Operation: Winter Coat

The winter coat I've had for the past three years is beginning to show some serious signs of wear. I've been just kind of, "meh" about everything I've seen in the stores lately, so I'm planning to sew a replacement. Admittedly, this'll be the most complicated project I've undertaken to date and I'm a little nervous. But to borrow an expression from the kids of America, "YOLO"! So it's upwards and onwards with this one, after taking a few deep breaths.

The pattern I'm using is Simplicity #5558 from 1964. I spent yesterday getting my pattern pieces ready to go and did a few basic modifications (shortened the back waist measurement and added length to the sleeves). I also spent some time familiarizing myself with the slightly tricky instructions in the hopes of identifying potential problem areas. Another thing I'm mulling over is adding interlining to the body of the coat because, well, February.

And for fabric, I'm using that gorgeous grey-blue wool above. My grandmother gave it to me, it having been a gift from a family friend. I've hauled that wool around for years, waiting for the exact right garment to use it on and I feel like this is it. That said, I am 110% making a muslin because I feel like the fabric gods would cry out for vengeance if I wrecked that wool. I mean, c'mon, just LOOK AT IT.

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming. I got a muslin to cut out.



I had a Great Gatsby themed event to attend a few weeks back and decided to make a dress for the occasion. To be honest, I wasn't the biggest '20's fan heading into this, but I'm reassessing my opinion after sewing this.

For a pattern, I used Folkwear's 1927 Tea Frock pattern and made it up in a size 10. The pattern is excellent: clear, step-by-step directions, plenty of customization options and pertinent historical information. Because I was crunched for time, I opted not to do any of the shirring and did the bias tape collar option. That said, were I to do it over again, I'd definitely do the smocking because I really love the look.

For materials, I ended up using a vintage bed sheet because of time and budget. I did take the time to do the accompanying embroidery, though, and had a blast doing that.

Here's a close up of the embroidery. It's just a basic split stitch, all in the same color. There were instructions for cutwork, but I am a chicken, so opted not to start yanking threads. MaƱana, right?

So while I'm still not completely gaga over the roaring '20's, I had a fun time making this and would use this pattern again in a heartbeat.


So over the course of the past year I've gotten back into sewing. A lot.

And I got to thinking about carving out a little space to keep track of what I've been making. I blog regularly over here about illustration, but wanted an area where I could gush about fabric blends, sewing techniques and the patterns I love. Also, I keep seeing all these sew-a-longs I've been dying to participate in and figured a dedicated sewing blog would be dandy for that sort of thing.

Anyhow, I have a few pictures of things I've completed over the course of the past few months I'm planning to post. And I'm starting a muslin for a winter coat this weekend, so stay tuned.

But before I forget, the dress above is McCall's 6696. I made a size 8 and it fits like a dream. The only alteration I made was to shorten the back waist measurement by 3/4 of an inch (I'm just under 5'5 and find I have to make this correction to most shirts). For fabric, I used Denyse Schmidt's Flea Market Fancy print, Posie which is pretty much the most perfect autumnal fabric ever. And I finished the collar and button band off with topstitching, which wasn't part of the pattern, but I like the look it gave the garment. So all in all, five stars, McCall's, I am totes making this one again.