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Friday, November 7, 2014

Windy Days



The hard thing about being able to sew is knowing you can make something and yet being constrained by ... TIME... and needing to weigh the pros and cons of buying vs. making. My boys just keep on growing and although they're almost a year and half apart, they insist being too close in size for hand me downs.

They desperately wanted nice fall coats...I say "desperately" because they sorely want to wear their bulky winter coats for less than six months straight. They keep trying to sneak out of the house wearing just fleeces/sweatshirts. So, I strolled through Old Navy. On one rack of jackets, the left shoulder seam was wonky on every. single. jacket. Target's jackets are no better.

So, I flip through my Ottobre magazines. Ah, so many beautiful boys' coats to choose from. And, as it turns out, my fabric stash also holds plenty of options, hehe.

I make a concession and purchase oldest daughter's fall coat from Children's Place (a disappointment, as it's too short, too thin, and the pockets are FAKE) so I can focus on these jackets.



I've traced hundreds of Ottobre patterns (almost 400 actually), but I always find the patterns with linings confusing, as they do not create separate pattern pieces for the lining, but use dotted lines to indicate where to cut the lining differently, etc. I definitely relied on previous coat and lining experience to figure it out. I ended up cutting the hood lining piece wrong, but it was easily fixed during sewing.

I made the two coats at the same time, choosing a topstiching thread that would work with both to make my life a little easier.

The details are great, if time-consuming. As I was stitching all this up, though, I was thinking I wouldn't mind if Ottobre went beyond patch pockets more often. Patch pockets are easier (except any wonky topstitching shows up pretty well), but on a coat this involved, why not go the whole way and do more professional pockets all around?


Per request, I did add some zippered welt pockets on the inside. So I guess I had my way with the pockets, after all, hehe.




The hems (lining and shell) are topstitched together and not bagged, which is interesting, but actually not a bad idea.



Overall, I'm very pleased with how these turned out. I graded the size up to make the coats slightly too big but, looking at the pictures, I realize they're not too large after all. I hope they still fit in the spring.

Pattern: Windy Days Jacket (Ottobre 1-2013-34)
Lining Fabrics: plaid flannel and plaid shirting
Olive shell fabric: some sort of stretchy brushed velveteen ?
Khaki shell fabric: cotton ripstop


28 comments:

  1. Really great jackets. I hear what you are saying about deciding to sew vs being constrained by time. I very nearly manage to sew the entire wardrobes of my three small girls and myself and bits and pieces for hubby. But two days ago, I finally realised that I couldn't keep persuading my four year old to wear tights or leggings - she was getting itchy and had it in her brain that she hated them - so with a slightly broken heart, I realised I just had to bite the bullet and go stock up on fleecy loose trackie pants for her from Target. I could have so easily sewn them but the cold weather rushed us and she needed long legs. I must have a look at Ottobre mags. I've never used them before.

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    1. Right - at certain point, you just can't keep up. At least we're not still weaving our own cloth anymore! I've really made good use of my Ottobre magazines.

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  2. They both look amazing, congratulations on getting two of the three jackets sewn. I certainly know the frustration of resolving to buy only to have everything substandard. Particularly the coats, the manufactures will skimp on everything that makes the coat functional and warm if it's something you can't see on the rack. I was contemplating this jacket just last weekend but it was the pockets that turned me off. Even in windbreaker it's nice to have a good hand warmer pocket and welt just seems better for that. Do welt pockets ever fall apart? Patch will pull off in time. Anyway, I wasted my sewing time vacillating but will probably redo the keyboards jacket from 4/08 or crossword from 4/11. But at this rate I may miss light autumn all together...

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    1. I suppose a welt pocket could rip or fray at the corners, but I haven't had one fail me yet (unlike the occasional patch pocket...). It is sooo disappointing when the manufacturers skimp on the fabric or construction quality, but then I don't know what we expect considering the price we're paying, if you think of hourly wage.

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  3. These look really good, and just in time for the bad weather!

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    1. Thanks, Molly! They're pretty warm and are serving the boys well, even into the winter a bit, as long as they're not staying outside too long.

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  4. These are great and look really good on the boys and no...not too big at all! I hope they fit come spring!

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    1. Thanks, Nakisha! At the rate these boys are growing, sheesh, I do hope they fit in the spring.

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  5. There is definitely never enough time to make all the things I want to and that we need. I sometimes find myself guilty for buying things now, but we must buy some things or we would always be a slave to sewing! And then I run into the same thing you do; I compare the quality of what I’m buying and I’m disappointed! Their seams are crooked, half-sewn. Things are too short, too thin. It is a nice reminder of why we sew 

    I am not sure why, but I’m always intimidated by sewing jackets. I have tons marked to sew, but never get there. Perhaps it is the amount of detail that puts me off? That said, I love both these coats. They are awesome and my T would even wear them to school (which now days is a feat in itself!). All that topstitching paid off. I will put this coat on my “to sew” list and hope I get to it sooner than later!

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    1. You're right - better to buy some things than be a slave to sewing. That would defeat the purpose! It's funny how much you notice the (poorly done) details once you start sewing clothes.

      Sewing lined jackets IS more time-consuming, certainly. I guess it's like sewing two garments and then sewing them together. All in all, it's not really more *difficult* than sewing two shirts...the hardest part being understanding the directions for connecting the lining to the shell.

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  6. I really like the jackets, Joy! The orange topstitching looks great on both. I hope the boys get a lot of wear out of them.

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    1. Thanks, Cindy. I hope they get a lot of wear out of them too!

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  7. Great jackets! I will take one! This jacket would get me through our winter! Cuteness I tell you.... Boys jacket or no, I really like them and yep I would wear them!

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    1. Thanks! I bet your winter is quite a bit milder than ours!

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  8. Wow, these turned out really great! I showed them off to my friends I was visiting this weekend. I said, "look, look at these!!!" "how amazing is that!"I know my son would like one of these. He has basically picked out a wardrobe for me to sew. I told him, "one thing at a time please." I think it is best to make things a little big. With the amount of time it takes to make a jacket, we want them to get warn more than just a few months unless they can get handed down!

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    1. Wow, that is high praise! (chuckle) How funny that your little guy envisions a wardrobe for you to make. Of course, you can make everything, so why not?

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  9. The first thing I thought on seeing your photo was brrr...look at those trees without leaves in the background! It captures that end of autumn feeling very successfully. The boy's new jackets are a really neat sewing job. I love the linings too for a little bit of contrast and warmth. I like to sew things that will get a lot of use and be seen often and I am sure these jackets will fit into that category, although like you I am struggling more than ever to sew everything I would like (anything, actually). September to New Year is always a busy time and in addition we're selling our house and I've just started a new part time job. We need 48 hour days!

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    1. Yeah, brrrrr is right! Ugh. Like you, I really enjoy making the items that will get a lot of use, so I'm pretty satisfied with this project. (And glad it's over, hehe.)

      Phew, you are busy. Hope you are able to sneak some sewing time in there!

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  10. That first photo is great. Your jackets are fabulous! So much better than store bought. I wish I had more time to sew because I often think I could make something better than I could buy.

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    1. Thanks, LJ. I find that I *never* think I have enough time to sew. Will I never be satisfied?

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  11. It's so true that Ottobre has so many beautiful coats and jackets to choose from! The lining is beautiful on both of these, and it looks like the hoods will keep out the elements very effectively too.

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    1. Thanks, Elizabeth. The jackets are surprisingly warm.

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  12. These are such great jackets, a great classic style and so practical.I love the cosy linings too.

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  13. Those jackets are awesome! So much better than RTW.

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