Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Striped Jenny Overalls

My favorite, favorite black linen Jenny Overalls are in the mending pile... they are worn paper thin in some crucial areas, so they're candidates to try out invisible mending. I love these so much nothing can replace them. But in the meantime a girl needs some overalls...

I bought this striped stretch linen from Emmaonesock thinking I'd make pants. When I got it, it was not nearly as stretchy as I thought it would be, and I failed to commit on a pants pattern. The thought crossed my mind: "What lovely overalls this fabric would make." And the fact is, overalls don't take much more fabric than pants...

And then there are always overalls with removable bibs...!

So I don't have a lot more to say about making the Jenny Overalls. They are great. I make them with the grading between sizes established in my black linen overalls and the Frida Overalls, and vary the width of the side seam based on how I'm feeling about fit (the pattern has a generous 1 inch side seam). These also have a double side button fly that you can see in this tutorial.

Lots of pictures and not a lot of text follow.

Outside of bib and inside of pants, showing the buttons for attaching to the waistband, and the buttonholes through the inside of the waistband. The very last hole on each side is attached to the jeans button on the double button side button fly.

I drafted a front pocket stay for this version, since my fabric had stretch and wasn't quite as heavy as one could hope. I sort of love it! French seamed in the manner learned from Closet Case Patterns Ginger Jeans. 
Machine blind stiched hem. I guess this photo would be better rotated 180 degrees, sorry.

Button side fly. Buttons are from Amazon, a set that included 6 different kinds. I was loving these nautical themed ones for this project.

Front bib and pants front seen from the front side. The bib is cut on the bias.

 Straps are faced with white linen. 
Back view... front side of straps and back side of waistband.  

I forgot to mirror the angle on the back of the straps... doh! But one really can't tell when wearing, so sorry not sorry, and not fixing it! The horizontal buttonholes are for the straps. The vertical buttonholes and buttons on the waistband are for buttonhole elastic that has yet to be installed. Long story short, I've been inspired by my 7 year old's little girl jeans to try buttonhole elastic so that I can adjust the fit based on how I'm feeling, day to day, hour to hour. Anyhow I'll write a post on that if it ends up working.

Inside of straps and waistband. 

I just LOVE these. Not quite as versatile as my black linen ones, but very striking.

Worn here with a white Liesl Classic Shirt.

More overalls in the making...

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Forest Green Twill Sienna Maker Jacket by Closet Case Patterns

I have a new favorite wardrobe item... please welcome my Sienna Maker Jacket.

This is yet another instance of Closet Case Patterns releasing a pattern for an item I had never even considered owning, but after making it, I don't know how I lived without it. I've worn it every day since finishing it.

While all of the samples were amazing and envy-worthy, as usual, the one that really struck me was Carolyn's. Not only did her version make forest green seem the most lovely shade in the world, but it also reminded me of a piece of orphaned fabric I had in my stash.

Orphaned, you ask? You see, I bought this stretch twill with every intention of making pants. It wasn't even an online purchase, it was bought locally, and I was convinced while in the store that it would all work out well. The first problem was the color-- it was an odd shade of medium green, and I had in mind a pair of black pants. So I purchased a couple of packs of Dylan black dye and threw the whole mess in the washer. This did not work out as planned... instead of black I got this dark green, which isn't bad at all, but if one was expecting black, it is rather disappointing. I have since read up about dying things black, and apparently it can be quite tricky to get a true black, especially with a cheap packaged dye. Dark green might not have been a deal breaker, except for the fact that when washed, the twill ended up weighty and without the kind of recovery one hopes for in stretchy pants. I worried that for the pattern I had in mind, they would just bag out and be saggy. That was a couple years ago, and it has sat in the stash ever since, causing me a bit of consternation every time I looked at it and wondered what in the world I would do with it.

Then came Carolyn's Sienna, and I knew just what I had to do.

Out came the dark green twill, and I laid it out with concern... could I fit the pattern pieces on my 2.25 yards? I had my heart set on the mid-length, with sleeve pockets and the very cool wrap tie-belt, which calls for 3.25 yards, not including the sleeve pockets. While all logic and the pattern envelope asserted that this would not be possible my pattern layout intuition thought it might be possible... and it somehow was. I didn't measure, but it must have been an especially wide fabric. The facings were cut from a piece of scrap linen, and the belt was pieced together. It is a touch shorter than the pattern called for, but I'm only 5'4" so this worked out fine. After cutting, I only had a handful of tiny scraps left.

Concerning sizing, I merely graded between sizes based on my measurements. If memory serves, I decided on a 14 shoulder, 18 waist, and 16 hip, and 16 arms. I made no muslin. With the intended fit being fairly loose, I figured that precise fitting would not be necessary.

For a relaxed fit jacket, the fit is perfection!

The directions were superb as usual. I followed them step by step just because it was fun.

Since the coat is unlined, clean seam finishes are called for. Having previously sewed a rain coat using true flat-felled seams for strength and waterproof-ness, I would call their version of a flat felled seam a "faux flat felled seam." And their faux flat-felled seam, where one serges and stitches down the seams, might be a faux-faux flat felled seam? However, in this case, since all was needed was a nice seam finish, I used what I would call a faux flat fell, where one trims one seam allowance and wraps the other seam allowance over it and stitches it down. There were a couple of exceptions... for the second sleeve seam I used a french seam, which is easier to do on a closed tube. And I serged the armhole seams, since I was feeling too lazy to fuss with binding or flat felling on the curve. Carolyn serged hers so I felt in good company.

The facing edges are bias bound with bias made from my striped linen. The way the inside pocket is stitched down under the facing is an unusual detail, but it works!

Stretch is not suggested for this pattern, and this twill is very stretchy. To balance this, I interfaced pockets edges with strips of interfacing, and I also was very careful not to stretch when sewing. There was sometimes a bit of a wave after sewing a seam which was fixed with a bit of steam from the iron.

Hanging look loop interferes with my personal brand tag... didn't notice this until I took pictures. Might have to move that tag down. 

I had a bit of fun with hardware. The rectangular rings I found at Joannes, I wish they had an antique brass finish but since I didn't think ahead, I had to take what I could get. The antique snaps I had in stash from a previous project. I accidentally added the snap to the wrong side of the collar, so I had to add another to the correct side. The rivets were from a leather project and were too long for riveting fabric, but after snipping the ends they were perfect.

Sleeve pocket detail.

Not perfect. Not apologizing.

I haven't yet figured out what to do with sleeve pockets, but I'm enjoying the detail anyway. They strike me as a good way for someone to sneak up behind you and play a little prank... but anyway.

The patch pockets in the front are HUGE. 

Facing on the front patch pocket. The pattern has cut-on facings, I drafted this facing on the fly due to lack of fabric. 

As I said, it's been hard to take it off since finishing it. It is also very satisfying to have made it from a piece of stash fabric that had been a disappointment for its original purpose, but is very satisfactory for this jacket. I actually sort of hope the cheap dye I used will continue to wash out and add to the aged look. 

I'm already dreaming up other versions. The collar has definite trench-coat vibes, maybe a long wool version with a shoulder flap and back vent? Or a short (view C) version with repurposed denim....

Monday, December 30, 2019

Red Linen Wiksten Haori (formerly Wiksten Kimono)

I made a Wiksten Haori in red linen, and it has been the hot item this holiday!

This pattern is simple, but a lovely shape that works for many people. I made this one with no lining in a heavy red linen from my stash, a piece that I've had for many years. It has proven to be a bit too heavy for a dress, but was perfect for this pattern. It is wonderfully smooth and drapey with an attractive rustic weave.

I made it without a lining, instead I faux flat felled all of the seams, except the arm seams which were difficult to flat fell, so I french seamed them. I made a facing for the sleeves so that I could turn them up without the seams showing. I used my custom pockets, which are a curved slant that goes from the collar to the side seam in one clean sweep.

This was all made in a huge rush in time for a Fiddle Orchestra concert where we were instructed to wear red. Previously the only thing red in my wardrobe was underwear ;).

I love the way this turned out, and it has proven to be a wonderful item to have in my wardrobe for the holidays-- just throw it on over any other item and one can instantly assume that I have a healthy holiday spirit.

More photos...

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Red Ombre Plaid Tessuti Oslo Coat

I've made a new coat!

And it is a cozy, wooly, wintery coat!

It's been awhile since I've made a coat. Last year I was crushing on all of the amazing versions of the Papercut Sapporo coat on instagram, and I bought a piece of wool to make it. Online purchase, and it was a lovely gray coating, but it was drapy-er than I thought would be ideal for the Sapporo coat. I was also having second thoughts on the Sapporo because it really isn't such a practical coat for truly cold climates since it has no front closure and cropped sleeves, so what I would be making would be a late fall-early spring coat, and the wardrobe gap I was filling was for a truly warm coat. I was also noticing how many of the Sapporo coats that I admired required quite a bit of finagling of the pattern, and then this review came out.

I still think I'll still sew the Sapporo coat sometime in the near future since it is such a unique pattern and I'm  but for my winter coat needs, I went looking for another pattern. I was looking for something classic and a bit boxy, and decided on the Oslo coat by Tessuti. There are some incredible versions of this one out in the blogosphere by some of my favorite bloggers, including amazing versions by Diary of a Chainstitcher, Fifty two Fancies, Jasika Nicole, and of course the amazing Heather of Closet Case files.

The plan was coming together for some cozy holiday sewing over the Thanksgiving break. However, when I pulled out my stashed gray coating, it didn't seem right for this project either. So I make a trip to my favorite local fabric shop, Homespun, and this ombre plaid coating was love at first sight. It was a pretty heavy wool, so I thought it would work well to make a structured, super-warm coat. I also picked up a lining that was an interesting fabric, smooth rayon sort of like a bemberg on one side and cotton on the other.

I took a cue from Heather and went up a size because I was planning on some serious underlining and interlining and I wanted room to be able to wear a thick sweater or down liner, and I increased the seam allowances to 1-inch on the side seams and sleeves to allow on-the-fly fitting. I ended up using some of that extra seam allowance to add some width to the upper sleeve because I felt that my very significant biceps needed a bit more ease for layering.

I bought about 1/2 a yard extra for plaid matching, but perhaps I should have bought more, especially after adding extra to the seam allowances. I just barely managed to cut it all out, and I ended up having to piece together one of the facings. However, in the end I am very happy with my plaid matching, it is so satisfying!

The one major change that I made was to raise the pockets a whole 6 inches. Every review I've read of this coat talks about how low the pockets are. I determined the pocket height by draping the pinned together coat pieces around me and imagining a good pocket location. The pockets are truly humongous, and this is a feature I love in the finished coat after raising them to a point where I can easily touch the bottom of the pocket when wearing the coat. There has been many a coat and dress where I've placed the pocket too low and not being able to touch the bottom of your pockets is seriously annoying!

One of the goals for this coat was to make a TRULY WARM winter coat. I happened to be reading this post by Fehr trade while making the coat, which really nailed home the wind-blocking properties of flannel interlining, so I fully interlined the sleeves and upper body with flannel that I had in my stash. I really loved Jasika Nicole's idea of a quilted lining, so I borrowed her idea. I used Dream Wool and the crib size was just enough for my coat.

I added hanging chain, and one of my dwindling supply of tags.

I was almost too lazy, but at the last minute I found the energy to add an interior zipper pocket. I made it HUGE, it can easily swallow my big credit card wallet.

Generally the directions were quite good. However I had a small beef with the understitching instructions for the collar. Shouldn't one switch the side of the understitching at the break, the point at which the collar turns? Otherwise the seam would show on either the collar or the bottom of the coat. I followed the directions blindly at first, but it bothered me so much that I unpicked my understitching and redid it, clipping the seam at the break and switching the understitching. 

This wool required serious use of steam and a clapper. The clapper wasn't on hand for the final press for these photos, and I ended up using a handy block of wood which worked just about as well as my fancy clapper.

I didn't add the buttonhole until just before I sewed in the lining, so that I could customize the location. It was a bit of a pain making a bound buttonhole with the coat already sewn, but not impossible, and it beats having the buttonhole in the wrong location. The button is an interesting dark green button from my friend Susie's grandmother's collection.

I was lazy and did not add the interior button. In some photos the coat does not lay as well as it could... not sure if I'm motivated to go back and add it though.

Towards the end of the project I was just going on autopilot, so I finished that tricky area where the bottom of the front facing meets the lining with a bit of hand sewing like I usually do. However in retrospect it looks like they had an interesting method for getting a nice finish, so I wish I had paid more attention to the directions.

I love the notch where there collar meets the shoulder, it adds a subtle detail to an otherwise simple design.

So, after finishing it up, I have to say... this coat is heavy! And sort of huge. However, it is toasty warm. It isn't the coat I reach for every day, but on cold days it is the coat I reach for when I know I'll be standing around it in. It is the perfect coat for keeping my daughter company on dark cold mornings as she waits for her school bus. It's definitely the coat I reach for on below-freezing snowy mornings when I know I have to be at work despite the conditions. However I wore it on a day I was out Christmas shopping and I was sweating in the stores!

A few more photos...

So the one thing I've thought about is adding an inner cuff to the sleeve. I probably should have tapered the sleeve a bit more, because as it is it lets in a bit of a draft.

I would love to make this pattern again in the future, perhaps with a lighter, drapier wool, not sizing up, which I think would make a very classy, versatile coat.

Have you made a warm coat? How did you add warmth to your coat?