Thursday, November 14, 2013

Collars Are The New Frontier

All the way through this project, I've been conserving the grey and black paisley remnants. I knew I wanted them on the sleeve and along the button band and there weren't a lot of remnants left so I've been careful... only... LOL... now I have a lot left. Enough for another project or at least more places on this one. Funny how that goes.

Using the paisley along the button band ties in the sleeves and blends a long line through the bodice and skirt only it's rather dull all on its own so I played with bits of the lime to make the buttons stand out.

It worked if I alternated a button with a lime square underneath and a button without. Otherwise, it looked cluttered. I sat with the image above for quite a while before deciding to go ahead and decided it needed to be defined even more.

On the pattern, the button band is 1 1/2" wide. I added 1/4" to each side and cut a 2" strip and then stitched a strip of the black knit used at the waistband to the edge. On the waistband, it's interfaced for strength and stability. Here it wasn't and so it stretched and slightly gathered the band. In the end, that'll be okay. It's just something to be aware of.

On the other side, I did interface the band and it's thicker as anticipated however...

... it wraps all the way around underneath becoming the back half of the button band to help support the buttons.

I serged the edge for neatness. The knit wouldn't have raveled and I'm not sure we'll even see this edge in the end but this is the stage it was easiest to serge at so just in case.

There was a 5/8" seam allowance along the front edge. I had calculated an additional 1/4" overlap so I stitched a line 7/8" from the edge and then pin basted the button band to the front being careful to line up the square at waist level and to remember which direction I would sew in so the pins were going in the "right" direction.

Next, I'll stitch in the ditch between the black edging and the center of the button band attaching it to the front of the coat being careful to leave the black back free underneath. That part can't be secured until I make decisions around the collar, the hem, and the lining. In a step-by-step process like how I am making this coat, I pay the most attention to the step I'm on while trying to remember what needs to happen next to make sure that I'm not creating issues for myself. Sometimes I do and then I need to find solutions and that's okay too.

LOVE the polka dot band underneath. It was created in much the same manner as the paisley one and will be completed at the same time. The next step is to sew the shoulder seams and stitch in the sleeves and then decide on the hem and any other details I want to bring down into the skirt. After that, I have some ideas for the collar that I want to play with so I'm leaving it until the end.

Collars are the new frontier.

One of the wonderful aspects of the Design Outside The Lines workshops was getting to see Marcy's and Diane's work up close and ask questions. Diane creates incredibly detailed collars. Very inspiring. I've been thinking about them for seventeen months now and I've realized something about myself - that I need to think about something for a considerable length of time first and create with my mind before I create with my hands.

Typically, while I'm physically creating one project, I'm mentally evaluating another and I often have several projects under consideration. Right now, I know that I will sew my grandson's leather coat next and then pj pants for my oldest son and then I've been collecting suiting fabrics for a skirt project plus I'm making notes and gathering ideas for the line down the center front project that I mentioned back in September. And more ideas may occur. And that's okay. Realizing just how big a part of my creative process thinking is, is a helpful awareness that I can use to further my creativity as opposed to berating myself for being all talk and no action. There IS action. It's internal and that's part of my process.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - that we are constantly learning new things about ourselves and that each new bit makes life both more interesting and somewhat calmer


  1. I'm the same way - I'll think about something for a (very, sometimes) long time before there's any action, Sometimes it's an idea I've deliberately put "on the back burner", so to speak, where the idea can just percolate, or sometimes it's more actively thought about. I think it's safe to say I'm a "think first, act second" person.

    1. When did you realize it was part of your process. I've probably always known - since I definitely know I think a lot - but it suddenly struck me as something to pay attention to with creativity.

  2. I can't say really, when I became aware of it - perhaps my early twenties, when I completed the Meyers-Briggs assessment? I'm introverted (almost off the scale), and thinking first, acting second just makes sense to me.

    Currently, I'm contemplating whether I'm going to make a new spring/fall raincoat for myself, or purchase one. Either way - what will it look like? What are the important elements in this coat? So far, It has to have a standing collar, like my current coat - that way, my neck is protected from the winds, and eliminates the need for a scarf. Raglan or set in sleeves? Buttons, or zippers? Length? Fabric? Colour? Pockets? All those elements will swirl around in my mind for months! And with any luck, a raincoat may come from it...or not! :-)

    1. With that many details - LOL - I'd vote for sewing.


Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.