Round Shoulder Coat — Fabric

CRR-Coat-0962

When I saw the sample garment for Vogue 1419, I thought it would be a fun challenge to make a coat as close as possible to the sample. It seemed like the original coat was made with a wool gabardine fused to another fabric. Perhaps the inside fabric was a fusible interfacing, but the hand was not like any fusible that I have access to. I decided, what the heck, I would try to fuse 2 fabrics together myself.

It was a lot of work, but the fabric turned out very close to what I wanted. There are plenty of bonded fabrics out there to choose from if you’re not into putting a ridiculous amount of work into a project even before you properly start. If I were to make this again, I might make it out of a midweight neoprene, which has a similar drape to my bonded fabric.

I chose a brown wool gabardine from Paron Fabrics in New York, and a silk gazar that I had in my stash. I chose the wool gabardine because it’s what the original coat was made from and the gazar because it’s thin but still stiff, so it would stay more or less on grain while fusing.

Initially, I tried fusing with the Stitch Witchery that comes on a roll. It’s dry and looks kind of web-y. It did not work at all. I could not seem to get the glue to melt over a large area. This may have been user error, but it was very disappointing.

Then I ordered Heat N Bond Lite Fusible Web, and tried that. It worked like a charm. Well, that is, if your charms tend to involve much backbreaking labor. Anyway, it worked just like they said it would in the instructions.

I waffled a bit about whether to buy the Lite or the regular Heat N Bond, and went with the Lite. I definitely made the right decision. The hold is firm, and the resulting fabric is quite stiff. I think the regular would have been too stiff.

I block fused the yardage before I cut out my pattern pieces. In order to get a larger ironing surface, I took several blankets and stacked them on the floor, then put my fabric over them to fuse it. It took a couple of hours on my hands and knees, all the while wondering if it was really going to turn out the way I wanted. But then it did! It was kind of amazing.

Round Shoulder Coat — Post #1

A few weeks ago, I attended a a very enjoyable gathering at the McCall Patterns offices. The main attraction (for me) was the opportunity to see the sample garments for their fall pattern collection. I fell hard for Vogue 1419, which I had already ordered. It went straight to the top of my sewing list.

I like to do the nitpicky parts of a project first, while I still have energy for them. Reading the pattern directions, it looks like I can do the front closure pretty near first thing, so that’s what I’m doing.

Following is my method. I’m pretty sure it’s different from what the pattern tells you to do, but, well, it’s my coat.

Here's a detail of the front closure on the sample coat, from the McCall Patterns Pinterest page

Here’s a detail of the front closure on the sample coat, from the McCall Patterns Pinterest page

Take a rectangle of contrast fabric.  Stitch it to the front along the stitching lines.

Take a rectangle of contrast fabric. Stitch it to the front along the stitching lines.

Press the short ends .

Press the short ends .

Trim

Trim

slash to the stitching line

slash to the stitching line

press long edges

press long edges

flip the long edges to wrong side.  Open them out and press.

flip the long edges to wrong side. Open them out and press.

trim

trim

fold raw edges under

fold raw edges under

slipstitch

slipstitch

get out your embroidery floss.  I used 2 strands: one of black and one of brown.

get out your embroidery floss. I used 2 strands: one of black and one of brown.

Buttonhole stitch

Buttonhole stitch

bar tack

bar tack

buttonhole stitch over bartack

buttonhole stitch over bartack

finished front

finished right side

Finished wrong side

Finished wrong side

Fall Floral

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My fall sewing list includes a floral blouse. A couple of weeks ago, during Peter’s MPB Day, I purchased an autumnal floral from Chic fabrics. It’s a cotton-lycra blend.

The collar came from a blouse in Burdastyle 9/14. Unfortunately, the blouse, as drafted, has a peplum. I don’t have anything against peplums, per se, but waistline seams make my skin crawl. I just hate them. So, I frankenpatterned the collar onto another Burstyle blouse, this one being a princess seam, raglan sleeve blouse. The sleeve is super narrow, which works because my fabric has a lot of stretch to it. I like the tunic length, since I want to wear it under big sweaters and have it peek out the bottom.

