Thursday, January 13, 2011

New lining for a vintage coat: pockets and pimping!

Hello guys!

Things are getting crazy here as we are moving to a new town in a week and a half. Mister is very busy finishing his phD thesis before his new job starts and I have to organize everything! What to keep, to give, to sell, to buy. How to make the new place cozy and storage efficient etc. I have written lists, and spreadsheets, and researched things and it is finally giving results! This is also why the lining process is going a little bit slower. But I am going somewhere!

I have "pimped" the shell of the coat. This involved securing the outside pockets (they were starting to tear) and sewing the buttons. It was pretty straightforward. I fused some interfacing to secure the place where the buttons would go and got started. Each vintage button on the outside was paired with another one in the inside that will be hidden with the lining.

Where the three buttons will be

Extra stabilizer

Once this was done, I tried to understand how the inside welt pockets were made. In the end, it is just a welt pocket with two rectangles that form the bag. Mister wanted to keep the label that was sewn under one of the pockets. So be it!

It is now time to get started on the actual pockets. To handle my fear of welt on lining, I decided to go for the easy option: fuse interfacing to stabilize the area around the soon to be rectangle. Also, for fun, I used a red cotton for the bags. It's a secret between the coat, Mister, and I! Don't you like those secrets? However, I have sewn a lining patch on each of them, where you peak if the welt is pulled.

The process felt easier than the previous times I did welt pockets. Of course, that does NOT mean that I started to love it either! I am not going to detail all the steps, because so many people already did it better then I would. But I have documented it with pictures, if you feel like peaking and giving me advice on how to do it better.

In the end, I am pretty happy with the result!

Next time, it will be time for the result! Said result is going to need a lot of hand stitching for the hemming!

Back to packing and sorting!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Burda January 2011

As usual, I am posting my brief review a bit late. I have had the January edition of Burdastyle magazine for more then two weeks now... and the February edition is due out in two weeks :S But it is never too late!

When this January edition is concerned, the basic things can be said. A few features: some are interesting, some are not.

- "Blue": is packed with navy blue items. There was nothing exceptional, as far as my taste is concerned.

- "Feminine Sensitive": or the 40's revival. This feature is gorgeous! The photos are really nice, and their quality is superior to what Burda usually goes for. They show pretty dresses, blouses and coats. Half of their models use the same basic pattern that reminds me of the "Alexander Blouse" of Burdastyle. There are, of course, quite a few differences, but it is interesting to know. If someone likes the style of those 40's items, he/she can use the Burdastyle pattern and tweak it. I am writing this because some people do not have an easy access to the magazine or do not enjoy tracing the patterns...
On Burdastyle

Made into a dress

The feature blouse

With long sleeves

- "Relax at home": is a lounge wear feature. It has pieces that remind me of the worst of the eighties, but they have a useful legging pattern. However, I do not know how many more harem pants I can take...

- "In the Nature": shows comfy pieces for the outdoors. They have basic shapes and are sewn with dark fabrics. Nothing exceptional here...

- "Plus"! As usual, the plus size feature is my favorite. Most of the pieces are pretty and classy. The feature is called "Business Trendy", and shows clothes in subdued classic colors. They all look so nice and flattering!

- "Carnaval": as usual, this is the time of the year for a few European countries! I love some of the children ideas! Hello Octopus!

As usual, I have a top three. It is not a huge surprise as two pieces are from the Plus feature (133-dress, and 137-skirt) and one from the 40's feature (109-coat).

I love that kind of neckline! I also really like the waistband. I would however used a more "flared" bottom as it would hide things I want hidden ;)

I love the gathered sleeves at the wristband. The front hidden sleeves are also handy and pretty. Don't you just like the global shape? Because I do!

Ok, I am still looking out for flattering pencil skirts, and I think that this one might work! Why? Because of the pockets! They are such a nice detail that would attract the eye! I also love the front yoke! I would however do a normal blind hem.

