Nevermind the wonky pockets: 9 things I learnt making my first coat

I have wanted to make a coat for absolutely ages.

coat1

Much like trousers, they’re one of those garments which seem hella daunting. It’s taken me years to finally brave it. But just before Christmas, I got there! Hurrah! Made from a fuzzy wool tweed and a satin lining, it’s the perfect slouchy coat and has certainly got me through the Winter months. The pattern is the Gerard by Republique du Chiffon. Marketed as a ‘boyfriend’ coat, the slouchiness makes it the perfect beginner coat. (Sadly the instructions don’t, but more on that later)

coat 4

Basically even though I’ve just noticed the pockets are wonky (I MEASURED AND EVERYTHING WHYYYYY) and I had a minor social media meltdown over the pattern pieces, I’m pretty happy with what I’ve achieved.

Those of you who follow me on Twitter and Instagram will have seen all the ups and downs already, but here’s a little more about what I learned:

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Happy New Year, folks!

Can you believe it’s 2014 already?

I’m feeling quite a bit worse for wear today after one too many glasses of champagne yesterday, but I’m extremely excited about this year. 2013 was a bit of a mixed bag in all – and when it comes to sewing, it slowed down a little by the end.

Hopefully, that won’t be the case this year. I’ve got a few challenges going for 2014, which you can find full details of here. But the most important one you guys should know about is as follows:

Earlier this year I popped a list of all those projects I’ve passed up into a fancy jar, which currently gathers dust on my bedside table. For each month of 2014, I’ll take a Can’t out of the jar and get it done, once and for all. Some things, like a coat for example, will take up the whole month with just one project while others can comprise of lots of different ones. I want to push the boundaries of what I can sew by getting out of my comfort zone. Should be fun!

This month, it’s all about sequins. I’ve never sewn sequinned embellishments and I’ve never used sequin fabric – so this could either be an awesome new skill or a recipe for disaster. I’ll be posting some inspiration for sequinned projects this month – hopefully ones which can travel, as I’ll be moving to London in a week and I’ll need something I can stitch on the move!

For now, I’ve got a pair of trousers almost finished and I’m in dire need of a long snooze…

And of course, if you’re stuck for a New Year’s resolution – you can always take on the Seamless Pledge!

We Can Sew It: Trousers for beginners

Who’s ready to tackle some trousers?

If you’re still ambivalent, check out these patterns for inspiration. They should all be suitable for beginner/intermediate sewers making their first pair of trews.

Sewaholic – Thurlow

sewaholic

Thurlow is a great pattern from Sewaholic which comes in two versions – you can either make a pair of cuffed shorts or full-length, slightly flared trousers. According to the pattern’s description, the centre back seam has extra-wide seam allowances, which should be handy if you have issues with trousers fitting properly at the waist.

A more challenging aspect (which takes it up to the intermediate zone in my opinion) is the front fly zipper. But if you’re ready for a challenge, then there’s no reason you can’t have a go.

Butterick – B5895

butterickgertie

You all know I’m a big Gertie fangirl, so I couldn’t not include these trousers from Butterick’s Patterns by Gertie range. Probably not an ideal length for the UK’s plummeting temperatures, but the cropped length on this pair is really cute. An extra bonus is no fly-zipper, hurrah! Instead, the zip’s at centre back of the trousers. There’s also a great cropped shirt with kimono sleeves included to boot.

Rochelle made a pair of these not so long ago and it’s definitely worth reading her review of the pattern – it seems there can be some sizing issues if her experience is anything to go by, so be sure to make a muslin.

Vogue 8604

V8604

I’ve wanted to make this pattern for absolutely ages, though I’m not entirely sure I could pull off such a huge flare! As you’ve probably guessed by now, a high-waisted trouser is well up my street. The front is shaped with a pair of pleats and, once again, there’s no need to make a fly zipper because the zip is at the back. These would be great as a pair of jeans, as

Colette Patterns – Clover

clover

And I’ve saved the best ’til last. Well, the best in my humble opinion. I’ve decided to go for Clover from Colette Patterns – I love the shape, I love that it comes in two lengths and, well, I’d already bought it before I wrote this post. Ha! So Clover it is. I’m hoping they won’t be too much of a nightmare to fit, but the pattern is classed as suitable for beginners and – you guessed it – there’s no fly to worry about here either.

Anyone making one of these patterns? Or are you planning to go for something else entirely?

And in case you’re interested – I made a little Pinterest board of these patterns made up by other sewing bloggers.

Join me – We Can Sew It!

Last week, I told you all about my lovely new project, in which I’m basically trying to sew all the things I’ve been telling everyone I definitely can’t make. 

And it seems I’m not the only one with a few sewing no can dos – one especially. Who knew trousers could inspire such fear? Oh – and guess what I picked out of my can’t jar first.

Well that’s just DANDY.

Now, remember how I threatened to get you all involved? I’m just going to leave this here…

(see what I did there?)

See what I did there?

See what I did there?

Folks, it’s time for a bit more positive sewing. We all need some upbeat stitchin’. And that means SEWING SOME TROUSERS and maybe doing some pushups to prepare. I don’t know. I’m new at this.

Borrowing heavily from our pal Rosie the Riveter, this project/sewalong/whatever this is shall henceforth be known as WE CAN SEW IT. Because if you’ve got some fabric, a sewing machine and some thread, you can probably sew just about anything – you’re just telling yourself you can’t.

I’m not going to put a time limit because it’s probably going to take me an absolute age to make my trousers. But, to help you along, I shall be posting some tidbits on patterns, fun tutorials I find in panicked google searches (I foresee interesting results when it comes to fitting the crotch) as well as the heap of mess which will spew forth from my beleaguered machine.

Want to join in? Well I only bloody have a hashtag for you to use, don’t I? Lovely! It’s #wecansewit. Even if you’re not sewing trousers this time around, do share if you’re tackling a particularly tricky project.

Oh, and I made a banner button thingy you can put on your blog should you want to get involved:

wecansewittrews

 

The code for that is as follows:

[a href=”https://seamlessblog.wordpress.com/we-can-sew-it/&#8221; target=”_blank”>[img src=”https://seamlessblog.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/wecansewittrews2.jpg&#8221; alt=”We Can Sew It” /]</a] (replace the [ ] with < >)

WATCH THIS SPACE! Those of you who do follow me on Twitter probably already know which pattern I’ve chosen, but I’ll stick a post up with some good beginner trouser patterns later this week.

Tomorrow, I promise* I will drink less caffeine.

*I can’t promise anything