Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Fashion Challenge Week 3: What They Made

We are now more than half way through the Fabricista Fashion Challenge! We are down to four contestants and the competition is fierce! They created another great pairing of garments this week showing some love to a piece in their closet that doesn't get worn very much. Read more about the complete 3rd challenge HERE. 

The winner of this challenge wins an awesome 15 yard fabric bundle filled with luxurious fabrics AND 3 patterns of their choice from the McCall Pattern Company. 

Don't forget you can play along too! Use #fabricistafabricmart when posting your photo to Instagram and Facebook. (And if you want to be safe, email us a photo too!) See details about the Reader Participation part HERE. You could win a pattern and notion prize pack!

Let's see what they made...

Tee from Maggie Elaine

This week’s challenge was somewhat difficult for me, because for the past two years I have made a conscious effort to purge my closet and donate items to Goodwill that I do not wear or should have never worn in the first place, this includes some of my DIYs. Therefore, finding an item in my closet that needed to be shown a little love was a challenge within itself. However, I did find one thing and that is a black velvet, capped sleeve, mock turtleneck that I found at Goodwill earlier this year (yes, I donate and thrift there too, best of both worlds). This top is the item featured in all of the pictures.

I have not had a chance to wear this item yet, due to the warmer temperatures here in Vegas. However, during the December/January timeframe, the temperature will drop down to the 30s to 50s; and with the holidays approaching I figure I should get some use out of this top. So, I decided to coordinate my two pieces around it.


I want to show how this top can be dressed up or down for a little more casual look. I incorporated a couple of classic elements that I use to love wearing back in the Midwest. Those elements are corduroy (ANYTHING) and denim overalls (sometimes corduroy overalls). I also have sort of a patch pocket theme going on with both coordinate pieces.

Look 1: Not Your Typical Denim Overalls

Ok, get ready to follow me on how I made this one. My inspiration for these overalls came from Stella McCartney’s Denim Dungarees that are sold out on the site and other similar overalls.
This style is a modern take on overalls in terms of nixing the side waist buttons and using an invisible zipper for a more fitted and polished look. It also puts me in mind of a jumpsuit. It’s like if overalls and a jumpsuit had a baby together. 

I could not find a true overalls pattern anywhere, besides one Kwik Sew pattern that was not in-stock in the stores and one pdf that I did not love. I couldn’t even find a pair of overalls in Goodwill to cut apart for a pattern. The closest thing I found was ski overalls. I had to figure out how to make this pattern myself and fast! Ok, so here is what I did in a nutshell.


Used Burda 6725 to make the upper portion of the pants with the patch pockets, and McCall’s M6610 to make the lower portion of the pants for the flare bottom. McCall’s 7394 to create the front and back “bodice” (thank goodness I had this pattern cut out)

Self-drafted front bodice pocket
Goodwill ski overalls to create the straps and curved shape of the back bodice

As much as my machine would allow, I top-stitched everything in denim thread (minus my hem). Despite using regular thread for the bobbin and denim thread for the top, my fancy-schmancy machine (that I have a volatile relationship with) does not handle denim thread well. So, I turned to one of my old vintage machines, which worked like a champ, but started skipping stitches by the time I made it to the lower edge of the waistband, which is why you may notice a couple thicker sections of thread. I had to go back over a couple spots. I inserted a side invisible zipper, this is the picture where you notice that the top-stitching stops before the side seam. It was to avoid going into the zipper. I used gold overall buckles to complete the look. I like the velvet top with these modern overalls, because it looks fancy for the occasion, without going over the top.

Look 2: Corduroy Skirt

Next up is my cream-colored, patch pocket, midi, corduroy skirt made using McCall’s M7439. I made view D, with view C’s waistband. I wasn’t wild about how high the waistband was on my shorter torso in the front, so I decided to flip the high curve of the center of the front band down. It worked well, since the inside of the band is made with the right side of the fabric facing out. I adore seeing off-white or cream worn in the winter, especially in mid to heavy weight fabrics such as this or wool. When you add gold and black, it just pops the color and makes it look rich. 

I am super into adding elements that make your clothes look like the garment is wearing accessories, so I used a gold metal exposed zipper and added black buttons trimmed in gold to the pockets for d├ęcor only. These buttons are not functional, because I think by buttoning them, I would lose the “open but not slouchy” look of the pockets on the sides of the skirts. I feel the sides of the pockets would protrude out, if it is buttoned to the skirt in the center. 

In addition to finding this lovely velvet top, I also found this gold and black chain that I am wearing as a belt. This is actually a broken purse strap, but it reminded me of Chanel, and I knew I would use it for something great one day. A tassel was attached to one end of the strap. Instead of using that tassel, I replaced it and attached two of the same tassels to the ends of the chain. I think the texture and richness of the velvet goes well with the soft velvety texture of the corduroy.


Elizabeth from Elizabeth Made This

This week’s challenge is to “Show Some Love” to an item in our closets that we don’t wear as much as we could. To do this we were to sew 2 different pieces that can separately coordinate with the unworn item.