I also made a black denim A-line skirt, which is something I have been wanting for a while. It’s a pretty basic design. I lined it in self fabric, and stiffened the hem with several rows of decorative stitching.

back view

back view

center front detail.  There are only 2 buttons.

center front detail. There are only 2 buttons.

skirt hem detail.  I stitched it using decorative thread in the bobbin.

skirt hem detail. I stitched it using decorative thread in the bobbin.

The Kyle Dress

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When I completed this dress, my first thought was, “This looks like something Kyle would wear!” Don’t you agree? It’s a basic wool sheath, with a draped detail and knots at the left shoulder. I drafted the pattern myself. The shell is a wool suiting, and the lining is black silk. The knots at the shoulder are faced in the lining fabric.

This photo shows a bit of my process.  You can see my messy pattern .  I sewed the tie pieces with the pattern pinned to the fabric.  Then I tore the paper away, trimmed, and turned.

This photo shows a bit of my process. You can see my messy pattern . I sewed the tie pieces with the pattern pinned to the fabric. Then I tore the paper away, trimmed, and turned.

back vire

back vire

shoulder detail.  The pleats are stitched down under the knots.

shoulder detail. The pleats are stitched down under the knots.

shoulder detail

shoulder detail

side zipper

side zipper

Dyeing Fabric in a Front-Loading Washing Machine

Yes, Virginia, you can dye fabric in a front loader. I do it all the time. This post documents my method. Please keep in mind that your results may vary.

Equipment and supplies:
Maytag Neptune front-loading washer. The model I have dates from 2001.
A water heater that is set dangerously high
Dharma acid dye
boiling water
vinegar
synthrapol
fabric (mine is silk double georgette)

Just FYI, this is the project that I was working on when I took these photos.

Also FYI, this also works with Procion dyes (with soda ash in place of the vinegar; also with Procion dyes you need to add salt through the detergent port right at the beginning before the adding the dye slurry.)

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This is the dye I used. It’s acid dye from Dharma Trading

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Take 3 tsp of dye, add boiling water in a disposable cup.

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Stir to make your dye slurry

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Have some vinegar handy

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Wet the fabric

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Set the machine to cotton/sturdy; hot wash/cold rinse; extra rinse

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Put wet fabric in machine. Close door to machine. Open detergent port while the machine is filling.

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Pour in dye slurry. Let machine finish filling. Let it toss for a couple of minutes.

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Press the “Start/Pause” button. Wait 5 minutes or so. Press the “Start/Pause” button again to allow the fabric to toss for a couple of minutes. Repeat for 30 minutes.

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Measure out the right amount of vinegar

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While the machine is tossing the fabric, slowly pour the vinegar into the detergent port. Then pour 3-4 cups of hot water into the detergent port to flush all of the vinegar into the machine.

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Press the “Start/Pause” button. Wait 5 minutes or so. Press the “Start/Pause” button again to allow the fabric to toss for a couple of minutes. Repeat for 1 hour.

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Wipe the detergent port clean with a wet cloth

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Allow the machine to finish the cycle. The dye will come out into your slop sink.

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Observe the final rinse. Since it’s boring to watch the washing machine go, you can show up before the final rinse and put a bucket there to be sure that most of the dye comes out in this rinse.

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Keep the dyed fabric in the washer, run another cycle using Synthrapol detergent.

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Hang to dry.

The Caftan Caravan

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Now that I have this awesome caftan, I really need to build a time machine to go back to the 1970’s for a cigarette, a cocktail, and a key party. Or maybe I’ll just watch “The Ice Storm” again.

This is actually my second caftan. My first is more of a wintry garment of rayon velvet. This one, though, I put on right away. I did not use a pattern. It’s one piece of fabric with a hole cut out for the head, a facing sewn on, and a casing attached to the outside with some elastic through it.

