Sunday, 19 September 2010

Newly sewn wool only took four years!

Do you ever have those projects that always just seem to be "on the go"? You start them off with the best of intentions, but something comes up and they never quite make it across the finish line. My Built by Wendy wool coat was one of those projects. It hung idle and unfinished in my closet for almost four years...until yesterday. At long last, my beautiful melton wool coat is done!

The fabric is melton wool which is warm and toasty without a tonne of weight. I believe it's the same material military uniforms were made of back before the turn of the last century. The cut is definitely on the roomy side which should allow for easy layering throughout the fall and winter.

I must confess I really struggled with this pattern. It's probably the most complex design I've ever attempted and there are definitely things on the finished product which I know are wrong, but I'm sure no one else will notice. To me, those errors are little badges of honour. They show that I know enough about sewing to be able to improvise and come up with suitable work-arounds on the fly and still create a half-decent garment in the end. The pattern was from Simplicity and was my first introduction to Built by Wendy. More recently, you may remember Wendy as the author of a couple of the sewing books I purchased earlier this year. Still haven't tackled any of the book projects yet, but there's plenty of time for that!

For all the challenges of this pattern, it did give me a chance to try a technique I'd always wondered about: lowering the feed dogs on my sewing machine. For those not in the know, feed dogs are the little teeth which run under your presser foot and help move the fabric along under the needle. Until a few months ago, I didn't even know it was possible to lower mine. Generally, you leave them up unless you're freestyle sewing (moving the fabric with your hands instead of letting the machine do it) as you would when quilting. In this case, I needed to lower the feed dogs just to be able to properly position the fabric under the needle without trashing the fabric by dragging it across the feed dog's teeth. It was pretty cool to be able to try it out and I really wouldn't have been able to topstitch without it.

Now I find myself hoping for cooler weather so I can start putting my new coat to use.


  1. Impressive! Sounds like it was a lot of work. Can't wait to see it in person.

  2. It's beautiful Kim. Well done!

  3. it looks fantastic! i'm impressed you made something so complicated - not that i doubted you and your many powers. ;-) great colour!

  4. wow that is so impressive...looks great!!!

  5. Nice collar awesome colour


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