Purple is one of my favourite colours, so I do have a fair bit of the colour in my stash, in all hues and shades. When I started rearranging my sewing room recently my stash storage space was reduced somewhat, so I’m trying to sew according to lengths that are bulky and therefore take up a lot of space in my cupboard! I’ve made two things in the last couple of weeks or so, both shades of purple, in fact I used up three lengths from my stash!
My first make was a cardigan, it’s getting cold over here and my cardies are looking past their best. I used Butterick 6258 which is my go to pattern for an everyday cardigan, in fact I think this was the seventh time I’ve made it.
The fabric is what I would call a waffle jersey, sort of textured, I’ve no idea where or when I bought it but it is a nice shade of purple! My plan was to make it on my overlocker however we had a major falling out! I spent over an hour cleaning and rethreading it several times, testing it, I went from a four thread OK stitch, cleaned it (it was very dusty) to a very poor 3 thread stitch, rethreaded, cleaned more, improved to an OK 3 thread stitch, tried on my actual garment and it nicely trimmed the seam but made absolutely no effort to sew! It is now visiting the mechanic for it’s last chance!!!
In the end I made the cardigan on my standard machine with a double seam in a slight zig-zag, I didn’t think to use my walking foot until near the end. The seams haven’t come out as flat as I would have liked but it’s fine for everyday pottering round cardi. I made it a longer length as one of my favourite ones is longer. Somehow with this one it didn’t look quite right, so I put big patch pockets on the front which seems to help and I do like a cardigan with pockets.
All in all, not my most successful make but OK for everyday, I’ve certainly worn it a fair bit so far , this is me doing a talk at my Embroiderers Guild…
My second make was a coat, as you can imagine a coat length takes up quite a lot of space! I bought this wool on one of my trips to Goldhawk Road in London. It’s a gorgeous loose woven Herringbone Tweed, when I first pulled it out I thought it was going to be a bit stripy, but then I noticed the other side was much more muted, I think this is the right side as it was on the inside of the fold which is the traditional way to fold wool.
When I say it’s loose woven, you only need to look at it and it frays, the issue being that it is also quite a coarse wool (though soft to feel) so if two threads fray you seem to lose 5mm. If I’d realised before I started how much it would fray I might have used a fine interfacing all over. It didn’t help that I also used my Coatigan pattern and the seam allowance is only 1cm!
I used a taffeta lining (from my stash) which has a diamond pintuck pattern, I seem to recall I bought this at Bombay Stores at one of the shows. I’ve no idea what I was thinking of making with it as I think to make a garment the tucks would make it quite difficult to get neat. For a coat lining it’s perfect, a bit of inside interest and somehow the tucks make it feel nice and chunky and cuddly.
I’ve used the Coatigan Sylvia pattern by Schnittchen a couple of times too, it’s a comfortable, everyday, throw it on sort of coat…
Despite the fraying, it actually went together pretty well. I managed to line the ‘stripes’ up on the front and back and also across the sleeve.
The Coatigan instructions are pretty minimalist, there’s no pictures though apparently there is an on line tutorial. In the instructions the lining is ‘bagged’, stitched all round to the coat and then turned through a hole left in the sleeve lining!! I still can’t quite follow this so I stitch facings and collar and then hand stitch the hem and sleeve ends. The actual hems were machine stitched, which is not my norm, I usually hand-stitch them up with a herringbone stitch. I was still concerned about the fraying though and decided there was less likely to be movement and therefore potentially fraying if it was just machine stitched up. It does make the line more visible but I can live with that.
Having worn the coat for several days I still haven’t quite decided on the closure, the pattern has nothing or a single button. This looks fine but I know from experience that there is no way I’ll get the facing under my buttonhole foot. I have bought a black leather toggle which I think I will try first, hand stitch it on to see how it goes. I cold use a popper but for such a big coat I’d need quite a big one and I’m not sure it would suit the style.
I’ve worn my new coat several times this week and it’s lovely and warm and comfortable too. A success 🙂