Monday, February 20, 2023

Coat completed: Burda 7169 in camel wool from Britex

Finally it's time to show the finished coat. And well past time, as I finished it back in November so Heather could take it on a Thanksgiving trip to the east coast. We took some very quick photos on the day she picked it up so they are very casual but I like the autumn feel. Because around here we don't get all that much fall color - but do get plenty of leaves to sweep up. 

Here are the previous posts for this coat construction if you are looking for sewing details:   First blog post and second blog post. 

H coat1

The fabric was from Britex in San Francisco, on that same shopping trip we also bought a navy blue wool. With that fabric I'm making the Auburn blazer from Cashmerette and I hope to get to that project in the next month. 
I'm really happy with the lapels on this coat, they came out very nicely and the pattern sewed together so well.

Coat lapels

Just as a reminder, here's the coat that that was the inspiration.

Burda 7169 wool coat

I think with coats it's all about the interfacing. I put weft interfacing on the under collar and coat front and then lightweight interfacing on the upper collar and the lapel facing. 
Here's a few more looks at the insides. I put weft interfacing on the bottom edge, cut with pinking shears to soften the edge, and I always have it continue up past where the hem is folded. It means you can hand stitch the hem and pick up the threads of the interfacing with the thread and then the hem stitching will not show on the right side.
I tend to baste hems before I stitch them. They could just be pinned but I like to baste at the hem fold and then I can decide how deep to make the hem and trim to that amount. 



Inside hems on thick fabrics it's helpful to trim the seam allowance back so that as it is folded up and laying against the seam allowance so it's less thick and softens that edge. As mentioned I didn't take a lot of pictures so we have to make do with a blinking one but I think this coat can work as dressy or casual, depending what it's paired with. She wanted it to be roomy so she can wear a thick sweater underneath. 


Sewing room realness - complete with all the scraps that I toss onto the floor.


H coat back2

I like the detail of the walking pleat at center back and I generally hem the underneath side every so slightly shorter than the side on the outside so that it never peeks out of the bottom. Eventually these hems are covered with the lining which I hand sewed at the hem. 


So that's the latest on this beautiful coat. The fabric is SO soft to touch. 
In other sewing news I have sewn another pair of Ash jeans for myself - can't stop, won't stop :)  and I think I might make a knit top as a little palate cleanser before I start my next projects.  Including the above mentioned Auburn Blazer from Cashmerette. My first time using a Cashmerette pattern and I have Thoughts! which I will share. First impression is quite good but definitely some things that bug me - which applies to any pattern brand, I always find a few things to criticize. 
This week we are supposed to have more rain and freezing temps here, so my gardening is still on pause - and we do need the rain despite that deluge in January. But I see some signs of spring and it will be here in an instant. 

Happy Sewing,

Today's garden photo - the February reliable for N. California is camellias. They were ubiquitous here in previous decades but seem to have gone out of popularity. I can see why they were used often, very tough, green all year and need almost no attention. But they are also very messy (dropping all those flowers which only bloom for a very short time. I've taken out several that might have been here at this house way before me but I've kept a couple. Mostly due to the trouble of removing and also they do bloom when most everything else is doing nothing. Plus this one is filled with sticky nectar and the bees love it. 

Monday, February 13, 2023

Part 2: Burda 7169 classic coat in camel wool from Britex

Time to show the rest of the construction of this coat so I can post the finished look. Here's the first post on this project. 

Let's skip ahead to some fit refinements as everyone likes to see those. I did all the interfacing and then machine basted the coat together for a try-on. I find that even if you fit something in muslin then the thickness and weight of the actual fabric plus interfacing does have an effect that differs. Here I thought that the princess seam above the bust was a bit bulky and not laying smoothly on the upper chest so I just changed the seam every so slightly to correct that. I think the left shows it just basted and then on the right is the inside, it's just about 1/8" of an inch in that hollow of the chest but it makes a nice difference in fit. 

camel coat basting
I will say this fabric is a bit fussy, as the two sides are just very slightly different but very hard to distinguish. So I probably went overboard with marking with wax chalk and even spots of blue tape on the wrong side of every piece. I don't know how people use pattern weights - I like to keep the paper pattern piece on my cut out pieces until the minute I need it to sew. And using a projector to cut out sounds like a nightmare. I probably don't understand it and this method works for me. 


