Tricks and Treats

It’s time for the Halloween edition of Sew And So!

First order of business: the scary peacoat that’s taken up more than the last two months of my life. Stubborn to the end, it took me two machines and about 8 tries to get four complete buttonholes (seriously, I had to sew over each one twice because it kept skipping huge chunks!) But as of last night, the Felicity Peacoat is officially done!

To refresh the memory, since it’s been such a drawn-out process, it’s from Vogue 7979, which I modified by leaving off the button-on belt in the back, quilting the lining, and a whole mess of resizing due to bad pattern sizing for me in the store. It’s really black, even though it looks charcoal in the pictures, and it’s made from embroidered suedecloth. If I were going to make this pattern again, I’d try to avoid the quilted lining, because it added a lot of stiffness and weight to it… I was just afraid it wouldn’t keep me warm enough if I didn’t. But I have my winter coat now, just in time for the weather starting to get colder.

Tonight’s tricks and treats was this shirt. The trick was getting started, because as I was trying to get some stuff cleaned up around my machine, I knocked over my tea mug and it spilled all over the cut out pieces (which I did on Monday night), with the pattern pieces still pinned on. So they’re drying out, and I had to rinse out the pieces and throw them in the dryer. Even so, they were slightly damp the entire time I was working on it, so it’s back in the dryer now to remove the mustiness. Then I had to haul my machine and everything up to my bedroom, because one of the water tanks in the basement broke and wrecked one of our walls and possibly the floor. My dad was trying to dry everything out, so there was a lot of shuffling around, and in the meantime the mold from it was setting off my allergies.

Considering how hard it was to get started (it was 8 PM before I even started sewing), the shirt came together surprisingly well. I used my organic bamboo jersey (which was amazingly nice to work with, for a knit!) and Butterick 3344, which I modified by lengthening all the pieces and turning it into an actual wrap instead of a mock one. So I added the two ties and a slit at one side to pull it through, and eliminated the elastic it called for in the neckline in favor of iron-on interfacing strips that made the neckline almost completely painless to sew without stretching. Made for a nice clean edge too. So between that and the walking foot, everything laid pretty much how I wanted it to. Most painless experience I’ve ever had with knits.

If I was going to make it again, I’d take some of the width off the front piece, because I had to pull quite a bit of it through the slit to get it to lay close enough to my body in the front (even though I’m definitely going to be wearing something under this, I’d still like it to lie flat!). And I’d make the ties shorter. But all in all, not bad for three hours’ work! And the fabric is so incredibly comfortable. I’m hoping I can find some bamboo fabric again sometime!


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