Tuesday, December 8, 2009

An Actual Finished Garment


Ha. And you thought it couldn’t be done. Now I know it looks like I’ve finished garments before. But no! It’s all a clever deception. They are astonishing feats of illusion, whereby the outside looks finished and the inside… well, isn’t. But now I have vindicated myself. I have completed a garment with a perfect interior. No. You don’t understand. The interior is PERFECT.

I basted. I catch-stitched. I spent hours, HOURS, hand stitching the lining and hem. And of course, TLo won’t wear it.

TLo is lucky she’s cute. It’s clearly the only thing that is going to keep her alive until she’s 18.

You see, she has completely outgrown her old leopard-print fleece winter coat, which was in fact a hand-me-down that I made three years ago (yes, three years ago) for The Big One . Last year Santa brought the Big One a leopard fur coat (which was what she asked for. Along with a doughnut. That kid is weird).

Actually, technically speaking Mrs. Santa made the fur coat. At the cost of great personal pain. To the point that Mrs. Santa swore, volubly, that she would never ever no not ever work with faux fur again because who the @*#@$!! ever thought faux fur was a good thing to invent and everyone at the North Pole had better just step off if they know what’s good for them.

Faux fur did not bring out the best in Mrs. Santa.

And so we come to this winter. By now there is a long history (well, “long” if you’re 5 years old) of having leopard print for winter coats. In the minds of The Big One and TLo, nothing will do but a leopard print coat for winter weather. TLo needs a knew one and Mrs. Santa has made it pretty clear she is not working with faux fur any more. What to do, what to do? The solution: a leopard non-fur home dec print from Hancock’s. Mrs. Santa agreed to throw in a faux fur collar because even her hardened heart felt slightly bad when poor little TLo said in her sad little voice that she “wanted a soft furry collar by her face too”.

Clearly Mrs. Santa is too soft-hearted. She should have known better than to fall for that.

Here’s the coat:

I decided to use Ottobre 6-2009 #22, which was designed for shearling fleece. Which of course meant it wasn’t lined and had exposed unfinished seams. The home dec fabric I picked is very lightweight and definitely needed lining and maybe even underlining. So I adapted the pattern to be lined.

line drawing

This basically involved drafting a back facing so the collar could be attached without seams showing.

drafted-back-facing drafted-back-facing-2

And all the rest I finished using the most amazing technique that I learned from Shannon Gifford’s (SensibleSewing.com) online PatternReview.com class called “Stitch and Flip Jacket”. To sum it up in a nutshell, you attach the lining in such a way that all the vertical seams are completely enclosed while you work. The advantage of this (besides being totally cool and easy) is that you don’t need a lining pattern, you cut the lining from the exact same pieces as the fashion fabric. Ta da! Perfect for this project. (This class isn’t currently on the class list at Pattern Review and I don’t know how many times it’s been offered, but I highly recommend you petition Deepika to add it again sometime soon because it was totally money well-spent.)

I still had to do those hours (HOURS) of hand sewing to attach the hem and the front facing to the lining, but with this technique everything is stitched to the lining on the inside (similar to if you had an underlining) and no stitching shows on the outside anywhere.

This is a kick-ass coat.


Despite her Sears and Roebuck model pose, TLo is not happy with it and wouldn’t wear it today. She is a real pain in the butt. I think she gets that from her dad.


  1. I like the coat and I would wear it! :) Great job!! She'll come around!

  2. That is adorable!! Show us the inside! I wanna see!!

  3. *Speechless* oh that is so frustrating, because it's a cute coat. I love coat pattern too, the twirling girl and ice-skating penguin waiter sold me! Hey, who knows, maybe it will grow on her. You could play it cool and say you're giving it to Goodwill to make Christmas for a needy child. That might awaken her possessive instinct.

  4. Uh--not that I *support* competitiveness and a lack of generousity, that is wrong. Especially in children. Yup. But I would be muttering unprintables if I were in your shoes...

  5. Cute CAYUTE coat. Whaddya mean she won't wear it? You stuff her little arms into it and MAKE her wear it!


    Oh, and I skipped the paragraph detailing the perfect finishing with instructions et al because if I read it then I wouldn't have an excuse for not doing this. Having the knowledgebase and all that. Ignorance is bliss.

  6. LOL at all of you. She did come around a bit and has worn the coat twice (voluntarily) this week. She's just one of those people who can't be told anything. She's very contrary. It's a trial, but I'm sort of used to it since she is, in fact, a clone of my little sister. Based on that, we have a long hard road ahead of us.

    I do try to separate the "ugly details" section so people can skip over it because sometimes it's really boring reading about someone else sewing. I'm a visual person, I mostly like to look at pretty pictures myself.


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