Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Lady Grey Wrap Coat Sew-along

I am jumping into fall though with a renewed sewing vigor. To jump start my efforts, I am going to participant in my first online sew-along. Are you familiar with the concept? Basically, it is sort of a virtual sewing circle, where people all over the world work on the same pattern, on a similar time line, and use their blogs and social media to stay in touch, offer advice, and offer fit critique. A wonderful seamstress and vintage aficionado Gertie is spearheading this particular sew-along. You can read more about it on her blog here.

The pattern is from a Portland designer - Colette patterns - and it is the Lady Grey wrap coat. I have such a crush on this entire pattern line. First off, it is designed for curvy gals, and many busty women report they don't need to do their standard full bust adjustments to achieve a fitting garment. I might still need to do the FBA, but somehow I just KNOW this is a pattern line that will work for me.

Check out the design below and let me know what inspirations immediately come to mind. I am thinking of sewing this up as a lighter weight fa/spring coat, since I live in South Texas where it is always hot. Also, because i have never sewn with fancy wools and thick materials, and I think a firm woven will do the trick.

The wrap closure, the flared peplum, the exaggerated collar, the princess seams, and the sew-along buzz have me so excited! Read below for my personal to-do list, as well as a short summary of some wonderful women who have already created the coat.

Kate's Sew-along to-do list:

1. Receive and trace pattern:
It's ordered and shipped, and should arrive this week. I just KNOW it will still need some minor alterations, so at the very least I will trace out the front and back bodice pieces. Tracing patterns is a tedious chore and I hate it, but better spend an hour tracing than have to purchase a new pattern later.

2. Select and order fabric:
This is the hardest part right now. I just don't know where to find my material. I tend to dislike shopping at JoAnn's, our major fabric store in town, because I feel like their fabric is either very crafty or synthetic. So I may try to order fabric online. I really think I want to sew this in a firm cotton woven, something with a canvas-y or trench coat-like. The internet tells me I should be looking for a gabardine, cotton drill, poplin or a heavy twill. Sheesh, I need a book on fabrics. I have no idea what these are.

3. Pick up tailoring books from the San Antonio Public Library:
Gertie recommends Tailoring: the Classic Guide to Sewing the Perfect Jacket by the editors of Creative Publishing, but my library does not carry it. So I have requested Jackets for Real People: Tailoring Made Easy! by Marta Alto, Susan Neall, and Pati Palmer, Classic Tailoring Techniques: A Construction Guide for Men's Wear by Roberto Cabrera and Patricia Flaherty Meyers, and of course the basic bible of sewing New Complete Guide to Sewing : Step-by-Step Techniques for Making Clothes and Home Accessories from the editors at Reader's digest. Hopefully, armed with these three guides I can make it through the coat sew-along.

4. Get started:
I promise to keep you posted.

In the meantime, check out the beautiful Lady Grey coats already roaming the streets from these talented sewers. There fabric choice, styling, and descriptions have me super-motivated.


Myra said...

To look for the type of fabrics you want, even Hancock's may be better than JoAnn's. The last time we were in SA, it was hard to find one, but we did. If you want to go to Austin, I saw on the web there is a apparel fabric store - I picked it up from Collette Pattern's website, of places that stock the patterns. You may want to see the fabric in person.

Gertie said...

So glad you're joining in! I'll be eagerly awaiting your fabric choices. I have a sew-along post going up tomorrow, so be sure to stop by!

Jen said...

What online fabric stores do you like to use? I am so overwhelmed by the choices online. I bought the Lady Grey coat pattern, but I haven't really committed to doing the sew-along. Too many other irons in the fire right now...

Kate said...

I have never purchased fabric online, except for once on Ebay. I like to look at Mood (which I am familiar with thanks to Project Runway). They do a nice job with a fabric suggestions (check out http://www.moodfabrics.com/index.php?file=find_fabric) and I have found their staff quick to respond. However, I have never order from them (yet!). I also like to browse Sew Mama Sew (http://www.sewmamasew.com/store/) for their unique and designer cottons.

My favorite local fabric store is in Boulder, Colorado )(http://www.elfriedesfinefabrics.com/). I have purchased in person from her on my trips back home, and she carries EXTRAORDINARY garment fabrics and offers wonderful advice. The owner Elfiede is charming and has such excellent taste. I think I may email or call her store for some assistance. She told me she is willing to send swatches and ship for special occasions.

But I can't lie, I would prefer to purchase in person. Oh, why oh why don't I have a private jet to whisk me to the New York garment district or back to Boulder for fabric shopping this weekend?