Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Early Progress for the Year

Trying to keep with my New Year's Resolutions early!

I've been working on my winter coat, the one I last worked on last March. Here's the pic from the Burda pattern--using the short version.

You can't see the details but the short version has front, slanted welt pockets. I'm using my light blue/black Paron's wool (PR Weekend 2007) and my black leather for the welt pockets from Leather Suede Skins, I think that's the name of the store (also PR Weekend 2007). The buttons purchased for it are from Pacific Trims.

The fashion fabric has been cut since last Spring, but that was it. I spent about 15 minutes trying to figure out where I was with it a few days ago, and what my next task would be. Deciding the pattern's lining instructions were not to be, I pulled out my High Fashion Sewing Secrets book by Claire Schaeffer and drafted the lining as per her instructions as well as using her guidelines for interfacing. Her interfacing info is pretty much what I already do, and the only thing changed was using fusible for the muslin interfacing piece on the back. Why? Because I just didn't feel like and pressing more fabric. Yes, lazy, lazy, lazy on my part!

Here's the last piece I worked on yesterday.

Fusing the interfacing is at least a two-day process for me. It just takes so much time. But today is my third day and all that needs to be done is to finish the collar interfacings as well as the sleeve and back hems. So progress IS being made. Some of the interfacing had to be pieced which made things take a little longer, but oh well. We sewers make do with what we have.

The lining is all cut out, just have to cut out the interlining which will be cotton flannel. I'm going to hand baste the lining and flannel together, then treat that as one layer for the lining. Also, there is a decent amount of this fabric leftover too. I asked my sister to pick up more yardage so I could make a matching skirt. But first things first--FOCUS! Let's get this coat done. It will take me about a week at this point. Lots of interruptions and things to do, but I'd really like a new coat by next week.

A few days ago I discussed my daughter's desire for a pea coat, and we picked one up at NY&Company for $45. I just couldn't beat that cost. (Thanks, Lindsay!) She gets it on a teen's schedule ("Now!"), and I get to do my coat without hearing her ask, "Is my coat done YET???" If I made it, it wouldn't be done until the end of January anyway so buying RTW makes her happy, makes me happy.

While waiting for my interfaced pieces to cool on my ironing board, I whipped up a hat and scarf. The scarf was for DS#2. Just a simple one this time which took all of five minutes. One layer of fleece, fringed the ends. He's been bothering me for a scarf for two months! Check out this happy boy:

I also pulled out my Great Copy Patterns "Polarfleece Pizzazz" book by Spiegelhoff and Laube. I whipped up a hat for my DH in 30 minutes. The patterns are all in the book or it tells you what to measure and cut. He needs one for the windy, cold, snowy days when he's out plowing with the lawn tractor. This is the Alpine Hat from the book. What I really like about it is the band is a double layer. It really keeps the ears warm and toasty. Here's his new, easy-peasy hat:

My boys have the same hat in a smaller version with their names embroidered on the inside.

Last thing on my mind is my daughter's dress for her May semi-formal and more coat ideas for me. On my recent trip to Walmart, I picked up the following patterns. Here's the one for DD#2:

DD#2 was NOT sold on this dress. I know, however, the style would look fabulous on her. Her comment about the main pattern photo--"It looks like a nightgown!" Okay. What's a mother to do? Search out if any other PR members have whipped this up. Nancywin did and here is her absolutely lovely creation she made for her friend's daughter. See her link: Nancy's gorgeous creation . Once DD#2 saw it in a different fabric, she was hooked! Her response? "Wow!" What's nice is that the girl in the review photo is about her age, similar body type, and the dress looks terrific. She is now very amendable to the idea of using this pattern for her semi-formal dress. In a few weeks, I'll work on a muslin for it.

I also picked up a coat pattern for me. Here's the Project Runway pattern that caught my eye:

There's several different style options and I liked the princess seaming on the coats. I'm looking for a pea coat style with different collar options and this pattern fit the bill. All those fabulous Paron's wools are screaming at me! They're yelling, "Make me into a coat!!!" Yes, I will oblige.

Last, but not least, I finished up my son's UFO jeans. I started these two months ago. Every time I whip up a batch of new jeans/pants for him, the first one is his test pair. I alter the pattern for growth, then test it out. All is well with this pair. I forgot to put the topstitching on across the back pocket at the top, but who cares. He doesn't. He always wears his shirts out so no one will ever notice that. Made them long so he'll have room for growth. Once his shoes are on, the pant legs lay a bit nicer without as much bunching at the bottom. He's modeling them here--nothing to write home about as they're just an easy pair of pull-on elastic waist jeans:

Here's a pic of the jeans on the couch. These test pairs are perfect to use up those bobbins of thread in my sewing machine storage box. On the waistband, I used a blue thread which doesn't really match well. But like I said before, he doesn't tuck in his shirts, wears them long, so no one is going to see. The other topstitching like at the hems and pockets, yes, that does match though.

One or two more pairs are in the works, but I don't know about next year. I'm not too happy about it, but the public school districts in our area are beginning to mandate school uniforms/universal dress code for next year, ours included. The outset of these programs is very costly. With four kids, the cost is really going to be high for that first year. One of my friends told me, "At Walmart the polo shirts are $6!" I know she was happy about it, I was not. Walmart quality is not going to hold up for my kids. I'd rather purchase Lands' End and Dockers and make some pieces in between. Also, I like buying my boys' clothes from Sears because of their Kidvantage program. Looking for Docker's sales--they're just not happening right now.

I know people think that I can sew and save money, but we all know it doesn't work like that. We pick and choose what to make, sometimes based on cost and time. So I'll be checking out sales for the uniform options whenever I can.

That's it for now. Happy Sewing!


Lindsay T said...

I've found with my DD that going with retail (at the right price) is usually the best course, as much as I like to sew for her. Teens are very demanding and particular, ya know what I mean?!

~ Kimberlee B ~ said...

I can so relate to you on the daughter thing. Looks like you've been busy! Can't wait to see your coat!

Cennetta said...

Lady, You are off and running with your sewing projects for 2009. Happy New Year!

Robin said...

Can't wait to see the dress for DD! I'm with you on Wal-Mart quality (or lack thereof) - I really dislike that company.

Tamara said...

Since you don't have to make a coat for your daughter you have more time to work on yours. :)

If it is true what I have read about clothing stores having to clear out their products before Feb. 10 you might be able to get some really good deals. I think uniforms would be really boring to sew. :)

Evelyn aka Starfishy said...

I made many a prom (formal ones too) dress for my nieces - 1 was even worn as a wedding dress by a sibling! I think your DD will love the dress you make for her! Love the pants for your son - looks about like my the pattern I use over and over again for my own son - he likes the simple elastic waist -good for boys because it seems like they like to wait until the very last possible nano-second to get to the bathroom! A school uniform will also double your laundry as those clothes will be changed as soon as the kids get home from school. All fleece scraps are tuned into "car" mittens, hats, neck warmers, stuffed animals, etc. in this house. Great job on your projects!