Sometimes I think making a coat is mostly fusing the interfacing! And wondering when can I get to the actual sewing.  I used Fashion Sewing Supply Pro-Weft Supreme Light for this coat (and basically for all coats and jackets). They have the same in "medium" but I have found that too heavy for most anything I have sewn with jacket or coat fabrics. I think the key to choosing interfacing is to support the garment fabric and not change it substantially (unless that is the intent). 


Before I get very far along I have to decide about the buttonholes, because if I am going to have bound buttonholes they need to get made prior to sewing on lapel facing. I will say that I have never made a hand worked buttonhole - it's on my list of things I need to teach myself how to do. But this coat was not the time to try it. And the machine buttonholes just look wimpy on this coating fabric. 

Camel coat test buttonholes


I found these buttons at Stone Mountain and they were exactly what I was looking for.  I have written lots of posts previously on doing bound buttonholes on the front of a coat, and if you want to see the details here are a couple of links: Red coat and scroll down on this plaid coat post.
I think it's interesting that most of the coat and jacket patterns I have made recently (at least all the European ones) have this construction of collar with the small stand, and neither piece is cut on the bias. I find it a bit odd although it works fine. This is as compared to a one-piece under collar cut on the bias.

Here are the sleeves ready to go, with interfacing around the armhole and also at the hem.  Because I made a muslin and marked the exact sleeve length I could adjust the length and then hem them before attaching to the coat. Also because I sew the lining in by hand as opposed to bagging the lining.


Here's the inside of the coat with just the last steps of attaching the sleeves and then the hem plus lining. The buttons are sewn on because I always complete the front closures before doing the hem, this insures that the front overlaps nicely and the hem is even at the center front.  Note this pattern had in-seam pockets but I changed that to welt pockets across the front princess seam. 


Still a few steps to finish the sleeves, doing the sleeve heads and putting the shoulder pads. 

Burda 7169 wool coat

The next post will be some details on hemming and the finished coat photos.
Since my recent foot surgery (almost at 4 weeks now) I think I will be back to driving later this week although no long trips. And not much work in the garden - it feels ok if I walk very gingerly but I think I need to take it easy for a couple more weeks. I guess that means more sewing! 
Up next, I'm making some more corduroy jeans, and then I might squeeze in a wool jacket for myself before the temps warm up. What I really should do is finish my closet cleaning which I promised myself to do during this stuck-at-home time. 
Who knows, I might find some gem in my fabric stash, it does seem to suprise me with stuff I forgot all about!

Happy Sewing,

Here's today's garden picture - We have daffodils! as well there should be, I planted about 80 bulbs in the fall and always forget where I put them so it is a happy suprise when they pop up. Also note on that rose bush all those stems popping out. Spring is coming :)


Monday, February 6, 2023

Burda 7169 classic coat in camel wool from Britex

If you read my previous post you saw that I am stuck at home now recovering from a foot surgery. It's going well and I should be back to being out and about in another 1-2 weeks. So I need to continue my resolution of using this forced stuck-at-home time to blog projects that are long completed. I have been meaning to get to this one as I know you really like when I show projects I make for my friend Heather. Custom fitting, gorgeous fabrics, classic designs - sewing heaven. 

To start with, a small sneak peek of the finished coat. 

Burda camel wool coat

Heather had shown me an image of the exact style and color of coat that she wanted. 

Burda 7169 wool coat

So I searched among coat patterns to find this style. Actually it turned out that I had used parts of the following pattern for a coat I made for her back in 2013! But that copy of the pattern was really chopped up and I wanted to start fresh so I ordered a new copy on on Ebay. 

Burda 7169 wool coat

I think it's important to note the drawings for this coat, and why I chose it, apart from having the same lapel shape and look of the example coat. Two words - Shoulder princess seams! They are just absolutely the best for adjusting the fit, particularly for a full bust. You can see they have pockets in the front princess seam which I always think are useless, and the example coat has horizontal double welt pockets but it was pretty easy to add those. 

