Tuesday, December 28, 2010

One down, one to go

Holidays, that is.  As you know from my last post, I decided to sew some Christmas presents.  Some decision-making and present-sewing was still happening at the very last minute, i.e. the evening before we bundled ourselves, our luggage and provisions and our wrapped presents into the car for the long drive to the GTA.*

What you won't likely have picked up from my last post is that all the sewn gifts this year were repurposed and/or sewn from stash.  I'm not exactly sure how this happened, but it did.  Yay for stashes!

Of particular interest, the furry thing gracing my dress form is a fur blanket made from a great-quality fake fur coat which (luckily) was XL and quite long so it made a decent-sized rectangular piece.  It's lined with 100 weight fleece from stash.  I had a brainwave that my 20 yo son would love such a thing, and he does.  That's good, because it was a pain to make.  First, there are all the dust animals (bigger than bunnies) which are produced when you cut the fur.  Then, seaming the fur pieces so the seams were invisible, more or less, took a few tries since any unevenness is instantly visible as a texture change.  I did this by hand, from the back.  Last but not least, sewing on the fleece backing was a challenge since the fleece would not stay still on the fur - I swear I did not have to touch it for it to start creeping along the nap of the fur.  I laid the fur piece on the floor, fur side up (creating more animals), positioned the fleece on top so it was more-or-less even, pinned extensively, picked up the whole mess, and sewed one side.  I started with the top edge, i.e. with the fur nap running away from it.  Rinse and repeat, as they say, saving the bottom edge to last.

The boy says now that I've figured out sewing with fake fur, could I puhleeze make him a new zip-in lining for his leather Engineering jacket in something a little wild.  He'd have to come fabric shopping with me so it may not happen.

Next up?  I'm buoyed up by the success of the eyeglasses cases I made from leather to get back (finally) to my leather jacket.  Had you forgotten about it?  Well, I haven't.  Poor one-sleeved thing, it has been languishing in the sewing room in plain view for almost two whole months, and it is ABOUT TIME I finished it.  But it's stuck in the sewing queue behind a couple of active-wear items that I cut out in a burst of enthusiasm and leather-jacket-denial before the OMG-Christmas-is-coming moment.  I want to get these projects off the cutting table and into a drawer before I do the jacket, since I've got to free up the cutting table for the jacket lining (see, it does make sense).  I can't do all this before 2011, since I foolishly signed on to work the rest of this week, but I intend to at least make a good start by the end of next weekend.

After that I want to muslin Vogue 1083 and get serious about sewing a new outside for my inside-out fur coat.

No other retrospectives on 2010, predictions for 2011, or optimistic resolutions from the Sewing Lawyer will be served.  I'm eager to see how it all rolls out. Stay tuned!

* For those of you who don't know the term, the GTA is the Greater Toronto Area, also known as "the 905" (for its area code, to distinguish it from the 416 which is Toronto proper). I know that the GTA looks like a small town in comparison to many cities of the world (it's only the 45th biggest metropolitan area in the world, with 5.6 million people).  However, getting there and getting through it are a chore.


  1. Ooooh! Ahhhhh!! Looking forward to photos!!!

  2. I have some wild and crazy college memories of Toronto, specifically of "walking across town" to visit a good music bar. That is one.big.town! And it was a dark and windy night in winter...I was young, oh so young.

  3. I'm very impressed with the leather cases and blanket - what imagination!

  4. It is awesome that you repurposed or sewed from stash. My husband says we the restaurants in Toronto are great and we must take a vacation there.

  5. Check out the Emma one sock site. She has great tissavel faux fur ;-)

  6. Sandra Betzina doesn't cut any of the fur, and I'm not finding her method less durable than the pain-in-the-neck one :-). More fabric savvy, a gem.

  7. Hello, I always read your blog, I find it amazing how you can be productive, and how you do so refined and elegant clothes.


    Eilan - Brazil

    (PS - Sorry an error, do not speak your language and I am using a google translator.)

  8. Impressive job on the stash-busting! Around here, GTA means "Grand Traverse Area" -- up north in Michigan; a wonderful place. Not to dis Toronto, which is plenty cool itself . . .

  9. Hi from New Zealand. I have enjoyed reading your blog since coming back to sewing recently. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge and all the best for 2011.

  10. The blanket sounds fantastic for winter! You've got me wanting to go to a thrift store...