Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Back to Class (kinda)

So a while back I started writing a blog post in my head. I guess it must have been September as I titled it "Back to Class". With the little one back in preschool, I had a bit more sewing time to start a new Craftsy class - Kenneth King's Fly Front Coat. It promised to cover some basic pattern drafting and a little tailoring, and both of those elements were interesting to me. What I did not take into account was just how time consuming it would be, especially when I only sew in fits and starts. But don't take that as a criticism of the class! I am going slowly as I am learning so much! And Kenneth King is a fabulous teacher.

He is full of the most witty hints that really stick in your head. One of my favourites is to "mark everything as if you are about to be struck down with amnesia" or words to that effect, and boy is that true! I took a few days away from my coat muslin and when I came back to it I could not remember if I had already made certain fitting changes so I had to go back to the drawing board to start again

The class uses Vogue 8841 as its basis but with lots of adaptations. As Mr King says, a sewing pattern is drafted on paper, it is not carved in stone! I have added a front princess seam to accommodate inseam pockets and also added a back yoke. I am pretty happy with the fit of the body. My coat muslin is still without arms as I have to check the sleeve and the collar, and then draft the facings, half lining etc.

All this muslining is crucial, especially when you are making so many pattern changes but I did start to get a bit bogged down by the lack of actual stitching time. So I took a little break to sew something for my kid.

She has also started a new class this year - after months of pestering, she is now taking tap and ballet (somehow I am a dance mum!)

We managed to get some uniform passed down to us and I knitted her a cute ballet style cardigan (pattern: Entrechat, using aran weight yarn - I love how quick this is!) so I only really had to purchase the shoes (phew!) But then she needed a cute little shoe bag. So I drafted up a tote bag pattern, with two interior pockets to hold the shoes. I actually started with the shoes, used them to draft my pocket and then decided how big the overall bag should be. Here's the bag inside out:

The embellishment started with an idea I saw on Pinterest. With all my bag pieces cut out, I sketched out some "ballet shoe" shapes and appliqued them to the bag. The inspiration had a ribbon bow stitched on but as I used some leftover bias binding in place of the ribbon, I had to sculpt it into a bow shape and stitch it down completely. I didn't want the wrong side of the bias to show.

I lined it in some cheap floral polycotton that I had originally bought to make kids clothes but was far too crisp and hated the iron. Since the calico and the fabric/bias scraps all came from stash, this basically cost me nothing to make.

I hope to have another finished project to share with you soon. I decided to sew one of the quicker garments on my Autumn/Winter plan before I go back to my coat, and I chose the Ladyskater dress which is almost finished already!


  1. Cute bag your daughter will be the envy of all the other ballerinas!