Resurrecting the beast

Sewaholic Robson pattern pieces

Guess what I dug out of my pattern storage bin this weekend?  My Robson trench!  Yeah!!!  You may recall that I did a ton of work on this pattern in January during a week-long sewcation, which ultimately resulted in me throwing out my back.  Not fun.  But you know what IS fun?  Returning to a complicated pattern with nearly all of the hard work (muslining and fitting) already done.

The keyword being NEARLY.

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Sewcation Day 7: Alteration exasperation

Sewcation Day 7 - exasperation

This is the face of exasperation.  Do you recognize it?  It’s when you take a week off from work, spend the bulk of 7 full days working on a pattern, and don’t even get to the part where you get to play with nice fabric.  I am tired of working on this muslin.  I am DONE.

Noteworthy happenings from today:

  • I firmly decided to stick with the Robson, after getting *this close* to pulling the trigger on this Burda trench.  Morgan, you crafty temptress!  You almost had me.  If I’m making a mistake, I only have myself to blame!
  • I pre-washed all my fabric.  Everything went through 2 wash cycles on warm and into the dryer.  No disasters to report, thankfully.
  • I transferred all my muslin alterations back to the paper patterns.  I hate that part.
  • I re-drafted the front and back trench coat flaps, which proved to be rather unpleasant.  Details below.
  • I didn’t draft the lining pieces yet, but I’m brainstorming strategies.  Will have to take into account the fact that the interlining and lining don’t stretch, but the fashion fabric does.  What’s the solution – pleats?

Ok, flaps.  FLAPS!!  The back flap wasn’t too bad, but the front flap drove me insane.  I need a cocktail.  I need a cabin boy to bring me a cocktail.  I need a cabin boy who will draft my flaps for me AND bring me a cocktail.

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Sewcation Days 5-6: Updated muslin and thank you!

Sewcation Days 5-6 - pattern alteration zone

Wow, thank you all so much for your thoughtful fitting suggestions!!  This is where being part of the online sewing community is unbelievably helpful and makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  🙂  Your comments were very thought-provoking, and they helped me to zone in on what issues were bothering me the most, and what (perhaps) I could live with.

First, I decided to stick with the Robson pattern, for now at least.  I haven’t cut into my real fabric yet, so I reserve the right to change my mind!  I suspect most of this has to do with the fact that I’m very stubborn and have sunk so much time and effort into this thing.  It would be satisfying to tame this pattern once and for all.

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Sewcation Day 4: Forge ahead or abandon ship?

Sewing friends, I am at a crossroads with this pattern.  While running errands and cooking for most of the day, I was pondering my fitting issues in the back of my mind.  Can I save this Robson, or should I move on?  I decided to try to fix one more issue and then re-asses.

I was experiencing some tightness across the front upper chest and bust, especially when I moved my arm back.  I’m pointing to the issue below:

Sewcation Day 4 - fitting upper chest 1

So I opened up the princess seams and tried to maneuver the fabric until things felt a bit more comfortable.  I was feeling pretty smug for “discovering” this awesome technique until I realized that everyone does this, LOL.  It definitely helped to fix the tightness across the chest, but it was by no means a miracle cure.

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Sewcation Day 3: Muslin mania

Sewcation Day 3 - sewing machine in twilight

Today was all muslin, all the time.  I cut out and assembled my Robson in plain cotton muslin (and thankfully, I had just enough left over from previous projects).  I tried it on.  I stared at my shoulders.  I pinned, I sewed, I seam ripped, and I pinned and sewed some more.  Then I stared at my shoulders again.  I raised my arms.  I lowered them.  I tugged and pulled and poked and prodded.  Then I took off the coat and declared defeat.  Temporary defeat.

I WILL figure this out.  Just not today.

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Sewcation Day 2: Tracing and flat pattern adjustments

Sewcation Day 2 - tracing

Work on my Robson trench coat continues!  I didn’t touch any fabric today, but I made a lot of headway in preparing for the muslin.  First I traced all the pattern pieces so that I have the originals preserved in case all my adjustments turn out to be total crap.  There are a lot of pieces, so tracing actually took me a few hours.  When tracing, I graded between 3 different sizes based on my measurements: a size 12 in the shoulders and bust, size 10 at the waist, and size 6 in the hips.  This is what happens when the pattern company is drafting for pretty much the opposite of your body type.  I hope I don’t regret my pattern choice!

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Sewcation Day 1: Pattern and fabric

Sewcation Day 1 - assembling PDF

First of all, thank you so much for your very thoughtful messages of support after my last post about work-related stress.  I generally don’t expect to get much feedback on random non-sewing related posts, but it was wonderful to hear your encouraging words, suggestions, and well wishes.  I was really touched – thank you.

After several weeks (months?) of dealing with pressure at work, I’m delighted to announce that I’m taking this upcoming week off from work.  Yes, a whole week to myself, hooray!  Essentially I’m taking my holiday vacation a few weeks late, since I wasn’t able to take it during the usual time.  Unlike the holidays, however, I have no travel plans and have decided to make this an epic sewcation.  I’m thrilled!

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