Wednesday, 23 September 2015

a new adventure






Oh the choices I have to make! 

On Monday started a twelve week course to sew my own Duffle coat. It seems like a lot of time for just one coat. Yes, I probably could make a Duffle coat without going on a course but I just know I would take short cuts and would end up with a coat that doesn't quite fit or has a wonky zip. I checked out the course plan, the first few weeks are entirely dedicated to the creation of a perfectly fitting toile. I'll be learning some new skills, for example pattern adaptation beyond just making something shorter or longer. My body shape requires plenty of adaptations. I am learning to use new tools, too. One of the items I needed to bring along to the course was a French Curve. I have never heard of such a thing. It looks funny. I hope that I'll find out how to use it properly because the description that came with it sure isn't very clear. So far I have used it to trace the pattern curves onto paper.

The course is expensive. No doubt the Duffle coat will be the most expensive piece of clothing I own but being able to sew a coat surely can be considered a life skill? The next one will be cheaper.

I ordered a selection of coating fabric samples so I don't have to go into town. The thought of going into town makes me dizzy. Coating fabric is quite expensive and it would be a shame to own 3 metres of lurid pink boiled wool when you thought it was really raspberry red. Did you know it is possible to order fabric samples? I didn't. I thought I might want to make a Paddington blue coat but I am not so sure now. At the moment I quite like the dark purple in the top photo. I am also considering herringbone patterned wool. Which sample is your favourite? The reds are richer in real life, it is difficult to do all colours justice in the one photo. 

I'll let you know when I have decided on a coating fabric. I haven't even started to think about the lining fabric. I quite fancy something warm and fluffy but maybe I'll end up choosing a colourful cotton poplin fabric, in true Boden style. Fancy that!

I have thought long and hard about adding more commitments to my already full life. I am stretched to breaking point some days and often I am in bed by 9:30. But I am a super organised, my children and husband are well trained in the art of cooking, cleaning and doing the laundry and my time management is impeccable. Life is too short not to be lived to its full. I'll manage somehow. 

Or so I thought. The first evening was hellish. I rushed home from work, ate a rushed meal and rushed off to the class. Richard was away and I had to trust my organisation skills were up to the task: The big ones had to make sure the little ones were ready for Beavers twenty minutes after my departure. The little ones had to be picked up to go to Beavers and back. The babysitter had to be in the house before the little ones came back. All was fine but I had not thought about unexpected events, such as the dog escaping and chasing urban foxes through the neighbourhood. I had to abandon class early to help catch the dog. By the time the beast was cornered and caged I was ready to cry and abandon the course. Spending two hours tracing a pattern with 40 pieces (of which I need most) didn't help. 

Alas, I have recovered and I have also finished tracing and cutting the pattern yesterday. I have told the dog if he escaped once more he was Sunday roast. He wagged his tail happily and went about his own business. 

As always, thank you for stopping by. I noticed new followers. Welcome! I am hoping to catch up with you at some point. In the meantime, thank you for joining and for leaving comments. Cxx






32 comments:

  1. Hey Christina,
    For what it's worth, I rather liked the purple colour. I can see you in that, riding your bike to work. Or perhaps chasing Jack through the streets of Glasgow ;)))
    I am always gobsmacked at the full lives that people lead. Mine is very lacking. Although reality has bitten this week, with a return to work yesterday....
    Have a great week, my friend.
    Leanne xx

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  2. I'm curious how your coat will look in the end! Don't let the stress get you down, think about the finished product and how much you will enjoy wearing it - because you put so much work and effort into it! :)

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  3. I like the lilac one the purple is a little on the dark side for me.
    I am looking forward t seeing the progress of your coat, I had a vision of you chasing the dog with tape measure trailing behind you and you wielding your dressmaking scissors and french curve with a mouth full of pins :-)

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  4. My best laid plans always end with some kind of out of the ordinary experience. Hope the remaining 11 weeks have less fox involvement! The purple is lovely. And the blue. And the green. I'm obviously not very good with decisions xx

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  5. The trouble with samples is that I want them all! It's a bit like when you walk into a shop and the T-shirts are all neatly folded in their coloured piles - though when I get my solitary one home it looks rather less interesting.
    Looking forward to watching the coat progress.

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  6. Can't wait to see the process and the finished product. I got burned out sewing costumes over the years and am just lately feeling an urge to sew something pretty for myself. I think any of those colors are a great choice, but I am always drawn to bright colors for a winter coat.

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  7. I'm sure your coat will be great. I have made a few very simple coats as costumes and they were relatively complex even so, but I think your skills are definitely up to the challenge. You've progressed a lot in sewing just in a few month. I hope the next class night is a lot calmer!

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  8. Oh my, making a coat, I'm not sure I could do it even with a class, can't wait to hear how it goes.

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  9. I am always drawn to bright colours so I love the pinks/reds. We had a dog years ago that was forever escaping and I would always find him waiting at the school gates for out youngest daughter to appear. I love the sound of a course to make your own coat, I do wish there was something like that locally I would definitely go along.

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  10. " The best laid plans of mice and men", as they say.... I love that purple, but I just read Leanne's comment about you riding your bike through the streets of Glasgow and, always being practical, I thought maybe you need a lighter colour to be sure you are visible, so perhaps the red in the top photo or the green in the third view, to keep you safe?!

    Look forward to following your progress, and here's hoping there's no more hiccups, Christine.

