My goal for yesterday was to finish the raincoat. And I almost made it. But then disaster struck, in the form of eyelets...
the Licorice dress wasn't a fluke. The eyelet setting went even worse this time. I even asked my tool-savvy dad for help, and he couldn't get them to go in right either. So we concluded that the eyelet setting tool is a piece of crap, and that I'll need to get a new one. He thinks he can get the eyelets out without messing up the belt itself, which is hopefully going to be the case. So I'll have to talk to him about that soon... I can salvage the buckle either way, but worst case scenario, I found just enough fabric to make a new belt if needed. I just need to remember to keep an eye on the A Fashionable Stitch shop for when the eyelets come back in stock so I can get those, the hammer-in tool instead of the awful pliers tool, and some new belt backing if necessary. Sunni's customer service is great-- I emailed her last night to ask if she carried those aside from the entire belt kit, and got a response back within half an hour! So I would definitely highly recommend her shop. (As an aside, Sunni, if you manage to find jeans rivets to stock, I will love you forever!)
On a happier note, I think the coat itself turned out pretty good!
Pattern: Burda Magazine 3/2009, #119
Pattern Description: Double-breasted trenchcoat with gun flaps on both sides, knee length, inverted box pleat in the back.
Pattern Sizing: 34-44. I made the 40.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Close, but not quite...I just realized now, while looking at the line drawing vs. my photo, that I should have pulled it closed more in the front when I was figuring out button placement and that's why the double row of buttons would have just looked silly. Oops. Oh well, it's probably more functional this way, anyway! I also left off a few of the extra details, like the mini-belts around the wrists and the epaulettes. And the belt, obviously, but that will come.
Were the instructions easy to follow? They're Burda magazine instructions. 'Nuff said. Truth be told, I didn't follow them too closely, because I had to rework half of the order to accommodate the waterproofing, and my desire for a full lining. But hey, look how nice it looks! Inverted box pleat and everything! Um, don't look too closely at the internal hem, ok? That was a bit of a wrestling match, but hopefully it won't show too badly.)
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I liked the styling of it, and would have quite happily incorporated those extra details if they wouldn't have added extra holes in unnecessary places that I would have had to waterproof. There wasn't really anything I seriously disliked about the pattern itself, more my construction process. But that's not the pattern's fault.
Fabric Used: A waterproof taffeta from Gorgeous Fabrics for the outside, and some polyester stuff I was given for free years ago for the lining. The lining is also fully underlined with flannel for warmth. (I also used the flannel for interfacing where needed.)
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: As already mentioned, I fully lined the coat, rather than the yoke/sleeve only lining that the pattern called for. And the accidental design change in the front with the buttons. I did a lot more topstitching than it called for, since the taffeta was very prone to fraying and I needed to finish all of those seams accordingly (lots and lots of flat-felled seams. Great practice for those jeans I still plan to make.) I also used a belt-making kit from A Fashionable Stitch, rather than the directions that the pattern called for. I made no sizing alterations, since I wanted to allow extra room for bulky winter clothes, other than maybe making the sleeves a bit longer.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I think it makes for a nice, classic trench-coat look. I might sew it again whenever my lightweight spring jacket wears out--wouldn't this be fun in a bright, cheery twill print or something?
Conclusion: This has nothing to do with the pattern itself, but I am SO glad to be done with this thing. And I really hope this raincoat holds up for a long, long time, because I don't want to waterproof anything again for a long, long time!
In other sewing news:
1. In one of the recent interims of letting waterproofing stuff dry before I could continue, I made these:
Yes, I have another bridal shower to go to! This time, for a cousin getting married in March (the wedding I'm knitting that black shrug for.) So I whipped up yet another of my go-to apron pattern, along with the potholders I tried out back in the fall for a last-minute addition to a friend's shower gift. These seem to be along the lines of the colors she wants in her kitchen, so hopefully my cousin will like them! I can probably make the apron in my sleep by this point. The potholders still need a bit of work, as I still haven't quite figured out the best system for getting the bias tape around the top, (Probably because I keep insisting I can do better than the pattern, and making the loop out of the bias tape instead of a ribbon like the pattern calls for.)
Speaking of that black shrug, I'll do a knitting update soon.... in about 3 rows, it will make a better picture than what I can take now. But there has been progress. Honest.
2. My next project is mostly cut out and ready to go. And it's....(drumroll)....another brown coat! More specifically, the brown corduroy one that was #1 on the list. Hey, I've been meaning to make that thing for 2 years now. So I have the outside all cut out and interfaced where needed, with some extra-large seam allowances. My plan is to baste it together, tweak the fit where needed, mark that on the pattern, and then cut out the lining. Corduroy's tough. It can take being a muslin and a finished jacket. Now if only I could find what's left of my old fabric notebook so I can remember how many yards I can take off my stash list...
3. I also need to sit down soon and figure out what I need for the next several projects I'm going to tackle. Especially since the button packs are buy one get one free next weekend! (And maybe check out the Simplicity patterns, since they're 5 for $5...)
4. I got an early birthday present today...I'm signed up for one of the sewing classes at Craftsy. I got an email this morning saying that the pants-fitting one is currently half-price, and since I have both jeans and trousers coming up in the queue, I figured this would help immensely. I do have two pairs of jeans that I love the fit on (one boot-cut and, surprisingly, my one pair of skinny jeans, both purchased from Goodwill), and a pair or two of pants that I also think fits pretty well. Actually, I was thinking just yesterday that I wish I could replicate this one brown pair I have, because the fit at the top is great but I've washed and worn them so often that there's starting to be some obvious wear-and-tear on places like the back welt pockets. Plus they're just too short to look really good with my boots. So since the whole idea is reverse-engineering the fit without destroying the original jeans or pants, this could be just the thing! I've liked the Pattern Review classes I've taken in the past, but I'm excited to try the Craftsy ones since they have video and no set dates, so I can just do it as I can without stressing about falling behind. (Plus they're less expensive. Always a plus.) I'm thinking for the jeans, I can use this to make whatever last tweaks are needed to the muslin I already made for the last jeans class, and use the pattern I already have from there. So then I can finally cross that off the list, since I've been saying for, oh, only the last 3 or 4 years in a row that this is going to be the year I successfully make jeans!