Burda 7169 drawing

Here's the fabric which we bought at Britex in San Francisco. In person - she is not an internet fabric buyer and always needs to see the color and texture in person. So we make our periodic trips over the bridge to SF for shopping. I'm not 100% sure but I think it is this fabric from the Britex website, or something similar. They have so much more in the store than online.


I cut 2 four inch squares from the fabric and steamed and pressed one of them like crazy, in an attempt to check how much it would shrink. I cut the pieces, and compare to my paper test square. The answer was almost not at all, so I then moved on to my interfacing tests.  Although there probably wasn't much question, I used the Fashion Sewing Supply Pro-Weft Lightweight for most of the coat, hems, undercollar, coat front and then the Sheer Elegance Light for the upper collar and lapel facing. 



Onward to cutting out, and I like to use these shears which were given to me long ago as a Christmas present by the same great-aunt who first taught me to sew.  And yes I am team "cut out that pattern tissue" if I have a copy I cut it! You can always find another copy for sale if you need again. 


So that's a start to this coat - which I think will take 2 or 3 more posts to complete. 
What else have I been working on? In between other projects I cut out another pair of Ash jeans, in burgundy corduroy. And I have an urge to sew up a one or two nice blouse patterns I've seen recently. I just finished doing a Trouser class online with Hello Stitch and once my foot is back in action I will schedule more in-person and online classes. AND I can't wait to get back out in my garden, so many things to trim and seeds to start. 

Take care and Happy Sewing,

In garden news before I had the foot surgery I got out and trimmed all the roses and hydrangeas which was a good idea as they are all sprouting their spring growth now. I came across this little fellow on my favorite rose bush so it was good to see even in these freezing temps. Well, freezing for us - below 32ºF at night, getting down to 29ish sometimes here. 

Ladybug on rose bush

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Just-Patterns Veronica Vest with more jeans

Happy New Year everybody! I have taken an unintentional break from posting here on the blog. Life just got really busy with family and other obligations taking up my time, but I have definitely been sewing since I last posted in October. As well as teaching classes, finishing my garden remodel, and just taking a rest after a very busy summer and fall. Also I knew I would have time now to catch up on all my blog posting, as I am recovering from a foot surgery this week, so what better time than to sit with my laptop, reclining on the couch, catching up on movies, blogs and emails.

I have what I call "house arrest" for at least 2 weeks and maybe up to 4 weeks so I will have a lot of time to catch up. I think in a week or so I can get around in the house better, as of today I can very gingerly walk around so it's not too bad. But no driving since it's my right foot. Which means it's time to do tasks I've saved for this month, such as the not so fun working on my taxes and the slightly more fun of reorganizing my recipe files. And then when I feel a bit better I can do some low-key sewing projects. 

The day before this surgery I threw on these items and took some pictures so I could actually post some of my December sewing. I made the wool tweed version of the Veronica Vest by Just-Patterns and then when I made the blue corduroy jeans I had enough remaining to make another vest. 

Here's the tweed version of the vest, this piece of black and white wool was a remnant saved from making a coat which was a sample for a class at Hello Stitch back in 2017.

Blackjeans and vest2

It's perfect for this vest and uses up a remnant, so a win. The jeans are my go-to pattern for all jeans which is the Megan Nielsen Ash jeans

Here's the second version of these same patterns together.

blue cord jeans and vest2

I think what I have ended up with are some very mix-and matchable and usable separates that I can wear with a lot of other items in my wardrobe. I've already worn the jeans several times with different sweaters. 
I had been searching for some nice stretch corduroy in colors for ages but in the fall as a Minerva Maker I was offered the opportunity to sew with their fabric and it's a great fabric. I will definitely use it again, now I want purple cords. This is their Minerva Core Range Stretch 7-Wale Cord fabric, the color was French Navy. 

ash jeans pattern with blue cord

Now for some sewing details. I have this jeans pattern dialed in and have the various leg widths that I might want to use traced out and ready to go. I decided for these I wanted a slightly wider leg, I guess it's just about a bootcut shape. I have made the Version D Flare leg and I thought they came out a bit too wide, so after completing I went back and narrowed them slightly. Here's the post where those jeans are pictured, as it turns out that is the same cord fabric from Joann's that I used in the black jeans above. 

