I have been sewing up a storm this April, and not writing about it. Bad me. Projects include a raincoat for my darling Frances, the leather bag, quilt blocks, a little bat-wing t-shirt for Frances, and a sheath dress for me.
I sewed the raincoat up on Good Friday, except for the hems and buttons so I could make sure it fit. Good thing, because Frances asked for a number of adjustments: the pockets are too low and the waistband is too tight (despite cutting it out bigger than I thought I’d need … sigh). The pockets will require a fair bit of seam ripping and re-sewing. Hopefully I can get that done this weekend, and then she will have a lovely raincoat to wear this spring, that fits.
We also made the executive decision to replace the buttons with a nice zipper, mostly to make it more comfortable.
On the whole, though, I’m pretty proud of it: it’s a lightweight fully waterproof nylon that I lined with a very soft fleece for a bit of extra warmth and comfort. The shoulders are perfect and she can move her arms easily. The hood is just right. And it’s blue, which is her New Favourite Colour. When you’re ten, favourite colours are pretty important. Practically her entire wardrobe is blue at this point, which at least makes getting dressed in the morning easy.
The bat-wing t-shirt was a snap: fast and soft and it fits perfectly. Frances loves it, and asked for another one in navy blue. So there is now of course some navy blue rayon knit in the den waiting to be cut out.
I also have been working on my leather bag.
I found a Craftsy class covering this very subject that includes a pattern, and for not much more than the price of a book on sewing purses–at least, since I got the class on sale. It recommends making a felt mock-up first, so I sighed and, beginning on Good Friday and carrying over to Easter Sunday (since Frances was at her Dad’s house and my mother is not speaking to me right now, giving me a ton of free time), I made the mock-up, decided it would work, stocked up on all the little notions and odds-and-ends required to sew leather like double-sided mounting tape and binder clips, cut everything out, and assembled about half of the pieces before I ran out of the tape. But there are several lovely pieces on my dining room table, including two flat shoulder straps using d-rings. This was my own improvisation since the Craftsy pattern called for round straps that attach directly to the bag, and I didn’t like them.
I still like the idea of a pleated bag, but the leather I chose was too stiff for it. Next time. I’m undecided on whether or not to embroider the bag, problem being that the tannins in treated leather will rot natural fibres, and nearly all of my embroidery threads are natural fibres (silk, cotton, etc.). I guess I do have some rayon flosses. I’m just not sure I want to use rayon flosses on my leather bag. So.
And I’ve been working away on a silk-linen sheath dress, which will get its own post. The amount of stitching and basting and unstitching and rebasting and pinning and letting out that went into getting a shell that fits completely exhausted me this week. However, I did manage to sew a shell I’m happy with. Now I’m taking a break before repeating the whole exhausting process with the lining.
Plus a couple of Farmers’ Wife Quiltalong blocks. I’m about halfway to having enough to make a lap-sized quilt, which isn’t bad for April.
Not too shabby for a week’s work, eh? But of course, as fast as I take things off the Someday Shelf new projects arrive to take their place: a grade 5 grad dress for Frances, a Moneta dress for me, a knit sheath dress, and something with the too-fabulous-to-pass-up Italian silk print I picked up last weekend on Queen West. I’m thinking a drapey shift of some kind, muslin most definitely required in advance.