Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Finished Winter Wardrobe

Thank you, readers, for your encouraging comments on my little project! I also should thank Carolyn of Diary of a Sewing Fanatic for showing that it could be done, and Mena of The Sew Weekly, whose sewing output is astonishing.

Here are the two final pieces of my brown wardrobe-in-a-week.

Item #4: seamed trousers.
The fabric is a taupe wool blend, 6 yards scored for $5 at Goodwill a few months ago. I’ve been in love with this 2002 pattern since I got it (also at Goodwill). It's hard to see in the envelope picture, but the line drawing shows the neat seams and topstitching. I decided to just make the pants, and I have plenty of fabric left if I want to try the jacket another time.

This no-waistband style is bound on the inside with grosgrain; first time I’ve used this method, and I like it. I used up some of my expensive Bemberg for the lining because I didn’t want to deal with static, perspiration, or other weirdness in these nice pants.

Why is it so difficult to photograph pants? They fit well, although the photos indicate some problem at the crotch. I’ll know for sure after I wear them for a few hours! The vertical seams made it very easy to fit to the booty, and everything else just followed the basic pattern lines for a size 16. It’s hard to believe I made a size 8 top and size 16 pants in the same week, but that’s why we sew, right? So we can deal with all these little quirks.

Item #5: plaid coat. This is the fabric that originally inspired my brown “wardrobe in a week” project. Chocolate brown, magenta, orange, yellow, tan and white – it’s like a fudgy ice cream sundae with all the toppings! I don’t have any content label for it, but I think it’s acrylic or a blend, and it has a loose, fuzzy, chenille-like weave.

It's the same pattern I used for the pullover top. The coat was quite easy (3 pattern pieces!), although I did make a slight error when I sewed the hood seam too far and lost 8 inches of the section that was to be the back neckline. (If I had read the pattern reviews BEFORE sewing, I would have known to watch out for this! Duh.) Chenille and seam ripper are not a match made in heaven, especially since I was flat-felling every seam to prevent the entire thing from unraveling. But eventually everything got put together, most of the plaids match, and it fits.

I did consider lining it, but decided I would get more use with the lighter version. I think the chunky belt keeps it from going too far into the realm of plaid bathrobes.

With a scarf and a bright sweater, it's a wardrobe!

There are still a few brown fabrics left in the stash, but I made quite a dent. Fifteen yards plus thirty hours of sewing equals five new pieces to go with my brown skirt and pants, which will no longer live as orphans at the back of the closet. I’m pleased that I took the extra time to fit everything properly, finish seams, and put in the small touches that will help these clothes look good and last well.

My favorite part of the project: no buttonholes! I didn’t consciously plan this, but none of the items have buttons. What a relief.

My least favorite part: flat-felling the thick seams on the jacket while the edges tried to unravel.

Easiest: surprisingly, the princess-seamed top, since the fabric was so easy to work with.

Most difficult: the slacks, which required some fitting, topstitching, lining, and a lot of hand-sewing. Definitely worth it!

Now I have to clean up my sewing mess and think about packing, petsitters, and other travel arrangements.
I’ll be back here once or twice before I leave. Have a wonderful weekend!



  1. The pants most def look worth the effort - they are fabulous in construction and fit. And the coat is superb -- you did say you decline to sew for others, didn't you : < because I lurve that coat. Enjoy your new wardrobe!

  2. Impressive! Your hard work has definitely paid off. Hope you're proud of yourself! Everything looks great.

  3. What a stunning wardrobe! Everything looks just wonderful. I love the jacket that inspired the whole project so much! I like it draped open, and don't think it resembles a bathrobe at all! That IS one fantastic belt, tho.

    Have a wonderful trip; I'll miss your posts while you're gone! Be sure to take lots of pictures!

    xo, Anita