Tag Archives: lace

Sewing the Robson Trench Coat, part 2

29 Apr

Following up on last week’s Robson progress post, I have a few more bits and pieces I’d like to share before the ~big reveal~. I normally hate dragging these types of projects out over several posts, but I think this coat deserves more than just a single post (plus, I haven’t taken pictures of my newest projects! So consider this filler, ha!).

Robson Progress

Last week, I left off with the main body of the coat completed – everything from the collar, to the facing, to the hem. All that was left was the sleeves, the belt and belt loops, and the buttons. Easy enough, yeah?

I WISH. I about killed myself over those dumb ol’ sleeves! Putting them together was easy – even with the added step of trimming/grading the sleeves and adding the bias binding – but setting them in took me close to 2 hours, and there was lots of scream-cussing involved. The hardest part was getting the bias binding on the sleeve seam allowance once everything was set in – mostly because the area was obscenely thick with all those fabric layers, and also because I’m an idiot and I trimmed the seam allowances to super short before putting on the bias binding.

PROTIP: Sew one side of the bias binding on before you trim down those seam allowances. It will give you much more leeway in an area that’s already pretty tight to maneuver around.

Lace Trench

I will say that, despite my troubles, those sleeves set in perfectly the first time – and they look beautiful! The drafting on this thing is pretty amazing.

Lace Trench

Hemming the sleeves was also kind of tough, because the total circumference of the sleeve was smaller than the circumference by the throat plate. Which means I couldn’t just slide the sleeve over the arm of my sewing machine and go in the round – I had to do some horrible wedging and go VERY VERY slowly. To keep my hem even, I stuck a piece of tape on the arm of my machine (you can barely see it in this picture, if you squint) and used that as a guideline. My hems turned out pretty straight and even – not that you can see it with that busy lace pattern :B

I did come across one problem when sewing the sleeve tabs – the pattern calls for you to sew 3 edges, right sides together, and then turn right side out and press. Well, I tried that…

Lace Trench
Lace Trench

And, um well, I’m not sure exactly what happened. HAHA. I guess my loop turner just grabbed the lace and not both layers? Anyway, I was able to shove the underlining back inside the lace tube with a knitting needle, but it made me think about how I was going to tackle the belt and belt loops, since they are also sewn the same way.

To make the belt loops, I followed the same procedure as for the Thurlow belt loops. You can see a tutorial on that here (from my Thurlow sew-along!).

Lace Trench

For the belt, I folded in 5/8″ along each edge and pressed it.

Lace Trench

Then I folded the whole thing in half…

Lace Trench

And topstitched along all four sides. This made for a nice, crisp belt – without having to worry about turning a long tube and ending up with that… thing.

Lace Trench

Here is my finished belt. As you can see, I made a few changes – I decided to use a buckle instead of tying the belt, as I think it makes the coat look a little more trench-y. It’s just a basic self-covered buckle that I pulled out of my stash, and covered with the navy sateen that I used for underlining (also, the sticky guide in the kit was all dried up, so I used spray-mount on the fabric to get it to stick aaaaand I didn’t go outside to do this, so my sewing room may or may not be covered with spray glue jsyk). I also narrowed the belt by about an inch – I’m not sure exactly how much, I just kept hacking at it until it fit in the buckle. With this in mind, the belt loops were also shortened to accommodate the narrower belt.

With all that done, it was time to add the button holes and buttons! Not much to report on that – I used my button hole cutter to slice through the holes, and I am pleased to report that they are decidedly unhairy. The buttons were sewn on with silk thread, which I first ran through beeswax – I wanted them to stay on that damn coat! I moved the bottom buttons outward slightly, so the coat is more straight than A-line (I just think that suits my figure better!). Oh, and I didn’t bother with the interior buttons – I don’t ever use those things anyway, meh.

As it stands now, the coat is finished! I am so proud of it and I can’t WAIT to show it off 🙂 I even got some super-fancy pictures taken, and damn it looks good.

Here is a sneaky peek because I can’t help myself.

IMG_6541

Stay tuned!

Completed: My Valentine Dress

6 Mar

For the past couple of months, us Mood Sewing Networkers have been plotting to have a month where the entire group worked with a similar fabric. Lace was decided for March, and since I had already been lurking the lace selection and dreaming up options, I was 100% game. I was also inspired by Liz’s Macaron Lace Dress because GIRL(boy?), have you seen that shit?! so jealous. I thought it would be fun to have the dress ready for Valentine’s Day – I’m not really much of a Valentine’s person (this is like, one of maybe four Valentine’s EVER that I haven’t been single, aha), but it’s not too late to start yeah? Not to mention, if I had a fancy dress all ready to go we’d HAVE to end up doing something. Preferably something that involved gelato.

So, without further ado, I give you… my Valentine’s dress:
Lace Valentine's Dress

Lace Valentine's Dress
I bought my lace back in the very beginning of January – and then sat on it (well, not literally – that would get wrinkly) for nearly a month. I knew the minute I saw this red floral lace that it was ~the one~, but I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do with it other than wrap my body up in it’s yardage. I couldn’t settle on an appropriate pattern – and when I finally did, the muslin was a DISASTUH (let’s not even go there), so it’s safe to say that about three weeks of that month were spent pouting and thinking I’d end up with a boring circle skirt.

Lace Valentine's Dress
I mean, I like circle skirts as much as the next gal, but I really like them when they are attached to a matching bodice, see.

Lace Valentine's Dress
In the end, I improvised and merged a few different patterns together to create my Frankenpattern Dream Dress: the bodice is McCall’s 5972, the sleeves are a vintage Butterick pattern, and the skirt is my self-drafted circle skirt. I’m actually surprised at how well everything fit together, it’s like I fulfilled some kind of pattern destiny or some shit.

Lace Valentine's Dress
I knew I wanted a substantial lace in a bright color (no whites or pastels for me, please), and while my original dream dress involved visions of navy, I knew this red lace was “the one” the second I laid eyes on it. It’s perfect for this type of dress – the pattern is large and bold, but held together with delicate netting which keeps the fabric from being too heavy. Since it’s a cotton lace, it will wear nicely in the summer as well as during the cooler months we’re in right now. The lacework is erratic enough where I didn’t have to worry too much about matching up the design at every seam line (just thinking about that is making me break out in a sweat, argh!).

Once thing I did notice with this particular lace is that the pattern runs parallel to the selvedge — so I had to adjust my pattern layout accordingly. This wasn’t difficult to do, and my lace was wide enough where I was able to get my pieces in there (including the full circle skirt) without too much fuss, but I thought I would point that out if you are thinking about working with directional lace. I’m so used to the pattern running perpendicular to the selvedge, I almost didn’t check before I started cutting

Lace Valentine's Dress
The dress is underlined with pink Bemberg Rayon – everything except the sleeves. I basted the pieces together by hand, using silk basting thread, around all edges and also along the dart lines. Then I sewed the dress up as normal, serging the seams as I went and pressing them flat.

Lace Valentine's Dress
I love that you can see a hint of tattoo through the lace sleeves 🙂

Lace Valentine's Dress
The sleeves posed a special challenge since they were unlined and I wasn’t sure how well that netting part would hold a seam. I had a small piece of pink cotton batiste in my stash that perfectly matched the underlining, so I cut long bias strips and bound the sleeve seams for extra stability. The resulting seam is very strong, and I love the little peek of pink that shows when I move my arm 🙂

I actually used that pink cotton to add a lot of special touches to an otherwise plain dress…

Lace Valentine's Dress
Facing the hem on the sleeves

Lace Valentine's Dress
Binding the armsyce seams (again for stability at an area that can get a lot of stress, and also because serging there would just be ugly)

Lace Valentine's Dress
Binding the waist seam

Lace Valentine's Dress
The neckline facing (label is from here, fyi!)

Lace Valentine's Dress
Piping the waistline (my favorite!!)

Lace Valentine's Dress
I mostly plan on wearing this with the satin bow (because I love looking like I’m wrapped up like a present), but I do like the way the dress looks with just the piping 🙂

Lace Valentine's Dress

Lace Valentine's Dress
I hemmed the skirt with 2″ white horsehair braid, since I wanted it to flare. Actually, hemming was the worst part – and not because it involved nearly 5 yards of hand-sewing. I could not decide how I wanted to treat the hem, since the lace is sheer and the braid would show through. The dress is underlined, including the skirt, but I was afraid that pulling the underlining all the way down to the bottom of the skirt would end up with some funky grain problems. In the end, I laid the skirt out VERY CAREFULLY on the floor and matched up the hems on the lining and lace, pinned everything together, and then stitched the braid on. There are a few areas where the fabric doesn’t hang *quite* right, but thankfully the giant circle skirt-ness of the whole thing kind of hides that.

Lace Valentine's Dress
Anyway, it’s TWIRLY ♥

All in all, I think it’s a pretty snazzy Valentine’s Day dress. Lookit how fancy me & Landon look!
We fancy ❤
And just for the record – my evening did involve gelato, whoop whoop!