Tag Archives: outerwear

The Brexit Coat Part IV: Is Brexit a Success?

Public Service Announcement: If you are the kind who doesn’t like to listen to experts you may proceed straight to the end of this post where the ballot box awaits you.

With all things Brexit clearly there are some stormy times ahead and some nay-sayers have maintained that Brexit couldn’t be a success – however, I beg to differ, at least as far as the Brexit Coat is concerned!

The Brexit Coat is finished now (apart from the buttons that I still couldn’t make a decision on, so I have given me a protraced transitionary period in which to make further decisions. I’m hoping not to crash out onto No Button Status in two years’ time.)

During the pre-Brexit negotiations it was felt across the board that a true Brexit Coat should harbour something unexpected. Well, I was at a loss what that could be, given that I was using a very nice, but borderline boring boucle fabric.

So boring, in fact, that unbelted the coat reminds me more of Eastern European decorator’s attire than is healthy for any true Brexiteer.

So naturally …

I put some flamingoes inside!

It might just be a touch silly, but then, maybe I can inspire any other Brexit process with a little dose of silliness. It might be taking itself rather a bit too seriously, imho.

Dressform pictures:

Just some boring facts: I used Burdastyle 9/2013 #103 and I’m forever grateful to Anne, the Compulsive Seamstress who traced the skirt portion for me in the spirit of international collaboration. I significantly streamlined the sleeves, as per taking back control of the overblown mess they had become. Because it’s a Brexit Coat, you know!

The boucle is from a local shop, the flamingoes can be had from Stoff&Stil. It’s not really a dressmaker’s fabric, rather a calico, but then: flamingoes! In order to make the sleeves more slippery I cut them and the yoke in a lining fabric from my stash rather than the calico.

 

Now, I don’t want to come across all Lib-Dem, but I thought no Brexit Coat could be complete with a second referendum:

Now that you see the full terms of the Brexit Coat, is it a yes or a no? Please do vote, even if you are young or haven’t registered yet.

I’m hoping or a strong and stable verdict from you good readers, so I can keep the upper hand in the future wearing of this coat!

Merken

Merken

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Burdastyle 3/2013 #103: The Brexit Coat Part III: Some Leadership!

Well, what can I say? I sure didn’t think that the connection between sewing and political life was quite so direct. But in view of the event of the day I decided that some leadership was needed and put a collar on the Brexit Coat.

Yes, I know I asked for your vote on no collar or Peter Pan collar. But what can I say – listening to experts is not what should be done on a Brexit Coat.

But let’s look at the poll first:

Clearly, no collar won over Peter Pan collar – and a notched collar was nowhere on the ballott sheet. But that’s what you are getting, suck it up, you lost! (Well, you didn’t loose, but I’m not sure that matters)

I other news it seems that the outward looking option of a snazzy lining seems to be ahead in the voting process rather than the make do and mend option of the plain lining. However, I considered my stash and realised that there might be another option hiding in there. Which one that is I’m not going to reveal at this stage as I like to keep my options close to my chest.

What I really enjoyed is the addition of “Other” – the almost Goove-ian subversiveness of this addition becomes the whole project, I think.

Now, when I started on the notched collar I realised that it is a lot more complicated than I was expecting! Somehow, I cut the facing piece too short and only realised what the problem was after I was missing what I should have had. This will forever go down in history as the Welsh Farmer move.

So I had to add another little piece to the facing to make up for the subsid — ahh, piece that I had cut off.

So I almost wonder if no coat might be better than a bad coat?

But I took heart from Nigel Farage (and no, I never thought I would say that), thinking that if the Brexit Coat didn’t work out I could simply go and buy myself a RTW coat – of course not without making ALL OF YOU have to wear the coat that I botched up,  mwahaha.

So while I ponder that thought, I wll give you the cold sholder and think of my sewing programme.

Burdastyle 9/2013 #103: The Brexit Coat Part II: A Plea For Help

The Brexit Coat has come on in leaps and bounds from its inception as a distraction from other things that should have been more important.

