Ladies raincoat – fixed!

You remember that a few weeks ago I mentioned in passing that I (mostly) fixed the weird pulling in my Ladie’s Raincoat?

Well, I wore it out the other day, with my brand new designer jeans mock up, and a handmade hat, and the look was so hilarious it’s kinda cool. Which means, of course, you totally deserve to see it 😀

Ou est la baguette??

This probably says more about my youth than anything else I’ve ever posted, but I felt very french when I looked at this picture. The 60s coat (which is actually 70s, but to me looks 60s), the skinny trousers, the beret … that screamed film noir to me.

Because I’m ramming my fist down the pockets like I was digging for gold, you can’t really see that the issue is indeed mostly fixed. So here’s another headless photo as proof of that:

Fixed Ladie’s Raincoat

And next week, we’ll make a journey into the wonderful world of bum wrinkles. Stay tuned!

A few bits’n bobs

Last weekend I mostly cooked, including a horribly failed gluten free lasagne (the pasta sheets had turned to mush during the cooking, and it was all a hot mess). It was rather sad, as the vision I had was great, and the pasta behaved okay as long as it was thrown into boiling water … and yet another lesson learned. Pre-cook gluten free lasagne sheets.

I also worked a bit on a crochet shawl I’m making – it’s rather simple, but I really like how it’s turning out:

Crochet granny square shawl

Mostly it’s just granny squares, with a few double rows of shell pattern (which will also be the edging, unless I find something I like better by the time I get there). The yarns are  Plumstreetfiberarts (see their etsy shop) and Malabrigo lace. They’re a bit different, but I like the contrast and think it works well.

In other news, I tried the fix for my jeans (suggested by Almond Rock), and so far it’s looking good. Haven’t washed it yet, so it remains to be seen how well it’ll hold up in the washing machine.

Barely visible: The Hole

I also fixed my jacket, and it was a lot easier than I thought – I just ironed the seam again, with a little more give on the inside. It’s still a tad wonky, but I think that’s a more fundamental construction issue and can’t be fixed unless I want to take the lining all out and put it in again, and I have no intentions of doing so 😀

Happy Monday, all!

Silver Needles P45 – Lady’s Jacket: finished

This post was in the making for a while, mainly because my camera has been super uncooperative, and won’t give me any good photos at all 😦 In the interest of science (so to speak), though, I’ll give you what I have. Please do accept my apologies for the appalling quality of the shots – these are the best out of several dozens I took. I kid you not.

After all of the fiddling with the muslin, the final finish of the jacket went pretty smooth.

The arms fit a lot better:

P45 arm detail

The back turned out pretty good:

P45 back


P45 front tension wrinkles

It’s alright as long as I keep my mitts out of the pockets, but as you can see, there’s something fundamentally wrong with the tension on the right front panel (left in the photo). I suspect that the lining is a tad too short (which would make sense, as this side of the jacket is also a teensy bit longer than the other side) and that causes those weird wrinkles.

Clearly the way forward is to take it apart and sew the lining back in, shortening the outer roughly an inch, and hope that will solve the issue.

Which is a bit painful, as this was my first hand-picked bias finished seam:

Hand picked bias hem finish

On the other hand, it also means that unpicking it will be a lot less painful 😀

Overall, a good pattern with a few quirks – I still can’t get over the fact that it turned into a short-ish coat despite the fact that I cut the jacket length (according to the pattern). And the armscye/sleeve cap mismatch … but I learned a few things, and I totally came away with a wearable fall/spring jacket. A quick test run seems to indicate I still need a proper winter jacket, but that’s for another post 😀

Silver Needles P45 – construction details

To tell you the truth, the initial issue with the sleeve cap had left me a tad apprehensive. If they got something like that so horribly wrong, how could I expect the finished jacket to be one I’d actually like to wear?

This made me take greater care in the following steps than I often do. I properly marked the pockets:

Look! I marked the pocket placement! With thread!

I basted the zip in before actually sewing it down:

Please also not my dynamic pose.

You might notice that contrary to the pocket markings and the pattern cover mine does not have breast pockets. That’s correct. I omitted them … I felt the look would be cleaner without, and I’m quite happy I did, as I really like the looks.

The back of the lining did have some weird ripples along the center seamline, which I am fairly certain were caused by my inability to cut it perfectly on grain. Thankfully, that didn’t happen with the outer. Contrary to what it might look like, the center back seam is not straight, but slightly curved, which really helps with a better fit.

No weird ripples along the center seam, phew!

This all looked good, I thought. It would have been good had I noticed at this point that the front didn’t align perfectly. Join me on Friday to hear how this gripping tale ends!

Silver Needles P45 – Lady’s Jacket: the beginning

This was supposed to be the muslin of the “real” jacket I want to make. By now, though, I’ve come to the conclusion that this needs to turn out wearable, and if it does, the way I imagine, it should be The Jacket.

Because I kinda fell in love with the gabardine, which sat pretty unloved in my stash for about a year. If memory serves, I bought it to make something I could wear for work interviews, and worst case scenario, later on to work (in my line of work, the dress code is usually casual, sometimes business casual).

When I finally got started today, I smartly decided to sew up the lining first, in the hopes that I could discover and ideally fix any major fitting issues right away.

And what a good choice that was! It turned out the the sleeve caps were far too high, and didn’t fit the armscyes at all. I sewed in one with some on-the-fly easing, and gathered the other – both looked abysmal. Also, the shoulders drooped a tad too low, and of course, I needed a square shoulder adjustment.

Now, on the lining, I’m not going to be picky. But the armscyes were a tad too tight, and that doesn’t bode well for a jacket you might want to layer over a cardigan.

So I rather unorthodoxly cut one of the sleeves out, hence widening the armscye by a tad less than an inch, and hacked off about 3 inches from the sleeve cap. The sleeve now fit like a dream.

A tad fuzzy, but you can see that one shoulder fits much better than the other, non?

Hence I repeated the procedure on the second sleeve, and now it’s mostly great, except for the gaping on the shoulder seams closest to the neck. I left that, as I assume I can fudge it when I put the lining in and nobody is going to see it.

If you look closely, you can see the gaposis on my shoulders.

I then proceeded to transfer my changes onto the paper pattern (I had held off on cutting the outer fabric to see the fit of my lining first).

My camera was playing tricks on me 😀 Also, no make up – oh, the horror!

What I did:

  • lower the top of the sleeve cap
  • take in the shoulder seam  ~ 1 inch
  • add ~ 1inch on top of the armscye (square shoulders)
So, I was to lazy to draw a new pattern. I used sello tape. Go ahead, judge me … 😛

Then I proceeded to cut my out fabric. Tomorrow I’ll start putting it together, and we’ll see if my changes were successful.

Lowered the sleeve cap

I do feel a tad nervous, as my slap-dash approach made it a bit hard to know exactly how much change was needed, and I’m not entirely sure the sleeves still fit the armscye (I did measure them about 5 times, and those numbers say they should).

Wish me luck!

PS. Sorry that some of you saw an unfinished draft of this! Clearly, I sometimes have trouble clicking the right buttons … 😦

Preparing to get started

After some fairly excessive lamenting in my last post, a lovely commenter put her finger on the spot: stop whinging and get on with it (not that she used those words!).

So today, I pulled the fabrics I had in mind for the muslin out of my stash. Surprise no.1: what I remembered being some light woolen fabric turned out to be (I think) gabardine.

Grey Gabardine
Grey Gabardine

Now, that’s not a bad thing. In fact, it’s very possible this is the perfect fabric for the fall/spring (and most times in winter when it’s neither pissing down nor storming) jacket I’ve been missing forever (okay, since I gave the last one to charity).

The irony of me raving about the last Burberry collection and now discovering that the fabric I’m going to use apparently was invented by Mr. Thomas Burberry is not lost on me.

Also in my possession: a rather huge length of black flannelette.

Black Flannelette
Black Flannelette

Together, those two should make a fairly cozy jacket that can put up with some wind and rain and the roughly 13C that seem to be the yearly middle over here. (And by that, I mean the temperature deviates roughly 5C up or down … )

The flannel was prewashed, but the gabardine was not. It’s now drying 🙂

So I used the time to prepare my pattern. To my delight, all of the pattern pieces are present, if slightly discoloured.

Pattern pieces
Pattern pieces

As you can see, the pattern is uncut – yay!

The instructions are a bit on the short side, but I think I can make it work, since there are no great challenges and the pattern appears fairly straightforward.

Instructions in their entirety
Instructions in their entirety

One thing I’m not sure about are the mock pocket flaps, which are created by folding part of the pocket over, and topstitching it in such a way that the opening for the pocket is behind them, not underneath. Does that make sense at all??

Anyway, I’m wondering if I want to change them to proper flaps. I’m reasonably sure I want to add an inside pocket, maybe with a zipper. I like to have a pocket I can zip up for keys, and cards, and other things you don’t want to lose .

While reading through the information in the leaflet, I noticed the following:

Technique Cards?
Technique Cards?

I have had a hard time finding anything useful on the internet about it – does any of you vintage educated folks have more information? The pattern states it’s from “Silver needles” – I’m beginning to wonder if that was a magazine, like today’s “build your own Frigate in 30 steps”, only for sewing? I’m dying to find out more!