OMG, I made (or, more accurately, re-made) a coat!

I actually made a coat! And I love, love, love it! I know I say every one of my makes is my new favourite, but I think this might remain my favourite for quite a while!

Fara-coat-20As you may be able to tell, the pattern is the Marilla Walker Freemantle coat. I cut out the size 2 and made view A.

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This was actually a refashion of the old coat I bought from the Fara Workshop. Remember it?

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I just googled ‘Brian Tucker Dublin’ and according to The Irish Times, he was “a leading figure in the Irish clothing industry, affectionately known as “the blazer king” in the early l970s for a jacket that became his trademark. With a reputation for skilled cutting and for good fit, the Tucker label became synonymous with well-made coats, suits and raincoats, women’s outwear staples that were sold all over the country.” So I guess this was a fashionable, quality coat back in its day.

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My original plan was to remove the faux fur cuffs, which it turned out were added by hand by the previous owner – you can see the stitches below.

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This may have been a way to cover up some of the holes in the lining, of which there were many!

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My original plan was to just replace the lining, using the old one as  a pattern, and then to use the Freemantle pattern as a basis for the shape of the new coat, to make it a cocoon-type shape. But then it turned out it was easier to just make the whole coat, cutting up the shell of the coat and making a new lining. It took a bit of squeezing to get the pattern pieces to fit, but I realised they would, as long as I made the length in between the short jacket length and the long coat length, cutting off 16cm from the view A length.

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I unpicked all the seams at the neck, took off the sleeves and unpicked the original facings as I needed that extra width to fit on the pattern pieces. This did mean that I didn’t have enough fabric to make the new facings for the coat, which was a bit of a shame, but both the shell fabric and the new lining fabric I bought are easy to iron so the lining doesn’t peek out too much – nowhere near as much as it does on my black Victoria blazer anyway!

As you may have seen from my post about the Knitting and Stitching Show, this is the fabric I bought for the new lining:

P1040244The pattern calls for an underlining and not a lining, but the way I had to piece the original coat meant I had lots of extra seams that would have needed bias binding attaching, and I’m lazy, so Idecided to make a full lining instead. This is what the coat looks like inside out – I might be tempted to wear it this way around sometimes if the outer fabric wasn’t so itchy!

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And here is the obligatory ‘flasher’ shot!

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I used this tutorial on Grainline to bag out the lining – I got stuck on how the sleeve linings would be attached to the cuffs, but this post makes it perfectly clear!

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As a couple of other people have mentioned, one of the great details of this coat is the underarm gussets. It took me 2 days of getting increasingly more annoyed to work out how to construct these…..because I had sewn something wrong! I often cut some corners when I’m sewing, to get the thing finished as quickly as possible – so I can get to wear whatever it is as soon as possible. I therefore skipped the tailor tacks on the pattern – I didn’t even draw them on with chalk. This was a mistake!

I had the pattern pieces out for reference when constructing the sleeves, but when I sewed the back of the sleeve to the back of the coat, I sewed it too far so then couldn’t work out where the gusset should fit. I unpicked so many of the seams to try to work out what I’d done….except the one I needed to unpick! You know the phrase ‘a stitch in time saves nine’? Well I have a new one: ‘a tailor tack in time saves 2 days of getting annoyed and not being able to understand the instructions’. I think it’ll catch on!

Now I’m going to post loads of photos – sorry, not sorry – because I’m proud of how this turned out!

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There’s an extra seam on the back because there was a seam on the original coat down the centre back.

 

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I had to piece the sleeves slightly as the original sleeves weren’t wide enough or long enough – so there’s a little extra sort of cuff at the bottom of the sleeves.

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If you follow me on instagram, you’ll also know how proud I am of the welt pockets – I’d never made them before, but following the instructions in the pattern, they worked perfectly! And there’s a little flash of yellow from the lining inside them.

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I used 2 poppers to fasten the coat, and the sewed buttons on the top – it looks a bit puckered in the photos, but it doesn’t sit like that in real life.

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I’m glad Marilla Walker put the pattern back in sale as I really like the shape, and think it would be flattering on lots of people in lots of different colours. Are you planning to make a coat this Winter? What patterns do you like for coats and jackets?

Tilly and the Buttons Mimi Blouse

I was lucky enough to get a copy of Tilly and the Buttons‘ book Love At First Stitch for free from a publisher at my old job. I also was lucky enough to go to the launch at Drink, Make, Do waaaay back in May I think. I like quite a lot of the patterns in the book, as I mentioned in my review, and I decided quite a while ago that the first pattern I would be the Mimi Blouse.

Love-At-First-Stitch-7I did make my blouse quite soon after getting the book, but have only just got around to writing up the make!

Mimi-Blouse-1I made the size 1 and accidentally traced the wrong size of the yoke, so couldn’t get the pattern to go together and tried for ages to work out why it didn’t work, until I finally figured out I’d cut out the wrong size! Duh! Rookie error.

The fabric is yet another ‘remnant’ that I got some Rolls and Rems in Holloway Road. I’m not sure what the fabric is, but it’s got a quite nice drape but is quite thin. It also marks super easily, and any pin marks seemed to be pretty permanent, so I made sure all my pins were inside the seam allowance. I love, love, love this fabric – it reminds me of Orla Kiely, who I love! Also, this was quite a big length, so this is not the last time you’ll see this on my blog!

Mimi-Blouse-3I made one or two little changes. One was to use calico instead of interfacing, as I didn’t have any interfacing in my stash. I thought this would be fine – and it may have been if i had already pre-washed the calico, which I didn’t bother to do as I generally use the calico for muslins or other makes which aren’t going to be washed. As soon as I washed the blouse, the calico shrunk and make the front of the blouse a bit puckered and wrinkled, which is a shame. But I’ve learned my lesson – I won’t substitute interfacing again in the future! You can see in the below photo the front doesn’t sit flat and the collar is a bit odd. I might try to unpick some of the seams and take out the calico. Any tips on how to do this without having to completely unpick and re-make the blouse?

Mimi-Blouse-4The buttons were in my stash and came off my parrot shirt refashion. I think they go a lot better here than they did on the shirt!

The other change I made involved the sleeves. As I mentioned with my stripey Colette Laurel dress, I seem to have bigger arms that the rest of me would dictate in sewing pattern sizing. I made the size 1 sleeves, with the pleats and cuffs/facing…….and couldn’t get them on. So I traced off the size 2 and made the sleeves again…….and still couldn’t get them on! Not sure what is up with my arms – maybe they are really freakishly fat?! I don’t care if that is the case, it’s just mildly irritating to have to redraft sleeves. I decided to leave it as the size 2 and leave off the pleat and cuff/facing, so I just have plain sleeves, which I hemmed with a small hem.

Mimi-Blouse-5I also took 4cm off the length and then did a hem of 2cm folded up twice. I’m not really sure why I took it up so much – it did end up quite short. If I make this again, I would just do a normal hem and leave it with a bit more length.

I do still like this pattern and the fabric, in spite of all the errors on my part and changing the sleeves, I really like the collar and the gathers on the shoulders – there are some unique design elements, which make this pattern interesting.

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Grainline Scout Woven Tee 1

A couple of weeks ago I downloaded Grainline Studio’s Scout Woven Tee pattern because I wanted some relatively plain tops which are quick to sew up and I don’t have the confidence to try to sew with jersey just yet.

I cut out the size 2 as that was the closest one to my bust measurement. In the end, I took the side seams in by 1 inch instead of 1/2 inch (I think). I used French seams on the side seams to make it all a bit neater, and zig-zagged all the other seams (just the sleeve seams).

The fabric is something I bought as a remnant from Rolls and Rems on Holloway Road. I say it was a remnant, but there’s about 4 metres and it was £6. I’m not sure exactly what it is, but it’s got a slight stretch and a really nice drape. You will definitely be seeing it again on here!

There isn’t much to say about the construction, it’s really quick to put together – there are only 5 pieces.

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As you can see, the tee is a little big across my back (as all things are) so I thought about cutting a smaller size for the back piece, but I’ve already made this twice more and didn’t bother to make the change – it’s not like it’s very fitted, so I figure it’s fine to have quite a lot of ease!

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As I said I’ve already made 2 more of these, and I’m sure they won’t be the last! I am definitely a fan of Grainline Studios, so I think I might give a couple of the other patterns a go, like the Archer Shirt or the Moss Skirt.