Remember when in my last post I confessed that I had started without a plan to such a degree that I didn’t even own the Burda magazine that the coat came from anymore and so didn’t have the option to trace the skirt pieces that I needed to make the Brexit coat a success?

Well, miracles do happen! Anne, the Compulsive Seamstress, came to me in my hour of need and offered to trace the missing part for me (she has a comprehensive Burda collection and clearly doesn’t do things as short sighted as throwing out old magazines just because she thinks a little tidying should be done). And she didn’t only offer and then retract her participation as is customary for the Brexit process. On no, she followed through:- only  a few days later the beautifully traced pattern pieces arrived in the post, making this the perfect Easter present! Thank you so much, Anne!

So this is where I am now: Bodice and skirt completed.

I rather like the sleeve construction where the raglan sleeves form a front and back yoke:

And look, this Brexit Coat has pockets – if that doesn’t send a message to the politicians I don’t know what will (although I do admit I have no idea what that message is, but I have a feeling that doesn’t matter in all things Brexit):

 

But now I’ve stalled again, and like last time when Anne gave me a helping hand I hope you, my dear readers, will now. Because I have more Brexit decisions to make and I don’t quite know what I want. Collar or no collar? Do I want a hard border between my coat and my neck?

On the left there is the Brexit Coat’s older, but little sister (and if you think that is a contradiction you’d better not believe anything that’s written on the side of a bus!). Do you think I should use that Peter Pan type collar again? Or maybe leave it collarless?

And how about buttons? Self-covered buttons like on the Little Sister Jacket? Or should I try and find something exciting?

And the the lining: Should I go with a plain white or light blue lining to match the colours of the fabric? Or use something snazzy? The biannual fabric market comes to town next Saturday, so I could find something there. On the other hand I have white lining in my stash and surely any Brexit Coat should be about self-sufficiency? Especially given that most vendors on the fabric market are in fact foreign?

I realise that my little blog doesn’t have many readers, much like the EU commission’s sadly under-appreciated 2004 leaflet “How to avoid mass immigration from Eastern Europe if you feel it’s not the right thing for your country at the present time”. But I’m still hoping for at least 27 votes on all the important issues for the Brexit Coat. Anybody can vote – you can add your own options and you don’t even have to have a dubitable human rights record in order to share your values with me.

In order to appeal to my British readers I have created a little referendum for you. I appreciate it’s a little more complicated than you are used to, because it has many options. But on the other hand you can click as many as you like and it will be my job to glean from your choices the Will of the People (TM) in order to deliver for you a blue white and blue Brexit Coat.

So please: Do vote! You know your vote counts! Just please, don’t delived a 50/50 verdict!

 

Merken

Merken

Burdastyle12/2012 #104 : The Russian General Coat

Let me show you my last project of 2015 – and probably one of the favourite ones of the entire year – I would not be surprised if this made it into my top 5 of 2016 as an early starter. May I introduce: The Russian General Coat

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I have to add a little disclaimer straight away: I have no idea at all what Russian Generals actually look like, but I fancy myself all War and Peace in this. Do you think I make a convincing impression of surveying the length and breadth of the Russian taiga?

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Wait, the Russian taiga needs a scarf (disclaimer again: I have no idea as to the usual temperatures in the Russian taiga, nor am I really sure where or what exactly it is, but the clichee in my head has it it’s coooold out there):

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And off I walk into the distance! Watch how I disappear into the fog with only those shiny gold buttons to be seen…

Do you know those cool big city bloggers who position themselves in front of some crappy half derelict walkway and shoot the coolest photos that make that crappy walkway look urban chic and somehow really enticing?

Well – this is not working for me:

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Yep, still just looks like a crappy derelict gate – but at least I tried 😉

But enough of this frivolous talk, here comes the science bit:

I used Burdastyle 12/2012 #104, a pattern I had fallen in love with when it first came out but didn’t have the confidence to try an make it at the time. Three years later  and with a lot more sewing experience everything went really well.

