pattern review · review · sewing

{ VOGUE 8550 } Red Pea Coat, this girl is on fire…

For those of you that have been following my blogging journey for a bit, you’ve probably seen me talk about the red Vogue 8550 pea coat that has been haunting me since I started way back when in late 2010. Im not proud to say I started so long ago, the truth hurts. I had terrible trouble with the sizing (of which Vogue referred to as ‘ease’) &  lost interest which so happened to (thankfully) co-incide with our relocation out of Holland so the sad pieces were boxed up. This box did not make the “cut” to our move to the UKso it stayed at home & waited patiently while we completed our work on the island. I should have known the pattern would give me nothing but trouble, the moment it arrived I noticed page 3 of the instructions  missing. It took a few weeks for it to be sent on. Was it a sign of things to come ??….

Anyway, fast forward 2 & some years  –  January I mentioned the red coat had been retrieved from its box & lovingly pressed, ready to tackle once & for all. I trimmed, re-measured & marked but then all the other sewing got in the way & I quickly realised this coat was going to have to be nursed, slowly & calmly…inch by inch…

Im proud to say, its { DONE } & Im so proud of myself for buckling up & getting it finished. (Ok ok, its missing its buttons…but more on that later).Vogue8550_front

Buckle up – a kinda long review but here are the details & more info on the process :

{ DESCRIPTION } Vogue Divine Details – fitted, lined coat with front & back tucks, standing collar, princess seams, full length sleeves and shoulder pads. Above mid-knee length, button closure and belt.

Vogue8550_back

{ FABRIC USED } A medium weight red wool found at Schröder Stoffen in Rotterdam, Holland. It was quite expensive but I loved this particular shade of red. I had been looking for a red wool to make another coat (using the V8438 pattern I had sewn before) but after seeing the V8550 in red, I was sold.

At first I was quite tempted to use a “WOW” lining, something wild & unexpected, but once I finished constructing the outer, I realised the red is { WOW } enough & my SIL had gifted me with this black fabric & I thought would be perfect for the lining so I went ahead & used it. I did however use the red thread to stitch the lining up which adds a very subtle accent to the black & ties the two together.Vogue8550_lining_front

{ SIZING } This was my biggest headache & I have left my original Pattern Review WIP as it was so it can still be read. I very rarely do muslins because I find they sap me of the excitement of making the real thing. Ive been sewing for long enough to know which measurements are important for me & I thought I had gotten quite comfortable with the Big 4 sizing that cutting my usual size would be ok. I was kinda wrong. This was grossly { HUGE }. I immediately thought I had farked up with my cutting so I double checked all the pieces had been cut the right size before contacting some other sewers/bloggers who I thought may have sewn this coat to enquire if they had similar problems. Unfortunately, no-one had sewn this so I had no sewcialist assistance . I then contacted Vogue directly. They came back saying the pattern had a “fair amount of ease on a FITTED coat but that they did not think there was anything wrong with the sizing”. So I got on with chopping, trimming & wasting expensive fabric to fit. Its not the ease that annoys me, its the fact that the pattern does not mention the ease at all. Anyway, moving swiftly on…

{ INSTRUCTIONS } Overall the instructions are not bad however some steps were not as clear as I thought they could be. Nearing the end, I battled to make sense of how the lining fits to the wool at the front seams. I gave up & constructed the way that I thought made sense.

{ CHANGES } The only little change I made was to the pockets. Instead of having them lined & sitting on the inside of the coat, I sewed them into the wool layer but did not bring them through the lining….in other words, they sit between the lining & the outer. I did this because I dont like pockets flapping on the inside of my coats. The pattern called for the lining to be made with the same pieces as the outer however instead of tucked like the outer, rather just pleated in. At first I thought all this extra fabric on the inside would be quite bulky however once pressed & stitched down, it gave a good weight to the inner & supports the wool well.

The coat has no loops/guides for the belt/waist tie! WTF am I meant to do with the tie when I take the coat off? I eeeked out every last bit of red wool to make the tie so I really hope I dont lose it in an absent minded outing…I might still go back & make chain loop guides…

{ LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY } ***Although it took me so long, it was not because of the level of difficulty per se. The tucks have a fair degree of complexity, even with the markings, however apart from the tucks, this is a standard princess cut coat. It was not an easy sew, but I dont think it was an advanced sew either.

{ TIME } HAHAHAHAHAHAA really!?  I normally keep a time card for kicks …I kicked this time card into the bin!!

{ LESSONS LEARNT } Take your time. I was eventually having nightmares about the coat but I knew if I rushed it would end up being a rubbish looking garment.

{ SUM IT UP } This is a lovely coat, the tuck detail is gorgeous & Im so pleased I finished it….all 2,5kgs of it!! Initially I had my doubts about whether it would keep me warm enough in the winter but once I joined the lining & felt the weight, I knew this would be a great winter coat… & I do love the RED. I had purchased big red buttons in Holland before I started but once it came time to use them, they just looked too big & the coat felt kinda clown-ish. Im hesitating with sewing them on until Ive managed to make a trip to Komolka to see if they have something slightly smaller & more suitable. Once the holes are cut, they cut so I need to be 100% sure.

I have hemmed the coat but I have not attached the lining to the wool as yet – the reason you ask? Well, Im not 100% happy with the darn shoulder pads. I feel like they are limp & lacking in the stiff department. I think Im going to change the shoulder pads. Im sure on my next trip to Komolka, I will have luck with finding alternative buttons & shoulder pads.

I might also go ahead & move the pockets from the side seams to the princess seams. I know this sounds crazy but the side seams seem too far back for me to get to the pockets. I may also just remove them completely!!

In hindsight, the problems with the sizing was almost two-fold. I still think the pattern has way too much ease however I also think my choice of wool did not help, especially with the extended periods where the WIP sat on Poppy pleading for attention. Even though this was post-tuck production, I think the wool may have stretched slightly adding to the list of problems.

I would recommend V8550 especially if you love the tuck details however, I would urge you to make a muslin first just to make sure of the sizing. I know I know, me advising making a muslin – I must be drunk! I think this coat would look amazing done in cream, but I dont think Im gonna be the one to make it!

This image clearly explains what got me through some painful & frustrating moments { Nespresso Vanilla Infused coffee }coffee_break

& elation at finally finishing! I had made a deal with myself that I would finish this before starting on something new….Im so excited to start fresh 🙂Vogue8550_elation

{ related posts }

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chit-chat · sewing

{ WIP’s } Slowly slowly catch a monkey…

V8550_WIP

Ive been feverishly working to get “a certain project” completed – all my time & effort of the last week has gone into it…almost, almost done.

Home stretch.

Cant wait to share.

 

This morning I woke up with sore throat, the sniffs blah blah….so Ive been feeling sorry for myself most of the day!

I should have smelt the rat on Wednesday when my head was pounding. I put it down to the stress of Tuesday.

You see my lovelies, I had my first German exam on Tuesday & I PASSED. Ecstatic does not begin to describe…

 

I also managed to finally get the tripod & wireless remote for my camera sorted – I know!! Ive only been talking about it for 6 months. So look forward to better pics of my me-mades.

 

See, Im catching monkeys left, right & centre.

chit-chat · sewing

{ TREASURE } Found…

The hubster has recently made us 2 lovely tables for our home – one for the dining room & one for outdoor. He made both these tables from timber that has been lying around the factory (some inside, some outside in the elements) for 20+years….yip! They chopped down a European Walnut tree in their garden all those years back. The timber was chopped & stacked but no-one ever did anything more with it.

Now my beady eye sees { EVERYTHING } & I am fortunate enough to have the ability to see potential in old things so I “commissioned” the timber to be used for our tables. Some of the timber is worm eaten but I kinda dig the character of timber that is bashed around a little. I hate perfect looking timber with perfect grain & finish. I like a little roughness & natural oiled finishes – so the results are exactly what we wanted…

Now, you thinking WTF has this got to do with sewing??!! Ok, well in my scrounging around the factory, I came across this : thread_find

{ EXCITEMENT }  how amazing right?! The majority is really old Gütermann silk threads for buttons but there is quite a bit of cotton thread there too. We think they had something to do with either coats or jeans because the colours are all dark, muted tones (grey, dark greens, blues etc) with one or two brights mixed in.  The boxes are really old but there are no dates on them so we have no idea how old they are!! There was even a box of buttons (mostly black) and buckles so Im thinking coats or perhaps military wear??!

There was so much loveliness bundled up in one place I think my heart skipped a little beat. Lets say I wont be needing blue, brown or black thread for quite some time!

 

pattern review · sewing

{ VOGUE 8601 } Riding Jacket

{FINISHED} I can hardly believe it! Imagine running a marathon, getting to the end only to realise you missed your target time…elation that you still alive but disappointment with your final result…thats how this jacket feels. Ive been working on it on & off for months (if not a year) and now its finally finished (sans button/s) and I just feel a little ‘flat’ about it. There’s puckering to be fixed on the collar and one armscye. I was so frustrated by it all that making the small adjustments was just not in me…I needed time to breathe – hence throwing myself into the frilly burdastyle blouse & the DKNY Vogue 1027.

I must admit, Poppy does not do justice to the fit. It does look much nicer when I have it on but for the sake of photographing it…well, you know. My intentions were to buy the remote for my camera so I can self-shoot but would you believe Nikon dont make a compatible remote for my model. { IRRITATED FACE }. Im looking into an alternative but until then…you got Poppy 🙂V8601_riding_jacket_front1

{ DESCRIPTION }  Vogue 8061 is a close-fitting, lined to edge with princess seams in upper section. Darts to lower section, back tails with slit and an option on buttons and collar. I sewed View D/E with one button closure & no contrast collar.

