Sew Every Day Challenge: Week 16

I’m hoping to finish my Kelly Anorak this week as we’ve got some rainy, cold weather coming up. We’ve had an insanely warm fall, so it’s been hard to really get into a coat-making mood, but my November 1st deadline is quickly approaching and I think I need to kick it up a notch.

Date: Monday, October 23

Time sewing: 50 minutes; 1 hour 10 minutes; 10 minutes; 30 minutes

What I did: Today, I worked on the sleeves. As you can tell, they took forever and I was determined to finish them today. I’ve set about a thousand sleeves (probably not actually, but possibly), and still manage to put them on the wrong sides half of the time. This is indeed what happened when I pinned them originally, but I know myself and triple-checked before sewing. I also had a really tough time easing in the sleeve without any tucks or puckers as this fabric is just so stiff. I managed, but it wasn’t easy.

Date: Tuesday, October 24

Time sewing: 45 minutes; 40 minutes

What I did: In the morning, I got the neck facing done and started on the lining sleeves. After supper, I finished sewing together the sleeves and got them set in my lining. It’s exciting that I have two coat-shaped things ready!

Date: Wednesday, October 25

Time sewing: 55 minutes, 40 minutes, 20 minutes

What I did: I got to work on the hood. I’m adding a drawstring (necessary in Ottawa), so I learned how to put in grommets thanks to the Closet Case Patterns sew-along.

Date: Thursday, October 26

Time sewing: 40 minutes; 40 minutes

What I did: I started work on the zippers. Knowing myself, I predicted I would get the very similar pieces mixed up and do something wrong. Luckily, it was easily fixable, except the one teeny seam I had already trimmed. I also realized that the sew-along post pertains to the unlined jacket, so I’ve been going back and forth between the website and the written instructions. It worked out okay, though. Plus, OMG, guys, Closet Case Patterns shared my photo on their Instagram . I’m beyond flattered!

Date: Friday, October 27

Time sewing: 45 minutes; 45 minutes

I spent a good part of my episode of Scandal un-picking parts I realized I shouldn’t have sewn due to differences between the sew-along and the pattern instructions for the jacket with lining. I go back on track and finished all the zippers and facings. I also sewed the lining to the jacket at these points, but went too far (Ie. you’re supposed to stop 3 inches from the end) and spent more time un-picking.

Date: Saturday, October 28

Time sewing: 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 10 minutes, 2 hours

What I did: Saturdays are a bit of a tradition in our house now where Mike watches the game and I sew. I topstitched the hood for the drawstring and got it threaded through. I also made ribbed thumb-hole cuffs to sandwich in between the jacket and lining. I find it super awkward to wear thicker coats without mittens, but since this is a fall/early winter coat, that will likely happen. I feel like the cuffs will take care of that.

Also started to work attaching the lining and got the hood halfway on. I’m at the point of attaching the hood lining to everything else and am having a really tough time understanding the directions. Considering the amount of exercise my seam-ripper has gotten lately, I decided to call it a night and see if things would make more sense in the morning.

Date: Sunday, October 22

Time sewing: 30 minutes

What I did: I was right that I would have a better time understanding what the heck the instructions were asking for. I realized that the written directions were asking me to do what I’ve done on other collars a thousand times , it was, however, still tricky to get everything to line up and not catch extra things in my seam. I’ve made a coat before, but nothing compares to sewing this super stiff waterproof canvas and the fluffy batting lining. It takes up soooooo much space on my sewing table. I also got started on sewing the sleeves and sleeve linings together, but didn’t get the chance to finish.

Total time sewing this week: 11 hours 55 minutes

What I learned:

  • How to put in a grommet. So. Much. Easier. Than a button hole.
  • Hashtags work! I still can’t believe that Closet Case Patterns shared my hood drawstring hack on their Insta!
  • It’s okay to stop when you just don’t get the next step. I give my students the same rule when it comes to homework: if you still don’t get it after 20 minutes of genuine effort, put it away and try again in the morning.
  • Making a coat is a big endeavor. I’m on my fifth bobbin and am worried that I don’t have enough thread to finish. Also, there is just so much fabric to try to ram through the arm of my sewing machine! It’s times like this I envy quilters and their extra-long armed machines.
  • It’s the little details that make a project yours. I love that I can make relatively simple tweaks to a pattern (ie. drawstring hood and thumbhole cuffs) to make a jacket that is exactly what I want it to be.
  • Planning out sewing is ridiculously useful. I used to scoff at sewists’ instagram shots of spreadsheets and calendars to organize their projects, but now I am so sold. I have drafted a sewing schedule to get me through to July 1st 2018.

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