Skip to Content

A Coat in the Making: Simplicity 1505

a coat in the making 1 A Coat in the Making: Simplicity 1505
 
My strategy for cold-weather dressing is simple – stay warm, look good. Most women don’t want to sacrifice silhouette for the sake of a warm coverall, but I’m in the camp who believes that sac-like can be chic, at least when it comes to coats and jackets. Plus, it’s a daunting task trying to find RTW outerwear that doubles as a figure-flattering AND toasty topper.

It seems like there is an endless sea of sewers currently making their own iteration – Lauren and Jenny, I’m hollering at you! – and our conundrum can be summed up thusly: we’re antsy to get our warm wardrobe on lock while summer sticks around, last minute, trying to thwart our plans. Summer, I have 2 yards of antique chenille brocade on my sewing table. You’ve got to go!

I’ve joined them in their coat adventures; Simplicity 1505 is the one I’m making. It’s a vintage pattern that I spent several days muling over before purchasing, my excuse being the fabric. Over a year ago, I won the most sumptuous vintage chenille brocade on Ebay. A real showstopper. Thick and textural, its beauty will only shine in a garment with minimal seams because adding darts, pockets, button tabs or epaulettes would break up and diminish the pattern. With an overarm seam, side seams, and not much else, this pattern (Simplicity 1505) is perfect.

That doesn’t mean there haven’t been construction and patterning issues that have come up. First was yield. Because there was only 2 yards of this fabric, and I couldn’t go back and buy more, I had to shorten the body length by 6 inches and even then, I had to break the facing into 2 to fit all pieces on the fabric. I could have gone shorter, but then I’d be compromising the silhouette. I’m going for a duster type coat.

Then there’s the interior details. Because of the surface texture, ironing is out of the question, meaning sew-in interfacing was my only option. Remember that time I spent all day accurately cutting and hand sewing hair canvas? That happened last weekend. Also, I translated one of Claire Schaeffer’s dressmaking methods for this coat; my muslin became the underlining. I made a first fit sample, marking all the corrections on it. Then, I used it as my pattern piece, hand basting along all seam lines. Sure, it adds another layer to an already thick fabric, but old man winter can be brutal!

Well, that’s where I’ll leave you today, and on I go with my adventure. Below are a couple snapshots of my work in progress. Wish me luck!
 
a coat in the making 2 A Coat in the Making: Simplicity 1505 a coat in the making 3 A Coat in the Making: Simplicity 1505 a coat in the making 4 A Coat in the Making: Simplicity 1505 a coat in the making 61 A Coat in the Making: Simplicity 1505 a coat in the making 7 1 of 1 21 A Coat in the Making: Simplicity 1505a coat in the making 8 A Coat in the Making: Simplicity 1505a coat in the making 9 A Coat in the Making: Simplicity 1505a coat in the making 1  A Coat in the Making: Simplicity 1505

Weekend: A Tug of War

weekend 10 03 Weekend: A Tug of War

There’s an interesting tug of war that happens when we fail, and it’s even more interesting how we accommodate the duality. Of course, we want to forget failure, but at the same time, we have to remember the lessons learned. I have found that I do my best work after my biggest mistakes and that’s mostly because the memory is so painful that I do everything in my power to never let it happen again.

Also, it’s easier to move on from failure than it is with a win. After a grand slam, out of the park success, I think, “I could lose this.” The American mentality is you’re only as good as your last performance. But when we strike out, it’s easy to get back to work and do different/better next time because hey, you sucked that last time.

Failure is also humbling. It’s therapeutic. It cleanses. It forces you to stop, access the situation and remind you of where you are.

I’m thinking about all of this as I plan my fall and winter sewing because like death and taxes, failure is inevitable. It will happen. So, if I set out to make 5 pieces in the next 6 months, should I expect, maybe even plan, for at least 1 to be a failure? A lot of sewers get into a sewing rut after a horrible make, but if he or she plans for it, it might make the blow a little less painful. This might be a grim, pessimistic way to look at the situation, but life is not all unicorns and happy, pretty flowers. There should be no shame in failure either. Just like the warriors in The Odyssey, we shouldn’t hide our wounds, but acknowledge them as a badge of honor.
 
post footer weekend Weekend: A Tug of War

Hand Painted Silk Sewing Scarf Giveaway

sewing scarf 1 Hand Painted Silk Sewing Scarf Giveaway

The cold temperatures are coming back, it’s almost here, and that means you’re planning what toasty thingamabob or thingamajig you’ll be wearing around your neck until April. And no, don’t you even think about leaving the house looking like Ernest Shackleton. When you’ve got the right accouterments – not a piece that makes you look like you’ve fashioned a cat around your nape – dipping temperatures can be fun. A warm coat and good boots are essecntial warm gear, but where you can really play up your style is with a scarf. Whether thick or nubby, big and blankety, or thin and silky, a scarf is where you’re personality comes to life during the winter.