So to make the bootcut I just measured the opening on my teal green cord jeans as well as a couple of other pairs of bootcut pants that I have, and added to my existing pattern pieces to get the opening the same circumference. See below I have taped on tracing paper to the bottom of the pants leg pattern piece.

cutting out Ash jeans pattern

And then I played around with the width until I got it to where I liked the look. Also I happen to have these suede booties (which I now have in 3 colors - they are that comfortable) so I hemmed to wear with those. 
boot cut cord jeans

Since I was conserving fabric as I cut out these blue cords, I decided to use some denim remnants for the inside waistband. And I used the wrong side of the denim as some of these dark blue denims give off dye for ages despite many washes. My beige leather car seats can attest to the power of blue dye on blue jeans, unbelievable how much color comes off year after year of wearing, despite many washes. Also I prefer to make the pocket bags continue to the center front and create a waist stay, like you see in many ready to wear jeans. I think it keeps the pockets linings from coming out of the top of that front pocket, and also counteracts the stretch in that area of the pants. 

blue cord jeans, zipper fly

Here's a look at the vest and jeans together. I know I cut out the corduroy with the nap running in the same direction for both pieces however I think they look a bit different in all the photos. Perhaps because I've worn the jeans several times and not yet worn the vest?  Anyway - you can see that there are not facings in the vest, I did change up the pattern as I went along. Mostly because I was short for time and decided to omit the facings and just do a full lining which I sewed in and then pulled through on the lining side seams. I did put interfacing around the neck and bottom edge which is similar to the pattern instructions. 

Blue cord jeans and vest on hangers

Black tweed vest and jeans on hangers

black vest and jeans back

I also didn't have the hardware slider for the back vest belt so I just tied it in a knot. which works as well. Really the whole project was a late night sewing whim that turned out pretty well and reduced by fabric stash by 2 pieces. 

Here's a closer look at the black corduroy jeans. I got this fabric at Joann's maybe 3 years ago? or 2 years? What is time anyway - with our various periods of lockdown things tend to blur together. But it is the same fabric as the teal corduroy Ash jeans. Every once in a while I find really good fabrics in one category at Joanns, which is bottom weight items, whether it is denim, ponte or corduroy. If I go there intentionally looking I might come up with nothing, but if I am there for perhaps a color of thread or a last minute button requirement, I always look at the aisle of denim and corduroy and often find very nice quality fabrics. Weird - as most of their other stuff is pretty terrible. And slight rant, they used to carry Ambiance bemberg rayon lining in basics like navy, black and grey but those days are gone. I think that fabric is actually hard to come by anywhere, apparently the pandemic and international shipments are the cause and I hope we see it again in local shops. 

Black cord jeans front

I omitted some of the topstitching on the waistband and used black thread for all other topstitching. When it comes to jeans I'm a bit different as I really prefer tone-on-tone stitching, rarely a contrasting stitching for me, I like the look of the stitching disappearing into the fabric color. Even for my ready to wear jeans that I have purchased in the past, I see that I have many where the stitching is the same color as the fabric. 

Blue cord jeans and vest1

Well that's the latest for my vest and jeans combos. I plan to do a few more posts in this next couple of weeks when I certainly will have time on my hands and my painful foot propped up on pillows! 

Up next, I made a gorgeous camel wool coat for my friend Heather that I know you will be interested in seeing, and then some wool trousers are just completed. I'm currently doing an online class with Hello Stitch on sewing trousers - this is a new class for me and we had lots of sign ups. Maybe this very chilly winter has everyone thinking about warm wool pants. 

So I hope everyone is having a great new year and thanks very much for the kind words and emails checking to see if I had disappeared from the sewing blog world. Not yet!

