Thursday, December 12, 2013

"know when to hold 'em...

...know when to fold 'em...know when to walk away..."

This is a post about walking away. Admitting defeat (perhaps only temporarily).

Last week I talked about my muslin for my husband's pea coat. I did make a second muslin (the second one goes a lot faster than the first!) in a smaller size. It fits a bit better, but there are some areas that either don't fit well, or fit as-designed and just aren't to my husband's liking.

When he raises his arms, there is bunching above the shoulder and pulling everywhere else. My husband sent me this link, and it pretty much nails the problem. Altering armholes isn't easy in a knit t-shirt. Altering armholes in a tailored coat? Very intimidating. There are SIX pattern pieces making up that area of the coat (2-piece sleeve, yoke, back, front, side panel). Ugh.

I did post muslin photos to Pattern Review and received this post in return, which helped explain what was happening. I also found an in-depth article on two-piece sleeves in an old issue of Threads (#167), and I likely will use that to make corrections.

But all of this takes time, patience, trial and error. Multiple fittings and measuring. Math. Meanwhile, it snowed 8 inches over the weekend and it's just plain cold outside.

I really, really, really wanted to make this coat for my husband, by Christmas. I've known him for almost eight years and he's never had a warm winter coat that fit. He's the one slogging back and forth to work, cleaning snow off our cars and shoveling the driveway.

As much as I wanted to be the one to solve this need for him, I knew I couldn't do it in an expeditious manner. There's a military surplus store in town, and with one quick trip there we found a Navy pea coat that fit him pretty darn well, considering. For under $100 it came home with us.

So I'm not making him a pea coat for Christmas. I'm not a master tailor (yet). Sewing has a way of keeping you humble. Did I learn a lot in two muslins and reading two books and studying patterns? Yep. And that's all I can do. "Just keep moving the dirt" as my husband would say. Will I set this pattern aside and work on it bit by bit? Yes. I'm not going to let it beat me. It might have won the battle, but I will win the war!

Now what to do with all these coat supplies? We'll see. Perhaps a looser-fitting Albion next month when Colette hosts the sew-along? Off to pin coats for inspiration...

Need to make a few last-minute gifts for little ones? Try the Alex & Anna Winter PJs pattern from Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop. On sale today only for $4! I LOVE this pattern and have made it too many times to count (examples here and here). A very versatile pattern that can easily be adapted for play clothes, too.


  1. I've given up (temporarily) on several projects and fitting is always the reason.

    1. At least I'm not the only one! We'll see how long "temporarily" lasts, but it kind of drives me nuts to put work in to something and not have anything to show for it.


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