Posted in sewing

Red Burberry Trench Coat: Burda Magazine 1-2008 #128

I’m heading to the ATL later today for a 36 hour trip for a friend’s wedding. I’m super excited because I get to wear the yellow vintage dress, the Chinese quipao and hopefully an Indian sari.

I was hell bent on finishing my trench for the weekend since my ‘fall’ coat is good for October in Baltimore, but a little heavy for Atlanta. Plus, I *must* squeeze in a visit to the Margaret Mitchell House and I’ll feel very fancy in a new trench.

I started this trench way back in March 2011. It moved at a glacial pace because I wanted to draft a zip out lining using the Burberry warmer on the right and I wanted perfect buttons.

I finally drafted and cut the lining and ordered buttons from England. Then, in May, I just gave up on it because I screwed up my cutting and it went from double breasted to single breasted.  The warmer is sadly just in a bag waiting to be used on another project. Sigh. Plus, it got *hot* here and I didn’t feel like working on a coat.

Now, it’s late-October, rainy and cool and I decided to finish it off. Plus, it’s a good coat for this weekend and Florida with my parents for Thanksgiving.

But, it’s all for a good cause because the trench is finished and I don’t hate it! Well, I don’t love it either.

There really isn’t anything *wrong* with it.  Well, except for it’s magical neck shortening abilities (more on that later). But, it is just NOT the double breasted, red, Burberry trench that I pictured. Color me disappointed.

The sleeves are lined with lining from Jomar at like $1 per yard. I bound the edges for finish and there is no lining in the body (the fabric is reversible and waterproof).

I made a FBA by adding darts from the Vogue Guide to Sewing and added shoulder pads.

The collar is a little high for my taste and makes me look too much like a Nutcracker. Funny how I never thought I had a short neck before….

The hem is also hand stitched

I added  double bands at the cuffs and decided to remove the pocket flap that I originally had.

There is a fun kick pleat in the back

Overall the jacket is about one or two sizes too big and just isn’t flattering on me. That is again due to my edits to accomodate a warmer.

The belt provides all the shaping. A friend with a less defined waist tried the coat and it wasn’t the best look on her.

What am I trying to say? Well, I should have muslined. And, honestly, I don’t know why I didn’t use the Burda’s 9-2006-103 trench pattern. Like I said, I don’t hate this red trench. But, I do not love it like I do my military wool trench coat. I can’t wait for it to get cold so I can wear my wool trench!

I did get three unsolicited compliments yesterday when I wore it for the first time. The color is good. And at the end of the day, I do have a Burberry coat. Plus, it fills a serious hole in my wardrobe. It’s just not my favorite.

Happily, I can report that I have two other Burberry lengths. One will be a coat in the spring and the other will hopefully become a cape this season.

Have a great weekend!

Posted in sewing

Handworked Buttonholes, the All Boo’d Up Edition

I’ve not posted much the last few months because I am all *boo’d up. Well, at first I was busy with work / election. But, now, I’m just **boo’d up.  Being boo’d up presents a certain set of challanges to my home life. The first thing to take a hit is always sewing, as you have helpfully addressed before. I’ve decided this time to go with the hot-and-heavy and sew when I’m able. As my mom has so delicately said, “It won’t always be like this. So, enjoy it while you can.” It also seems that my yard is never quite mowed and my house is never exactly in order. But, I’m adjusting.

I’ve also been watching an OBSCENE amount of football this season. Previously, football season meant time to myself. But, not with this one. Football is a social activity that all the friends watch (women included).  I mean, I’ve watched more football in the last two months than I have in 30+ years. This of course means that once or twice a week I’m sitting on a sofa, boo’d up, with nothing to do but eat and watch football.

I tried to take Elizabeth’s advice and take up knitting again. I mean, I’ve been working on this scarf for two years now. Seemed like a perfectly reasonable thing for me to do during a game. Well, I’m not good enough at knitting to stop and start. Lindsay T has suggested I may actually come to *like* football. It happened with her and baseball. Right now, I’m just aiming for basic comprehension.

What I AM able to do during games is handwork. Heh. Enter, my red trenchcoat.  This coat has needed buttonholes since May. Yeah. This is one of my two major UFOs. My automatic buttonholer couldn’t accomodate my 1.5 inch buttons. These buttons were purchased in the UK special for this coat and there was no way I wasn’t going to use them. I decided to do handworked buttonholes and put them on during Michigan and Ravens games over a couple of weekends. What’s funny is it took several weeks for it to even occur to me that I could make my own buttonholes!!

I understand that handworked buttonhoeles are more couture. But, my handwork is shyte. But, at least I have buttons for my coat!

Oh, before you ask. The collar is totally jacked. It’s off center by about 1 inch due to a massive #FAIL on my part back in March when I started the project.

Next… hemming. Seriously. All I have to do now is hem this trench and stitch down the shoulder pads (how do you like those pins on the left shoulder?). I may actually get to wear it while it’s still cool but not yet cold!

* There’s no pithy nickname for the current boo yet.

** Boo’d up. I’ve noticed an age and cultural divide on knowing the meaning of boo’d up. Here’s what Urban Dictionary has.

Posted in sewing

It *Was* Double Breasted

Burda 1-2008-128

It’s supposed to feel like over 100 degrees (37.7 C) today and I’m working on my trenchcoat. Although, now that it’s no longer double breasted, can it still be called a trench? Yeah. That’s right. No longer double breasted.

See, what happened was….

Somewhere in the process it went from double to single breasted. How? I don’t even know. I’d explain, but my mistake is stupid (bad measuring) yet complicated (adjusting facing widths) and without photos (too tired) will do no good. So, let’s just go with, ‘it’s a single breasted trench’. I had to take two inches of width from the front facing.

I’m fairly peeved as a double breasted rain coat is specifically what I wanted. And there is zero extra red to make adjustments with.  I’m just so disappointed. As I get closer to the end I’m hoping I can fudge it and make a double breasted look work. And, I decided not to do the zip out lining and save the lining material for a double breasted trench.

I’m moving at a glacial pace aren’t I? So, what I have I done since we last spoke of this? I’ve added pocket bags from pocketing. I just didn’t have enough fashion fabric to make the pockets.

I’ve done gobs of top stitching and sewed in my sleeve linings. I’ve also got shoulder pads pinned in place.

I made the belt and cuff belts too. I upped the ante and made double belts for the cuff.

What’s next? Buttonholes and hemming actually and I’ll be done. But, it’s so hot! And I missed our rainy season. So, this will sit for a bit while I work on some other bits and pieces.

Posted in sewing

Taking Shape

I of course watched the Royal Wedding and enjoyed every moment of it. I was THRILLED to be reminded that my parent’s native countries Jamaica (Dad) and Grenada (mom) are part of the Commonwealth with the queen as the titular head of state. So, given my combined three visits to Jamaica and Grenada, two visits to England, and one trip to Australia — I am allowed to be obsessed.

I watched it first at 5:00 a.m. with girlfriends over breakfast before going to work. Then, the ‘highlights’ at 8:00 p.m. after work. By Saturday I was taking in all  the fashion commentary. Plus, two specials on Diana, Princess of Wales regarding her jewelry and clothes. Later, I may have watched the BBC highlights on Saturday afternoon. And you know what? It was all wonderful 🙂 .

Now, I just hope the pattern companies give us some new patterns along those lines.


Now, back to sewing! I love the moment when you can see your garment coming together.

My red trench is starting to take shape over here. Ugh. My Pentax does *not* like red. This color is giving my  camera fits. I should take these update photos outside next time.

I’m only a quarter of the way done here. There’s still much to do (buttonholes, lining, collar, facing, warmer), but I’m happy so far! I like the idea of using the contrast on the facing. But, no decisions yet.

I do wish I had used a contrast top stitching thread like black instead of red. The red on red with the red/black buttons I’m using is a little dull. So, I plan to do the rest of the buttonholes in black. And, I will hopefully get the facing and collar done this week.

Did  you know the one that Kate Middleton wore sold out in six sizes in one day from Burberry?

Posted in sewing

Here’s Where UFOs Come From (or, Starting a long-term project when you have just two weeks)


Yes, that’s right! I’m taking a break from my tuxedo jacket. In my quest to be chic, I realized I wanted my trench in time for the Netherlands in May.  So, I’ve started the Burberry trench coat!  I don’t know that it will be done in time given my upcoming travel and work schedule, but a girl should try. The patterm is #128 from the January 2008 Burda. Note that this pattern does not call for the epualletes. I’m tight on fabric so I may not be able to add them.

After two days of rabidly pawing through my stash, I’ve gathered my supplies in one place:

The raincoating material is from Michael’s. Denver Fabrics had some too. I have to admit I now have this material in three colorways! And, I have plans for every single piece.

Red and black buttons from eBay. They are ginormous.

Burberry quilted warmer from Guss Woolens. It pickes up the burgundy stripes of the inside.

Black leather covered buckles courtesy of Lindsay T. They look fantastic against the red.

Matching striped lining I picked up at Jomar almost three years ago. This will be for the sleeves and the underside of some of the bulkier / thicker pieces.

I’m flying fast and loose here and not making a muslin. I added an extra inch in width to each sleeve for safety.

I also made a 1.5 inch FBA. My first time in a raglan pattern. It will have a bodice dart at the side seam. I know there are ways of rotating out the dart, but for using fabric that won’t ease well, I’m find with a side bust dart.

The coat will be unlined in the bodice, lined in the sleeves and have a button out warmer. I do still need to draft the warmer pattern and get that cut out. I’m not too worried. I have a general idea. I’m thinking cap sleeve raglan (enough to cover the shoulder pads).

I’m super busy this upcoming weekend so I plan to do all the binding next weekend. Once it’s all bound, I’m hoping to take it with me to my parents place in Tampa and get the main construction done in mid-April while I’m there for a quick visit.

Tomorrow, I’ll tell you all about my dinner tonight with some sewists / bloggers visiting Baltimore!