Vogue 8438 Complete!

The previous attempt to shame myself into finishing the coat has been successfull.  It's missing the snaps, or more likely, hooks that I'll use for closure, because I'd like to be able to put it on before I position them.  And I am about 3 months from being able to put it on.  

I also hadn't topstitched the two front panels, because I haven't decided if I want to do a running stitch by hand instead of a machine stitch (in pink!).   I added a belt thingy in the back, and had topstitched the edges, so if I decide to hand stitch the front, the back would have to be re-done to match. 


I love the 'flower petal collar'.  I wanted it tighter around my neck, to make it warmer for the windy Chicago/NorCal trips, and I wasn't sure how to do that, so I just added 1/2" all around the neckline.  It worked beautifully.

 I also moved in the princess seams 1/2" in towards the center by redrafting the side front pieces [wider] and the cetner front pieces [narrower].  In retrospect, I should have done it for the back as well.

I lined it in some rad $1 JoAnn's clearance Simply Silky print I had laying around.  It was a little vile to work with, but I love the end result.  I used the Threads tutorial on bagging the lining, instead of the pattern direction to leave it hanging free, though I left an opening at bottom for outside pleat. 

It's also interlined with cotton flannel.  A giant industrial sized bolt of it that I got for $3 at a garage sale, while Mr Snork kicked and screamed, and that has been an endless supply of interlining for all drapes in my house, and now this jacket.  I cut the pieces with lining, and serged the lining + interlining edges together, and then worked with with them as one piece.  I omitted the center back pleat in the interlining though, it was looking a little bulky.   Mr Snork gifted me my clothing labels, and I used a scrap of raw silk to 'frame it' a la RTW stuff:

I drafted a back facing piece for a more RTW look, and to offset the 6 layers of collar/interfacing/coat that it was to be sewn onto.  I had a hard time pressing seams because of the 'velvet like' pile of the uncut cordiroy, but I think they turned out OK.  I used sew-in interfacing, heavy for the collar band and medium for the facings, but I wish I had used something even more burly for the collar band.   Although it falls kinda nicely as is:

It feels nice and heavy like a jacket should, and I am pretty pleased with the end result.  I think a matching hat is in order.  Lined in same bright fabric.  I wonder what type of a hat wouldn't have a hard time competing with a giant collar.  Would a matching purse be too much?  :D 


Phases of a Project (that lead to its failure)

 - OMG!  Look at this pattern!  I must make it immediately.  (Vogue 8438, currently)

 - Stalking and purchase of all related materials, that aren't already stockpiled during the weekend dumpstering sprees. 

 - Hanging up the material in some prominent spot, to look at and envision the coat once it's made.  Reading pattern instructions 8 times, and meticulously preparing.

 - Making of the muslin. 

That's when it kind of start falling apart.  I'm really driven to make it, cause it's going to be super awesome, and I'm going to wear it everywhere.  Then, once a muslin comes together, it's like, "Oh, there you are.  I see.  Next." 

In this case, I still wanted to see the finished coat in the purple cordiroy, so I pressed on.  But once that came together, it's like ADD kicks in, and I will do anything but finish.    It has taken more than 3 weeks now to complete the lining.  During which I have:

 - gone camping, and taught my little brother about intricacies of riding a dirt bike:

That was fun, except a brief episode where he got either stabbed by an evil plant or bitten by a rattlesnake, and we didn't know which.. (evil plant must have won, since his arm was still intact after the longest. 20. minutes.  ever.)

- Mutliated an unused bridesmaids' dress I had hanging around from my wedding into a Princess Aurora skirt for giraffy (to gallop in a race in, of all things):

(Some gold bias tape and a bit of sparkly kitchen curtain really princessed it up!)

- Possibly inspired by giraffy, taken up running again.  Really, really slow running.  That looks a lot like walking from distance.  But supplemented by swimming.  I heard this speeds up labor.  And I'm pretty freaked out about the whole labor/birth thing.  Plus, the 'Diet-Cause I'm Puky' phase was replaced byt the  'Eat EVERYthing' phase somewhere in the 5th month, and it's not pretty.  I actually have walked into the gym on several occasions, shaking out the remainder of Chocolate Chex cereal from the bag into my mouth.. 

 - And, finally, taken up golfing, having found a brand new set of (puprle) golf clubs at the S-Boutique, to replace ones I lost somewhere. 

I will say Strawberry does not enjoy golfing.  No matter how gracefully I tried to squat when setting up the balls. 

And, then, there was the 50's dress obsession, and Ebay/Etsy stalkage of any and all 50's patterns that I might find appealing, despite the fact that Vogue 8438 has been spread out on my dinner table, effectively preventing anyone from eating dinner there for a month now. 

Additionally, during the super excited stage, I decide to make all these additions and modifications to the garment, which surpass my sewing skills by leaps.. and then seams start to not match up, it gets really frustrating, and I frolick off to consider other, more pleasing projects.


