Happy early Valentine’s Day Introverts! Today, I thought I’d share something special a little V-day inspired look. A couple of weeks ago I went up to Flagstaff, Arizona to catch the little bit of snow that was left in Arizona. It doesn’t snow down in Phoenix at all, except that one time about 5 or 6 years ago, but it was gone in a few hours so you blinked and you missed it. Growing up in the Chicago area, snow in the winter was something that I looked forward to. I remember growing up making forts and having snowball fights with my little brother. We’d play for hours and then come into the house stuffed like sausages in our snow pants trying to get out of them to have some hot cocoa. With memories like that who wouldn’t want to reminisce especially with the year I’ve had.
Dealing with the pulmonary embolisms (blood clots in my lungs) to surgery and them finding a mass on my kidney had grown, I’d say I definitely needed a distraction. The weekend in Flagstaff was a galentine’s event with my girls from Babes Who Create.
We laughed, cried and just enjoyed each other’s company all weekend. We explored the downtown area which reminded me of the suburbs of Chicago with the old brick buildings minus the mountains as a backdrop. Even the local grocery store had mountains surrounding it.
The minute we all got settled we actively searched out places to take pictures in the snow as proof that it does happen in Arizona. People automatically think of the state as a big desert, but there are many parts to it. It’s not all just a big dust bowl. There are areas that are quite beautiful so if you are ever in town I highly suggest visiting, just not in the summer unless you are glutting for punishment. While there we tried a local pizza company because when in Rome, and they were so accommodating. They honored our request and made the pizza in the shape of hearts. And for their first time doing something like this, I’d say they did a good job. What do you think?
If you are in the Flagstaff area check them out. Their name is NiMarcos. Or if you just like the idea of a heart shaped pizza this valentines call your local pizza restaurant and show them these photos to see if they could make it happen. It’s a low key way to celebrate the holiday with your favorite food. Right?
One of the requirements for the weekend was to wear pink and red in honor of the holiday so I found this pink knit dress on Amazon because let’s face it I am just getting back into sewing after the surgery and am not about to whip up two items of clothing in one week.
To be honest, it was a little painful at times when I would try to cut the fabric out on the cutting table. I’m not sure if it is the height of the table hitting my incisions or if it’s just my body adjusting to more movement, but I was definitely sore. Due to this, I only made one thing that week, which was appropriate. A winter coat for the colder weather. It’s obviously not needed in 70 degree weather in Phoenix, but 30 to 40 degree weather for sure, so here’s a rundown on how this project turned out for me.
Pattern Description: Misses’ Coats
(Click here to find McCalls 7847)
Pattern Size Chosen: Large
Fabric Choice: Minky fleece, and brocade and ivory polyester lining. I ran out of the brocade fabric because I was planning on using it for another project and decided it looked great with this fabric instead. I ended up having to make a last minute run to Joann Fabric to find a lining fabric that was similar in color. I ended up liking the idea of only the front panels having the brocade. It was like a little surprise when you open the coat.
Sewing Tools Needed That Aren’t Mentioned:
- Walking foot
- Needle and thread for hand sewing (make sure it’s thick enough to go through the fur you use)
- 90/14 sewing needle
- Straight razor blade, scalpel or X-Acto knife
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing it?
Yes, the shape of the coat definitely resembled the images and drawing. The only thing that wasn’t very clear from the drawing and images was that the lining wouldn’t be tacked down in the front. My coat ended up giving more of a teddy bear coat feel to it, which could have something to do with the type of fabric that I used.
Are the instructions easy to follow? Yes, I didn’t have any problems at all, which is good since this was a learn to sew pattern.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like how quickly I was able to sew the pattern in between working over 4 days. What I was not too fond of was that I couldn’t press the fabric or tack down the lower half of the coat. Also, there weren’t any pockets. I think that should be a requirement with any coat. Other than that, I was definitely feeling the coat.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I decided not to add the snaps because I didn’t want the snap to show when I had the coat open. I thought it took away from the look. I do think I will create a belt to close the coat when I’m outside. This way it’s not just a cute coat, but also functional.
Would you sew it again? Yes, I plan to make one that is shorter and try with long pile faux fur and I will definitely add pockets next time.
How long did it take? I only calculated the prep work. It took about 4 hours and 3 minutes. This included time to get the extra lining. I am trying to remember to calculate when I actually sew, but when I get into the groove I loose track of everything else. I’m working on it though. I appreciate your patience with me. 😊
Tips to avoid it taking as long:
- Make sure to trim down the fur on the seam allowance like they say to do. I thought I knew better, but when it comes to hand sewing fur it is very difficult to see if the thread went through the fabric. The thread blends in with the fur, so if you only have the backing of the fur when sewing you would be able to see the thread better and be able to sew quicker.
- You don’t need a large opening at the bottom of the coat when you are turning the lining to the inside. I used about 5 to 6 inches. This way I had less to hand stitch.
- Also, serge or zigzag stitch the edges to all lining before you begin putting pieces together. Brocade fabric unravels very easily, which I found out and ended up having fibers everywhere. I thought if I used the serger after the pieces were put together it would make it easier, but I ended up having to trim so much excess thread off of the fabric.
Until next time…