Out of the Trenches

from sarah the sewist

My Indygo Junction Trench Topper that I was sewing as part of the Great Trench Coat Sew-a-long on Pattern Review is finished and I broke it in by wearing it to work today. I was a little uncomfortable with it just because it’s a lot louder than most of my wardrobe, but it worked with dark jeans, a white collared blouse and my black cowboy boots. Someone even told me that it gave off a “vintage cool vibe,” which sounds good to me. Not to mention, Josh and I went out to The Screen Door (yum!) for dinner this evening, and he claims that two diners noticed on my jacket. My style is generally not that noticeable, more cute than anything, so it’s kind of nice to have something distinct and eye-catching.

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I wrote about my progress here and here and it was really fun knowing that there were quite a few other folks working on a trench at the same time—although mine is more of an indoors jacket, rather than the outwear most of the others on Pattern Review are planning and sewing. It’s funny, I was planning on sewing this jacket, but it jumped to the top of the queue when the sew-a-long was announced. The super-cool Amy Butler print from Bolt in an unusual cinnamon color and the lovely pink Moda fabric from Fabric Depot for the contrasting bands were a fun combination.

I covered the issues that I had with this pattern in my last blog entry, but I do want to re-iterate that while I had some problems, they were completely fixable and Indygo Junction seemed very happy to get the feedback about the errors in the pattern drafting. The other thing I noticed with this pattern is that it’s already rather petite-ified. By that I mean that I didn’t shorten the sleeves, and only took in the shoulders a smidge—which was great for me. My fix to the belt issue worked, and I think it looks like it was supposed to be this way.

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Anyway, since this jacket is unlined, and since the Sewer and I don’t have a serger (waaaah!), there was a lot of seam finishing on this jacket. Which was a colossal pain in the butt. Well worth it, but a pain, nonetheless.

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I also faced the pink bands at the sleeves and bottom so that they’d have more of a structured look and flare out a bit more. Which I think turned out pretty nice, since the two fabrics were different weights. The contrasting bands actually, oddly, toned down the busy look of the main fabric, which is sort of interesting.
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I must have placed the three stupid button on this jacket at least three times. Each. It was really difficult to figure out the right spot for the buttons, and I still not completely satisfied with the way the buttons look on the jacket. I am really crappy at hand sewing and avoid doing so at all costs. Our sewing machine does a lot for us—including auto buttonholes and it’s really easy to use the machine to attach buttons. However, like I mentioned in a previous entry, the buttons I chose for this jacket were too big for the auto buttonholer, and it turns out, also are too big to sew on with the sewing machine. Which sucked. So I spent all of last evening sewing and re-sewing the buttons.

Basically, the buttons won.

 Out of the Trenches
I’m planning to make this trench again, especially since I’ve worked out all of the weirdness with the pattern, and since I have a decent stash of raincoat fabric on hand.

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