I'm hoping to shame myself into finishing it, by posting a public goal.  The coat itself is done.  Unless I want to add pockets, which I decided I might want..  The lining is done if you don't count the sleeves.  ALL that is left (other than the unfortunate pockets) is the sleeves, and then joining them into one garment. 

I added the insert in back with label, to mimic the RTW coats.  The lining fabric was in my stash from a previous JoAnn's clearance, and it's slippery, ravels on eye contact, and absolutely vile to work with, but I loved the colors..  I chose to interline the coat in cotton flannel, which is super ...bendy.   I cut it and the lining in one go, and by the time I turn around, the underlining is a totally different shape.   All these contribute to its undone-ness.

Anyway.  I would like to finish this coat tonight.  Not for wearability - there's no room for a 7 month Strawberry-belly in it, but as a matter of decency. 


Obsession Du Jour: Impractical Dresses

What's a girl to do to pass time once she sprouts a formidable 6 month fetus belly?  Why, shop for hourglass figure dresses, of course.  And it's all TMobile's fault.

I saw one in their commercial (with whom I'm not even on speaking terms, because their upgrade policy is awful.  New customers get shiny, pretty phones, and meanwhile, my Blackberry looks like it suffered a from a 5 story window.  Twice.  Into a dump truck.  With tree mulching capabilities.)  But, their insistence on charging me hundreds of dollars for a new phone is less annoying than putting pretty dresses on their TV models, and having me find out they were custom made. 

I don't recall how exactly, but this has led to a massive, unreasonable in its span, search for 50's dresses on Ebay, Etsy, this weekends' yard sales and favorite GMarts.  It's still ongoing.  I am seeing a whole lot of ugly 80's, and none of pretty 50's. 

Meanwhile, I might have purchased this:

Which I was hoping to alter into the TMobile dress, but there pretty buttons in the back:

Mr Snork has repeatedly expressed his hope that if I *were* to wear this out (he says incredulously) I would "at least take those sleeves off".   If he keeps it up, I'm gonna wear it, with sleeves, to his office to drop off lunch. 

Also currently stalking this wrap dress:

Not a huge fan of the colouring, but I want to make one like it, out of some fabric I have, that's scary close to the cabbage rose pattern fabric in the above dress. 

And, possibly this one:

The front!!

So, essentially, not only has TMobile wronged me in their handling of my phone needs, I am now possibly three dresses deep into a dress, and the toll is rising, since none of them so far look anything like THE dress.   Which is fine, really, cause I can't fit into anything with a waist for another 3 months, and it's questionable thereafter, with the amount of cake I have been throwing down my throat.    Stupid TV. 


Pelmeni - Siberian Potstickers

I have finally found a perfect dough recipe that must be documented for my (and possiby yours?) future use.  Typically, the dough part leaves me rockign back and forth in the corner at the end of the night.  It's either too sticky, or too crumbly, too stretchy, or not stretchy apart.  Ghastly, really.

I picked this up off a Russian message board, where a woman allegedly got it from an old Siberian babushka.  After seeing 70 more women chime in, I figured I had nothing to lose.  If it failed, I'll resort to eating crappy dough or buying them at $8 a package (small package) at the Russian gorcery shop. 

Stories have it that in the old times a village would gather to make these potsticker type things for the winter.  They would then store them in their cold attics and survive a winter on them.  My mom used to make the family gather, because traditionally, to do them entirely by hand, you do need a small army.   (Of obedient children, typically)

I cheat, with a little aluminium form.  The look isn't quite the same, but it cuts prep time by 2/3rds, if you're working alone.

For the magical, possibly Siberian dough:
half cup hot water
half cup hot water with tablespoon of full fat sour cream dissolved.  (Or just half cup milk)
3 cups flour
tsp salt
1 egg
1 tsp olive/vegetable/sunflower oil

For filling:
1/2 lb beef
1/2 lb pork
one (grated) onion
salt and pepper

I made a mountain of 3 cups of flour on the table, with a well in the middle, into which an egg is dropped, with the hot water/milk mixture and salt and kneaded a quick doug.   I've watched my grandma do this, so I like the tabletop method, but a bowl is probably safer.  Less space for a runny milky floury egg disaster that way.  I know this for a fact.. 
I wiped tiny bit of oil on top of the dough ball, and stuck it in a plastic bag to hang out at room temperature for 40 minutes.  When it came out of the bag, it was like dough magic.  I didn't even need to knead it anymore. 

The rest is..

The thinner the better.  About 2mm is just right. 

 This was my last batch, so I have some empty spaces in the form.  The recipe yielded 4 forms of pelmeni.

It needs a tap to get them to come out.

They hang out on a floured baking sheet in the freezer for a few minutes, until the dough gets hard enough to pile them into plastic bags for storage.

I drop them in salted boiling water (with bay leaf) and 7 minutes later, plus some sour cream - dinner is served.