Saturday, October 4, 2014

Swing Jacket or Pea Coat?


Hello! Hope you're having a great week. I didn't have much time to sew this week, but I did go to circus school Wednesday night, which was a first for me and a lot of fun. I balanced on a giant ball, walked a tightrope two feet off the ground, and practiced juggling.  

I don't have any makes to share because I am deep in decision mode for a fall jacket or coat. It seems that everyone who takes up sewing has coat aspirations at some point. With good reason - coats are expensive and fun to personalize and you get a lot more chances to show off your make. Here's my first, sad, little attempt, accompanied by a sketch, from waaayyy back in 2011. I was probably even proud of it, although I think I only wore it a few DIY goggles.


Those pockets are pretty terrible, aren't they? The coolest part, though, was that I used a silk scarf to line the hood. The scarf was part of a swag bag from when I worked part-time at a museum and was based on a painting by M.C. Escher. Cute idea, just executed really badly. But now that I've had lots of practice and actually understand and utilize techniques like grading and understitching and am working to overcome my fear of sleeves, I'm hoping  this next coat/jacket attempt will be much, much better.

So I've had my fabric for ages - the amber corduroy pictured at the top of this post, with the bee voile (used to make a Papercut Clover and blogged here) as a lining. I  purchased a pattern - the adorable and comfy looking Malu by Schnittchen. I even spent an evening taping the pdf and EVEN made a partial/quickie muslin. It looks like a pretty easy pattern to sew up and "Schnittchen" is just so fun to say, but I kept having this nagging feeling that the fabric I had was really wrong for the pattern. 

The fabric used for the Malu on the Schnittchen website looks really soft and snuggly. Whereas corduroy seems like it would be too stiff, making the shape stand away from my body in an unflattering way. 

And then this happend. 

Sigh. Swoon. Have you seen Masters of Sex? It's pretty good, and the costumes are freaking amazing. I don't really wear retro styles, but this is just such a classic shape. I am completely and utterly smitten. Now there are a few problems since this actress and I have polar opposite body types. Seriously. She is as tall, slender, and small busted as I am...well, not going to reinforce unhealthy body image language, but you get the idea.

But now I'm starting to think that maybe, as long as I have realistic expectations and spend the necessary time achieving a really good fit, I could make something like this work for me. I live in San Francisco, so I never really need a long coat with a hood. But I can always use jackets. And a jacket like this would really come in handy and be nice to have for dressier occasions, as well as with jeans.

So then another thing happened. Colette Patterns had a 30% sale on ALL their patterns if you subscribed to their free hem guide - and why wouldn't you? In fact, here's a link to their hem guide. And I think that the sale is still going on.  I still struggle with remembering which type of hem is appropriate for a garment, and I enjoy experimenting with trying to achieve a professional looking hem, so I, for one, am really excited to have all that info in one handy-dandy guide.

Now, I had been eyeing the Anise jacket for a while  but had dismissed it as too difficult and too boxy. Plus, I wasn't sure about the peter pan collar. 
But me being the impulsive sort, and it was late,, yeah, I bought it, and now I have another ginormous pattern to tape together.  Now my only question is whether I can change the collar from the rounded peter pan to something a bit more angular as shown in the photo below.

Is this even possible? Does that make it a pea coat instead of a swing coat? I was thinking of trying to adapt the pointed collar that came with the Malu to make a frankencoat. Being a sewing novice (still!), I probably shouldn't start monkeying around with patterns that are already a bit hard for me, but I'm really stuck on this coat and want to find a way to make it work. Any thoughts or suggestions? Let me know! Thanks for reading and have a very lovely week.

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