The fabric started out an oyster white color. I dyed it “cabernet” with acid dyes and some shibori stitches. I used a print for the contrast at the neckline and elastic casing.

It is made of one piece of silk double georgette, folded over at the shoulder, with the neckline cut out and a front and back casing added for elastic.

Here are some more photos:

caftan-0844

caftan-0836

front

front

back

back

detail photo.  You can see where I sewed the seam from slightly above the waist to around the knee, through the casing.

detail photo. You can see where I sewed the seam from slightly above the waist to around the knee, through the casing.

Striping the Sheers

sheer-stripes-0536

Here’s my latest make! It’s Vogue 1301, in black silk organza and black nylon lace, lined and trimmed in pink silk twill. It should be great for warm weather socializing. I started with the pattern, then looked in my closet for fabrics that would go with it. My initial thought was to make it with velvet, but it takes a lot of fabric. I thought if I made it with velvet, it would end up weighing too much. So I went the diaphanous route.

I made a couple of changes to the pattern. The armhole seemed low, so I raised it a bit. After trying it on, I was glad I did. Also, the scarf piece, as drafted, was very long and very wide. I halved the width and kept the length. In addition, the pattern calls for the scarf piece to be permanently attached at the neckline. I thought this might make the dress hard to clean because the scarf would wrap around stuff in the washing machine, so I finished the neckline without the scarf, and just basted the scarf in place. I’ll remove the scarf for cleaning, then reattach it afterward. And I shortened the hem in the front. It seemed to me like there was just a little too much dress and some of it needed to go.

Back

Back

side view.  You can see the high-low hem.

side view. You can see the high-low hem.

scarf length

scarf length

seam finish

seam finish

front opening.  You can see where I basted the scarf to the neckline.

front opening. You can see where I basted the scarf to the neckline.

Another scarf configuration

Another scarf configuration

pattern

pattern

Another Take on the Hummingbird Leotard

hummingbird-leo-0547

Summer is really sapping my blogging energy! I try to blog about most of my projects, because it helps me remember what I made, what patterns I used, etc. But, at this point, there’s a bit of a backlog.

The leotard from this post is less-than-ideal fit wise. I copied an existing leotard, and apparently I did not do the most accurate job. So I bought the Jalie leotard pattern, and the fit is much better. I used the same hummingbird applique as the previous leotard.

These photos were taken after my child returned from camp, where she wore both of the leotards. She said they were fine.

back view

back view

An Addition to the Flock

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My daughter is going to gymnastics camp this summer for a whole week, so she will need a couple more leotards. She wanted a purple leo with a hummingbird, so I worked this one in reverse applique. The ground fabric is a sparkle stretch, and the bird is a stretch velour.

For the pattern, I copied her existing team leo.

back view

back view

front view

front view

Put a Bird on It

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I did not mean to use this Portlandia episode as my personal sartorial and decorating mantra, but it happened anyway. As I was finishing up this coat, with birds on it, I realized that I just wallpapered my dining with, you guessed it, birds. So I figured I would photograph the coat in the dining room.

The fabric is a Dutch wax print from Vlisco. They have so many amazing prints, and I’m running a little low on fabric stash, so it seemed like a good time for a fabric splurge. I just love the color combo. And the birds.

The pattern that I used if from Ryuichiro Shimazaki’s coatmaking book. I’ve made this pattern before here and here. I tried to be careful matching the motifs.

back view

back view

side

side

front trench flap.  You can see my careful pattern matching.

front trench flap. You can see my careful pattern matching.

back flap.

back flap.

center back seam.  Notice how I matched the pattern ON A CURVED SEAM

center back seam. Notice how I matched the pattern ON A CURVED SEAM

back belt

back belt

The belt has a button loop to hold it in place

The belt has a button loop to hold it in place

I lined the body with self fabric, and the sleeves with silk twill.

I lined the body with self fabric, and the sleeves with silk twill.

Front opening and pocket flap

Front opening and pocket flap

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