Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Crack Coats- Phase 1: The First Taste is Free

So crack coats. This refers to the amount of crack I was smoking when I went on the coat craze. I guess I could call the blogs 'Coat Craze', but that's no fun. It's funny how so far, my blogs involve either drinking or illegal drugs (okay, I didn't actually take the drugs) but looking back on some of these things, it's really the only reason I could see for making 7 coats in a row. 'In a row' might be an overstatement; it's not like I churned them out like a Chinese orphanage after a new Nike style hits the market, but it takes me weeks of staring into space before I can start a project. You know, get the creative juices flowing, waiting for the next shipment of crack to hit the streets, things like that.

I guess I'm short bus slow in a way though, because once I learn how to do something, I don't then move on and try something new. I tend to turn into this born-again Christian zealot, except replace 'Jesus' with 'McCall's' or 'Simplicity'. So here was the first taste of the crack, that high that kept me coming back for more. It was the baby coat. It really wasn't fair; what doesn't look super adorable in miniature? Except, well, you know....heh heh heh.

When you think coats, I bet you don't think 'easy'. When I say 'my cousin Erin', you probably think easy. But shocker of all shockers, coats were way easier than I had ever thought they'd be. Seriously, it's not the crack talking! Especially this coat for baby Mary. Here is the pattern:

For the material, I had bought this lightweight corduroy material when the baby was born for both Abby and baby Mary, I just never knew what to make with them. Now that she was 18 months and walking and fall was approaching, I figured I'd make some lightweight coats for the two of them. Baby Mary's coat was made of the brown with pink polka dot fabric and lined with the teal paisley flannel. I used coordinating fabric from Abby's coat that was brown with green polka dots for accent and then finished it with an iron-on applique to cover up the snaps down the front. 
The coat came together very quickly. Just think of the pieces that go into a coat; the 2 front pieces, back piece, sleeves, and collar. That's it! It's like the old Rice Crispies commercial where the mom would read a book in the kitchen for an hour and then throw some flour on her face and act like she'd been cooking for hours. That's how coats are- so easy you have to act like they're a lot of work to get the respect you crave. I got the body together quickly and then made a duplicate with the lining, turned it inside out, and then hand sewed the lining into the coat. On something that small, it didn't take that long and I did it while watching tv at night. For the buttons, I used magnetized snaps that are used for purses. They are a lot cheaper in the purse department than the sewing notion department. But they are not attractive because they are made to attach to the lining only so I needed a way to cover them up. I thought about flowers, bigger buttons, or another ruffle, but ultimately ended up finding these iron-on appliques that I loved. They seemed kind of bright at first, but once they were ironed on, they seemed to blend into the fabric and look more like it was embroidered instead of just ironed on. I didn't make the hat this time but I did in the next two girls' coats so stay tuned for some coats so cute they'll make you puke. Seriously, you'll need a bucket.

For Abby's coat, I used this pattern:

For accent, I used the same paisley flannel and some of the fabric from baby Mary's coat but also added in a turquoise satin for the lining and other embellishments. Once I had finished the basic coat, I had thought of doing 3 layers of ruffles going down the front and around the bottom like I had seen on this magazine cover:

But once I had it pinned on, it weighed so much that it made the jacket pull to one side and it didn't really have a whole lot of shape to it. Shrimp came over to try it on since they both have super-sized fun bags so we could see how it hung on a real person, not just the dress form. Shrimp agreed that it needed something to break up the 'boob mound' and nixed the ruffles. Instead, we took the fabric from the paisley ruffle, turned it into a belt, and then made some fabric rosettes to stagger along the bottom of the coat.

I LOVED this when it was finished. I gave some serious consideration to keeping it for myself and getting one of those fake babies to wear the coat since it was too small for my dog. But alas, I packed up these puppies and sent them off to Maine.

The baby coat was still a little long for Mary since she is so teeny but Abby's coat seems to fit her well. The 'what not to do next time' thing I learned from making Abby's coat was to not sew down the inside lining to the bottom of the coat. I spent a lot of time sewing Abby's liner in and there are a few spots in the coat where it seemed like the lining pulled and caused the coat to pull under. Getting the length of the lining to match the length of the coat was almost impossible so in my next jackets, I just didn't do it. I hemmed the outer shell, then hemmed the lining, and attached the lining everywhere except the bottom. It worked out great with none of the pulling that I saw in Abby's coats. But check these two out; so fricking cute!

You kind of hate them a little for being so perfect, right? We're okay with that. We like being so cute people kinda hate us. What girl doesn't? If you answered 'me', then you've probably never inspired that feeling in others before. I hope you're good at math because life will be hard for you, my friend. Good luck on the coats! If anything, they can distract people from your face if needed! 

1 comment:

Crystal Malay said...

OMG your hilarious! I LOVE this coat!