Collar and Sleeves

Project: Winter Coat
Pattern: Simplicity 2311, View A
Size: 12, altered
Fabric: Double-faced wool from Gail K’s last year

My goal for today was to install the under collar and finish the sleeves. The sleeves still need a little bit of work, but I’m calling my goal met!

Sleeves in

The under collar was a piece of cake.  Luckily sewing through the bed sheet version prepped me for doing it “live and in color” so to speak.

The bed sheet version of the sleeves, OTOH, did nothing to help me with these!  Virtually no easing was required on the muslin.  This thick wool was totally different.  Necktie interfacing saved me–that’s another trick in the Palmer-Pletsch Jackets for Real People book, which I’ve also seen Peggy Sager do.

(I just realized that I haven’t tried the coat on with the shoulder pads, and the sleeve length is perfect as-is.  Hmm.)

At any rate, the sleeves are in.  Mostly.

I did find buttons at Hancock’s, thank goodness.  They had quite a nice selection–much better than JoAnn’s.  These cost more than I wanted to spend, but considering what I’ve already got in this coat–and how much more I like it than I thought I would–they weren’t too much.


Though I wanted a sew-through button in shell or plastic, I think these metal shank ones look nice with the coating.  Here they are on the sleeve:

Sleeve vent

My goal for tomorrow is to sew and install the lining, then finish the coat.  I’m pretty sure that it will be too warm to wear the coat on Sunday, but I really want to get it ready for any cold weather that may come along later.

Plus there are plenty of simple projects wanting to be made!  I think I need an apron.


It’s starting to look like a coat

Project: Winter Coat
Pattern: Simplicity 2311, View A
Size: 12, altered
Fabric: Double-faced wool from Gail K’s last year

Funny how a project feels as if you are taking one step forward and two (or three) steps back for so long, and  then suddenly you’ve got something.  That’s what has happened today with my new coat.

I sewed the front to the back at the shoulders, and wowza!  It’s a coat!!




There’s still a long way to go, but with sufficient sewing time I could be wearing my coat to church this Sunday.

Tomorrow I’ll head over to Hancock’s to see if they have any suitable buttons.  If they don’t it will sure throw a monkey wrench into my plans.  I’ll keep my fingers crossed that I find the perfect ones!

Bound To

Project: Winter Coat
Pattern: Simplicity 2311, View A
Size: 12, altered
Fabric: Double-faced wool from Gail K’s last year

As I expected, the machine buttonholes were just wrong for the coat. Working them was not really a problem. My Bernina has a buttonhole with a wide stitch, and I hoped that it would cover enough of the coating to keep the buttonhole from pulling out. It seemed to, but the problem was cutting them open. Once cut, they weren’t pretty. Plus, I couldn’t be certain that I wouldn’t cut some of the buttonhole stitches–even though I was using a chisel.

So I settled on the bound variety.

At first I planned to use the strip method that I used last year.  That worked really well in the boucle, but was kinda fiddly.  When I was doing some blog reading today, I was reminded by Sharon Sews of the patch method of making bound buttonholes.  I like that method because you have good control of the corners with the little windowpane.

I did make the lips differently, however.  Palmer-Pletsch, in Jackets for Real People, details a way of using two rectangles of fabric basted together and pressed open to make the lips.  Once the buttonhole window is constructed, the basted lips are aligned at the center of the window and and stitched in place.

That eliminates handling the tiny individual lips, plus they are already basted together.

It seems less fiddly to me and it looks pretty good, though I can see some of the lining fabric that I used to make my window peaking out on this sample.  If I don’t get the actual buttonholes any better, I won’t worry about it.

Bound Buttonhole Sample

I only have to make three.  Let’s get at it!

Sewing despite the new puppy

Project: Winter Coat
Pattern: Simplicity 2311, View A
Size: 12, altered
Fabric: Double-faced wool from Gail K’s last year

Lest you think I have fallen into the abyss never to emerge, I offer photographic evidence that I am indeed finding a bit of time to sew.

This first image is of my coat’s undercollar resting on the tailor’s ham whilst the fold line steam-sets.  The front of the coat is resting on the guest room bed with the lapel turned back similarly, though there are no pins involved.


And my back belts, which I sewed differently from the instructions.  My super-thick coating did not need to be bunched in a seam along the edge of the belt, so I first sewed the long edge then centered the long seam before sewing the end.

They turned out nicely that way.  After testing several different grays, I chose a lighter thread for the topstitching.  It is 1/2″ from the edge and the stitch is lengthened considerably, though the stitches look short in these photos.

I said earlier that I didn’t think the print of the coating would mind not being matched.  I think you can tell from the lower belt piece in the photo above that it’s gonna be just fine without the additional terror of matching the print across all the seams in this coat.

Bound buttonholes will probably be required, but I hope to do some tests tomorrow to see if I can get by with a machined buttonhole.  My gut says no.

Pearl TWD is working her way into my daily schedule so that I beginning to get more done than simply playing with and training a dog all day.  Honestly, I don’t know how anyone who is employed has time to deal with a dog.  She takes almost as much time as a baby and can make a much bigger mess…

and I love her.   :-D


Project: Winter Coat
Pattern: Simplicity 2311, View A
Size: 12, altered
Fabric: Double-faced wool from Gail K’s last year

  • The coating is all cut.
  • The interfacing is all cut and mostly fused.
  • The Singer Magic Press makes it all better. I can’t even imagine what this task would have been like without it.  Just thinking of fusing all that with my iron which has a footprint of–oh–possibly 10 square inches makes me shudder.
  • Even with the big press, some of the pattern pieces required four repositions to fuse the entire piece.
  • Imagine 54 repositions with the iron.
  • 15 seconds each…
  • For one pattern piece.
  • I went to JoAnn’s today for thread and to look at lining and buttons.  I came home with thread and lining–a fairly nice match in a polyester satin.
  • I know.  Polyester.  But I didn’t want to have $54 more in a coat that I don’t expect to even like much when I’m done.
  • The only decent buttons were too big.
  • I took Pearl TWD with me.
  • She waited in the car.
  • I swear she’s been taking lessons from Mr H when I take him to JoAnn’s… whining, eye-rolling, hanging out the window barking at the people in the next–oh wait, Mr H doesn’t bark.