here there be dragons

I’ve been putting a LOT of sewing hours in over the last week and a half, including about a 5 hour stretch last Saturday. I knew that my extra free time would be ending soon, and I’ve officially gotten the call back to my garden center job now. So I really wanted to get this project done before it happened, and I just made it, since I finished this on Thursday night and I have to go back tomorrow.

Oh, sewing time, how I will miss you!

As you know, I’ve been working on the Robson coat, and I’m rather pleased with how it turned out! I’m going to start with a proper pattern review, since Pattern Review is having a Sewaholic contest– how convenient!

Robson CoatPattern: The Robson Coat, from Sewaholic Patterns

Description: From the website: “This is a feminine take on the traditional military trench, with rounded edges for a softer look. The Robson Coat features everything you’d hope for on a trench coat, including front and back storm flaps, epaulettes, topstitching, tie belt and sleeve tabs. It’s unlined to make it easier to sew, as well as easier to press the finished coat. Front pockets are covered with welts and lie flat against the body. All of the inner seams are bound with bias tape for a clean finish.”

Pattern sizing: size 0-16. I made a 10 for the top and graded to an 8 at the bottom, to account for the pear-shaped figure grading.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing it? Yes!

Were the instructions easy to follow? I found them easy to follow, but I’ve been sewing for a long time. The hardest thing for me was the left vs right thing, but that’s normal.

Robson CoatWhat did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love the styling, and I think it’s very well-drafted. The collar in particular came together beautifully, in my opinion. I do wish that the belt loop placement had been marked differently, like with dots instead of notches–by the time I was ready to sew them on, the notches had long been enclosed with bias tape, and I had to resort to measuring from the bottom to get them evenly. It’s also a LOT of layers in certain points, particularly the shoulders with the yoke, the sleeve, and the epaulettes. It would probably be fine in a lightweight raincoat sort of fabric, and I got through it miraculously ok, because my machine is a beast. (Yay, Berninas!) But other machines would have an issue with it, depending on the fabric used.

Speaking of…

Fabric used: The Montauk Twill from Fabric.com, in the “deep sea” color. It’s described as a medium-to-heavyweight twill, which is probably why the thickness was an issue from time to time. The right side has a lovely brushed feel to it, and it was wonderful to sew with! (Though it did get some fuzzballs on the wrong side from washing, and it turns out that Golden retriever hair sticks to it pretty easily. But then, I’m pretty sure the one dog’s fur is made from Velcro.) I also used a quilter cotton for the bias bindings, and some polyester satin to underline the sleeves.

Robson coat insidePattern alterations or any design changes you made: I ended up adding an extra 1/8″ back in per side around the bustline princess seams and the upper center back seam. Along with making the top a larger size, this worked great as a cheater FBA. I also underlined the sleeves with a more slippery fabric. (Look, I’m print-mixing!) Aside from that, it’s pretty much as is.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I could see myself sewing it again, but not for a really long time. Unless I cropped it, ditched the flaps, and styled it as a layering jacket. You really only need one spring outerwear coat, you know? I would recommend it to an advanced sewist, or an intermediate one who isn’t afraid to try some new things, like bias tape seam finishes.

Dragons!Other notes:
I am absolutely in love with these buttons. They’re slightly smaller than what’s called for, and I don’t care.

Because DRAGONS.

Seriously, aren’t these the coolest? I mentioned back during Sew Grateful week that I found these at KnitPicks. I did end up buying one pack too many, because I didn’t realize that 3 of the buttons were only to be sewed on the wrong side for buttoning purposes. (I also ended up sewing those 3 inner buttons to the wrong side, but I’m not going to bother fixing it. Honestly, as much as I need to get in and out of jackets fairly quickly when travel-teaching lessons, I’m probably never going to properly button this.) So I have 5 of these lovelies left, and will have to come up with some use for them. These are too fun to hoard, even though hoarding is a dragon’s favorite thing to do.

I’m kind of tempted to call this my “Smauglock” jacket. If you’re a fan of the BBC Sherlock and/or the recent Hobbit movies, you may have seen things like this, where artsy people have fun with the same two actors playing Holmes/Watson and Smaug/Bilbo:

"Smauglock....it never gets old!"

