is what it SHOULD look like…kinda.

table brown tweet

Also I got this great bird print sample that fits perfectly on a future jewelry box project.

Alright so it is time to get packing I will talk to you all soon!! Have a great weekend

Peacock Collection ‘09: BWOF 02-2009-112

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Pattern: BWOF 02-2009-112

Pattern Description: This shaped jacket with contrasting print is as classy as a fitted jacket and as sporty as a trench coat. The sewing pattern comes in petite/half sizes because this style is particularly suitable for shorter women.

Pattern Sizing: Burda sizes 17-21.  Increased to a 23

Fabric Used: Canary Yellow Stretch Cotton Sateen from Downtown LA

Notions Used: Buttons!

Pattern Alterations: Increased to a 23. Eliminated the buttons and buttonholes for the neck area.  Did not add belt loops.

The Good:

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  • I really love the color.  I am afraid of it much like I am afraid of white but I love it …LOL :smile:  Can’t wait till it cools down some to wear it.

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  • I had just enough of the main fabric to finish this jacket.  I had to use lining fabric underneath the flaps but it worked out well as it would have been pretty bulky otherwise.
  • I like that it came in petite sizing already as that is one less step in my pattern adjustment checkoff list.

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  • Leaving out the buttonholes at the top.  This was yet another sewing pals suggestion as I will probably never wear the jacket like that.  However, if for some reason I did want to rock that style the flaps pretty much stay in place when they are tucked in anyway so it was a win all around.

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  • My buttons were super inexpensive!! Normally for me buttons cost more than the whole damn project…LOL…but for this one I found them at Joann’s and they cost me all of $7.00 for the lot.  Love it!
  • Finally posting this jackets after it has been finished for AGES!!! LOL!

The Bad:

  • Holy Cow is there a lot of topstitching!  That is what kept me from getting this done quicker.  What made it worse is I am quite OCD about my topstitching so it is slow and tedious and will be ripped if it looks crappy.  Thank goodness for the adjustable blindhem foot.

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  • Although I made a muslin, I was focused more on the sewing technique and should have looked a bit closer at the overall fit (and this picture! especially since I look hunchbacked, short, and wide.  I am not hunchbacked.  The rest…well…LOL!).    Although I have finally come to terms with some of my major adjustments like petiting patterns, I need to now focus on other details like back width, swayback, etc.  The back has some extra fabric floating around that should have been remedied since there are back seams and I could have petited further.  I also think I need to adjust for the width of my back as the sleeves seem ample length but pull a little when I stick both of my arms out.  Or maybe that is just the way it should be since only zombies walk around with both arms straight out all the time.  mmmm…braaaaiiinnnssss :shock:
  • I used a knit interfacing due to the stretch in the fabric but should have used more stable woven interfacing as this did not NEED the stretch in the areas that had interfacing.  I just wanted the interfacing to be lightweight and not too stiff.  Must find proper substitute for this in the future.

The Ugly:

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  • I am really upset at how the front facing and jacket meet in the front.  Per Burda’s instruction I snipped the fabric where requested but it is exactly at the breakline for the facing.  I should have snipped a little inside to give it some stability and maybe even added some interfacing to give it some structure there.  It peeves me to no end as this was one of the last steps before the jacket was complete, but I will get over it…I hope.
  • What is with the super tiny pockets?!  I was gonna redraft them but I was afraid they would be too close to the bottom of the jacket and might hang too low.  I often think of just cutting them off and having them be mock pockets and sew them closed.  I do like the flaps so i wouldn’t get rid of those.

Conclusion: Although I have quite a bit in the bad and ugly categories, I really do like this jacket.  Now I just need to get a years supply of Scotch Guard :smile: