Opportunistic restocking

I kept it kinda quiet since I wasn’t able to meetup at all, but I was in Virginia last week for some quality family time. I got a good amount of running and working in alongside all the familying, and I also took a trip to the local Hancocks while I was there, too.

The sign outside did not instill much confidence.

I knew I had both limited suitcase space and funds, so I really tried to stick to my list and only buy fabrics I knew I’d use. Thanks to Stacy, I also had the new Vogue Donna Karan leggings pattern waiting for me on my arrival, so I was keen to get some ponte for those, but alas, the pontes in stock were very poor quality!

In terms of fabrics, I picked up two really nice viscose lycra jerseys which had a nice, soft hand and great recovery – one in turquoise blue, and the other with a black, mustard, and orange splatter print. Both ended up being on sale (the blue for about $5/yd and the print for about $7/yd) at the counter, too!

Lime running jacket, mittens & hat

I really really liked this fleece jacket, KnipMode 12/2008 #21, ever since the issue came out, and I’ve been waiting for the right time to grab some bright fleece and make it ever since.

It uses lycra edging tape (which Pennine Outdoor thoughtfully stock in addition to all the right high quality fleeces and chunky zips!) to bind the sleeve and neck edges as well as act like a sort of piping-without-the-pipe along the princess seams and that top yoke edge.

Black microfleece three ways

I had a few metres of black microfleece leftover from interlining my winter coat and I thought I’d put it to good use since it takes up so much room in my limited stash (and as you read yesterday, I have lots of new fabrics coming in!)

So to start off, I made yet another of my favourite BWOF sweatshirt, which I’ve already made before in red velour and also in blue fleece (twice, actualy, as I made one for a neighbour, too).

(My neighbour Lucie was hosting our mooring’s craft night so I thought we’d do a photoshoot in a finished boat for a change!)

Conquering bound buttonholes and interlining my winter coat

Cast your mind back to the heady days of May, when I decided to join hands with the internet and start in on The Great Coat Sew Along, with this beautiful long coat pattern from BWOF 09/2005 #102:

(There are two similar views – mine’s using the exposed buttons and sleeve tabs of 102, but the in-seam pockets of 101.) Anyway, I got as far as the material gathering, muslin fit and alterations, and even sewed together the body pieces of the coat before I lost momentum in August. The half-finished coat has hung in my sewing room ever since, taking up valuable space and making me feel bad every time I glanced at it, but the abnormally freezing cold temperatures we’ve had in London have made me jump back in with both feet to get this finished, because I could really use this on my daily walking commute to work. I’ve got a RTW long wool coat, but with the wind and extreme cold we’ve had, I can feel the cold through what I’ve got now (the papers are gleefully reporting that, at -10C, London is colder than Antarctica right now, and I’ve lost count of the number of Russian-style fur hats I’ve seen out and about).

Coat interlining

As part of my project to sew my winter coat, I’m finding it tricky to source suitable interlining and lining fabrics here in the UK without resorting to expensive overseas shipping prices.

Following Kay Y’s experience with the 150gsm Thinsulate, I rang up Pennine Outdoor who stock it here in the UK and got their advice on suitable warm interlining fabrics. They stock a huge range of outdoor and sport fabrics, so I spoke to a lovely lady on the phone who helped me through my choices. She ultimately recommended microfleece as the best warm, lightweight, and draping choice for me, but conceded that it wasn’t windproof (but that using a silk twill lining would probably help the wind anyway). The only windproof fabric they stock is very bulky and doesn’t drape nicely, and when I enquired about Meraklon, she said that it was tubular and stretchy and also had a bad drape and that it was more suitable for linings of close-fitting garments.

The Big Fleecy

My boyfriend James has a RTW fleece that he loves, but it’s getting scraggly and it’s a bit too thin to be useful when we work outside a lot. He’s been bugging me to recreate him a new one for a while now, and I recently picked up KwikSew 2561 which I thought would be easier than just tracing his old one. He bought the fleece from since we knew how nice and thick it was from our earlier fleece adventures. After the mental gymnastics of the Pendleton wool jacket, I decided it was time to make something simple!

Soft and Warm

I’ve broken my self-imposed ban on sewing fleece. I blame the 90s for making me think it’s the most unfashionable fabric on earth, only worn in big, boxy cuts by soccer moms and awkward preteens.

But the heating on our boat still isn’t sorted yet, and I’m sick of seeing my breath while I eat dinner every night, and sewing with quite literally numb fingers (my metal shears are so cold they hurt to touch them!). So I got the boyfriend drunk and convinced him to order 5 metres of navy blue fleece to make us some warm lounging clothes to only wear around the boat.