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Of course the main feature of the coat are the shiny gold buttons which took forever to find. There is only one large button shop (that I know of and that does not price the buttons according to their weight in gold) in my area, so I went to buy those online after more search time than it would take to march through the Russian taiga. At least I was really pleased with the result, though. They are really heavy and very shiny indeed.

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There is also a little bit of piping around the lapels and collar. I also make bound button holes that I forgot to photograph. But at least there is an inside shot

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Inside of the bound botton holes on the right and the facing to cover them on the left.

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I made my own shoulder pads and because they turned out a bit less substantial than I had wanted I added quite a hefty sleevehead. At the moment it’s a bit robust, but I think it will wear down a little bit over time and then be just right.

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As an afterthougt I added an inside pocket, which was a bit of a nightmare to attach, because the lining had to be partly sewn on already. It did all end well in the end, but it was a bit of a long job. But then, a march through the Russian taiga would be long and arduous, so there’s a metaphor for you!

With this make I bow out of 2015. In fact, I had a very productive holiday break with lots of sewing, to if I get a chance to write some posts, I can show you a few more things hopefully really soon.

Update: I just checked: the Taiga seem to be largescale woods that do indeed exist in Siberia. So yes, it would be coooold there. Whether Russian Generals would waste their shiny uniforms in order to march through hundreds of miles of woods or indeed whether Russian Generals march at all I don’t know, though…

Burdastyle 11/2011 # 111: Glittery Parka

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I might look a little doubtful in this picture, but I actually really like my new(ish –  it was made in July) parka!

It’s based on Burdastyle 11/2011 #111, the same pattern that I made my duffle coat from. No hand-quilted lining crazyness this time, the parka (apart from the hood) is unlined, so I french-seamed all the inside seams.

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I made the hood quite a bit smaller than in the pattern, but as you can see it’s still quite big. I also made the back hem dip down a little bit. The whole parka has a tunnle around the bottom hem that holds a cord.

IMG_2424I put in a zipper and  poppers to overlap the zipper. I like the variety of closing optings this gives plus I like the look of it.

IMG_2436The hood is fully put-upable and will keep off a little rain, something that came in pretty useful when I first wore the parka on a recent London trip.

I put two generous patch pockets on, however, the chest pocket flaps are just for decoration, there are no pockets underneath them. I figured that I wouldn’t put any contents in there anyway, so decided to leave off the pockets.

All the hardware is really really shiny gold which goes well with slightly glittery material (I’m talking Twilight vampire shiny here) and with my recent theme of bling. So all in all I’m really happy with parka, my first one for many, many years.

Now both Child 2 and 3 want one of their own, so I better hurry up!

Burda Easy Style A/W 2014: Leather and Sparkle

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Well, there you go: I sewed with leather for the first time! It’s only leather accents, admittedly, but I was quite excited about the whole concept of little Chris actually sewing with leather (like – LEATHER!!) .

This biker jacket was a loooong time in the making, in fact it was staring at me accusingly 75% finished for about a year. As is so often the case, finishing only took a few hours and afterwards I didn’t even remember why I hadn’t finished it months ago.

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This is the biker jacket from the Autumn/Winter Edition of Burda Easy Style 2013 or Spring/Summer 14 (I don’t quite remember and don’t seem to be able to find it online right now). Or rather, it isn’t quite: The original pattern doesn’t feature the collar, but I decided that my head somehow is too big for collarless jackets with a rather high neckline. It sort of makes my head balloon out from the jacket, if you know what I mean, so I decided to add a collar to frame my head.

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IMG_2412The fabric is a boucle – type fabric in all shades of blue and was the most expensive fabric I had over bought until the Siena dress came along. And it glitters! For real, I had never ever EVER even thought about glitter or sequins or any of the fancy effects that I always thought were not me at all. But in my old age I fell myself drawn towards fabric that “only teenagers should wear”, as Child 1 so thoughfully put it. Well, what can I say…

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I fell in love with those elbow patches!

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I just want to walk sideways all the time, just to show those elbow patches!

I’m pleased with the fit (a straight Burda size 40, my usual size) although the sleeve head looks a bit funny in this picture.

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Maybe that’s because the fabric is a little stiff: I block interfaced the whole fabric even before cutting (I had boucle fall apart on me before and decided I would interface this one into submission!), so maybe that’s what causes the slight bunching. I guess I will have to do without the “Lift me up and carry me away” pose in this picture.

It took me forever to decide on how to cover the zipper band. According to the instructions it is just sewn on top of the jacket on the one side, but come on, I’m not gonna sew a semi-exposed zipper on glittery boucle! I think  my solution to cover it with strip off fabric works quite well. It’s covered with a strip of leather on the other side.

 

IMG_2472Also, remark those elbow patches! 😉

As I mentioned this project has been in the making for quite some time, I seem to remember I bought the fabric in March 2014. I did notice that my tastes have changed somewhat in the past 18 months, because I find the lining quite boring now.

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If I were to start over again I would chose a flashier lining, something “fun”. Maybe that’s all to do with the sudden liking for glittery fabric. Child 1 would have a word or two to say about this. It’s as well she’s spending a year abroad and won’t find out about my wanton ways!

I still haven’t had the courage to add the metal snaps to the waist band. Firstly, I can’t find metal snaps the exact same colour as the zip (I bought gold ones, but now I don’t like the look of them) and also: snaps in leather??? Scary stuff! So scary that I have worn this jacket with a floppy flappy waistband for weeks now.

I did get to use the golden snaps on a parka (grey with gold glitter 🙂 ) but that is a post for another day, so I leave you on this cliff hanger!

 

Cheater’s Bound Button Holes

Who doesn’t love a nice bound button hole, almost the holy grail of home sewing? I certainly like looking at them – not too sure about making them though.
Of course there are number of ways of making bound button holes, most basically follow the instructions for making a double welt pocket hole on the right side and a window in the facing. But there is one method that uses interfacing to glue the opening in place. I used the tutorial by lolitapatterns   which is very clear – I’ve just always had a slight wobble at the end when attaching the lips so I made up my own way in the end. So, in case you are interested, I’ll give you a quick walk-through of the process of making bound button holes on my new spring coat.

All starts with marking the button holes on the wrong side. Note that the whole coat is block fused, so no extra interfacing around the button hole!

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Interfacing is placed on the button hole site on the right side – with the sticky side facing up!  Then you sew around the button hole. I did this from the wrong side where I marked the hole.

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The button hole is cut open with the usual y shape towards the corners and the interfacing pulled to the inside

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Then the interfacing in carefully fused into place, thus glueing down the welt opening.

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That’s it from the right side, both holes in front and facing already completed.

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Both lips are attached at the same time. The stripes for both lips are basted together along the middle ad then pressed open

IMG_0769The lips are pinned so that they sit nicely in the centre of the window.

IMG_0770Now of course you can’t attach them in the usal way because the opening flaps are glued into place. So basically I just sewed around the button hole from the right side.

IMG_0772The lips are now attached by that line of stitching.

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This is what it looks like from the facing side of things. Of course I have not hand-stitched the facing around the button hole yet.

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So there you go: cheater’s bound button holes. I don’t think they are much faster and of course there is a line of stitching around the button hole that would’t be there if they were done the proper way. Also that stitching might be unsightly on bulkier fabrics, so this easy method is definitely not for everyone and every project.

But what I really liked is that because the interfacing glues the hole in place there is a lot of control over the final look and no puckering that sometimes occurs when I attach the lips to the flaps.

Otherwise the coat is coming along nicely too, so hopefully I’ll have something completed to show soon.

What is your favourite method of bound button holes? And tips or tricks? Do tell!

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