Gathering Threads

The Cobbler’s Complaint

Posted by on Feb 21 2010, in News, Patterns, Sewing tips

I sew.

I embroider.

I smock.

I just don’t do them very often for myself. Seriously, I make pants and shorts and bags and quilts and magazine samples and sun dresses and baby shower gifts. I’m a veritable assembly line of “useful things for others” and Henry Ford’s ghost is very proud.

But just like the cobbler of old, very rarely do I sew for myself. There are lots of reasons for this, all of them pretty lame, to be honest. But over the next little while, that’s going to change because my next project is all about me.

I’m making this coat, which I traced off from the Spring/Summer 2009 edition of Ottobre Woman.
Turns out I have a mommy friend who’s as enamoured of sewing as I am. We made the mutual discovery during a playdate between our two kidlets and thus began the great pattern swap of 2010. I lent her my well-loved Kwik Sew patterns and she’d picked up a couple of the latest Ottobre that I didn’t have.

And what did my eye spy and immediately say “Make me! Make me!”?

Sadly, nothing chic, flirty or special-occasiony. Given my time constraints, I want to get WEAR out of my handmade clothing. See, I have rainwear on the brain, having written an article of the subject for an upcoming issues of Threads and now I’m going to reap the rewards of my writing by making something FOR ME that I’m actually going to use!

So, yup, a raincoat.

This coat is a nice, classic style but hip enough for me to feel cool during the school run and the fabric? Ooh, I’m seriously excited over it. It’s a lovely laminated Michael Miller fabric called Dandy Damask.
Nice big paisley-esque print that I think will be really well served by the clean lines of the pattern. Dramatic and cheerful without being over the top. Very springy, too, with the lovely sage.

Now, it’s going to take some doing during layout, to line everything up symmetrically but I think it’ll be worth it and really give this project some punch.

I’ve got some neat ideas in mind for the inside of this coat, too. It’s rarely warm in the early spring and fall, so warmth has to be a consideration for us Canadian sewers so in addition to using flannel-backed “coat lining” for improved wear and hang, I’m going to make it a three season coat by making a grown-up sized version of my famous “detachable quilting lining”. In fact, I think I’ll be doing a tutorial on that, showing how to modify any coat pattern to make a zip-out lining like this, because it’s such a useful variation – plus of course tips for working and matching big patterns like this.

Check back often, because once my fabric arrives via sunny California, I’ll definitely be going ahead full steam on this one.

Or full cobble, as the case may be. 🙂