My unloved item is this tan knitted Cabi bolero jacket. I picked it up in a consignment store when I was pregnant with my 3rd son. At the time, I thought I’d wear it often due to the fact that bolero jackets by nature don’t approach my then expanding tummy. I loved the flower embellishment, and the tan color is just about my perfect neutral color.

In practice, I never could figure out how to wear this jacket. Every dress I tried to pair it with resulted in a really boring color combination or created an odd silhouette. I also tried pairing it with knit tops. Most of my knit tops have 3/4-length sleeves. Somehow, the combination of a cap sleeve and ¾ length sleeve ended up visually shortening my already short arms. The end result was awkward. Still, I’ve always hung onto this jacket, in hopes that I’d figure out how to wear it another time. My style solutions are this geometric hem tunic and floral sheath dress.

Geometric Hem Tunic

A couple of years ago, I bought a ready to wear tunic. It features this really cool seaming in the front and back that flare out into a geometric hem. I love the lines of this top, but it is at least 4 sizes too big for me and not a good color on me. It’s always been my goal to modify my TNT t-shirt pattern into something very much like this tunic.

To do this, I traced off a fresh copy of my t-shirt pattern (which is Jalie 2921 minus the v-neck and scarf collar, plus the scoop neck of an Ottobre t-shirt). Then, I set my t-shirt pattern over the tunic and traced off the style lines. The tunic was meant for someone with a larger body circumference, but also someone much taller than me. At 5’2.5”, tunics are always a little tricky; they’re usually too long, and I can wear them as dresses.

To get the style lines in a better place for me, I raised the points where the seams intersected. I looked at the points where the lines crossed and hit the side seams proportionally to the length of the original tunic then transferred that to my own proportionally shorter pattern. I also took in the waist considerably. Trying to fit my waist without losing the draping, flared side seams was a bit of a challenge. In the end, I came up with side seams that kept the effect of the original tunic without leaving me swimming in fabric.


Mixing knits
I took the majority fabric for this top from a RTW striped cotton/rayon/spandex t-shirt. The weight of this knit is great for a fall/winter tee. Since I had limited yardage to work with, I chose two other knits to coordinate with the stripe: a tan cotton poly jersey, and a peachy pink stretch lace. Mixing knits is one of my favorite things in making t-shirts. One tip for mixing knits is to make sure that the knits are of similar weight and stretch. This way the knits will sew together easily, and you’ll get smooth, pucker-free seams.

The lace sections are underlined with the tan jersey. First, I cut out the pattern pieces from the tan jersey. After that, I overlaid the jersey pieces with the lace and hand basted around the perimeter of the pieces. Then cut lace edges even with the jersey and treat the two fabrics as one.

Lace is also added over the left sleeve. When I had sewn the front to the back as well as the sleeve seams, I noted the height where the lace from the bottom front would hit the sleeve horizontally when the t-shirt was finished. Then I made a quick pattern piece by modifying my sleeve pattern so that it continues the seam line on the lace. I like how the lace has a different look when backed with the stripe vs. the jersey.

I played around with the stripes a little bit by cutting the neck binding on the bias. The striped section on the back also runs vertically. This stripe knit has 4-way stretch, so I knew that turning it as I pleased would not affect the fit because of the additional stretch.

To construct the top, I used my sewing machine and a zigzag stitch to finish. I usually serge all of my knit tops, but with the lace, I wanted a more delicate finish.

I’m really happy with how the bolero works with the long sleeve. Also, because the colors of the bolero are actually in the colors of the knit top, I think they harmonize really well together.

clockwise: welt pockets, tricot lining, rtw tunic vs. me-sized tunic, zigzag seam finish
Floral Sheath Dress

Pattern/Fabric
For my second coordinate, I chose Ottobre 2-2009-17. It’s a lined sheath dress. I chose this pattern because the floral print does not get broken up by any horizontal seams on the front or back.

For this dress, I used nice midweight cotton batik I had in my stash. The full lining is brown tricot. This pattern has 4 neckline pleats which I secured with invisible hand stitches. There's so many darts on this pattern! Between the lining, facing, and the fashion fabric, there's 20 darts to sew!


Fitting
At the outset, I have to mention that I'm petite. I'm not only shorter than average, but my frame is quite narrow. Typically, I avoid a lot of alterations by grading down the neck and shoulders of all patterns at least one size to a size 32 in European patterns and various sizes in other patterns. I also have to shorten hems and sleeves. These two alterations I do immediately, without question, but sometimes I encounter a more challenging fit problem. Though this is a simple dress in theory, the sleeveless armhole took me a long time to get right.


I'm short proportionally between my shoulder and my bust, so sleeveless armholes always have too much circumference. The end result is that the armholes dip down too low and my bra shows. Not exactly a classy look, and it's really uncomfortable.

I didn't have time this week to make a muslin for this dress as I would normally to check the armhole. Instead, I found myself reverse-engineering the fit to get what I needed. Ultimately, I think I ended up with a better fit than the times I've tried to conquer sleeveless armholes.
Making a smaller armhole after cutting

To make the armhole smaller (which in turn raises the armhole to an appropriate level), I took out 2" from the bottom of the armhole, tapering down to zero 3.25" below into the side seam. There was a little excess fabric in the bust, so I could confidently take out what I needed in the side seam without ending up with an unwearable dress.

The back armhole also was gaping a little, so I pinned out 5/8" from the back armhole edge. Not wanting to have a visible dart in the back armhole, I rotated this excess out into the shoulder seam. The excess taken out tapers to zero at the back shoulder's neck edge.

Usually I do horizontal folds out of the front and back and the sleeve if I need to "petite" a pattern, but this raises the neckline. Since the neckline depth was already at a height I liked, I was glad to have discovered an armhole alteration that not only doesn't affect the neckline, but one that I could change after the fact. There's some pieces of RTW in my closet that I'm totally pulling out and fixing with these alterations!
Extra features

The pattern did not have any pockets, so I added 2 single welt pockets on the front.

I also added a vent in the back so that I could walk around with ease.

I really like how the color of the bolero picks up the browns in the floral print. Silhouette-wise, I think the jacket and the dress work really well together too. Though it's a sleeveless dress, this will be a good transition piece for me into fall. Our falls tend to stay warm for a long time. I can always add a layering tee under the dress for an extra bit of warmth if needed.

I loved making both of these garments! Now I have 2 pieces to combine with a jacket I've always wanted to wear!



Jennifer from Clothing Hacker

I was very excited about this challenge. I had a couple options for the garment I would use, but I chose a red and black plaid pencil skirt I bought a couple years ago at a thrift shop and have never worn.

I knew I wanted to do one red top and one black top to go with it. My original plan for the red was a red lace top and a matching red tank to wear under it. I made the tank top using a red Rayon/Spandex knit using the Love Notions Luna Loungewear pattern. The lace top was a disaster, so I scrapped it. I loved the color of that tank top with the plaid skirt so I decided to use the left over for a Swoon Scarf neck cardigan. 

I love this duo and although this is two items I made to go with my skirt, I will never wear either by itself, so I think of it as one as far as this challenge goes. (Note to readers: At this time we do not have any photos of the cardigan.)


For the second item, I wanted something that looked more structured, so I decided to make a button up fit and flare type top with a collar. I had some sketches, but had a hard time finding a pattern to use. So I chose to modify the Sew Over It Vintage Shirt Dress to be a peplum blouse. 
 

I had to do a 4" FBA on the largest size, size 20. Other than that, I used the bodice as-is and cut the skirt 6" long and shaped the front to be curved.

I was working on this top until the last possible second. The fabric is a black satin that is a little on the heavy side, so it was a little hard to work with this pattern and even harder to try to photograph this very shiny fabric in my bad indoor lighting. The street light photos turned out fairly interesting, but unfortunately it was still hard to see it the top very well.




LaTonya from Sew So Petite

This weeks challenge was to create 2 items that match an item that was already in my wardrobe. As I stated previously, I wear a lot of T-shirts and jeans. When I am not working as a nurse, I am toting kids back and forth to school and various other activities, so casual is my go to style.



Here is my love needed item. It's a seemingly basic button down plaid top. I bought it sometime last year and I never wore it. You may not be able to tell from the pictures, but this button down top has pockets on the sides. This was seriously the reason why I have never worn this item. I did not pay attention when I bought it and only realized the pockets when I got home. It is a little strange. Seriously?! Pockets? It has sat in my drawer for months now, and the tags were still attached to it. So I figured what better piece to go with a button down top? Jeans and a jacket to hide those pockets.

First coordinating piece: Jeans!!!

I had been wanting to try my hand at making another pair of jeans for a while. Ginger jeans seemed like a match made in heaven for me; so I gave it a go. I chose to do view A, which features a low rise, stovepipe leg in a size 4.

Fit:
Pants-making can be very tough. In my honest opinion, making pants/jeans has been the hardest thing I have done yet! There are so many fit issues with making pants. I did 3 different muslins before I got the fit that I was looking for. I took about 2 inches out of each side seam and about 4 inches off the total length. I also noticed that I had "bunching" at my knees. To remedy this, I curved my seam inward about an inch more than the original seam and the slowly tapered back to the seam. Because I am very petite, and quite frankly, I have no curves, I did about a 1 inch flat seat adjustment.



Craftsmanship:
I chose a 7oz stretch denim that I purchased at the Textile Outlet, here in Chicago. The waist band and pocket linings are just a plain white cotton. I used an embroidery stitch for my pocket design detail and I topstitched every seam, except for the outside leg seams, which are near impossible to reach. Once I was done with the jeans, I really felt that I needed to add more. I wanted to go for a more "grungy/street" look. I decided to distress my beloved gingers. I read a few tutorials online while gathering up my courage. Distressing jeans is quite easy and there really is no way to "mess it up."This tutorial really helped me. Many people use tweezers, however for us seamstresses, I highly recommend using your seam ripper. You basically just make a few slits (with either your scissors or a razor), and the pull those white threads from the blue denim, very carefully. It's actually quite fun once you get the hang of it.

I also decided to do a really cute topstitching design on my jeans pockets. The jeans feel great on me. They are not too tight, yet the aren't too loose either. And I accomplished my goal of a grungy/street look with the distressing.



Second coordinating piece: Casual jacket
It's no secret that I love making outerwear/jackets/overcoats. There's just something about making a coat or jacket that really makes me happy. Marmalade jacket was a perfect choice for the look that I was going for.


Fit:
Marmalade jacket is a lined, semi fitted short jacket with a stand collar, gathering on the front and optional gathering on the back. The sleeves can be made with or without vents. The only adjustment that I made to this pattern was take about 1/2 inch out the back seam. For some reason, the pattern has quite a bit of extra ease on the back seam and it did not look well with my body type. I cut a size 4 and it fits like a dream.


Craftsmanship:
Construction on this jacket was pretty straightforward. There wasn't a lot of topstitching to be done, but I did learn how to install snap closures, which the pattern calls for 7 of them. I omitted the very last snap button; it would have been more of a pain to snap for me. The jacket shell is a cotton twill that I purchased at JoAnn's and the lining is plain black lining fabric, also from JoAnn's. I chose to do the sleeve vents. I have never done sleeve vents before and I wanted that experience.



Final Thoughts:
When I received this challenge, I immediately knew that I wanted to do something that was casual. I don't "dress up" everyday and most days I wear sneaker. I love wearing jeans and to be able to make a pair that fit my body perfectly is such a great accomplishment for me. My jacket is not quite a jacket. I look at it more of a throw on garment. I am always cold, so this fits my lifestyle as well. It's not warm enough to wear by itself in the Fall, but it certainly falls in line with the look that I was going for. I personally think that the jacket looks so much better when worn open. The brown color of the jacket really compliments the blue and red plaid of the shirt well and jeans compliment just about everything. And when your teenage daughter tells you that your jeans are "cool" you definitely know that you are winning!


Vote now for your favorite combo! Voting ends September 30 at 8am ET.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Winner of Week 2 + Week 3 Challenge

And the winner of week 2 challenge is....

LaTonya!! Congratulations on being the winner of the Trench Coat Challenge! The judges were VERY impressed with everyone's coats and we had a tough time judging. Wouldn't it be so much easier to make everyone a winner?? Again, congrats to LaTonya! You made it to the next round and are the winner of Palmer/Pletsch prize pack: a package of Palmer/Pletsch PerfectFuse Sheer fusible interfacing and the Palmer/Pletsch PerfectFuse DVD. All courtesy of Palmer/Pletsch.


Unfortunately, Melanie had the lowest score and did not make it on to the next round. Thank you so much for participating and keep up the great work!

The winner in the reader participation contest is Helen M. She made a lovely trench using a printed fabric (unknown content.) You win the pattern pack and rotary cutter! 




______________________________________

Week 3 Challenge:
"Show Some Love" 3-piece Coordinate Collection
We all have something in our closet that we bought or made, love it, but have nothing to wear with it, right?! It's always a shame when you spend the money or take the time to make something and it sits in your closet. Now's the time to get it out of your closet and make it work! We're calling this the "Show Some Love" challenge because it's time to show some love to that lost piece! 

This week's challenge may be a little deceiving since it is called the "3-piece" Coordinate Collection. You actually only need to make two garments this time around! The third piece is the item from your closet that you don't wear -- showing it some love! The two garments you choose to make must coordinate with the love-needed garment, but the two handmade garments do not need to coordinate with eachother. (They can though if you want them to. --No bonus points for having them coordinate.) 

Share a photo of the "love needed" garment and photos of them coordinating together.  Also there is a limit to the amount of photos you share up to 8 total. They can be collaged to actually share more than 8, but please send only 8! You should also still include a few detailed photos of anything you want us to see.

We will be judging on a 1-10 scale (10 being the highest) using the following criteria: 

Coordinate Wearability - Does each garment coordinate with the "need some love" garment? Do they help make it great for you and your wardrobe?


Fit – Do the two new garments proportionately fit you? No pulling in common fit-issue areas such as crotch, bust, shoulders, etc?

Craftsmanship - Did you put a lot of care into the construction? Top-stitching straight, seams match, careful overall construction, etc? The hemline is straight? The garments do not look messy or rushed?


Presentation - While we totally understand not everyone has a professional camera and the perfect backdrop for photographing their creations, (Me included!!) you are in front of a world of other sewers. Make yourself look presentable. Submit a photo of the front, back and side view of the garment. Detail photos are also requested so we can be better judges. So if you do some embellishing or a specific technique, zoom in and share with us! Not all the photos may be used in the blog post, but for judges reference.


Judges: This week's judges are Penny Payne, Fabric & Notions Editor for the McCall Pattern Company and Gillian Conahan, Editor-in Chief for Vogue Patterns Magazine.

PENNY PAYNE is the Fabric & Notions Editor for the McCall Pattern Company, with primary responsibility for all Fabric/Notion/Trimming/Interfacing products as utilized by the company’s core brands – McCall’s, Butterick, Vogue Patterns and Kwik Sew, plus Vogue Patterns Magazine. Additionally, she researches and develops the twice yearly Color & Fabric Trend Presentation shared with McCall’s global partners with a special focus on photographing inspirational fabric details and color from Designer Collections, Textile Shows and Museum Exhibits.


Gillian Conahan is the Editor in Chief of Vogue Patterns magazine, dedicated to fashionable sewing, creative inspiration, and quality techniques. She has been sewing since she was six or seven years old, and divides her personal sewing time about equally between fashion and costumes. Her cosplay sewing book, The Hero’s Closet, is forthcoming from Abrams in spring 2017.

Due Date: All photos, text, etc is due on Tuesday, September 27th. The finished projects will be revealed for reader voting Sept 28-29 and the winner will be announced on Friday, September 30th.

Attention readers! Don't forget to vote for your favorite piece! A link for voting will be provided on reveal day.

Prizes: 
This week's prize is a 15 yard Fabric Bundle including some of the most gorgeous fabrics we have around right now!! It includes: 2.5 yds natural linen, 1.75 yards raspberry silk charmeuse, 1.5 yards blue linen, 2.5 yards purple herrinbone wool coating, 1.5 yards blue silk dupioni, 2.5 yards floral silk charmeuse and 3 yards red wool interlock knit. You will also receive 3 patterns of your choice courtesy of McCall Pattern Company. 





Reader Participation: 
This week's challenge for reader's is almost the same thing as the contestants! Post a photo of the your "Need Some Love" garment and ONE other garment that gives some love to the other piece on Facebook or Instagram using #FabricistaFabricMart by Sept 29. One winner will be chosen to win the prize pack shown below, including Kwik-Sew Patterns and notions.


Let's get started!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Fashion Challenge Week 2: What They Made

Week Two has ended and the contestants all finished their trench coats, using up every minute they had! This week's challenge was to create a trench coat that fit their personality. This was a tall order for just a week's worth of sewing but they all pulled it off great!  After looking through what they made, scroll to the bottom of the post to vote for your favorite. 

You may find a more detailed blog post about each of their projects on their own blog. We had to modify the length of each blog post to better fit into this space. Click the link to their blog to see more. 

Are you sewing up a trench coat for the Reader Participation part of the Fashion Challenge? Post on Facebook or Pinterest using hashtag: #fabricistafabricmart by September 22 and you will be entered into a random drawing for prizes! 

For details on Reader Participation prize, week two challenge and more, click HERE

Let's see what they created...

Melanie from It's Melanie Darling


When I received the email for the email for the 2nd Challenge I was perplexed for a moment. I have made several summer/spring coats, but never have had a need for a full coat living in Central Florida. In late December early January through mid-February the temperature can go as low as 30 degrees, but those days are far and few between. The last couple of Christmas’ have been in the mid 70’s to 80’s and we here in sunny Florida are still wearing shorts, straight through the winter months.

After reading the email I immediately went on line to read up on the history of the Trench Coat and to look for inspiration. I knew I didn’t want the traditional Trench Coat as I am top heavy and all those buttons on the traditional Trench freaked me out. I also knew I wanted something in darker denim, something I could wear on a cool winter’s night to the movies, or to work on a casual Friday. So I found these three designs that I absolutely loved:

So armed with my inspiration pictures, I hunted for a pattern that had at least a few of the details in my inspiration pictures. I chose McCalls 6442 which had the basic design features I was going for. I really liked that it had darts both front and back to bring in the silhouette a little. View C had a full Lapel and the perfect length which was a requirement for this challenge.


My Trench is fully lined and inset pockets with some beautiful whimsical cotton fabric I found at Walmart. I purchased the whole bolt. The fabric has a really cute French City Part theme. I thought it was a perfect contrast to the darker denim I used for the coat. I also fully serged all seams on the inside of my coat.
I omitted lining the Sleeves to prevent bulk in the arms. I also added ties at the wrist to give it a Trench feel. The bottom half of the Trench has a lot of fullness which I love because it hides a lot of my imperfections in the lower half of my body. ''

I am extremely excited about Week 3’s project and hopefully I make it to the next round. Happy Sewing!




Tee from Maggie Elaine
It would take an entire post to describe my personality, because it is all over the place! I would agree with all personality tests that say I am creative, emotional, empathetic, detail-oriented, etc. For this challenge I would like to describe my personality in a manner that ties into my trench coat choice.

At times I am very reserved, but at other times I am very outgoing. It really depends on the setting, crowd, and my mood (yes, I can be a bit moody).

I love a great trench coat and I love a great moto jacket. I have a few of both kinds of coats in RTW and one of each that are DIYs. I think a trench coat represents the reserved side of me, but a moto jacket represents that outgoing side of me. So as I was thinking about this challenge, I thought, why not merge the features of both styles and make a Moto Trench Coat!
Julie (from Fabric Mart) presented the challenge this week with a short history on trench coats and I thought it was very informative. One fact mentioned was that Burberry and Aquascutum invented the trench coat back in the 1850s. This led me to start googling Burberry trench coats and that’s where I found inspiration for my look!
I adore simple everyday looks and I am sucker for bold, eclectic, and attention-grabbing looks. I love high-end fashion, especially things with a lot of detail, color, and print. My favorite thing to do is mix and match classic pieces with edgy pieces, and I think that is what a moto trench coat embodies. A classic trench with an edgy moto jacket (or in other words reserved vs. outgoing).

So for this look I mixed as many elements of each that I wanted and could get done by the deadline; and although I added many details, my goal was still to achieve a cohesive look.

I made this look by modifying Burda 6800 View B, which is a moto jacket pattern. To turn it into a trench, I added length to all of the front and back pieces. Instead of cutting the back center piece and lining on the fold, I added seam allowance and cut two pieces. My fabric is a heavyweight sportswear fabric, 65% polyester and 35% cotton, reminds me of canvas.
I lengthen the belt, because I think a trench should have long belts so you can tie it. I do like to buckle my belts as well. I intended to add belt holes, but my test runs with the tiny-sized eyelet puncher were disastrous, so I could not commit to making the holes in my fabric until I get that thing figured out.

A classic trench coat has to have pockets and an edgy moto jacket has to have zippered pockets. So I added side pockets and small zippered pockets. In the history Julie provided, I learned that each little piece on the trench coat serves a purpose. These zippered pockets’ purpose is to carry my lip gloss, ID, and key fob, when I don’t want to carry a purse. For a decorative feature, I added flaps and buttons along the zippered pockets.

For the sleeves, I went back and forth in my head about adding straps, zippers, or both like the inspiration picture. I decided to add zippers to the side of the sleeves, which is a design of the pattern as well. I found these little 5 inch zippers for a $1.00 each and they are the same ones I used for my front pockets.

What would a trench coat be without all the straps and flaps? What would a moto jacket be without a little stitched leather/suede?

To add a little contrast I made the yoke in black. I used leftover leather from last week as the fabric, BUT I flipped it on the suede side. To treat and protect the suede, I used a suede nubuck, brush, and spray (this technique is great for cleaning and buffing your suede shoes by the way).

I lightly rubbed the nubuk bar across the suede (it’s like an eraser), then brushed it. I always lightly spray-on the protectant outdoors and lay them out to dry, because the spray is a bit strong. The odor mellows out once it dries. Once dry I give it another light brush. This will help protect it from the weather elements. I intend to treat my coat with some sort of fabric/water repellant once I test it out on a few scraps of fabric, so that if I am ever caught in the rain, the water will roll off and not soak through my coat.

I top-stitched the suede with a wine-colored thread. To stitch suede, use a leather needle and a Teflon sewing foot so that it glides through and doesn’t get stuck under the presser foot. I didn’t stitch the lines according to the pattern, I just did my own stitched design.

Now what about that signature? If you noticed in my title I called this a “Burberry-ish” moto trench coat and this fabric is why! 
A little over a year ago, I found this fabric at a going out of business/estate sale. The owner of a small sewing factory had passed away and her family sold all of her things from the business. The woman that passed owned really amazing and well-kept fabric, leather, sewing tools, and industrial equipment. I paid less than $10 dollars for this fabric. I had no idea what I was going to do with it, but I purchased it because it reminded me of Burberry’s signature plaid. This fabric is 80% rayon and 20% polyester. When I saw this fabric in my stash, I felt at that moment that my vision for this coat was confirmed!

I used this fabric for the interior of the coat as lining…
DISCLAIMER: Before you think I didn’t take the care in matching my front panels to my back panels…it is because I had limited fabric and I had to be judicious when using it. So I focused on making sure all of front pieces matched and all of the back pieces matched, because when the coat is hanging and draped, you really can’t tell the sides don’t line up. I used a solid colored fabric for the sleeve lining.

I love when brands add a little pop of signature on the exterior in small amounts. So, I made my under collar with it, used it to line my pockets, and I allowed a hint of the signature to show on the edges of the zippered pockets. I made a little quickie scarf with the remainder.
For the collar, if pattern instructions say to cut the collar pieces on the fold, I add seam allowance and cut each collar piece and facings in two pieces in order for the collar to roll over better. This was a tip I picked up from Gentleman Jim. I stitch from the middle to the end on each side to keep it all lined up.



 
Elizabeth from Elizabeth Made This

When the trench coat challenge this week for the a couple of things ran through my mind. First, I thought about how much I love making jackets, then about how much work a jacket is, but mostly that I wasn't expecting to make another trench coat so soon after my Jeanius Trench. The upside is that I could start work immediately because my pattern had already been fitted and cut before. An applique trench coat was in the works!

Vintage Vera Applique Trench Coat - One of the things that Fabric Mart wanted to see in the trench coats this week was our personal style. My own style is a bit eclectic. As a sewist, I love modern Euro patterns with lots of detail, but I also love embellishment techniques. I grew up going to antique stores with my Mom. We always called it (and still do) treasure hunting. Because of her I have a serious appreciation for lace, other vintage textiles and accessories.

As an adult, I've become a collector of vintage table linens kind of for a really specific reason. I'm a serious baker, and I often make strudel for my very German family. I'm the 5th generation of strudel makers in my family, and one thing you need to make strudel is a proper tablecloth to stretch the dough out on. One thing I noticed is that vintage tablecloths hold the flour better because of their slightly looser weaves. Vintage tablecloth = better strudel--who knew? Once I started collecting tablecloths, napkins soon followed. I love the bright colors and funky prints of old table linens. My Mom jokes that she often wears prints that look like wallpaper. And I'm guilty quite literally of wearing the tablecloth.

One of my favorite linens designers is Vera Neumann. She was a gifted painter who had the smart business sense to put her paintings on household linens and scarves and tablecloths en masse to make a decent living as an artist. I love her sense of color and her bold illustrative mid century style. If I see Vera, I snatch it up! I had always intended to use these particular Vera linen napkins in a garment, but I didn't really know exactly how to do so.



When it came to the challenge, it became clear that I'd add the flowers from the napkins to my trench coat. This trench coat represents my love for super detailed sewing and vintage linens. It's pretty much exactly what I wanted to sew.

The pattern is the same trench coat pattern I made a couple of weeks ago for my denim trench coat. It is Burda World of Fashion 2-2008-114. It's a classic raglan sleeve trench coat style in most respects but it has 3/4 length sleeves. It might seem odd to sew a jacket out of linen in fall in Colorado, but our weather is incredibly variable. Fall and Spring both are some collection of cooler days interspersed with hot ones or snow. 3/4 length sleeves actually turn out to be wearable for parts of 9 months of the year. They let you layer up or layer down quite easily.

The pattern is an unlined jacket, so I drafted a lining. Sewaholic has a good tutorial for this here at Tilly and the Buttons, The tutorial is for a standard sleeve. Because this is a raglan sleeve, you have to adjust one thing: remember on a raglan sleeve that the facing covers the sleeves as well, so you must cut off the top part of the sleeve where the facing will cover it on the lining.
Fabric

The outer jacket fabric is a linen/cotton from my stash. It has a good weight for it for a jacket, but I wanted to cut down on the wrinkling. I fused the entire jacket with a fusible interfacing.

I had just enough yardage to eek out the body of the jacket, but I didn't have enough for a longer hem, facings, and collar. For the facings, I used this blue/white crosshatch cotton print. I used the same fabric for a hem facing and the belt loops and belt. I like the contrast it provides against the blue of the linen, and the visual texture of it pairs well with the Vera appliques.

The lining is a Japanese polyester lining I picked up the last time I was in San Francisco.
applique trench coat

Applique!
The fusible interfacing adds all the stability required for the stitching of all of the applique work. Without the interfacing, the linen might pucker oddly under all the added stitches. Instead of interfacing, you can use a double sided fusible web on appliques to adhere them and give stability. I opted against the Heat n Bond because it feels a little too papery on such large appliques.

The various flowers and leaves I cut from the napkins were scattered around the cut out pieces of the jacket. Using this Valentino jacket as a reference, I played around with the flowers' placement so that they wouldn't be covered up by the welt pockets/buttons etc.
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After that, I pinned on the flowers and zigzagged around each applique. To add more detail and to keep the flowers from poofing up later on, I stitched down around the interiors of each applique, more or less following the lines of the print. It was so much fun to add more detail to the work of an artist I have so much respect for. I hope that Vera wouldn't mind that I stitched up her designs!

applique trench coat

applique trench coat

Construction - 
Construction for this jacket is really straightforward. There's really good instructions in the magazine as it's one of the rare illustrated course patterns in Burda mags.
applique trench coat

applique trench coat
I followed Peggy Sagers' advice on the single welt pockets, and the bagged lining instructions from this Sandra Betzina video that I always refer to.

Topstitching - Wow, there's a lot of topstitching in this jacket. One thing I did to streamline the process was to divide my time by task. One session I made all the tabs/collars/belt loops, another I did all the applique, and another session I did all of the topstitching. It really made things go quickly to have all the pieces ready to go so I could just sit and do one task all at the same time. This also minimized my thread changes. 

