Stalled Projects

Why do some projects get sewn up in a few days and others sit half done on the end of the sewing table muttering imprecations and gathering dust?

I started this coat last Autumn, when the weather was just cool enough to need a top layer, but still warm enough to consider an edge to edge style.

The Big Idea was to make the coat Chanel style, not using interlinings and interfacings, but keeping it light like a cardigan by quilting the outer layer to the lining piece by piece. The quilting was going to be decorative, with birds swooping down the front. Swallows were all drawn up and ready to fly.

Then it fell at the first fence. The bubbly surface texture of my wool didn’t sit well with the quilting. The stitches just got buried, whatever thread combination I tried. I gave up and  went for a loose lining.

The original design had a neckline raised at the side, cut away at the centre front. I ditched this too after a toile. That left a decision of the edge treatment and leather binding seemed the best bet. With that half done, impetus went the way of the weather. It’s ok battling on with long winded techniques if the end product stands a chance of being the thing you thought it would be, but when the swallows flew south they took a fair chunk of enthusiasm with them.

Through gritted teeth I got to grips with finishing it this week.

Edge to Edge Coat

Edge to Edge Coat

Closes with Frogs!

Closes with Frogs!

Probably Get Worn Open

Probably Get Worn Open

Not the coat I intended, but still not bad. I’ve gained a useful coat and space on the machine table.

Do you find it hard to complete projects when it means a compromise?

It’s the first of May.  MMM 1 for those brave enough to sign up. Reading a few blog commitments it struck me that until I slung the coat on, I was all rtw. Quite unusual, for me. Ten year old jeans ex Asda sale, five year old cashmere jumper ex TKMaxx with, hey! hand embroidered flowers over the moth holes, positively ancient silk top ex Patra Selections and silk scarf from an Oxfam shop. Sorry to let the side down ladies.


About jay

I design and draft patterns
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12 Responses to Stalled Projects

  1. seweverythingblog says:

    Compromise will absolutely bring down one’s enthusiasm. But your compromises made a spectacular coat! Love it.
    My fur vest enthusiasm is still at the bottom – and all I need to do is hem it. I think I look like a grizzly in it; as well, I think I twisted the lining a little bit. Those two things were enough to shatter the excitement. The bear is hibernating this summer.


    • jay says:

      Aargh! The dreaded lining twist! I still have to unpick one sleeve seam and shorten the lining on this coat by five mm or so, that will probably go on the back bolier.


  2. fabrickated says:

    This post really made me laugh. You are wearing what I wear most weekends – RTW jeans and a cashmere jumper, in my case over a long sleeved Uniqlo T. On holiday to cold places this is my uniform too. It works ten seasons out of twelve in the UK. And the blues and greys do it for me too. I am looking forward to MMM16 just so I can work out what I really want from my clothes. Your whole outfit – the great coat, the lovely silk scarf and the repairs are all so comfortable and stylish. Beautiful.


    • jay says:

      My list of things not worth making changes over time, but often features jeans. You are clever to see MMM as a chance to get the wardrobe organised.


  3. felicia says:

    Regardless of what you planned, you created a stylish coat. The frogs and pockets make it for me. Your post is inspirational for me, as I have a “chanel-style” pattern waiting for me to find appropriate fabric.


  4. Kim Hood says:

    Sometimes you do have to let projects evolve rather than getting exactly what you thought you wanted. Your coat turned out great!


  5. sewruth says:

    I tell you what – you look really stylish to me! That’s all we need, a perfect coat and it steals the show. I bet you’ll get loads of wear out of this and I’m glad you completed it.


  6. mrsmole says:

    Sometimes we try to make things so very clever and stylish when what we needed and wanted all along was a go-to garment that fits well and works with all our other clothes…you achieved that! I have 2 garments I have yet to finish since 1990…have dragged them to the UK and back to the US and they are still hanging waiting to be completed.


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