Blue Coat with Gold Buttons and Tote Bag

I’ve completed two small projects on the sewing machine. As I’ve mentioned, I’m working on doll clothes to send my niece for her birthday. I’ll be cutting it close. She turns seven on January 19th and lives in Missouri, so I’ll be shipping.

The coat turned out well, I think. Far less practice with the seam ripper than with the tote bag and more wow factor. The buttons are decorative with snaps on the inside. I love the buttons. They came from the amazing fabric outlet near us, only open one weekend a month in the warehouse of a textile mill. Going through the button bin to fill a snack sized ziplock bag for $5 is practically a ritual when we go. Great stash building.

I think the buttons where the cuff would be adds to the realism of looking like a garment for a person scaled down for a doll. I like that a lot better than something that looks like doll clothes. As it happens, the color is trendy right now. I picked it because Sabrina’s favorite color has been blue and always has been. Girl stuff gets such pink overload with lavender as a second, I try to do something different. I have a plan for a green and gold fancy dress, not blue, but still better than pale pink.

Seems a bit counter intuitive that I had more trouble with the tote since the shape of the bag made it appear more simple. And the stitching itself was simple. All straight lines. What I didn’t think about is how I’ve constructed Barbie clothes, first when I was a kid, and over the last few years. I did my seam ripping on tiny hand stitching. Much more frustrating when you’ve spent an hour sewing only to discover it’s got to be ripped. I’ve learned a lot about how the puzzle pieces go together in the construction of garments. I’d never put a lining in or inside pockets or used interfacing. All harder than it sounds working from printed instructions.

One mistake I made with the bag was in fabric selection. I used a thin synthetic polyester type for the outside with a interfacing sewn to it with a lining of fleece. The lining is really too heavy, or the outer fabric too light for the bag to hang as it looks on the pattern package. Ideally, one should use a lining of the same approximate weight. Working from my stash of scraps, I picked my best options. The inside isn’t as defined as I expected, but the pockets should do what they are intended to do in holding the American Girl sized doll in place.

The more embarrassing mistake was melting some of the fabric on the back panel with the iron. Oops. Without enough fabric to replace the melted piece, I ended up covering with the heart applique instead of putting it on the front pocket. The outside pocket is a little floppy.

Overall, I’m happy with the results.

5 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. Looks to me like you already pretty darn good at this. Great job!

    January 12th, 2012

  2. That’s incredibly impressive.

    The coat reminds me of Paddington Bear.. in the way that makes me smile.

    January 12th, 2012

  3. Thanks!

    January 12th, 2012

  4. I didn’t notice the resemblance to Paddington’s coat before, but you’re right. Now I’m going to have to find a pattern for a rain hat and boots.

    January 12th, 2012

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