Tag Archives: randumb

Revisiting the Fabiani Coat – and I Hit The Holy Grail

30 Jan

Guys. Remember when I made this coat last year?
Coat front
This is Vogue 2925, which is one of them special designer patterns from the 70s. The pattern is really wonderful – the instructions include light tailoring, with the pad stitching and the fancy interfacing and back stay and all that good stuff. I spent about a month working on the coat, from the muslin to the finishing touches – truly a labor of love. Sadly, I haven’t worn it much this year because I’ve lost weight and it doesn’t fit me as well as it did. But, ugh, whatever about that, that’s not the point of this post.

The point of this post is that I got an email a couple of weeks ago from someone who actually made the coat when the pattern was originally released in the 70s. AND she lives in Nashville. AND she wanted to meet up.

!!!

WOULD I???

Fabiani coat - the original!

Fabiani coat - the original!

How many times have we looked at vintage patterns and thought, “I’d love to know who made that, for what purpose, and what fabric they used.” How excited do we get when we find little scraps of fabric or newspaper clippings in the pattern envelopes, offering a little hint to the pattern’s previous life? I don’t know about y’all, but my favorite part about vintage stuff is learning the history behind the people who previously owned them. So to say that I was excited to get to hash this stuff out in real time is a bit of an understatement.

Karen, the original owner/maker of the pattern, agreed to let me take some pictures of the coat and share some information about making it. We met up at Bread & Company on Sunday afternoon and ended up chatting for over 2 hours – about all kinds of stuff, not just sewing! Although sewing stuff came up too :) We brought our coats and showed them off, compared sewing notes and talked about our fabric and finishing choices. You know, basically sewer’s heaven :) The pictures of Karen above were taken in 1973 – she made the entire outfit (pants and top included) for a sewing contest. Although she didn’t win (which surprised me – but hold up, bc I got pictures of the winners too ahaha), she did win the regionals and got a Singer Genie sewing machine out of it.

Fabiani coat - the original!
The coat really is a thing of beauty – I think it’s waaaay better than mine, for sure! Karen said she spent an entire summer working on it for her tailoring class, and the workmanship is just amazing. So much detail and care went into everything – all the way down to how the buttons are sewn on.

Fabiani coat - the original!
Look at that beautiful top stitching!

Fabiani coat - the original!

Fabiani coat - the original!

Fabiani coat - the original!
I love how she added piping between the lining and the coating – as well as the fabric covered snaps.

Fabiani coat - the original!

Fabiani coat - the original!

Karen also brought the pattern envelopes, as well as swatches for all the garments she made. Sadly, the coat is the only piece that still exists, but between the pattern envelopes, swatches, and those 8×10 photos, you can get a pretty good idea of how the entire outfit turned out.

Fabiani coat - the original!
Here’s the coat – with swatches for coating (which cost $25/yard in 1973! Ouch!), lining, interlining, and the horsehair interfacing.

Fabiani coat - the original!
The turtleneck, and the knit fabric.

Fabiani coat - the original!
And the pantssss!! MAN, I wish these pants still existed!!!

After seeing all this stuff (and rubbing my hands all over the coat, bc SHIT), I was really curious to see who won the contest! It would have to be something amazing to win out over a hand-tailored, wool designer coat, you know?

The winners were separated by age groups – Karen was 17 at the time, so here are the people who beat her out:
Fabiani coat - the original!
WHY OH WHY did they not include the pattern numbers?! I need that Heidi-esque Vogue coat!!

Fabiani coat - the original!
Look at the age bracket for these winners – 13-15??? How…?

CFabiani coat - the original!IMG0021
SHUT THE FRONT DOOR, THERE WAS A 10-12 BRACKET.
How many 10 year olds do you know who can make a suit set? Or a hooded coat?? Mind blown over here.

And here’s the best part-
Fabiani coat - the original!
Karen let me try on the coat!! Ahhhahahaha, so awesome! It actually fits better than mine does, yeah?

Fabiani coat - the original!
Of course, this post wouldn’t be complete without a picture of us both wearing our coats :)

So yeah, that was a pretty cool way to spend a Sunday! I just love how sewing and blogging can bring people together like that. I had a wonderful time meeting with Karen and talking shop – and trying on that coat! Oh oh, she even gave me a copy of Seventeen magazine from 1976… I’ve been flipping through it over the past few days, and the advertisements alone are just amazing. I may have some post some pictures of that, too, there are even ones for sewing patterns :) Big thanks to Karen – for emailing me, for meeting up with me, and for letting me post these pictures on my blog so we could all enjoy them!

In other news, I just wanted to give y’all a heads up about a Kickstarter that my best friend, Morgan, is raising money for right now. You may or may not remember my talking about when she joined the Peace Corps and moved to Macedonia – which was hard on all of us (but duh, especially me because I need my bestie ;) ). She accomplished a lot in the year that she was there – in addition to teaching English, she opened a dance studio and taught dance camp. She is back in the US now, but she wants to return to the ‘donia and teach another dance camp this summer, hence the purpose of raising the funds. You can read more about the cause here, and contribute to the Kickstarter here – backing starts at $1. ONE DOLLAR, PEOPLE.