That's it for the review. I will write soon about the progress on my "coat lining re-do" project. It is getting somewhere ;) Somewhere nice, I might even say ;)

Who has this January edition, and which pieces are your favorites?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

New lining for a vintage coat: getting the pattern

I come back for more!

It was SO fun and interesting to discover how this coat was made! To start, it took a "few" hours to carefully rip the stitches of the lining. I started with the hem, which was especially tricky around the back slit (I cannot wait to hand sew that bit...). After that, I did the seam between the arms and the body. And so on...

Can't you see the joy?

There was a thicker thread to secure the lining body to the wool around the arm holes


After everything was ripped out, I separated the different pieces: 2 for each arm, 1 for each front, the back that has two different halves. I just had to iron them and trace the seam lines with chalk.

Arm (top)

Arm (bottom)

Back: middle pleat, slit and a weird asymmetry...

Front: two darts and a welt pocket. There is also a pleat for ease near the arms.

I loved seeing that result! It was almost like magic! I just had to trace the pattern on paper! My Mister said that I could even re-use the pattern in the future to do the lining again... Hum, let's hope not!

You gotta love the  ninja sweater that makes me look like 50 pounds bigger! But it is sooo comfy and warm!

After doing this, I took a look at the "naked coat". And it was so interesting! The interfacing was different then what I would have expected...

The outside, with pins where the buttons are meant to go.

Front pocket and front interfacing: you can see the front dart and a fused interfacing. It felt thick and fluffy. Some parts of it were hand sewn, but less then what I would have expected.

The back slit: reinforced with fusible interfacing.

The back view of the shoulder: fusible interfacing, and two layers of padding, they were hand-sewn.

Front view

Once again, that was very interesting, but it does not mean that I would do it very often... Those first stages were fun, but after this, it gets a bit more tricky! AAaaaaaaaaargh, welt inside pockets, with lining fabric! Terror!

See you soon ;)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New lining for a vintage coat!

I have decided to start the new year with something old! Let's start with a little story...

Last year, my Mister found a vintage woolen coat in a second hand shop. It was pure luck! It has a great shape and the outside wool was in a great state. After a bit of research, we found out that it was a Dutch Police coat from the 60's or 70's. We had a few clues on the buttons and on a label that I kept religiously. Anyway, Mister has been wearing it for a year, almost every colder day. The problem with him is that he tends to put things in his pockets, and that is how it started. I agreed to fix his pockets and I took a look yo the whole thing. The conclusion was bad!

- The side of both pockets were torn.
- The buttons have fallen and have been sewn back through the lining, with uneven inside small buttons.
- The lining was worn out along the seams and hems. Used to the cord.
- The lining also became washed out in spots that encounter more friction.

All washed out around the neck.


Different inside buttons

So worn out

The arm hole was ripped and/or torn

Hems over-used

Tearing pocket


1) Dry clean the coat!
2) Remove the buttons
3) Carefully remove the lining
4) Trace the seam and hem lines on the old lining and iron
5) Trace the pattern
6) Fix pockets
7) Reinforce the fabric where the buttons will go back and sew them
8) Copy the pattern on the new lining fabric
9) Sew two inside welt pockets
10) Assemble  the pieces of the main body and assemble the sleeves (while keeping them off the body)
11) Sew lining along the facing and secure at the armholes
12) Sew sleeves lining from the wrist up and, finally, at the armholes
13) Hem

Mister has chosen a new lining fabric. What do you think?

Navy blue with thin white stripes

The buttons

While I happily did the first steps, it gets harder... Especially as my bobbin thread is playing mean tricks to me! When I use my machine (Serger Tradition, the basic one) to straight stitch AND zigzag, I have the same problem: the thread jumps or falls out of the bobbin.
- It happens irregularly. I can sew for days without it happening, but then, other days it keeps on jumping every 5 minutes.
- It does not seam related to the thread type (I have always used Gutermann).
- Playing with the tension does not seem to help either.
- It happens less if the bobbin is fully loaded.
Do you have any experience that is related?
Am I doing something wrong?
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