{ FABRIC USED } black gabardine which I purchased in the UK about 2 years back & I used a fushia pink somethin’-somethin’ for the body lining, with the arms lined in a black poly.  The poly was more slippery than the pink & I prefer my arms to slide easily through jacket arms!V8601_riding_jacket_lining

{ SIZING } I cut my usual size and it fits well, bar the issues I will speak about below.

{ INSTRUCTIONS } I followed the instructions as they are & did not add any extra tailoring foundations as you might have seen some other sewers had done on PR.V8601_riding_jacket_silhouette

{ CONSTRUCTION / ALTERATIONS }  I didnt want my jacket to be a tailored coat but something a little more grungy & casual…hence not going into too much tailoring. In hindsight, I would have constructed the lining differently as Vogue requests you sew the sleeves by hand AFTER. It would have saved me alot of time & trouble by sewing the arms onto the rest of the lining before feeding them through the arms and just hand stitching the wrists in AKA the V8438 coat I made here. Far easier solution with much less fuss. I added some black top-stitching to my fuschia lining for a little interest on the inside. I did not do all the seams, just the princess seams running right around.

This pattern requires a fair amount of hand stitching (if you construct the way they tell you too), otherwise its not a difficult pattern but neither is it beginner level.  I had to take in the sleeves quite substantially too so bear this in mind. I would also have preferred the sleeves to have been made of 2 pieces making fitting a little easier IMO. I would also prefer to have the option of adding a sleeve with buttons so I would definitely do this next time..if there is ever a next time!! I also disliked the way they ask for the shoulder pads to be fitted AFTER the lining is in…why??? The jacket would look so much better with the shoulder pads under the lining & hidden!!!!!!!

I was waiting a little to post this review because I had not found the right button for the front. On Saturday I was at the store in Vienna & I purchased a button I thought would work but once I was home & looked at it, it just doesnt work & my stash of buttons has come up with nothing suitable….the quest to find the right button therefore continues. In the meantime, I might just sew a plain black button until I find the right match.V8601_riding_jacket_tails

{ LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY } ***

{ SUM IT UP } Im not sure I would make this coat again since it is quite unique with the “tails” however I enjoyed the process & would recommend provided you are looking for something quite unique.  V8601_riding_jackt_front2

Thanks for stopping by x

sewing

{to be completed….}

One of my 2013 resolutions is to complete unfinished projects! Yes, those nasty projects that have been a thorn in my side for years, lurking in the alterations box. No more!

Ive checked McCalls 5241 off the list {TICK} and Ive started on Vogue 8550. I started this project in 2010 {without doing a muslin first} and got into some fitting issues. Some of you may recall seeing the WIP post on PR on this. End 2010 we relocated to the UK & unfortunately we had limited space when moving so I left alot of my sewing goodies at home in Austria & moved with just what I needed. Hence, this project was never completed.

A few days ago, I decided to start the tackle & this is what it looked like from THE dreaded box, all crumpled up, chewed & spat out :

Vogue 8550 messThis is what it looks like now after a little TLC pressing :

Vogue 8550 pressedI will be completing this as soon as I can & reporting on how it all went, full review, pics etc. Stay tuned.

Thanks for stopping by. a x

pattern review · sewing

{12.12.2012 – a good place to start…}

Seems like a good day to get the consolidation of blog & pattern reviews started.

All the hype surrounding the 12.12.12 is mind boggling. One would swear we’ve NEVER.EVER had a repetition of date like this before. I for one remember quite clearly 8.8.88 and 9.9.99 and 10.10.10 and even 11.11.11 – the world lived through all of those so why in the hell would the world start to fall apart now. anyway, before i digress to much, let me get started on the first pattern review post…

Vogue V8438 (A)

This is the link directly to my original review : http://sewing.patternreview.com/review/pattern/52370

I used a neutral & natural coloured wool tweed for the outer fabric & a cream satin for the inner lining of the coat. I loved the OTT clown-like collar however this was indeed the most difficult part to sew, not because it was complicated but because of the many many layers of tweed to sew through. I dotted machine stitches around where i could and where my machine was unable to stitch, I resorted to hand stitching. I finally got to put the metal thumb protector to good use.  At first I did not make the belt but after wearing the coat a few times, I realised the belt was an integral component helping to structure the silhouette and keep everything looking ready-to-wear-ish!

I really loved the process of putting this coat together, from start to finish. It was a simple pattern which, IMO, does not require OTT tailoring techniques or anything fussy. I think some real fun could be had with experimenting with colour combinations and different fabric weights. I would highly recommend this pattern & would make Version C (possibly without the ‘bell’ sleeves) in a heartbeat. I wouldn’t recommend this pattern to complete novice sewers however experienced beginners could complete this easily.  Good luck all.

V8438-f

Coat, back

Coat, inner