Super furry animal

Let me just start off by saying I love this coat. I would jump up and down on Oprah’s couch like a crazy woman for this coat. It makes me happy just to look at it, and to touch it makes my day. I love it so much that I actually feel paranoid wearing it out for fear that some Peta idiot is going to pour paint on me because it looks and feels absolutely like real fur. But wear it out I do, because I love this coat!

I mean, seriously, look at this faux fur, is it not fabric porn?

To refresh your memory, I made BWOF 10/08 #102 in faux chinchilla fur from (at $21.98/yard, it was worth every last penny in shipping and customs charges!).

And the end result is just love at first sight!

A wool maternity coat – finished photos

Last week I was nearly finished with Holly’s coat, and the week before that l told you all about underlining it, but finally I can show you completed completed photos!

If you recall, I used this maternity coat from the August 2008 issue of Burda, but after the first muslin we made some design changes (namely, eliminating the band and gathered sleeve caps) and an added dart as a consequence of an FBA (full bust adjustment) so it’s not quite the same as you see in the original tech drawing below…

Apologies for the slight blurriness and busy background – this is why I try not to do photoshoots after dark, but it couldn’t be helped this time around! At least you can see how it fits her, even if the photo quality isn’t great.

Draped jacket – no ordinary lining

There’s been only slow and steady progress on my draped suit (Burda September 2011 #126 and 127) this week as there’s been little time to sew, but I did get a few hours of “me time” in on Sunday evening after my insulation work was done for the day.

Those few hours were enough for me to finish the entire shell of the jacket and skirt, but I needed a clear surface to cut out the lining fabric, so that was delayed until last evening (since my running group was cancelled). Since the wool suiting has stretch, I didn’t want to negate the benefits of that with a non-stretch lining, so I pulled out one of the few stretch wovens in my stash – a blisteringly hot pink stretch satin I’d bought from last year (and came across in my mom’s suitcase before the wedding). Despite it being polyester, it actually feels wonderful and it was worth the price to be such a high quality lining.

Manequim June 2011

If you’re reading this and sweating, then you may wish to imagine yourself instead in chilly Rio de Janeiro for the latest instalment of Manequim magazine. Brrrr along with me now…

First up is a rather useful two-page spread on how to customise your accessories with fur. I quite like the idea of adding fur to existing gloves, though the way they’ve added it to a dress here seems strange. Surely it’s better to create a detachable fur collar, a’la this coat tutorial?

I really like the dress on the left, with its cool peplum side panels and the wide, cross back straps:

Our DIY wedding – refashioning my grandmother's gown

I’ve got many, many more wedding photos to come, but as I was slowly going through all the photos from friends and our professional photographer, I realised that there were a lot of parallel poses between my grandparents’ photos and ours.

Big thanks to my Dad for taking the time to scan in my grandparents’ wedding album in hi-res format, and also to our truly INCREDIBLE and AMAZING wedding photographer, Paul Tanner. I’m pretty sure he was the best money we’ve ever spent.

Confetti toss:

Post ceremony posing:

Walking back down the aisle:

Cutting the cake:

Pre-wedding girly preparations:

If you’re new to this site, let me back up a minute and explain what went on here. First of all, yes, I sewed my own wedding gown. But that would be too easy (ha!), so I decided to sew it from my grandmother’s gown.

Thank god it's finally 2010!!

The worst year of my life is finally over, hurrah! Celebrate!! Woo! I always try to live each year so that it’s better than the one before, and I don’t think I’ll have to spend much energy to make 2010 a success by that yardstick! Still, my cathartic sewing output hasn’t been too bad, especially considering I spent a full 8 weeks/2 months in a hospital bed!

(Click the composite photo to zoom in, and have a look in the Gallery to read more about any of them. Except the last few, which you’ll see in greater detail next week.)

Here’s 2007’s and 2008’s roundups, for comparison.

Let’s find some highlights in what was an otherwise incredibly sh*tty, sh*tty year….

Embroidery and bunting

I seem to be pretty lucky so far to have escaped the constant chemo nausea I was told to expect. I’m on two different chemo drugs now until Sunday when I switch to a third on its own, and so far one of them has had zero affect on the way I feel, and the other seems to be giving me wildly different comedy afflictions each day (first fever & headache, then the next day a weird bumpy rash like mosquito bites all over my body plus breathing problems, then tonight it just seems to be a 2 hour long sneezing fest. weird.). In any case, it’s so far much easier than I was expecting (knock on wood), so it’s given me some time to do some crafting in amoungst my tv and film watching.

Yesterday (Day -7) (in bone marrow transplant land, the day you get your stem cells is Day Zero, so right now I’m counting down to that, 8 July. After I receive them, I’ll go into the positive numbers!)

Yesterday I did a bit of ham-fisted embroidery, finishing up a bit for a baby present, which I’ll reveal when it’s totally finished, as well as finally finishing that Sublime Stitching apron kit I’ve been working on here and there over the last few months (remember this from the al fresco sewing day?).

Patrones spring coat

By now, you should be fully familiar with Patrones #261-17, the spring duffle coat I’m making in turqouise basketweave wool…

After all, first it won the public vote, then you heard about how I bulk fused the tricky wool, then you saw all about my muslin and the resulting fit alterations, then you saw how I dealt with the tricky hood seam allowances and finally, last week you got a chance to see the bound buttonholes and the finished shell.

I’ve been concentrating on assembling the lining (and the lining pocket) all weekend, and finally finished all the handsewing at Monday night’s moorings crafty club!

Spring coat choices

I’ve got lots of turquoise basket weave wool coating that I bought from on a deep discount the same time I bought that gorgeous faux fur, and I’m envisioning it as a great spring coat (believe me when I say it’s the perfect weight for London springtime, okay?). But I’m torn between three different coat patterns, so maybe you all can help me decide?

1. Patrones #261-17 – Pros: It has a hood, and big pockets, and it’s already traced, since it from an issue I borrowed from Zoe ages ago! Cons: I’m not as confident on Patrones’s sizing so a muslin is a must, and it’s not got any pockets (Wtf?) so I’d have to add on some patch pockets.

Return to Goldhawk Road!

On Saturday I once again ventured to the ever-brilliant Goldhawk Road here in London. This time I was lucky enough to have Anwen and Isabelle as my partners in fabric fondling, glitter disgust, and pattern and supplier informing. It’s so much more fun to go fabric shopping with fellow sewists, especially if they possess a daughter as patient as Anwen’s and a resolve as steadfast as Isabelle’s (I cannot believe she only bought the two fabrics she came looking for!!).

But really, I wasn’t so bad myself. I’ve only got two lengths of fabric leftover from the previous trip: red corduroy which will still become trousers at some point, and dark heathered grey jersey, which is being made into a pyjamas set as we speak! So clearly my stash needed replenishing and my mood needed lifting so I was mostly looking for quality I couldn’t easily get elsewhere…

From top to bottom, I bought: