Wearing Yesteryear: Class of March 2013

I have been sewing away this past month, but you’d never know it from looking at my blog! There is one Colette Beignet skirt in red wool gabardine in the works (very excited about this after some initial pressing issues), fixing some pillows for my sister, and another secret project that is a gift for someone. This last one is the project I’m closest to finishing, yet I won’t be able to share it until this certain someone receives it! I should be sending it out by the end of this week so hopefully there’s a blog reveal post in the works soon.


Silk dupioni hanging from my apartment’s picture rail. That’s one way to avoid folding it up to deter the wrinklies! Three cheers for historic interiors.

Of Sew-Alongs and Sewing Meetups
Oh, and I’m also participating in the Sew Sexy Sew-Along being hosted by Clio of Clio & Phineas, Lisette of What Would Nancy Drew Wear?, and Wanette of Sown Brooklyn! My sew-along track record is the pits, but what the heck – why not?! I plan to make a Sewaholic Cambie/By Hand London Charlotte mash-up using red silk dupioni (seen above), which I have already dubbed “the Charmbie”. If I pronounce it with a French accent, will it sound sexier? 😉

Also, a meet-up happened! Lladybird was in town and a whole bunch of us gathered on Saturday to shop the day away in the Garment District. I feel like I should do a post about that, but how about I just officially endorse the wrap-ups of the day written on Peter’s, Aleksandra’s, and Lisette’s blogs?!

Anyway, I figured I could share a Wearing Yesteryear post for March 2013 (no finished projects for February 2013, alas). Yay, a freebie post for me! And this is one I’m very excited to share…


The Sabrina Coat

Blog Debut: March 25, 2013
Pattern: McCalls 5717
Worn In: Late fall, winter, early spring
Wearability Meter: Very much so!
Lessons Learned: This was fun, so make another one 🙂

Okay, so I really love this coat! The whole tailoring process was really fun and a great learning experience. I’ve found that I can wear this coat in temperatures ranging from the 30s to the low 50s F (~0-10 C). One of my favorite features is the length of the coat, which covers knee-length dresses and skirts. Makes for a nice clean finish I think!

Everything seems to have held up well over the past year. This winter has been COLD so I spent most of it in my goose-down coat, but I’ve definitely worn this baby enough times this season. I had used a flannel-back satin lining to give a bit more warmth to the coat. Originally I wasn’t sure if it was going to make me super hot, but now I know I could stand to add a layer of interlining if I wanted to make the coat even warmer.

I’d love to make another coat in a slightly more casual fabric. Oooo, temptation! But, for now, I have some spring projects on the mind. Are you getting ready for some spring sewing? Or autumn sewing for those down under?

(Random note: WordPress has changed the look of the smiley emoticons. The 😀 one looks kind of strange!)


M5717 “Sabrina” Coat: Live from Lincoln Center!


I finished! I finally finished! It’s so surreal after months of working on this (and having the fabric for well over a year)! My tailored wool coat based on McCall’s 5717 was finished a few days after the official first day of spring, but winter decided to hang around so that I could wear it. This is the first time in my entire life I’m grateful that it’s still cold. 🙂 And where better to celebrate than at one of New York City’s greatest gems: the one and only Lincoln Center.

I call this coat “Sabrina” because, after watching a ton of movies during this coat project, I remember attaching the flap pockets to the coat during Audrey Hepburn’s Sabrina. And she’s classy, which is what I was aiming for here. So…there you go, a name was born!

To see all posts in this tailored coat series, please click here. Otherwise, the curtain’s up so let’s get on with the show! Oh, and please pardon the photograph-heavy post – I’m just completely over the moon about how this coat turned out and the fact that it’s actually done.

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How I Adjusted M5717’s Armscye

Well, after a few days of snow in the city, we were greeted with a particularly lovely Saturday. A perfect day for Lladybird Lauren’s sewing meet-up if you attended. I was super bummed that I couldn’t make it, but I hope everyone had fun and I’d love to get together for a meet-up sometime soon! Perhaps April?

In any case, I wanted to dedicate a post to my adjustments to the armscye of the M5717 pattern that I’m using for my tailored coat. I had a hard time finding a tutorial in my books or online on how to do this, but I used a little common sense and bits and pieces of online information and went to work.

The problem? On my first muslin I reached up and found the sleeves pulling down tight on me at the upper arms. Through self-diagnosis, I figured out that this was due to the fact that the armscye was much too low (this apparently is a common issue with patterns – go figure!).

An article in Threads Magazine called “To Get the Right Armhole, Fit the Bodice” helped steer me in the right direction. I needed to raise the depth of the armhole, and here’s how I did it:

photo 1

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Sleeves and Pockets and Hemlines, Oh My

photo 5
The sleeves are in! That was the big project this past week, although I did some little things here and there elsewhere on the coat. As promised in my last post, here’s a full shot of the coat as it now looks. It’s odd because the photo looks a bit blurry (and it is in parts), but I think a lot of that is the visual effect of the fabric. Who knows. I’ll get better outdoor shots (at a fun location!) when the coat is done and done. 🙂

So, yes, here is the coat with the belt, pockets, and fuller/extended/non-ruffled skirt. If you’ve been following along, you’ll know I’m working on a modified version of McCall’s 5717 – I decided to omit the ruffle and lengthen the coat to below the knee for a more classic look. It will also provide coverage to my longest dresses and skirts that hit just below the knee. I’m excited! I’ve already tried it on with heels. After all this time and thought, it’s such a natural high to see your vision come out as you had hoped. (There’s also a big sigh of relief that goes with it!)

What do you think of the mini model at left displaying its mini wool cape? It even turns around in the following photo of the back…

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From a Pile of Pieces to One Almost-There Coat

I’m back with another update on my modified McCall’s 5717 coat (I didn’t mention the pattern in my last post so I’ve cleared that up right outta the gate!). And thank you so much for your comments – it’s nice to hear from you!

Last weekend we had Monday off for Presidents’ Day, so I’d like to think I made our Founding Fathers proud by really hunkering down and getting some sewing done! I’m not sure what either has to do with the other, but, hey, it’s a free country. 😉

You can track my past progress here or continue full speed ahead to see this past week’s journey in photos…


The back stay in black cotton broadcloth.

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