Sunday 23 June 2019

Oslo Coat

Much as I love my Sapporo Coat which I made last year, I felt that I needed a more classic colour and style to wear too.   I searched long and hard through pattern books and online, reading blogs and looking at instagram images and eventually settled on the Oslo Coat from Tessuti Patterns.

I bought a beautiful charcoal wool/rayon blend from Centrepoint fabrics, which luckily for me me was in a closing down sale.  The pattern was bought and downloaded, then assembled over a couple of days when I was home alone - it's about 100 pages to piece together.

Preparation of the pattern pieces also took a couple of days - there is the actual coat fabric, lining and interfacing to cut out, notches and tailor tacks to be done and interfacing to be adhered.  I need to remember too that notches work well in some fabrics and I don't need to tailor tack all the markings, the wool would have been a perfect example of this.

The pattern itself is very detailed, one cannot fault Tessuti for their instructions.  My only gripe (and I have seen others comment on this too) is that it is hard to see the photos clearly because of the dark fabrics they have used. I have found Tessuti patterns to be very accurate for my size, so based on my measurements, I made the size 8 without any adjustments.  I love the length of the coat, though possibly I could have lengthened the sleeves by an inch or so. I have read that a lot of people found the pocket placement too low, but I think it's pretty good on me. For the record I am about 5'8".  Sewing the pivot points, was a wee bit tricky, and by the time all the coat was assembled, there was a wee bit of weight to manouvre through the machine.

Lining is a grey and white dotty acetate, and the sleeves a grey bemberg - guess who misread the pattern requirements and didn't buy enough dotty fabric.  I made little tether chains to hold the pockets in place and added a ribbon loop for hanging purposes if required.  Lots of button holes were practiced on scraps, before sewing the real version.  My machine has a few different styles to make and I chose the round end button hole.  A plain black button from my stash finished it off.

Judging by this  predicted weather forecast, I have finished it just in time to  enjoy wearing it and stay warm and cosy.  Miss B has also hinted that maybe next year when she's at university, a coat like this may be useful - guess it's a winning style.

Saturday 22 June 2019


Recently I have had a few friends in the real world and on social media say they feel like they have lost their creative mojo and/or sewjo.  I know that at times it happens to everyone, (it has to me ) and sometimes life gets in the way, but it has made me wonder that if perhaps with all the social media influences that affect our lives, we are feeling compelled and pressurised to keep up with other quilters, sewers, creative people.

Are we constantly feeling the need to be making something new, producing new quilts or garments, buying the latest fabric, patterns etc,and posting about them, so that we are getting likes on social media. 

I've started working on this in the evenings again.

No, I didn't create this, but I enjoyed eating it.

Maybe when we feel that we've lost our sewjo/creativity rather than endlessly scrolling through instagram or pinterest looking for inspiration,  we actually need to remove ourselves from it for a while and find some new sources of inspiration.

Go for walks, look at beautiful gardens, visit art galleries and museums.  Tidy up your sewing space, maybe even finish some unfinished projects, often the sense of achievment from completing a project is like removing a burden, and that can free up your creativity.  Rearrange your house, wear different colours, read books that take you to a new place- fiction or non fiction, it doesn't really matter, try some new recipes.  This article has some interesting ideas too.

Creating and being creative, is something you do for yourself, something that gives you pleasure, it is not a competition.

Sunday 9 June 2019

Things Here Lately

Winter has well and truly arrived in New Zealand now.  I'm enjoying
  • reading with the fire going.  I'm frantically trying to finish these two books,  as there are too many holds on them, for me to be able to renew them.  I love Frances Mayes' italian travel memoirs, they make me want to pack up and go to Italy, shop, eat and drink, and explore  all the lovely towns and cities she visits.  The Lost Roses is the prequel to The Lilac Girls which I finished and enjoyed a couple of months ago.
  • putting a brightly coloured quilt on my bed for extra warmth, Meeka enjoys this too.  This is my Anna Maria Horner Trellis Garden Quilt I finished last year,  I've decided it needs to be loved and used, not just kept folded up in case it fades, or gets dirty.
  • making a new winter coat - this time its the Oslo Coat from Tessuti Patterns.  The fabric is a deep charcoal wool/rayon, it's all cut out, tailor tacked, notched and interfaced.  Now I just need some time for sewing.
  • the bright splashes of colour from the flowering Vireya and Manuka in my garden.  I really need to get out and cut some things back for winter and plant some flower seedlings in my front garden for some late winter colour.
  • a few minutes time out in the traffic jam I was stuck in on Sunday while taking my daughter to archery.
Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead.