Saturday, 14 January 2017

Camden

Sooo, hello there.  

I continue on my mission to blog the things I made in 2016 but never blogged due to life/work/studying just getting in the way.  I feel that my ability to write was all used up writing assignments to finally get myself qualified as a legal executive.  That continues, but I seem to have found some inspiration to write blog posts, and I've set some of these up to post while I am on with panto costumes, which I'm not allowed to blog about/share on facebook/instagram until after panto finishes at the end of February #spoilsports. Hopefully I won't be so sick of them by then that I will still want to write some blog posts for y'all in March.  Maybes. . . . maybes not.


Anyway, this is the present I made my mother (actual) for Christmas.  I'm totally blogging out of order for which I apologise, but I write as I am inspired at the moment.

the view from the back
My mum likes the cape silhouette when it comes to her coats.  I think it is because you can retreat inside them snail/crab-like when it is too cold, so when I saw The Camden on the Colette Seamwork mag thingy well over a year ago, I knew that I was going to make it for my mum eventually.  This is the pattern which made me sign up to Seamwork, and while I don't like all the patterns, I have downloaded a few and I love that I can now use my credits for non-Seamwork Colette patterns, which I would like to take full advantage of this year (Moneta - I am coming for you!).

So, I downloaded this pattern and even got it printed by the local printshop before Christmas 2015, but then just ran out of time/lost my sewjo.

arm slits with a
peek of lining
Anyway, I resolved to make it for my mother for Christmas 2016 and started looking for some appropriate (affordable) fabrics in probably about March.  I found loads of lovely designer wools but they were all a bit out of my price range at the time.  Eventually I found some wool blend on the Minerva Crafts website.  I thought it was a turquoise-teal colour (as my mum's colour, like mine, is blue), but when it arrived it was more green (screen resolution is to blame I think!).  Anyway, I decided that I could still work with it and decided that a brown lining would look fabulous.   When I took the wool out of its plastic packaging to cut it, I discovered that I had been looking a the wrong side and the right side had a lovely tweedy/corduroy texture, which made the finished product look so much better. 

I finally got around to start making it at the beginning of December - I still needed lining and buttons though.  I went in search of both.  I couldn't quite find the shade of brown lining that I wanted - I was being super fussy - but as I was giving up hope, I found some fab animal print in Boyes of all places.  I suspected that mother would hate it but I loved it so decided to take the risk.

I love this lining, and in the end I
think it actually went quite well
I honestly never found any buttons I truly loved to go with it.  I considered toggles for a while, but again couldn't find the right shade, so I went with some wooden buttons, figuring I could change them if I ever found some I liked.  It was better to have it done that waiting forever for some buttons was my reasoning.

I remember that this was supposed to be a three-hour pattern when it was first released.  Colette have now revised this claim to be a make in a day.  It definitely took me longer than a day but I did it in stages.

There were more pieces than I thought, but all pieces seemed to be well thought out and the general construction was fairly simple.  The instructions were clear and well thought out and as my first attempt at making a coat of any form, I don't think I did too bad.  I did have to google how to sew bar tacks, but that is because I was seriously doubting myself about all the simple things that day - confidence and mental health wasn't too brilliant before xmas if I'm honest with you - too much stress I think.

There is a lot of pressing to so, and I tried to make sure that I did this well.  I used a LOT of steam and protected by main fabric by using a scrap of the wool fabric as a pressing cloth.  I wanted this to be as perfect as possible so that I received as little constructive criticism as possible.

the buttons I used in the
end.  I'm still not sure
that I like them and I
still make change them.
You can see the lovely
texture of the wool in
this photo
Here are my timings:

Tracing pattern - 45 mins
Cutting Fabric - 45 mins
Sewing Lining - 1 hour 35 mins
Sewing Main - 2 hour 15 mins
Handsewing - 1 hour 40 mins
Buttonholes - 1 hour 5 mins
TOTAL - 8 hours 5 mins

So maybe this was a day project, but I can't sew for eight hours straight and it is definitely not a three hour project.  I still enjoyed making it though and have considered a further version for another family member.

A point to note - I did wreck my scissors cutting the wool.  They are now as blunt as a blunt thing and no good for cutting anything.  Luckily I have spares and my lovely husband bought me some Ernest Wright scissors for Christmas, which I am too scared to use in case I wreck them.

Anyway, other than saying the buttons were tight through the holes, the constructive criticism has been minimal on this one.  

I might even make her something else for next Christmas - I have an idea, but I probably need to start it now.

Happy Crafting!

Holly
xx 

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