Author Archives: rubyslypprz

In the (Aubergine) Trenches

Have you ever had a sewing project which started out as an enjoyable exercise, but rapidly progressed into serious obsession? Exhibit A: my aubergine trench coat.

I needed a lightweight, hip-length jacket for my autumn jaunt to Melbourne, and this “Project Runway” mix-and-match-your-pieces/decorative details pattern seemed to fit the bill perfectly. Whilst this was my very first fully lined garment, I blithely imagined that the assembly would be a proverbial piece-of-cake. And actually, the stitching and assembly portion wasn’t all that bad—it’s just that I failed to calculate that adding a full lining meant TWICE as much stitching/joining/seaming/finishing!

At least I had the wisdom to construct a basic muslin of the bodice, which helped immensely with tailoring the length and fit of the garment. In hindsight, however, I did NOT need to make a muslin of the lining pieces as well! My outer fabric is a lightweight aubergine/plum denim with a hint of spandex, and the lining fabric is a stretchy charmeuse satin. Both were extreme bargains from Sp***L***t, less than $5.00 per meter, since this was my maiden voyage into Lined Garment Land.  If/when I make this again, I will use something with a bit more body and interesting texture. Perhaps in magenta? scarlet? aquamarine?

In the end, this jacket wasn’t finished when I boarded the plane to Melbourne. But it WAS finished when we landed! The lady sitting beside me never said a word, but I wonder what she thought about all the pinning, basting, seam ripping, and button attaching that was going on in my lap.

My favourite bit is the lining, which makes me smile every time that I see it. I also used a contrasting red thread for the topstitching, and might switch the quickie/cheapo lavendar buttons out for some crimson specimens. And better buckles—does anyone have a great resource for retr0-looking buckles? The wrist straps and belt both need to be significantly shortened, so might as well change these too.

Lastly, here’s an action shot from Mount Buffalo with requisite waterfall background:


On the Prowl

I recently watched a so-so American rom/com (“Timer”) which featured some rather fetching ensembles on Emma Caulfield. The styles were very ladylike, tailored yet feminine, and with simple lines in lush fabrics. There were oodles of tastefully pleated crepe blouses and ruffle-hemmed silk dresses, and I’m keen to completely rip off pay homage to some of these specimens.  Here’s an example of the frock I’d like to create:

Does anyone have good pattern suggestions for this? And what about fabric selection? I’m loving the red, but perhaps something slightly less opaque…any thoughts?