I mean, come on, that scarf is pretty much the exact color of this coat!

IMG_1178Now, for the stashbusting details, minus the usual categories that got covered in the pattern review (pattern, fabric used):

Amount of time it took to make: About a week and a half, but I put in a lot of hours during that time.

Amount of fabric used: 6 yards (yeah!) I entirely used up 2 pieces, and have about 1/2 yard left of the quilter cotton. But it’s just a big triangle, and I do already have several bias-cut strips left over, so I’ll probably just go ahead and cut the rest into strips for either more bias tape, or to use for the leftovers scrap quilt I’m plotting.

Stashed since: 2013 for the twill and quilt cotton, since it was bought specifically for this project at the end of last year. 2011 for the poly satin, since it was leftover from lining this jacket.

Current stash total: About 325.5 yards. (Oddly, I took 5 additional yards out for the Sew Grateful giveaway, but I guess it had stopped counting at some point in my spreadsheet, because I ended up with 4 more yards than I’d thought! Arrrgh!)

For Stash Diet purposes, this means I’ve now gotten rid of 8 pieces of fabric (10 if you count the two for the giveaway, which will be going out soon!), and used 4 different patterns this year. According to my rules, this means I’ve “earned” both a new piece of fabric, and a new pattern! But I’m going to hold off for now, since I won the Avocado Hoodie pattern during Sew Grateful week, and Doug and I have some financial goals we’re trying to meet that would be helped by me not buying fabric just yet. I already have such a long list of projects to get to soon that I think I can wait.

IMG_1215I’m going to leave you with one last shot–I actually managed to get outdoor photos for once! I finished this just in time for a Saturday that was decently warm enough to take this jacket out for a test-drive, so Doug and I took the dogs to a nearby dog park to throw some tennis balls for them. They don’t get much space to play in our tiny, unfenced backyard, so this was definitely a treat for them. I was having fun attempting to get some good action shots of them running around, and Doug graciously agreed to take some photos of the coat. So of course, we ended up with a few involving my furry photobombers. But they’re pretty cute in this one.

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23 thoughts on “here there be dragons

  1. I know, right? It's rather ridiculous at this point, which is why I'm really concentrating on the stashbusting efforts this year. I would love to get it down to a manageable size, i.e. only needing one shelf to hold it without it being crammed so tightly together that I have trouble adding or removing things. Or at least 150 yards less than I have now. 🙂

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  2. It's lovely. It's giving me the incentive to think about starting mine once I can justify spending on the fabric. I hope my machine (a puny 10 yr old Singer) can cope as well as your Bernina! Hope you still can make some time for sewing!

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  3. Well, I may have put off cleaning for that entire time. 😉 And it did help that I didn't need to touch my serger for this one, so I was able to just leave my machine in the living room and sew while Doug watched hockey. It made it much easier to still be able to hang out with him, rather than ignore him and hole up for hours on end in my sewing room!

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  4. It probably depends on what kind of fabric you use– if it's a raincoating type, it'll probably be a lot thinner. Of course, then you have a whole new set of issues about avoiding extra pin holes…

    I hope I can still make some time for sewing, too! I have a couple of things for others with deadlines, so I'll have to stay on top of it, but I still have plenty of selfish sewing that I want to do as well.

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  5. Thank you! It's been nice to walk around in a more colorful jacket the last few days–I've been wearing my plain black winter coat so long that it's refreshing to have the teal!

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  6. Thanks! There are things I do like about the job, like the people and that they let me have the afternoon hours off so I can do my music stuff, I just tend to get bored when I'm deadheading flowers for hours on end. 🙂

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  7. Your coat looks so nice! I'm getting ready to make this pattern in the next few weeks too – it was one I wanted to get to last year but never did. Hope mine turns out half as nice as yours!

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  8. I hope it goes well for you! I really made an effort to take my time with the topstitching, and it helped a lot. All I really needed to redo on occasion was when my bobbin ran out of thread in the middle of it.

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  9. Hehe, love the Smauglock pic. 🙂 What a lovely Robson coat! I love the colour so much that when I recently saw a similar teal-greenish suiting flannel, I had to buy it… I'm still debating if it should become a coat or a Minoru jacket… And yay for your fun piping and lining!

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