    Barbara xx

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  11. Sorry, I know you are Christina, I only saw I had put the wrong name as I pressed publish - and it was too late. I can't believe I put the wrong spelling really because my mum is a Christina too! Blogger was playing up and it took a couple of tries to publish my comment. Many apologies, Barbara xx

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  12. Wow, what a fabulous course. I'm most impressed that you're going to make a coat. Dogs, they're worse than kids for making plans go awry but at least you managed to catch him. I don't see any green fabric, apart from the jade, what about a bottle green? I do like the red though.

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  13. I am super impressed Christina that you are even attempting to sew your own coat. But isn't it funny the things that people used to do all the time, but now seem so impossible to almost everyone. The fact that it is normal for some person/machine/assembly line in China to make clothing for us. Anyway, that is my little rant and good for you! I think the heathered grays are pretty. How frustrating (and a bit frightening) it must have been trying to catch Jack. Glad he is safe.

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  14. What a fantastic idea for a course! Hope you enjoy it :)

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  15. Oh wow, I just know it's going to be fantastic. It sounds terribly complicated, so a course will be quite helpful I expect. As you say, you will learn skills you will always be able use again. What a nightmare about the dog. He obviously didn't get the memo. Bet he doesn't manage to escape again. Good luck choosing your colour. I like the purple, I shall look forward to seeing what you decide on in the end. CJ xx

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  16. Best laid plans, right? I am a big believer in finding time to do something for yourself, so you'll be glad you stuck at this course. I quite like the purple too, and the navy beneath it, but I am a huge fan of red so I'm not really any help at all. When you work out how to use the French curve, let us know - that tool confuses me too.

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  17. Making a coat - wow! You don't do things by halves Christina :) My favourite fabric is of course the middle,photo red, but then I am a major red fan :) Can't wait to hear about your progress. Escapee pets permitting.
    Jillxo

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  18. Making your own coat will be wonderful!!! I hope that you love it and that you love making it! As for naughty doggy well.... Hope he behaves from now on! xx

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  19. Well I for one am super interested in this, I would join you if I didn't live so far away. I would choose the purple too.Plain colours would stay fashionable for longer than patterns I think. Keep us posted. Bloody dog.... Jo x

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  20. Oh how I wish I were super organised! Envy envy envy....

    The coat project sounds wonderful and will be worth all the effort. It's very satisfying to make a garment that fits you perfectly, and for something as important as a coat, a toile is a must. I rather like the purple too - a good dark purple can act as a (more exciting) neutral. So many other colours look good with it.

    Good luck with the course and the coat! :)

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  21. Our Jack Russell disappeared at the weekend for a few hours. Couldn't find her anywhere and then she just appeared as if nothing had happened. I like the very deep purple colour for your coat but it all depends on what suits you best. Go for something that will stand the test of time as it is definitely an investment.

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  22. Ooh! I think it must be a Stitchery course? Yes? I am starting a Monday morning course there on 5th Oct to make a quilt. I am ticking off the days and am very excited. I admire your organisational skills. A Jack Russel in the mix is very unpredictable, and by the law of averages surely unlikely to disrupt everything again? Hope you enjoy the course, and the coat! I like the orange colour, but the purple and grey are also lovely x

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  23. I think it is a brilliant idea, and you deserve to take the course and sew a wonderful coat that is just perfect for you. Yes you are busy, we all are and near the breaking point on many days, but you need and should take time for yourself and this course will make you do that. I can't wait to see how it works up.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  24. Lovely idea. I like the purple, it's lovely and also the darker blue in the first photo. I hope that next week's class is a lot more relaxing - what a rascally dog! Have a great weekend. Jane xx

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  25. I think the red in the second photo is my favourite. The course sounds very interesting and challenging but I think once you've done it you'll learn skills that you can use in other future sewing projects, so for me it's all worth it. I just hope the next class will be less hectic and Jack will behave himself- I'm sure he will and I'm sure you'll really enjoy this course. X

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  26. the course sounds wonderful, I hope next weeks session is a calmer one xxx

    I'm not very brave with colour, I'd probably pick a grey, with some suprise colour on the inside perhaps. x

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  27. I'm so envious, I would love to make a duffle coat! I like the dark brown, I seem to be really into browns at the moment for some reason. I'm looking forward to seeing your finished coat :)

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  28. The purple is my favourite, or grey, you can't go wrong with grey. Naughty Jack..the escaped dog scenario is all too familiar. As a child, we had a really naughty dog who kept escaping. We would all be bundled into the car to drive around looking for him xx

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  29. I don't know how I found your blog -but I have been enjoying it immensely. I did have a chuckle about your dog. I hope your coat is progressing, what a wonderful project. I wanted to recommend an author - although you may already have found her books - Elly Griffiths, she writes books set in Norfolk, and her character is a forensic anthropologist.

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  30. Dogs have the most incredible skill of knowing exactly the best way to throw the spanner into the works. Glad you caught him! A course sounds like a wonderful way to learn how to make a coat properly and a way for making sure there is support :) I love the mustard colour, as well as the dark purple x

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  31. I am sure your duffle coat will be fantastic. I made one each for two of my sons when they were 6 and 8 out of second hand fabric. I bought some men's coats at a jumble sale, ripped them open, carefully washed the pieces and then cut them all out. I bought new fun fur from a market and the toggles. They looked fantastic but I never took any photos, which is a shame. I too used to go to an evening sewing class and went for three years. I learnt so much and loved it. I bought some patterns earlier this year to make myself a blouse and some skirts then fell and broke my right arm so have done none at all! Hope you'll take loads of photos to show us the finished coat.

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  32. Oh dear, you do make me laugh but I doubt it seemed very funny at the time. Good luck with the coat... I'd go for red!

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Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, I love to hear from you, I really do. I sometimes reply by email but I am not all that reliable... Christina xx