The topstitching thread is white Robison-Anton thread. It is more heavy than all-purpose polyester thread, but lighter than a topstitching thread you might use for denim. This makes it fantastic for embroidery. It's nice here for topstitching on a fabric that is not as heavy as denim.
applique trench coat

Belt - The belt for the coat is reversible. I couldn't decide if I liked the blue linen or the crosshatch cotton for the belt, so I chose both. There are 2 layers of fusible interfacing inside the belt plus a strip of the linen to give it the weight a belt should have. I added more topstitching rows to the belt. The reversibility is one of my favorite features of this coat. If I want to change it, I just need to flip it inside out inside the belt loops. Super easy to do, and it gives the coat a different look.
applique trench coat
It was quite the challenge to sew a trench coat in short order, but I'm glad I pushed myself. I'm glad to have found the perfect canvas to display some very favorite linens.




Jennifer from Clothing Hacker

When I read this week's challenge, I had mixed emotions. I was scared and worried because this seemed like a massive amount of work in a very short amount of time. But I was also excited because at the beginning of the year I set a goal to make outerwear before the year was over, and this was going to force me into actually accomplishing that goal. And I had already identified a trench coat from the 2/2014 issue of Ottobre magazine as one of my options. So it was destined to be this coat.

I looked through my stash and I have several fabrics that would work well as a trench coat -- even a couple water resistant fabrics that would work well with living in Seattle. But none of them seemed to fit the bill of expressing my personality. So, I decided to take a quick trip over to Ikea on my lunch break last week (note to self, a trip to Ikea is NEVER quick!) because when my daughter and I were there a few weeks ago I remembered seeing a couple fabrics that I really liked, but didn't have any use in mind, so I didn't buy anything. I picked up 4 yards of this colorful, very busy, heavy 100% cotton floral fabric.

I thought this fabric expressed my personality because it was fun and colorful and a little loud. I work in tech and I am an introvert, but once I get to feel comfortable with people, I tend to talk a lot and have been told I get loud. I also really love experiencing life. I'm not an adrenaline junkie or anything, but I do enjoy trying new things and putting myself out there as much as possible because life is all about making great memories and never having regrets.

I had in my stash a lovely blue sateen fabric that I thought looked great with this print and helped tame the busy-ness of the print a bit and helps to keep in it check, so I used that for some contrast flat piping in the seams and as the collar. and belt.

I also had a yellow satin in my stash that I used as the lining and a package of red piping that I picked up from an awesome store near my house called Seattle ReCreative, which is one of the best places to find really cool notions and fabrics.


I used a red piping between the facings and the lining. I really like that little hidden detail.






LaTonya from Sew So Petite
When I wear a garment, especially one that I have made, I want to feel flawless. I want to feel as though I just stepped out of a magazine. This trench coat does all the above for me. There are many ways that you can wear a trench; loose, fitted, belted and many different color options. I chose to go classic. There is no wrong way to wear a trench and it truly is one garment that looks great on everyone.

I used McCalls 5525 for my trench coat challenge this week. The outer shell is made with medium weight cotton twill and the lining is a poly lining fabric. Because I have made this pattern before, I knew that there were quite a few changes that I wanted to make this time. The overall experience of making a trench coat is both difficult and rewarding at the same time. But that is what motivates me.


Fit – I sewed the smallest size in the envelope. I have made this jacket before and while the previous fit was ok, I wanted a slimmer-looking jacket this time, so I took 7 inches off the length (so my jacket could hit right above my knees), took 2 inches off the sleeve and sleeve bands, redrafted pockets and the pocket flaps, and I increased the seam allowance to 2 full inches each for an even more slimmer look. Because I slimmed out the whole jacket, I also decreased the size of the lapels and redrafted the back flap. The original back flap would have looked too big on this smaller jacket.

Craftsmanship - I wanted my jacket to have a more "high end" appearance, therefore, I double top stitched every seam. I also top stitched the whole pocket flap to give the jacket just a little bit of texture. I also added bias tape the the inside facing piece. I hand stitched the sleeve lining because I did not like the way it looked with top stitching. I originally added black buttons to the jacket to bring out the black that was on the inside lining, but I quickly changed them to the crystal buttons. It just looks better with the bling buttons! After changing the buttons, I decided to add some silver studs to the belt, in lieu of a belt buckle. I am more of a casual girl, so I knew that I would never use the belt buckle anyways.


Overall Execution - I love the changes that I made to the pattern. It is a very classic trench coat with a lot of little details to make it personal to my style and taste. I am a minimalist classic type girl with just a little bit of bling. I do like to be noticed, but I don't want to be the center of attention. Some may call me boring, but I call me "classic"! This trench coat really resembles who I am. My goal is to stay on trend without losing my personal style. I added the crystal buttons for just a hint of bling and the zebra lining for fun. But the overall feel and look of the trench is very, very classic. I studied a few ready to wear trench coats for a little inspiration and I feel as though my trench looks ready to wear.


This trench coat is a nice transitional piece from Fall to Winter and also from Winter into Spring. With the weight of the fabric, it will keep me warm and trendy at the same time!


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