Saturday, September 22, 2012

coat pattern and miscellany

Thank you for your helpful comments as I went through the pattern selection process!  You helped me let go of a couple great ideas (and I can revisit those ideas in the future, right?).  For this project, I am trying to duplicate a favorite coat that wore out and left my closet several years ago. I found #120 in the December issue of the 2006 Burda magazine. 

the photos remind me of how I felt wearing my herringbone coat

This might be 6 years old, but it looks current to me!

there is a hidden button placket, with 3 large decorative buttons on the outside
The pattern pieces are similar to 11-2006-107 and I muslined that pattern in 2009 for fitting by Kenneth King.  I never finished the 11-2006-107 coat I started, because the interfacing was all wrong and when I basted it together, it bothered me how stiff it was.  I set it aside and finally tossed it out last weekend, having decided I did not love the fabric enough to save the project.  I didn't even post about throwing it out because it bothered me so much.  For this coat, I will use my press to fuse interfacing.  And isn't it GREAT to redeem the loss by re-using the pattern.  It won't be too hard to change the front closure and collar to become 12-2006-120.

Miscellany:
it just came pouring out
I wrote a real navel-gazer of a post last night, called "it just came pouring out" and then chickened out and took it down.  It still exists, though, as my new "about me" page. A long time ago, I had crazy high expectations for myself and aspired to artistic greatness.  When the magazine editor job popped into my life, it triggered a false impression that, hey life is fair!  I was finally getting what I had wanted all my life; I would earn my living in a creative job. We all know how that went!

on jealousy
Over the last couple months, I saw other bloggers sewing with fabric from Mood and I suspected they were getting the fabric for free. I was so busy with my own drama, it was not high on my radar.  Then recently, I saw 9 of my favorite bloggers write posts about the Mood Sewing Network and the question was answered. And I was jealous! It took me a few days to admit it to myself - and what a relief to get honest.  I was not jealous of the 9 bloggers, I was still carrying that torch for "the creative job" for crying out loud, and I was jealous at what Meg had accomplished.  Just understanding my emotions allowed the jealousy to transform into admiration for Meg. Meg's talent is on full display and I love it!

on empathy
When I got the editor job, there was a difficult side to the success.  Some people, people I had thought of as friends, were critical. Crossing over into the industry side meant going silent as a civilian sewer.  It would take time to make new friends and allies on the industry side.  I could not come to my blog and post about things anymore. That is why I feel empathy towards anyone caught off guard by the dark side of success.

on prosperity
When good things happen to our fellow sewists - it is good for all of us. For the nine bloggers currently participating in the Mood Sewing Network , surely there are 99 more who would like to be involved. Maybe there are 999 more? [and if you read the fine print, there will be opportunities for more]
But here is the important thing: this is exciting. Meg brought to life a fantastic idea. 
Maybe this will inspire more industry insiders (maybe a big 4 pattern company?) to get their products out into the blogosphere and let us share more information. The home sewing industry is on the upswing and we all want more fabric, more patterns, more instruction in our neighborhoods, more, more more and we want the good stuff. 
To the industrywe bloggers are your dream come true. We provide oodles of free advertising for you and we stir up interest in sewing.  We bolster prosperity in the home sewing industry.

in summary
thank you for reading this far!

Happy Sewing!

48 comments:

  1. That pattern looks perfect for your herringbone fabric, will make a classic coat you can wear for many years. (a good thing after all the work a coat requires) Re: the 2nd half of this post - appreciate the honesty and I agree with your comments on the big 4 pattern companies.

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    1. thank you on both counts. I am very pleased with this pattern!

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  2. You are absolutely one to be admired, too, dear Robin D. :-) Thanks for the insight.

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  3. Lovely coat pattern!!! I look forward to seeing your finished product. Well said about the big 4 pattern companies.

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  4. Since I began reading blogs I've had a particular problem with some blogs written by women. I hate to say it, but the phenomenon is much more characteristic of women.

    These bloggers posit a world in which everyone is "supportive" -- which means no criticism permitted -- and no one has any real ambition or desire or need to make money. ... Until someone succeeds. Then it's a different story.

    It's a completely disingenuous and silly attitude. And of course there's envy if someone does well. There is always envy in any field of endeavor. But there are two kinds of envy:

    The first is when someone does something impressive and after an initial feeling of diminishment, we appreciate what they've done, are glad it's out there in the world, and if we're very lucky, we try to seek some personal inspiration from it.

    The second type of envy is when someone is celebrated and has opportunities that we genuinely believe are not deserved. That kind of envy really doesn't evaporate, but for our own good, we usually try to mask it, as it's not helpful in the end.

    I can think of sewing bloggers who fit into both categories.

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    1. hmm, well, it seems to me that the important thing is to try and deal with our own feelings without hurting other people. That is a lofty goal. Because we are human, we will often hurt each other anyway. But at least we try to be nice. That's how I see it. And if we get hurt, we do the best we can to forgive. That is a lofty goal to, but we may as well try.

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    2. I completely agree. Some have the advantage of being stay at home moms when their kids are in school, others are wealthy, and others know the right people. Makes me as someone with 3 young kids and a stressful full time job just a bit cantankerous. I could do great stuff if I too had the right advantages.

      Then there's the fact that some of these folks' creations are a hot mess, and we dare not say anything critical no matter how nicely we put it.

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  5. I like the pattern you have chosen a lot. In fact, I liked all three, but this is the best. I can picture this pattern made upon the herringbone fabric looking terrific. I agree that the cut still reads as current.
    Your final comments have made me think. It seems quite normal to me for someone in your position to need a little time to process and come to grips with everything that has happened in such a short space of time. It's a big deal having your dreams come true, and then having them dashed, and it all playing out in front of a virtual audience of friends, admirers and competitors.
    I've always admired both you Meg. Whether your star is up or down at the moment, you are still he same talented person with a lot to offer.

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    1. Meant to type "you AND Meg"
      Stupid iPad.

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    2. Karin thank you for telling me I am normal, and for understanding.

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  6. I don't think I have ever commented on your blog, but the second half of your post has pushed me out of my little hole. I really admire your honesty. It takes a lot of guts to put into writing so elegantly what many others are thinking, but too scared to say. For that, I salute you.

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    1. thank you for commenting, I really appreciate it.

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  7. Such a classic coat. And I love that it will be current year after year. I totally agree with your comments on The Big Four. They can offer a fabulous opportunity to get their product out there in a way that shows that anyone can do it. (other than the periodic facebook posts featuring home sewists). The blogging community really is an encouragement to all levels of ability and creativity, and certainly we would have a lot to offer as we endeavor to work out the Big Four patterns on our blogs.

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  8. I like this coat. I think that it will work well visually with your gorgeous fabric.
    I was honestly happy for you when you got the editor's job and saddened when it didn't work out. Your being able to write so personally about what happened is rare and I too salute you. Maybe that creative job is still out there for you.
    There are so many great sewing bloggers out there and it can't have been easy to pick just 9.

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  9. Robin, I think you have a winning combination of fabric and pattern for your coat. I'm also writing to applaud you for your character as you maneuver through these life experiences of the past few months. In all honesty, there was a time in my life when I thought that the success of another meant that there was less for me. Crazy, huh? It's like love -- there's no limit: the more love you see around you, the more love you have to give (and receive). I have become a person who is genuinely happy for the good news and success of others, even for a friend who just this morning won the "Guess the date of the baby's birth" pool!! ☺
    Thanks for sharing as much of yourself and your life as you do; it enriches us all. XOXO

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  10. Appreciate your honesty, well said! can't wait to see your new finished coat! love your blog!

    Joy

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  11. what a great and honest post. i hope you're right, and these new ventures & pulling from the sewing blogisphere mean more good things for all of us!

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    1. I am sure you have much, much goodness to come your way - I love your style and sass!

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  12. Excellent choice! Much sleeker than the voluminous Butterick, and the Burda avoids the problem of how to orient the bold herringbone on the lapels. Also the clean, side panel construction will give you a trim silhouette without requiring shoulder princess seams on the upper central chest, where the herringbone would meet at odd angles. If you do decide to do the belt and other details, a solid contrasting black fabric of the same weight is one possibility.

    How interesting about Mood and how clever of you to have figured it all out. Although it would be nice to get fabric free of charge, it's not necessary. For most of us, the limiting factor isn't the cost of the fabric as much as it is our ability to sew something without risking a wadder. Only now after six or so years of sewing (and a long trail of wadders) am I beginning to trust myself to buy and use the good stuff.

    nancy2001

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    1. Nancy - yes, I had been thinking about orienting the herringbone, too and it will be much easier with this pattern.

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  13. Perfect combination of fabric and pattern for your new coat. Love it.

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  14. I like all three coat patterns but one is a classic. What a roller coaster you've been on recently but we like you being where you are now, not in NY - LOL

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  15. Your blog made me think of one of my favorite sayings, "Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is great in others belong to us as well. " Voltaire

    Doesn't that give you a great feeling?

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    1. wow, Voltaire was on to something. Thank you- it does give a great feeling!

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  16. Great pattern choice for your herringbone. I know it will come out looking great - and not a wadder!
    I enjoyed reading your "pouring out" yesterday, as it helps me "know" you so much better. In the blog world we can know a lot about how and what one sews, but knowing the person is sometimes more difficult. I also appreciate your miscellaneous comments in this post. Your goodness shines through what you have shared.

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    1. Dixie, let's hope no wadder for this coat!! thank you.

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  17. I agree ( a few days late) - a beautiful and gutsy post. Keep in mind, too, that things are not always what they seem. Sometimes we aspire to things we don't actually want, feel jealous of an opportunity that isn't quite what you imagine it would be, etc. I completely understand your post, and your feelings... but also keep in mind that so many things "glitter" from a few paces back. I, for one, feel that I am constantly relearning that lesson.

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  18. A courageous post, Robin. To be so honest with yourself and to share those insights... You are a class act. That coat is going fabulous.

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  19. I was happy for you when you got 'the job', but sad that you would not be blogging. Now, I am sad'the job' did not work out, but happy that you are blogging again. What a roller coaster you have been on. I think the thing about getting a creative job, is that you no longer have the same level of personal freedom to create. A loyalty, or the appearance thereof, to your employer restricts what a person can say in public . I think a truly creative job can only exist when you work for yourself and you define the rules. Anything else is a 'job', creative or otherwise.

    I think whatever you decide about the coat will be terrific. You have excellent taste!

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  20. I happened to catch your post and enjoyed reading it, as I did this one as well.

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  21. Wonderful coat plans and I can understand the wadder frustration oh too well. Just like other annoyances it needs some distance to get perspective. Took me years to throw out an expensive out of state sewing weekend jacket project from a "famous" sewing teacher's retreat. Ultimately freeing to let it go and also enlightening not to be led by other sewing enthusiasts into something not right for me.
    Your post also took guts to write. It's not easy to go through so many changes but even harder to write about them with such sensitivity and insight. As for the topic of friends and loyalty, well there are entire books on that subject:-) I've been blessed that my disappointments, although deeply upsetting at the time, have been small in comparison to the new friendships and experiences that have opened up afterward. Your creativity shows no matter where you are or what you do.

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  22. I can feel your creative energy flowing here. I love your pouring-out post - I can relate to so much of what you wrote, your life with music and art. I'm glad you have found balance because when you love the arts it's a very, very tricky thing. Your sewing talent is amazing and I look forward to your coat project.

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  23. I really appreciate your honesty! I think success is not only talent but also chance... You need to fit into the vision others have. That said I'm very happy sewing is back in style! Not that I wouldn't do it anyway but resources are much more this way

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  24. Jealousy is a part of any creative field, but few dare acknowledge that this emotion exists. I too applaud your honesty and guts. As someone else commented, you're a class act. Much happiness and success awaits you. You'll appreciate them all the more when they arrive, because of the past few months. You can't keep a good girl down!

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  25. I had the same contradictory feelings Sewing Geek expressed, but now I'm just feeling very "elemental." My life is enriched doubly by your ruminations about the contradictions in being human as well as the fun in sewing. I am so thankful for your forthrightness in considering the human condition and your willingness to "think aloud" via blogging. For a long time I have thought that the human species just hasn't caught up to technology evolutionarily; now I think that maybe technology has found a raison d'être via the exercise of blogging. I am so glad you sew. I am so glad you write.

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    1. It does seem to be my online journal. thanks Lyrique

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  26. Love the coat pattern. Also appreciate your honesty and expressing what you have been feeling which is always a hard thing for any of us admit especially jealously and envy. But know that you have inspired me to push forward and learn more about pattern fitting and design.

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  27. I think your fabric and pattern choice is going to result in a really sleek classic coat. Looking forward to seeing the finished result!

    The second half of your post (and quite a few of your recent posts) must have taken a lot of thought and courage to write. I was in a situation where I accepted a job that turned out to be totally different to what I expected. I felt like I had to stick it out, to try to make it work. 5 months later when I finally quit, I was stressed, felt physically sick walking into the office everyday and had no confidence in my abilities anymore. I really should have quit after the first week! I'm sorry things didn't work out for you but it sounds like you did the right thing. I couldn't function without the creative outlets in my life but I'm not sure if I would want to make them my career. There is definitely a value in being able to do something purely because you love it.

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  28. This is a fantastic post Robin. Your honesty and approach is refreshing. I love this coat pattern and of course the herringbone material. I look forward to the finished product. I have to admit that as happy as I was to have learned about your Editor's position, I was very sad (and quite selfish of me) that your blog would have gone quiet. No matter where you land, what you do, you are a class act! Much love and thank you for the continued inspiration!

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  29. i came for the coat but read your personal story instead... and now i gotta dash out... anyhow, thank you for sharing! no 2 paths are alike! we all have our own. may yours be sown with roses!

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  30. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the pattern you chose! I think it will be perfect for your beautiful fabric. I'm going to have to hunt that one down myself - it's such a classic style, yet HAS style :) Enjoy sewing it - can't wait to see the finished product.

    You seem to have hit a balance in your life - and a realistic one. Do what you enjoy, while doing what you have to. Thanks for putting your struggles out there - they are sure to help others along the way.

    BTW...Check out the new 'big' coat that Talbots (I know - but really, it's a pretty coat and very flattering, although the graining on the underarm vents bother me no end!) has just come out with. Tried that on last week and am seriously considering the purchase. It has that volume, but without being voluminous, if that makes sense. It's wonderfully flattering on, and it's DONE! I'll bet it would look fabulous on your frame :) I'm loving that mustard color - and that's a new one for me. The coat comes in a ton of fun colors, too. Great idea for those determined to whip up one of their own!

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  31. Fabulous pattern! Good luck on your finished coat. Looking forward to seeing it.

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  32. I, too have herringbone fabric. I even made a muslin of that identical Burda coat pattern for it but there was something about the collar/ center front band going on that both didn't suit me and looked to be a potential disaster in the fuzzy herringbone coat fabric. I look forward to seeing your end result; I still haven't found the right pattern.

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  33. I also "came for the coat but stayed for the story". Being an excellent writer is one thing, but writing about one's own thoughts - more difficult! Thank you for sharing part of your story. I loved the human-ness of it, and as with the others, saw myself in much of what you said. I also did what I had to do to be able to do what I wanted to do.

    What you said about "wanting the good stuff" was compelling. For me, living in the literal and figurative desert of Phoenix, I crave finding the "good" fabrics to sew. I want to run my fingers through it. So I don't sew as much as I would because I won't waste my time on "the bad stuff". Online fabric shopping cannot make up for the wondrous fabric stores of past days! I guess I need to go to New York!

    Wishing you more of "the good stuff".

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    1. Cherie - swatches and patience! Many online fabric stores will send swatches and I have learned (the hard way) to get those swatches before I make a decision. Sometimes the fabric will sell out before you can buy it, but there's always next time! And yes, of course, do treat yourself to a trip to NYC. I can spend $150 there and for that amount, come home with a bag of goodies that take a year or more to sew.

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  34. You really get me thinking...when I was a teenager, I decided not to pursue a career in sewing because I was afraid that it would take all the enjoyment out of my passion. I've questioned that decision many times over the years...especially when the paycheck job was less than satisfying...but you've just convinced me that I made the right decision all those years ago....sewing for oneself is the freest expression of our creativity...no one else to please, no crazy deadlines or expectations to meet. You are living a creative life....and you have a devoted audience to prove it! Now I'm seeing the green monster!

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Thanks for visiting my blog and Happy Sewing, xo