Floral Robson trench: layers coming together

floral-robson-trench-neckline-seam

If you told me in January when I started this coat that it still wouldn’t be finished by November, I wouldn’t have believed you.  Then again, if you told me a week ago that Donald Trump would be the next president of the United States, I wouldn’t have believed you either, but that is a story for an entirely different post.  As for the coat, not only has this been way more work than I had anticipated, but the utter size and weight of this thing makes every step an odyssey, requiring a will of steel to keep it all moving forward.

Two truths:

  1. I am SO ready for this coat to be finished.
  2. There is still so much more work left to do.

Le sigh.

But never fear, things ARE moving forward, albeit at my typical glacially slow pace.  Today I have more in-progress shots to share, as the outer shell comes together and the three layers of the coat become one.  Onward!

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Floral Robson trench: more bias binding and lining assembly

floral-robson-trench-collar-with-storm-flaps

Folks, I’ve come to the conclusion that sewing a 3-layered trench coat is no joke.  Not that I thought this was going to be a quick and easy project, but still!  As I get deeper and deeper into the sewing process, I realize just how much more there is to go.  Really, a 3-layered coat means sewing 3 separate coats, not to mention all the little details.  Don’t get me wrong, I am thoroughly enjoying every minute of sewing this coat.  It is just a beast.  🙂

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Floral Robson trench: finally finished cutting

sewaholic-robson-trench-hair-canvas-on-front-facings

After many months and what seems like an epic number of hours hunched over my cutting table, I’m happy to report that all the millions of pieces of my floral Robson trench coat are finally cut, interfaced, and ready to sew.  Hooray!  🙂

As you can see above, I’m using fusible hair canvas on the front facings to give the lapels a bit of structure.  This is the good stuff from Fashion Sewing Supply.  It’s my first time using it, so we’ll see how it goes!  I opted NOT to use sew-in hair canvas and pad stitch it in, mostly to preserve my sanity.  The lapels may stick out a bit as a result, but I think I’m ok with that.

sewaholic-robson-trench-interfacing-along-hems

I’m using regular interfacing along the jacket and sleeve hems.  I’ve done this before with my Simplicity 2446 blazers to great effect.

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There is quite a large pile of cut pieces currently sitting on my sewing table.  It’s a little overwhelming!  Between the floral outer fabric, flannel interlining, rayon lining, and all the little pieces for the pockets, sleeve tabs, welts, etc…. I think this coat is going to weigh a ton!  Not to mention the awesome black bias binding that is going to be outlining all the major pieces.  🙂

readers-digest-complete-guide-to-sewing-interlining-instructions

I’ve been reading up on how to assemble a jacket with both an interlining and lining.  I think I may leave all 3 layers as separate as possible to allow for movement, but I have a feeling I’ll wing it as I start assembling.  One thing I’ve decided is that I won’t be treating the interlining like an underlining (assembling the main fabric and interlining as one) since I don’t want the bulk of the flannel in the major garment seams.  We’ll see if I live to regret this or not!

At this point the sewing has officially begun: I started putting together the interlining pieces over the weekend.  I’m excited!  The cutting on this project was really weighing me down, but now that it’s done and fall is approaching, I’ve found some momentum on this project.  I’ll keep you posted.  🙂

The Archer of many details: in progress

Gray Archer in progress - cut pieces and ribbon

The latest project on my sewing table is my third Archer, which I’ve affectionately dubbed “The Archer of Many Details.”  I’ve been meaning to try out a bunch of new-to-me shirt-making techniques, and I figured I’d give them all a go in a single project.  Two birds and one stone, you know how it goes.  🙂

The main fabric is Robert Kaufmann pinpoint Oxford, a chambray with a crisp hand that presses like a dream.  It’s the same fabric I used for my first Archer, which I love (and actually wore today!).  It makes a really crisp, professional-looking shirt, which is exactly the vibe I’m going for.  I saw it at Grey’s Fabric and immediately scooped it up in a whirlwind of spontaneity.  I’m sure you can relate, ha.

Ok, onward to the “many details.”

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Bound buttonholes: two-piece piped method

Bound buttonholes - two-piece piped method - large gallery image

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To kick off Sew Skillfully, I decided to learn how to sew bound buttonholes.  Exciting!!  : )  The book I’m using (Reader’s Digest New Complete Guide to Sewing) details several methods for making the buttonhole and finishing the facing on the inside of the garment.  For my first attempt, I chose the following:

  • Buttonhole: Two-piece piped method
  • Facing: Windowpane method

To be honest, I chose these methods because they seemed to be on the intricate end of the spectrum, and I wanted to get the best finish possible.  Call me a sucker for detailed procedures!  I actually really enjoy sewing complicated things sometimes, and pushing myself to learn these more advanced techniques is exactly what Sew Skillfully is all about.  No shortcuts, at least for now!

I made 2 buttonholes using this method.  I’ll show you my second one first, because it came out better.  Not surprising.  🙂  Ok, let’s dive in!

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Introducing the Sew Skillfully project

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I consider myself an intermediate sewist.  I’ve sewn a bunch of garments, most of them successful, and definitely feel that I’ve moved on from the “beginner” title.  Interestingly, I can easily see myself squatting in the intermediate category indefinitely, happily sewing a wardrobe full of garments that fit well and that I love wearing.  Advanced techniques aren’t necessarily required for sewing successful garments.  If my main goal in sewing is producing a wearable wardrobe, I think I have most of the skills I need at this point.

However, that is not my only goal.  I want to learn, push myself, explore!  🙂  One day I’d like to graduate from “intermediate sewist” to “advanced sewist”… and perhaps even “expert sewist” somewhere down the line.  (A girl can dream, right?)  Enter the Sew Skillfully project.

Sew Skillfully is:

– A fun way to challenge myself to learn more intermediate and advanced sewing techniques, without necessarily incorporating them into a specific garment project.

– A way for me to document my progress, ask questions when I get stuck, report on any interesting findings, and share tips and recommendations with you as I come across them.

– My own small contribution in advancing the sewing blogosphere beyond content focused on absolute beginners, an area which has been fully saturated, in my opinion.

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Summer Blazer Part 2: lapels and sleeve cuffs

Summer Blazer progress 2 - compilation

My Summer Blazer is moving right along!  Today I have more in-progress photos for you, including construction of the infamous notched collar and finishing the sleeve cuffs.  I’ve been really enjoying working on this project and love all the detailed work, and I’m excited that this blazer is nearing the finish line!  Pretty soon I’ll have a classy jacket to pair with all my summer skirts and dresses.  : )

To recap, this is Simplicity 2446, a fitted, classic-cut blazer from the Amazing Fit series.  I cropped the length a bit compared to my previous version.  The jacket is constructed in a cotton print and fully lined in Bemberg rayon.

Like a proud mama, I took lots of photos of my baby.  Enjoy!

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