Sunday, December 19, 2010

Hey Lady

I came. I tailored. I conquered.

Weelll......sort of. If you consider conquering to mean completing, then yes- I did :)
I finished my Lady Grey this week. I put the last finishing touches on her as I was going out the door to a Christmas party Saturday night. Nothing like a chance to show off your work to make you finish it up quick, right? I was frantically stitching on belt loops and slip stitching the lining to the shell just minutes before we had to leave.

All in all, I am so pleased with the final product. It is far from perfect but I learned so much during the process that I can't help but be proud. My only major complaint is that it ended up too big (so strange!). See how it bunches up around the waist with the belt tied? I am almost positive that the reason behind this is that the wool stretched while I was applying it to the hair canvas. I think I picked the most difficult wool for this type of project. It is a wool flannel twill, very lightweight and thin. The twill weave is loose which is what allowed the stretching, I believe. So, as far as this being a tailored jacket, as in tailored to me and my measurements-- it's not a perfect fit. Ah well.

But I am in love with the color! I can't describe it as anything other than red. Bright red. It's lovely. The minty green lining was also an intentional choice. I have been drawn to complementary colors in all sorts of design lately. Complementary colors are colors that are directly opposite each other on the color wheel, like red and green, orange and blue.... They have the most contrast. I've been gravitating towards complements but with a little variation, like this bright red shell with the tinted blue green. They are a perfect pair. And perfect for Christmas, too! Though that was unintentional since I thought I'd be finished long ago.

I had some major issues getting my lining to sit right in the coat. This was a time that I really needed a dress form. I think my silk twill was a bit too heavy for a lining. It also frayed like nothing I had ever seen before, but only on the cross grain. I used a little fray check around places where I didn't want to lose too much fabric, like the top of the sleeve heads. I had a hard time getting the lining to sit right, especially where I slip stitched it to the shell. I ended up stitching it to the shell three different times before I got it to lay properly. It is a little off in places so I attached a lace hem tape to cover some of the unevenness.

I can't believe it's finally done. I didn't really know what I was getting in to but I am so glad I followed through and finished. I learned so much during the process. I learned new and advanced techniques but I also learned how to do some basic things better. I added some incredibly useful tools to my sewing arsenal. I learned that I love catch stitching and slip stitching, or anything to hand finish a garment. Tailoring is interesting. It's not something I'm going to try again anytime soon, but after I have some more sewing experience under my belt I look forward to revisiting this sewing adventure.
to top it all off, I ended up with a fabulous new coat!

I love how the sleeve lining peeks out a little.


If you are interested, here are links to my other Lady Grey posts: making my muslin, bound buttonholes, assembling the coat and also a link to the Lady Grey flickr pool. Thanks Gertie, for a fascinating sew along!


  1. Your Lady Grey is absolutely beautiful!! Such a great job! It looks amazing on you!

  2. fab work, congratulations! So satisfying to finish such a huge undertaking. Red is the perfect coat colour as it lifts all those other dreary winter colours. have fun wearing your new coat.

  3. Wow - that coat is just delicious! Congratulations!

  4. Lovely, lovely Lady Grey. I promise, everything you pick up to sew for the next month or so will feel like a cinch. You hit a major milestone, and it's so pretty! (I'm such a fan of little lace touches)

  5. That is a truly lovely version. Fabulous colours. Can't see a single thing wrong with it! Well done, you.

  6. Doesn't it feel great right now? Having finished such a huge project? I bet it was a lot of hard work, but it is also totally worth it!
    The coat is gorgeous, and you should give yourself more credit! The contrast with the lining is very nice as well!

  7. Yay, congrats on finishing it!! And let me say this, it looks gorgeous on you! The red is amazing and suits you so well. Brilliant work!

  8. Oh it's so gorgeous! And your peplum looks great...

    Now I want mine to be finished! /sigh

  9. Looks beautiful! I LOVE both colour choices, red and turquoise are my favourite colours and I love the contrast of them together. Well done, congrats on finishing such a major sewing project!

  10. This is such an amazing job. I hope you enjoy wearing it ! Congrats !

  11. Thank you, everyone, for all the kind words!

  12. BEAUTIFUL! Love the aqua and red together! I participated in Gertie's sew along too and am still trying to finish. What a huge project!

  13. Ah! Gorgeous! The green looks lovely and you did such a wonderful job with this (I wasn't nearly as good) really, a quality job of something you can be proud of and wear for years!

    But I absolutely concur with the fabric, since I'm using the same, really not a great choice for this coat.

  14. Beautiful work!! I love the color combination and the design of course! It will fit you well after a while i think, happened in my case.
    Your work makes me smile always!
    Have a happy holidays!

  15. Your coat looks awesome - well done! I love the contrasting lining too. The only way to learn is to jump right in and do it, and now your next jacket won't be a hurdle at all!