And in case you were wondering how the hell this relates to this here sewing blog (other than the fact that Morgan is my Life Partner and such as), I have been promised Macedonian fabrics. Here is the piece she bought me last year (it’s still waiting to be sewn; haven’t found the perfect pattern yet!), the softest, most beautiful cotton dream fabric. And obviously I need more. So let’s pull those dollars out and help me get more of that fabric. I mean, shucks. I might even get her to buy two pieces an host an awesome giveaway!

Oh, and Morgan also promised a video teaching us how to curse in Macedonian. So there’s that, too ;)

About these ads

I’m Creepin’ All Over Your ‘Nets

1 Nov

Just dropping in to alert y’all of a couple guest posts that some of my favorite bloggers have been kind enough to dedicate to meeee.

First up, I’ve got a little Q&A with Joanne over at Stitch and Witter about my handmade style:
Guest post on Stitch and Witter!

Super fun stuff, and I’m so honored to join the ranks of all the other lovely ladies who have been interviewed! Here’s my interview if you care to know more about my handmade style :)

Second up, this is kind of old news (and I’m taking full responsibility of being a Shitty Blogger right now, ok), but I also had a guest post over on Lucky Lucille and this one is all about the Peony and it’s mysterious bust darts:
Guest post on Lucky Lucille!
A few people have already told me they found it very helpful, so do click over if you’re having trouble fitting your bust on this dress (or any dress with a similar dart setup, for that matter – I won’t judge you :)).

As a side kind-of-unrelated-but-not-really note, I just want to announce that today I paid off my credit card and I’m officially debt-free! AND FUCK YES I FEEL PRETTY AWESOME ABOUT IT AND I AM TOTALLY PUMPING MY FIST RIGHT NOW.

It took about a year, and it was pretty fucking shitty – remember when I said I wasn’t going to let myself buy new fabric in 2012 (with a couple of exceptions)? Well, now you know why. But it’s paid off – and I’m ahead of schedule, even, considering my goal date was 12/21/12 (yes. The end of the world). I’ve already blasted this all over the web & I’m sure people are real sick of hearing about it at this point – but I’m just so excited! And it’s totally relevant to this blog since I no longer need to take commissioned projects (which frees up time for LT-sewing), and I can actually spend money on sewing things that don’t come from the flea market. So yay!

To keep this sewing-relevant, this is what I wore last night for the Trick-Or-Treaters:
FACT: Skeleton pajamas always come in handy.
Me-made, of course :) I drew the template and stencilled it on a plain black sweatsuit. Everyone needs a skeleton costume, yes?

What I Do When I’m Not Blogging

17 Oct

Just in case you were wondering where I’ve been all week…

I was making bear costumes.

Bear costume
Of course I tried one on and took pictures. It’s a teddy bear costume. Anyone who pretends like they don’t try on the weird stuff they sew for other people is absolutely full of shit.

Bear costume

I know you are just totally jealous right now, so calm yourself.

This is Simplicity 2853. No, it’s not for me – it’s a commissioned sewing job (hence the sudden radio silence – gotta get the work done before I can play again!). I actually made three of these, all in this incredibly soft, cushy, fleecy fur. That shit was a BITCH to cut out because it loooved shedding; I think I spent more time sweeping teddy bear fur off the floor (and onto the cat) than I did anything else. At any rate, I’m 99% done – just need to finish the arm/leg hems & sew the ears on the last one. THEN IT’S PARTY TIME.

Oh! We also managed to explore the attic over the weekend!

Today we are exploring our creepy attic.
Sorry for the Instagram picture, but look at my twisty chimney! I don’t know about y’all but that is COOL AS SHIT.

Sadly, the attic was pretty much empty… although we did find this chair.
Chair we found in the attic
It has no legs (probably took them off to get it in the attic & then they disappeared over the years), but other than that it’s in pretty good shape!

Chair we found in the attic
Here’s the side. Anyone know what you’d call this style of chair? I thought it was a barrel chair, but those have arms… and this one doesn’t.

Wallpaper scrap matches the chair
The other cool thing we found up there were little scraps of wallpaper that perfectly match the chair.

Attic opening - wallpaper
One of the openings to the attic still has wallpaper in the space between the real ceiling & the dropped ceiling. I know, I know – this photo looks like a nightmare. But isn’t the wallpaper crazy? And they even wallpapered the ceiling! God, this house must’ve been tacky as shit lol.

I also finished knitting my red sweater! It’s still blocking, though, so more on that later.

SEW-ALONGERS: The Mood Fabrics discount is still on for a few more days! Use the code LLADYBIRD to get 10% apparel fabric (for more info, check my blog post on fabrics)

I’ll be back later with more blog posts that are actually relevant to your interests.
Bear costume
Stay cool, y’all.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,203 other followers