Gok Coat: The Verdict

There hasn’t been much sewing going on in my room lately. Part of the problem has been lack of space and plenty of mess. I don’t mean to sound like a spoiled brat since but basically my new room is too small and I recently purchased a few extra items to go into it and despite knowing full well I really didn’t have the space I stubbornly assembled them anyway.

So on Saturday I had a big clean up and I disassembled and put those items away in their boxes until I do have room for them. Then I managed to finish of my second Esther (photos this weekend), which I cut out last month. I stitched 80% of it before putting it down but I think if I added up the actual sewing time I probably made this one even quicker than the last. It’s really nice and warm too, much warmer than the first since it is actually made of wool. After a quick runway show in the hallway for husband I re-threaded my machines ready for the new JJ blouse.

Here is my thread selection, I had the absolute exact shade sewing thread to match my fabric and then I spent about 5 micro seconds deciding the overlocker thread, the options were light-blue and light-blue-that-is-ever-so-slightly-green, and I chose the ever-so-slightly-green 🙂

Nerdy Husband entered the room then and announced that he needed to use my computer to back up files while his computer did other computery things and promptly banned me from using the overlocker lest I upset the portable hard drive’s spinning thingy with the vibration*.

So I resigned myself to pattern tracing for the rest of the day which wasn’t such a bad thing since it helped me nail down my next immediate projects. If you are interested I have listed them on the My Wardrobe page, but I warn you that it is an ever evolving list and that any item appearing on this page is not actually guaranteed to come into existence.

Right, now let’s get on with why we are really here: The Gok Coat…and the jury is still out.

I finished this coat quite a while ago after my amazing vintage button haul from eBay arrived.

So many buttons!

Which ones?

I used #119 from Burda 03/2009 and I originally cut my usual size 42 but after a bit of basting on Scarlett and a closer look at the model photo I cut it down another 2 sizes.

#119 Burda 03/2009

I only kind of like it… sigh…clearly my effort at photos reveals this, care factor: minimal, and I admit I have not yet worn it out in public. The gabardine is actually a bit more plum in real life, this colour is really hard to photograph! My inspiration was from a David Jones Catalogue I got in the mail for winter 2010 and I do love the buttons and buckles and the alterations I made to the gun flaps (cut them more pointy like the coat below).

Unfortunately it makes me feel huge, especially in the shoulders and despite cutting it down to a 38 it still feels way too big for me, even layered over my thickest winter items. I really should have considered the model image more before I chose this pattern as my final choice.

There is another problem too, just before I finished it I was out for lunch in the city and I saw a girl wearing a mac coat of the exact same shade but in a much more fitted a-line style and I knew straight away I had picked the wrong pattern. I mean, this coat is still maybe salvageable, but I think it is well beyond being transformed into that silhouette.

Karen Millen Coat

So right now, looking at these photos again, I am leaning towards saving it by nipping in the waist more and refitting the shoulders and bust but this will require a huge amount of unpicking of my very neat top stitching, so perhaps next winter?

So what do you chickies think? Scrap it, save it, make another even better coat, put it in the ufo pile until next winter? Leave me your thoughts below.

Ohh, let’s do one of those poll thingees!

*You might be wondering how Nerdy Husband got away with an overlocker ban so easily, well the “backing-up” included some very important files, files belonging to me, like all my digital sewing patterns…oh and our wedding photos! So there you go 😉

Buttons & buckles!

I am hoping the weather clears up later today so I can take some photos of my newest items but, for now I can share with you that finally (!), I have solved the lack of buttons and buckles for the Gok coat!

I love eBay, don’t you? Who doesn’t?! It all started with this great find last week:

18 vintage buttons in grey and black and in the two sizes I wanted. They look a little brownish in the picture but I am willing to put that down to poor lighting and chucked a bid on them.

Then I saw these as well:

Oh, 250+ vintage buttons in grey tones…do I really need 250 buttons? But I love the black and grey set second in from the left…so I put a bid on them as well, they were a great price so why not? Plus they were from the same seller who was offering combined postage. Have I said I love eBay yet? I won both auctions by default since no one else was bidding, yay me, I’ve had some crap online auction luck lately.

No luck with buckles however, just pages and pages of these crazy massive buckle things that make me think of Hulk Hogan, I don’t know why…

…but not quite what I am looking for. So I gave that up on them for a while, my buttons are on their way from America so that cheered me up.

Do not let this image fool you - you will not find all these threads at Spotlight

Then today I went out fabric shopping, I needed lining and a contrast fabric for my next two projects. I swung past Spotlight for another fun visit, the top-stitching thread for my forever (and ever!) jeans remains elusive. I was hoping that since my last visit the Gutermann rep might have made a visit to re-stock and you won’t believe who I bumped into at the Gutermann stand, the Gutermann rep! But before you cheer out aloud he was about as helpful as the staff were during my last visit. The top-stitching threads were mostly empty so I asked him if he had any of them in his box because I was looking for a particular colour that had been out of stock for a while. He told me he had a lot of threads to re-stock and had no idea what was in those boxes until he opened them, then he suggested I come back in an hour to see if he’d re-supplied them. I think it was all a ploy to get rid of me because when I did swing back past on my way home he was nowhere to be seen and neither was my thread.

Sigh…they also had no grey invisible zippers, and not just the 40cm one I needed, none at all…

In between the then and after that is the joy of shopping at Spotlight  I went to one of my favourite Wellington fabric stores, the Fabric Warehouse, and lamented to one of the shop assistants there about the difficulty in finding good notions in Wellington. She suggested I go to Golding Handcrafts in Marion Street because she had seen they had quite a few buckles there and did they?! It’s a good thing I only had 90 cents to  feed the meter or I would have been there all day! As soon as I saw the bucket of buckles I plopped myself down on the floor in front of them and promptly began digging. Oblivious to all that was going on around me I have a nice little pile of about 20 buckles laid out on the floor beside me when the shop assistant offered me a bowl for my selections. I gave her an impish smile and explained (or tried to) that I’d been looking for buckles for quite some time and was excited to see so many. Here is what I dug out of their buckle bin:

I needed a big (5cm bar) buckle and two smaller one (4cm bars) but I couldn’t decide which I liked better. Actually that’s a lie, I like the ones on the left better but I just couldn’t leave the other set behind…I did put back the 15 or so others I had in my greedy little fists firmly telling myself that they’ll be here when I need them later, and there was no need to take them ALL home now 🙂 And the best part is they were only $2.00 each, sweet!

They have a lot of other awesome crafting stuff and plenty of books, so, adding to my Wellington list of resources:

Golding Handcrafts
17 Marion Street
04 801 5850
Mon – Fri  9am – 5pm, Sat 10am – 4pm




I’ll leave you with a sneak peek of my fabric purchases for the next two mystery items (ok, so they aren’t so mysterious…)

Black wool from my stash with new cotton lining fabric

Rose printed linen from my stash with new cotton contrast fabric

Rain-Sun-Rain-Sun, Oh and a Manequim top!

Image courtesy of landcareresearch.co.nz

We’ve been having some crazy weather here in Wellington the last few days. Big storm fronts are sweeping across the entire country (indeed they are the size of the entire country) in waves so that we have one awful day (with bonus tornados) followed by a wonderful sunny calm day, then another crappy one follows. Today is sunny but still pretty windy. I really wanted to take photos of my new top outside so you could all see the view from my house but it was far too brisk.






This is Blusa 158 from Manequim 620 (February 2011), it is sized as a 44 and I think it’s a little big for me in the shoulders and across the bust.

I took it in a little but I’m worried anymore and I won’t be able to get in to it! It might be a case of wait and see if it grows on me or take it in to how I like it and throw in an invisible zipper to the side seam. What do you think?

Because I started this top in the West Island 😉 and finished it here in the North Island I don’t have a huge amount of construction photos but it was pretty easy to make.

You baste all the front pleats first and then sew their central seam together and then attach the facings. Now it’s just a case of back shoulder seams (I love how the fabric wraps over your shoulders into the back seams) then side seams, hem the sleeves and the bottom and you’re done, I can’t believe it took me so long! I think…yeah I’m pretty sure, this is my first Manequim item that I have sewn and it turned out well, there’s nothing like a boost in confidence huh?

On Sunday (one of the fine days, oh it was so sunny!) I went along to the Wellington Fabric Hoarders club meet at Massey University.

They use a wonderful large and sunny room with plenty of tables and power points and a great view. I met Jenny, Claire and Hayley and we sewed together until I had to leave just after 2pm. They normally stay there until 6pm and there is even a little kitchenette. It was so good to be back in front of my machine and surrounded by other girls as dedicated to their own projects. I’m looking forward to next month already and meeting more of their members.

I worked on my trench/mac coat (doesn’t “mac” just sound so much more sophisticated?…maybe it’s just me). It was my intention to work on my “forever jeans” next but after Perth BSC member Debra showed off her purple mac coat I knew I better get mine finished so we can be online-mac-coat-sisters. I almost can’t believe we both chose to make a coat and in the same colour sans communiqué!

Anyway, I’m referring to this as my Gok Coat and I got so much done! After I worked out where I was up to in the instructions I managed to assemble and attach the collar and shoulder tabs, sew and turn all the sleeve and belt tabs, put together the sleeves and partially assemble the lining. Yay! All that’s left (apart from the undesirable task of searching out the perfect buttons & buckles) is to set in the sleeves (I hate this part, I prefer zippers can you believe it?!), attach the lining, make up the belt and hem! Oh and there’s all those button holes, eek!

Dreaming, dreaming…sewing, sewing

The problem with taking on such a big sewing project for me is that I’m not sewing anything else. This is immensely frustrating since Summer is my favourite sewing season and my wonderful sewing magazines still arrive each month. It also meant I had to put on hold a few projects that were part-way made, which I hate to do. Actually the dress is not entirely to blame, the change of seasons can wear some of it too 😉

So to relieve some of the stress these items are providing me I thought I’d do a short post on them. Then I will feel like I won’t forget them and they are officially documented as on hold, not because I have hit a snag or ‘rage quit’ them, their place in the UFO pile is quite temporary.

The Jeans That Have Taken Forever

Patrones 292 #14

These jeans really have taken forever, for no good reason either, and the timer is still running. The worst bit is that I am truly excited about them. I made these amazing pockets for the back so I was off to a flying start, then life interrupted for a bit and the main snag that stopped me was that I broke the zipper when I was shortening it (yes, it’s possible, apparently, since I managed to do it), so I had to buy a new one, which I did and then time ran out. So what’s left to do? Well, very little actually. Unpick the broken zipper and put in the new one…I am an expert at trouser fly openings now, trust me, it’s on my sewing CV in bold, right below welt pockets, so the new one will be in in a flash. Inside leg seam top stitching, outside leg seam (+ fitting adjustments), waist band and belt loops, hem. Done.

Jeans progress

.Does anyone recognise the inspiration for my pockets? No cheating if I’ve told you already.

Gok Coat

I really wanted a Mac style coat after watching too many Gok episodes. My kick-start was seeing a beautiful Table Eight trench coat in plum in one of the winter David Jones catalogues. It took me a while to pick a pattern and in the end I went with Burda #119 from WoF 03/2009.

Burda 3/2009 #119

I didn’t do a muslin, which I may pay for later on, or maybe not. The fabric is not as bright as I wanted but I still really like it. Halfway through I re-cut it down another two sizes because I wanted it to be close fitting and it was looking huge. It was one of those pick-up-put-down projects, sewn in between a few shorter time frame projects and as it turns out it spent a little too much time in “put-down” stage because summer rocked up one day and I was over my Mac coat. But it’s completely temporary, it’s just that I can’t stand sewing a winter item when it’s 30 degrees outside and all these wonderful dress patterns are calling to me. So when it starts cooling off in April/May I’ll pick it back up again, promise. What’s left to do? Heaps. I don’t even have buttons…or belt buckles. 1000kms of top stitching (620 miles for the non-metrics), sleeves, collar, self facings, hem, lining (which is hawt btw)…probably much more, but I haven’t looked at the rest of the instructions.

Mac coat progress

The colour is a deep purple, really hard to capture on camera.

Kaisa Skirt Duplicate

I’ve already made this skirt once and I wore it every week, sometimes twice, but I used a cheap drill cotton and after a while it just stopped being nice. It was constantly wrinkled, I had to iron it each morning and then I was scared to sit down since that would mean standing up again. In the end I decided it needed to be remade.

<img class=”size-medium wp-image-668″ title=”Kasia forever So I took it out of my wardrobe rotation (and boy do I miss it!) and pulled it apart to salvage the zipper and cute buttons. I was pretty quick to re-cut it in a really nice quality gabardine but I kept pushing it aside and just ran out of time again.

Kasia progress or lack of...

It’s stupid because this will be the third time I’ve made this skirt so I don’t even need the instructions any more, it should have been done in only a few hours. Actually sometimes I think remaking a pattern takes longer because you do get a bit blasé and it’s just too déjàvu, you get a bit bored because the challenge is gone, no? So what’s left to do? Interface waist band, side seams, zipper, buttons, hem…not much if I am honest. I really want to finish this skirt too, I loved wearing it, it was trans-seasonal and it went with everything, such a great staple. You should check out the pattern, and since it’s FREE there are no excuses.

There’s more…

I also have a collection of patterns that I have cut out and not yet sewn, there are three of them (I think), here’s a sneak peak, but that’s all your getting for now 😉

Oh yes, there's more...

Hrm, not such a short post after all huh?