Happy 2023 Sewing,

Perhaps we are edging out of our drought here in California, after the 3 weeks of unbelievable rainstorms. With trees uprooted all over and lots of flooding, my corner of the bay area came through it ok. As we all said, we want this much rain, just not all in one week!  One day as it was storming I heard a different sound and saw the hail which probably didn't make my lemon tree very happy although there are still plenty of lemons ripening. 

Hail on the lemon tree

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Blazer season, vintage Vogue 1193 pattern repeat

Last month I was surveying my fabric stash and noticed this heavy weight cotton sateen that I've had for absolutely ages, and decided it would make a neutral blazer to wear with lots of my various tops. Yes, solid red is a neutral for me :)  I decided to repeat a pattern I had made earlier this year, in a too heavy wool tweed that might have been better suited to a coat pattern.  Also I was just about to begin my online Blazer making class, which is going well and everyone is conquering welt pockets. 

red blazer at park2 vintage Vogue 1193

Here's a look at the pattern envelope. If you look at the technical drawings on patterns you can see the lines and details, and realize that so many patterns are basically the same as a newly released pattern. This one has the option of pocket variations and also a double breasted version which I might just try. 

Vogue 1193 Pattern envelope

Vogue 1193 technical drawings

I did change the patch pockets of Version A out for the welt pockets of Version D.

Here's a look on the dress form.

Red blazer front vintage Vogue 1193
As you can see it is missing the button and buttonhole in the front. I didn't have a single button in my stash that would work, so I will leave it off for a while and see if I can find a nice one when I next go fabric shopping in Berkeley or SF.

Let's talk about welt pockets. When I'm teaching the jacket making classes I always say once you get the welt pockets completed it's smooth sailing from there on. Well that might not be exactly true, but I like to be encouraging. Plus a nice welt pocket does make the jacket look so sharp and I think mastering that skill gives you a lot of confidence to tackle the other steps. 

Red blazer pocket vintage Vogue 1193

This fabric doesn't have much room for error, not like a nice wool tweed that is soft and pliable, but on the plus side it's not going to unravel. 

Red inside pocket vintage Vogue 1193

A look at the inside, I always make a thread ladder to show the pocket line on the front of the jacket as that is where you apply and stitch the pocket welts. The pocket pieces for the welts are something you can toss, I never use and just make my own, longer than needed and then cut down as I apply.

pocket welt sewing vintage Vogue 1193

If you have an open toe foot for your machine it does make seeing where you are stitching a lot easier. 

And just to show that we all  make mistakes, these little folds of fabric can happen anywhere you are stitching, this was on the lower pocket lining and it was a quick step to unstitch and redo it. I think they also happen so often when sewing in sleeves as well, just a tiny bit of fabric gets folded as you are sewing along and it makes a pucker. 

Pocket mistake2 vintage Vogue 1193

Red blazer at park3 vintage Vogue 1193

Of course wearing my Ash jeans. I love that pattern! Just cut out a corduroy flare version with stretch corduroy from Minerva which is exactly the corduroy I had been searching for. 

Red jacket back 2 views

I did put the back vent in this one, it seemed to go with the style and color. As usual I omitted the back facing and put the lining up to the edge of the collar.
Attaching the lining to the hem of the jacket and the vent were done with hand stitches. 
Red blazer at park vintage Vogue 1193

So that's the latest on this vintage pattern blazer. I just started to make a new coat for my friend Heather, in a beautiful camel colored wool from Britex so I will post about that project.
I have a few in-person and online classes scheduled between now and the end of the year. Including a couple of classes on fitting, Bodice Fitting Dec. 2 and Pattern Adjustment-Make-Fit a Test Garment on Dec. 3. I've listed all the upcoming classes on another page on this blog, at the top menu click on Sewing Class Schedule. The Bodice Fitting Class will also be an online version, on Sat. Dec 10 if that works for you.

It's actually coat weather - I wore my tricolor coat last evening and it was just right. 

My front garden revamp is finished so other than planting a few daffodil bulbs (around 70) I'm putting the planting aside and waiting for everything to burst into bloom in spring. 

Happy Sewing,

Today's garden photo, a few of these daisies still blooming, it's a bit patch which I plan to divide for more plantings.  Plus one of my bee friends visiting.Daisy with bee