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

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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.

knit

{Knitting alert}

I have almost completed the knitting up of the Smoulder pulli I mentioned in the last post. Coming to the end of any project gets you thinking about the next project. I know I have quite a few projects on the go at the moment, some of which I can get back into, some I cannot until my ankle is feeling a tad bit better.

For starters, I still have the leather handbag I started a few weeks ago but had some difficulty with the stitching. I emailed Husqvarna all the details they asked me for in order to help but I have not heard a peep from them since. I will have to remind them I am waiting….{PATIENTLY}. You can visit the leather handbag post here should you need to catch up.

I am also aware of the V8550 in the works….but this project I know needs special care & long hours so I will need to give it a few more days until my foot can cope with the strain.

So, back to knitting & selection of my next project :

I really love the Kim Hargreaves patterns. There is something so ethereal about the Whisper book so I think I might just pick another. Ive got my eye on the following :

KH_whisper_Bianca_1

KH_whisper_Sizzle_2

source : kim hargreaves

The first design is the {BIANCA} which is a lovely ribbed pulli with amazing cowl neckline and 3/4 sleeves. Yum. The second design is the {SIZZLE} with a clever stitch to give a great effect. I would have to do test swatches of both of these stitches before I attempt the actual project because Ive never knitted anything quite so adventurous before. I love them both in white {SURPRISE SURPRISE} but I would be open to making Sizzle in red too. What do you think ?

Anyway, I do hope that by the middle to end of this week I will be a little more mobile & able to withstand a few hours at a time with my foot down. Even with the new cast, as soon as I let my foot down the blood rushes down & it feels tight & still swells some. Every day is better than the day before so it really is a patience game. Moving around on the {STICKS} was hard at first & Ive realised I have much better balancing skills than I thought :-). On the up side, sleeping has become easier too which helps alot. Ive read the majority of recovery happens in the night between approximately 12 and 4am. I wonder how how much truth there is to that!?

Ok lovelies, its time to love & leave ya. In a few days I will have a great review on a sewing DVD so be sure to check it out.

Thanks for stopping by x

chit-chat

{AWOL no more}

Yellow_submarine_cast

Today has been a very good day – I have my new cast. {BIG GRIN}. A “sports” cast as they call it, all mellow yellow of it. I had the choice of dark blue, light blue, purple, green or yellow. I should have gone with the 2013 colour of the year….thereby ticking that box for the remainder of the year but alas, I went for the colour that makes me happiest of the bunch & besides, this was the only colour I thought I could live with for 5-6 weeks. These sport casts are as solid as the plaster casts but weigh much less so it was a no-brainer to be honest. It is also full weight bearing so I can move around easier albeit still with the help of the {STICKS} for now.  I removed the hideous “shoe” that straps onto this cast because believe me, you dont want to see it. A combination of grandpa shoe & more velcro you have not seen.promise!

This means, more sewing to come….{YAY}…as you know I still have V8550 to defeat.

Thank you for all the well wishes. I didnt want my {CRAFT} blog to suddenly feel like an {ACHES & PAINS} blog but you know….shit happens & you gotta roll with the punches.

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