Get cozy folks, here’s a tale of toil and sorrow that fortunately ended well:
This coat (Ottobre 6/12 #29) has been taunting me and my sewing ego since November. I have to say in all modesty, that it was only my sheer will power and general stick-to-it-iveness that brought me through to the end of this project. It’s been one mishap after another,and the heartache started early; I had a devil of a time figuring out cutting instructions, and then cut the whole blasted thing out before I realized that I had forgotten to add a seam allowance! Nooooo! (Since then I got this little gadget that adds the allowance as you cut, so hopefully I won’t have to deal with such a cuss tragedy again.) Anyway, so I had to cut the whole cuss thing out again and choose a different lining because I didn’t have enough of my first choice.
So I recut (luckily I had plenty of fabric) and decided to do some embroidery details because I knew without a little girliness Twinkle might not dig the black and white. That took a fair bit of time, and by the time I finished I had to set the whole project aside to make room for more important Christmas presents. After that Stretch Yourself dominated my sewing time, and yada yada yada, this coat goes to the back of the queue.
So finally I got back to it, (now that Winter is almost done!) and couldn’t for the LIFE of me figure out the instructions for attaching the lining. I even went to my friend and sewing mentor Merline to see if she could interpret, but we both ended up scratching our heads in confusion. I think part of the problem was that their instructions were obviously different from how I had done this in the past, and I just couldn’t visualize what they were describing. I have never given up on instructions, but in the end, I just decided to quit trying to understand how I was supposed to do it, and just do it how it made sense to me. I ended up attaching the lining at the neck seam and down the front to the zippers, and then slip stitching the sleeves and hem. It worked fine, although it’s not perfect.
So THEN, finally, I’m all done, and it’s adorable, and she loves it, and on the very next day it’s a cold morning and she says “I want to wear my new coat but it’s not warm, Mom.” Cuh. Rap. And she was right too, it was just kinda flimsy. I was super annoyed and frustrated that I didn’t do something about that earlier, but I guess I kept on hoping that it would be fine (the houndstooth is warm and fuzzy (wool??), I thrifted it several years ago–it’s definitely natural fibers). My sweet sweet friend Jen had been SO awesome and kind to send me some leftover thinsulate she had, which I got after all the cutting drama, and was trying to delude myself that it didn’t need anything extra so I could avoid anymore cutting and use it for another project I had in mind. Bad move, Mim. So I based up, dug in my heels, and took the whole cuss thing apart again.
Attaching the thinsulate was not as bad as I anticipated (I assembled an interlining and then attached at the neckline and then hand stitched to all edges), and in the end was so worth it (I was so grateful to have it Jen!) The coat is now toasty and warm and actually looks and falls much better to me. There’s a little wonkiness (especially near the neckline and hood), but it’s really not too noticeable, and overall I’m really happy with it. The ONE down side is that with the thinsulate the coat fits much snugger, and I’m starting to doubt that this will fit her next season. I hope hope hope that she can get at least a little wear out next year…grow up not out, Twinky!