Monday, January 26, 2009

Alterations to butterick 4213

I finished the alterations to my coat over the weekend! I think to key to a big project like this one is to keep going, even if slowly. So I will try to do some work on the coat every week, even if I am busy. This week I managed to get the sleeves put on the muslin and make the alterations I needed. Only had enough muslin for one cuff, one sleeve looks longer than the other in photo.

This coat hangs from the shoulders (I guess they all do, duh!) and is only really fitted there. Being a swing coat, it just flares out from below the arms. So beyond making sure the armholes and shoulders fit, ain't much to do. The shoulder length, a critical part, was fine.  Everything else seems to fall into place if that is right. I did need to do a forward shoulder adjustment of 3/4". I spend to much time in front of the computer I guess.  I may need to scoop out the back neck 1/4" in back, I can do that when I fit the real thing. The armhole, while high will do just fine. The older patterns are made that way and mine is no exception.

One major change, though. I took some of the "swing" out of the swing coat. Just way to much at the hem. I love the look of this coat, but I don't want it to look like a relic either. I also was worried about the fabric. Wool melton is a thicker heavier fabric that doesn't drape as well as a thinner fabric. All that fabric would just be sticking out all over the place! So I took out a foot from the hem at the center back seam, tapering to nothing at the armhole. Did the same thing at the sides except only took 6 inches out. I think I like this much better. Hate it when the husband is right, I did look like a Jedi.. He often has a funny way of expressing his opinion of my sewing, but he has a pretty innate sense of what looks good. Here are the alts to pattern: 

Next is to alter lining pattern. I have to figure out how much lining, interfacing and interlining I need at that point and find a place to get it at. I am finding that its pretty hard to come by locally. I get a lot of vacant looks from the clerks when I ask. Probably will have to order online. I'll let you know later.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A little bit about Chanteclers

Have some time this morning, so I thought I would tell you a little bit about the chickens I own.  I have only one breed I am working with, the bantam White Chantecler. A bantam is a smaller size (1/4-1/3) the size of a standard breed. White, obviously, refers to the color pattern, a solid white. And Chantecler is the name of the breed. 

The Chantecler is a fairly new breed, a composite one actually, bred in the 1900s by a Trappist monk in Canada. He was looking for a hardy, all purpose farm stock that could endure the cold Canadian winters. It has Plymouth Rock, Wyandotte, Leghorn, Rhode Island Red and Cornish in it's blood. Check out this site if you're interested in learning more, les oiseaux.  Its in french, so you'll have to run it through Google Translate. Very interesting and thorough with lots of good birds pictured. Translation is not entirely accurate, but humorous. 

Breed is characterized by a very small comb, called a "cushion" and small or non-existent wattles. They have abundant feathering that leans toward being hard feathered, given the Cornish in its blood. They are active, proud birds, with a good amount of breast meat and they lay well. You should be able to see a hint of the Leghorn in it's demeanor and stature. They are officially considered a critically endangered breed by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.

Without any further ado, here is the main man in the coop:

This is one good looking bird, trust me. His name is Buck. He won a "Best in Show" at the poultry show in Richland Center, Wisconsin in 2008. A very hard thing to do to begin with, much less with a rare breed like the Chantecler. It is a matter of good breeding, good luck, good timing, and a judge who is familiar how your rare breed should look. It may never happen again to me. He is part of a trio I was lucky enough to acquire a few years ago. I am still using him, but will soon be passing the honors on to a great grandson who I think will be better than him. This summer should tell. I'll get a picture of him up soon. 

Buck will be retired soon, but to pet status. Doesn't happen much with chickens, much less a rooster, at my house. Otherwise, you're soon overrun with "pets", and no room for the breeding stock coming up. This guy is special, however and gets a place of honor in the coop. The only other pet rooster we have is Mr. Moto and he is pictured in the sink on the right hand side of this blog. Take a look.

That's it for now............more on the Chanteclers soon!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

New chicks

Just a quick picture of my basement. Yes they are living in my basement! Only safe place for a chick to be this time of year. I tell folks they are just like any other animal you keep in the house, if you don't keep them clean, they'll smell. My chickens don't smell. We hatched some out this early in order to have mature birds for the county fair at the end of July and the early fall shows. There is a national show in Illinois in early September that my son and I are gunning for this year. The yellow chicks are bantam white Chanteclers and the greyish ones are bantam Light Brahmas.  More on the breeds later........

Butterick 4213

Good morning!

Its time for my first post. This will be a blog about the things in life that keep me going, the stuff I want to do, as opposed to the stuff I have to do. Right now there are 3 passions in my life: my sewing, my garden and my chickens. Each varies in importance with the time of year and my mood. It is now winter, so of course the sewing is taking center stage. What better motivation to get into the sewing room than below zero weather? So without any further ado, here is my first project:

As you can see its a coat, my first! Should be done just in time for the warmer weather. (Timing is not my forte) And not just any coat but one straight out the 50's, unprinted pattern and all.  I am making the long version, without the hood. Pattern had to be up sized from a 34" bust to a 42", which took two weeks in itself. You can see upsized pattern in the background of first photo below. I have just hit the muslin stage:

My husband said I looked like a Jedi before the collar was applied. After the collar was on, I was magically transformed into Dracula apparently. Gotta love an honest man! He is right, there is a LOT of ease in this swing coat, the hem is over 3 YARDS wide. But it is growing on me, this is a coat to twirl in. I know bigger girls should not wear over sized clothes, but I think(hope) this will drape pretty gracefully in the wool melton I have. The pattern is drafted well, and I think pretty simple for a first tailoring project. Hope I am right, I would hate to waste the time and fabric, you know. Here is picture of the shoulder pads I had to make for the muslin fitting. It is old school all right, but fun to make:

After sewing a cover on and quilting/ stab stitching the padding together, I cut apart from one pointed end to the other. Voila!, two shoulder pads.