Since it’s especially hard to keep your sewing mojo up with it snows, freezes, sleets and rains, I’m offering a very special giveaway. Honestly, it’s one of my favorites to date because it is so specialized and one-of-a-kind. Klara, owner of the Etsy shop Klaradar, is offering one Madalynne reader a hand-painted, sewing inspired scarf. The fabric is pure silk, and she fixed the paint with steam under pressure, which makes the paint part of the fiber. Made in Bulgaria, it is a work of art on par with all of our me-mades. She even finished the edges with a hand rolled hem!

To enter, like Madalynne on Facebook and follow Madalynne on Bloglovin. If you’re already a follower on either platforms, that’s okay. Just tell me so below. In the comments section, be sure to leave your name and contact information. Contest opens immediately and closes Wednesday, Ocotber 8th, where a winner will be chosen, notified and featured on the blog. Last, contest is open internationally. Good luck!

sewing scarf 2 Hand Painted Silk Sewing Scarf Giveawaysewing scarf 3 Hand Painted Silk Sewing Scarf Giveawaysewing scarf 4 Hand Painted Silk Sewing Scarf Giveawaysewing scarf 5 Hand Painted Silk Sewing Scarf Giveaway

post footers kladara Hand Painted Silk Sewing Scarf Giveaway

What i Made: Elma Shop + Madalynne

elme bra 2 of 5 What i Made: Elma Shop + Madalynne

Alexander Wang, Prada and Tommy Hilfiger all sent athletic inspired looks down the runway last spring. The message, I’m sure, was that they were rooting for me, yes me, to show off my active underwear. Since I am such a good sport, I took note despite the fact that most runway rules are not the same IRL. Hey, if Sporty Spice could rock a crop top in 1994, why can’t I in 2014? I can certainly look just as posh, and better than Posh. My me-made intimates have hovered around the soft bra and the underwired variety, so I had to search to find a cool, must-show piece that could double as a pretty option peeking through a bohemian top or on full display during  yoga. I found the one on my favorite social platform – Instagram – when I searched the hashtag #bramaking. Seriously, where would I be without hashtags? I discovered Elma and her handmade lingerie line that is tailored to women with small chests. Hallellujah! Praise the Lord! A quick comment lead to a collaboration, where she sent me the pattern to one of her bras, which I sewed using my choice of fabric and trimming. I chose the Kitri Crop Bra Top and the result was a bra that was much more stylish than anything I ever wore in P.E.? Game on.

I changed the construction slightly, flavoring it to my own tastes. While Elma finishes the armhole and the neckline with a ¼” turnback, I applied ¼” elastic for more support. The only other change was using ½” elastic at the bottom band – Elma uses ¼” – and again, it was for support reasons.

Collaborating with Elma, my goal was to remove the mystic around bra making. In one of my first messages to her proposing the partnership, she responded, “I believe in radical transparency and the only way to grow is to learn from one another.” The world of lingerie making is heavily guarded – I vividly remember my days in technical design when vendors would not release any of their patterns – but Elma and I are one in the same, just two people on a mission to make beautiful, simple bras.

elme bra 2 What i Made: Elma Shop + Madalynne elme bra 3 What i Made: Elma Shop + Madalynneelme bra 4 What i Made: Elma Shop + Madalynneelme bra 7 What i Made: Elma Shop + Madalynneelme bra 8 What i Made: Elma Shop + Madalynneelme bra 6 What i Made: Elma Shop + Madalynne

post footers elma What i Made: Elma Shop + Madalynne













      Did you hear that I'm teaching an online bra making class? In 1 hour, I walk you through constructing a bra from start to finish, and I'll cover choosing a bra pattern, finding your size, tracing and cutting tips and construction. Click HERE to sign up now! If you can't attend the class, I will be teaching it in person this winter here in Philadelphia; EMAIL ME to be put on the waiting list.

       

      GRAINLINE STUDIOS just released its newest pattern, the Linden sweatshirt. A modern update to the classic sweatshirt, it features a relaxed fit, raglan sleeves and a scoop neckline. Ladies, this is the perfect winter staple!

       

      SALLIE is laid back cool in her me-made loungewear.

       

      Are you following LAUREN and the whole host of other sewers who are making V1419, a Ralph Rucci inspired coat? It’s going to be fantastic.

       

      She is and has always been an inspiration. AMY just made the most well-constructed strapless bra. A combination of lace, lycra and powernet, this beats any bra on the market.

       

      She is and has always been an inspiration. AMY just made the most well constructed strapless bra. A combination of lace, lycra and powernet, this beats any bra on the market.

       

      Why use PDF patterns? MELISSA from Fehr Trade discusses.

       

      With the temperatures cooling off in the northern hemisphere, RACHEL just finished a colorful clover dress. I hope she layers it with tights and a sweater/jacket because it is too good to sit in her closet until spring!

       

      JEN shares a great way to finish the neckline of a wrap dress.

       

      KAREN diverted a serious dungaree dress disaster and transformed Pauline Alice’s Turia pattern into a pinafore dress.