Saturday, November 27, 2010

Mojo Swerve!

Steering skillfully through the obstacle course of other sewing projects, the mojo has avoided a shirt in progress, *Christmas sewing*, a pants alteration and pajama tops.  
The project drawing my attention now is **this coat:**
Upon careful review of the pattern pieces and the instructions, interest is growing, because this looks very accomplish-able.  It.Looks.Very.Possible.That.I.Can.Sew.This.Coat.

The pattern pieces are simple and I understand them (always a bonus).  The collar is really a shawl collar with cut-on lapels. The collar has only the one seam at center back.  

The first time I sewed a shawl collar was on a bathrobe and I don't mind sharing that it confused the heck out of me.  But- once you've sewn a shawl collar, it is not hard at all.  Now, I know many of you readers can do this in your sleep.  While I do possess some dress-making skills (I have pretty good manual dexterity and my eye-hand coordination is, well, I am vain over it) but I am NOT an expert in many of the construction techniques alla you's guys do with one hand tied behind your backs.  I blame it all on the extended learning period I spent learning how to perform my personal fitting alterations.

*Christmas Sewing* 
OK, we knew that whole "I am only sewing one gift this year" was a throw-away remark, right?  When friends and family show interest in my work, then get enthusiastic about fabrics (which I have forced them to pet- yes I drag them upstairs to the sewing nook and pull out all the wonderful pieces that would look so nice on them) it is inevitable that promises are happily made. I get all warm and fuzzy inside. Who can fight the warm & fuzzy feeling? So I am making several scarves as Christmas presents.  At least I was realistic this year and chose projects that don't take a long time to complete.  whew!

**this coat**
This pattern comes from the Blue Gardenia run by the delightful Denise Calhoun.  Pop over to her site to read about her next give-away.  It is a good one! Her blog is fun to read, and frankly I am surprised she doesn't have a lot more followers.  The reason, I suspect, is that TypePad uses a different format to become a follower.  I know I clicked to become a follower more than once and changed my mind midway through the process for the simple reason it was different from the blogger format.  But I persevered because she provides valuable content to us on the interwebs and she needs our support to continue.  I am all about supporting my cyber-friends.

I'll close with a recap of an interesting project I've been carrying out with  delightful reader Jan (DRJ).  She emailed and asked a few fitting questions and we got into a correspondence. She is now in the final stages of completing her first-ever fitted bodice pattern that will become her Tried & True (TNT) bodice pattern. I'll show DRJ how I use my TNT bodice to speed up fitting adjustments on commercial patterns.  

DRJ has all the same issues I struggle with - the very small shoulder /neck situation combined with an otherwise standard bosom and torso. Jan also deviates from standard height, although she needs to remove height where I need to increase.  Pretty much the same concept.  

Anyhooo, DRJ has given her permission for me to post her photos here on the blog and as soon as we wrap up the project, I'll give you the whole thing, with step-by-step explanation to show how we went from "before" to "after".
Thanks DRJ for sharing your work with me!

Because I enjoyed it so much, I will open this to you dear readers-  if you have a fitting issue and you think I might be able to help, please email me.  If I feel we are a good fit (sorry, couldn't resist that pun), we'll correspond and get the problem solved.  For DRJ, I drafted a pattern based on her measurements and the photos she sent. I mailed the pattern to her with a piece of muslin so she could sew it up and send pictures back to me.  It does require honest measurements, pictures and a hefty dose of determination, but otherwise it's not that hard.

My email address can be found in my profile- it is alittlesewing at gmail dot com.

Evidently, mothering instincts don't disappear after the child has grown - that is the only reason I can come up with to explain my intense desire to help other people.  Now that my daughter has grown up, I need to apply this energy somehow!  

A sewing friend told me, "You are like the Mother of the... yes, that's it ... you are like The Mother Teresa of Sewing!"  (warm fuzzy feeling popped up)
Yeah, well, we all have our quirks, don't we?

Have a happy moment here or there - or wherever you can find one!

Enjoy ~


  1. That coat pattern looks amazing! And yes you can do it. It's much easier than a shirt - just bulky.

  2. Yes, that coat will be smashing! YOU CAN DO IT!!! I can't wait to see the outcome.

  3. Of course you can sew that coat.
    I had to laugh at your throw away line "Who can fight the warm & fuzzy feeling? " This is how otherwise sensible women make themselves stay up on Christmas eve until midnight!

  4. I am a terrible enabler when it comes to coats. Of course you should make it.

  5. "It.Looks.Very.Possible.That.I.Can.Sew.This.Coat."

    Oh yes you CAN This is just a grown up blouse with bigger pieces of interfacing. But, it's such a classic coat that it looks good year after year.

    Looking forward to seeing your progress

  6. Look foward to seeing this coat pattern made up!

  7. I am so tempted to take you up on your fitting help offer! And I believe you don't live too far from me, either, so you wouldn't have to mail anything. Looking forward to seeing DRJ's fitting project.

    Good luck on the coat.

  8. I figure sewing mojo swings are preferable to actual mood swings and usually follow them. The coat will be so gorgeous, can't wait to see it.

  9. What a great swing coat! And, scarves are the way to go chez nous this year as well. Easy-peasy, and always appreciated!

  10. OH.MY.GOSH. That coat is absolutely doable! In your sleep after that last gaw-jus coat! I am trying to talk myself into getting the Christmas stitching started, not much time left... Mine is simple, jut need to weave the cloth LOL!

    And I too drag people to my fabric stash and *let* them touch it. DD picked out one that we will work on at Christmas break.

    Your fitting offer is most generous, Robin. Or is that Mother T? :) I look forward to your posts on this, your writings are very well done, illustrations excellent and I appreciate the humor/technical mix you bring with your explanations.


  11. after your previous coat, there is no reason at all why you couldn't sew this one. It's a gorgeous pattern. I do recognize the steering around other sewing obstacles, I do that too (the dress for example). Yes we are sort of sewing twins, like you said on my blog. We do share a lot in common.


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