Friday, November 6, 2009

Two Projects

So here are two projects in the queue chez The Sewing Lawyer.  The first is my next winter coat.  Winter is, they say, coming again this year, and we must Prepare.  Today it was below 0 degrees (celsius) so they must be right.  I do own several winter coats already.  I made a nice wool one last year, taking part in Marji's Great Coat Sew-along.  It is very warm.  And. Very. Heavy.  Despite the fact that it is really not much more than a single layer of fabric (OK, plus a wind-stopping interlining of mystery fabric, and Kasha lining).  It was a magnum opus of sorts.  I used a vintage Vogue pattern and everything, and it wasn't even my size.  Oh, and the pattern would not have made a winter coat that would go over anything more bulky than a light cashmere twinset.  So I did have to modify.  You can read about my coat project here and here and here and here. For those not interested in the long tale or details, here is my finished coat.  Yes, that is heavy wool coating cut on the bias.  It really worked! 

This year I thought I'd make a different kind of coat altogether.  One that would be presentably elegant, would cover any wardrobe item I might choose to wear in deepest winter, would be warm, but would be L I G H T.  This requires abandonment of heavy wool, and the embracing of impermeable synthetic fabrics and Thinsulate!

For my pattern I chose a Burda envelope pattern, number 7731.  Like my heavy wool coat, this one is quite long and has a nice easy A-line.  It has an interesting collar.  Unlike my heavy wool coat, it has no difficult-to-sew details.  The sleeves are cut-on.  It has princess seams.  It does have pockets, unlike the ostentatiously impractical Vogue Couture pattern. And it will not be heavy! 

I had a marathon cutting-out session a few weeks ago.  But I'm having trouble getting into this project.  More to come.

I'm also going to be making men's shirts.  I've asked my husband how he would like to be referred to here - he didn't go for "Mr. Sewing Lawyer" so "my husband" he shall remain.  Anyhow, he has designed some fabric for himself, which he had printed up at Spoonflower.  The motif is trilobites.  These ones are from the Ordovician era (488 to 443 million years ago, give or take).  In our city (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada), the sedimentary rock was laid down in this time period and fossils of trilobites and other creatures of the time can be found, if one looks carefully.

The fabric is Spoonflower's bamboo and cotton blend rayon ($27US per yard).  It's very smooth and nice.  I haven't prewashed it yet but will do so and report on shrinkage.

My husband created the image using rubber stamps cut out of gigantic pink erasers.  The stamped images were then coloured with chalk pastel and scanned.  He manipulated the scanned image using PhotoShop.  Stencils were also involved.  The resulting print is very attractive, and it's going to be my job to turn it into a truly one-of-a-kind shirt.  Stay tuned.


  1. How cool is that-fabric design by oneself. Thanks for link to Spoonflower. Glad to see you blogging, I love your PR reviews and have you listed as one of my favorites reviewers. Looking forward to seeing the coat.

  2. Well how cool is that!
    You and your husband are so creative.

    Love the coat you in Ontario, in Buffalo, I like a nice long warm winter coat too:)

  3. Love, love, love the print...and that your hubby did it is even better. Love using eraser stamp type thingies. Anxious to hear how you like the rayon/bamboo blend - it sounds wonderful, and this may be just the impetus I need to order something delicious in that fabric from Spoonflower.

    So blouse pattern yet? tell!!!

  4. Beautiful job on your coat, and the print designed by your husband is unique and interesting. I'm glad you're blogging.

  5. What fun! I've looked at Spoonflower, and encouraged the art major dsd to design something, but haven't known anyone who's had any experience with it.
    Love that trilobite design. Very cool.

    It'll be fun to see progress on your coat. It's 80 degrees here today!

  6. I love that fabric! What fun! Can't wait to see the shirt, and maybe he'll model it for us, too.

  7. It's so nice to see cooperation in a marriage. What a team!

  8. I finally found you. I remember asking you once if you had a blog, and you replied in the negative, but now you do and I am so happy to read more about your sewing journey instead of just following you on flicker. Yay.
    I love the hand-designed fabric your husband made from eraser rubber stamps. How clever he is. We have trilobites here in our area as well. (central western Utah) In fact we are so well-known for them and other great fossils we have people from all over the world come here to our small town to hunt fossils.
    Anyway, I LOVE your blog