FO: The Parka

So, I’ve finally finished the parka I’ve been talking about for the last month.

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I made it from black cotton twill and the lining is red and white polka dot cotton. It features a two way zipper, zipper shield, hood, fish tail hem, welt pockets, paper back pockets with flaps as well as lots and lots of top stitching.  It’s definitely the most difficult and complicated garment I have ever made and I think I did a fairly good job.  At least I am very happy with the result and I know I will wear it a lot.IMGP4515_modified

I made some alterations. I shortened the body by 7 cm in total, 2 above the waist and 5 below and because of this I used a zipper that was 65 cm instead of 70 cm. I shortened the sleeves by 5 cm, which may have been a little bit to much, but it works OK.  I did not make a muslin because this is a loose fitting jacket and I found it unnecessary, but maybe I should have to get the sleeve length right. The pattern was not always very clear and the photographs in the magazine, the technical drawing and the written instructions did not always match which meant I had to improvise a little sometimes.  But I guess that when you sew a pattern that is graded as advanced you should be able to figure out what to do when the instructions are not clear.  And one thing that I found very bad.  IMGP4520_modifiedThe pockets are worked first. They are sewn on the front pieces before they are interlined with the lining, which means that the fabric stretches out. When I cut out the lining and started basting to the shell, the shell was bigger, which gave me some difficulty when lining up the zipper and hemming.  So my advice (and reminder if I make this again) is to stay stitch the front pieces before working the pockets.

IMGP4523_modifiedSure, it has some flaws.  The sleeves are not totally pucker free, the pockets are not perfectly identical on both sides and the top stitching is not completely straight but I love those little imperfections.  They are there because I made this jacket and I am very proud of it.  For years, I have been looking for a black autumn/spring jacket but never found the right one. Now I have one that I love and I will probably wear it until it falls apart. Mission accomplished!IMGP4521_modified

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Progress on the Parka

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I haven’t talked about the jacket I am sewing for a while now so I guess this is a good time.  I started making this parka from the latest Ottobre Woman magazine a few weeks ago.  I bought the shell fabric in my local fabric store but ordered the lining and notions online.  They took forever to arrive.  I guess that my order was somehow forgotten because as soon as I managed to contact them (this was not easy) 16 days after I made my order they sent it right away.  I was really unhappy with their service but at least I got my stuff in the end.

 

When I had only the shell fabric I did everything I could, that is I sewed the pockets and prepped some smaller pieces to get it out of the way.  The lining is namely treated as an interlining, meaning that a shell piece and a corresponding lining piece are treated as one when sewing. After sewing each seam you have to serge the edges and then top stitch, so there is a lot of work.Photo0361_modified

The lining is a beautiful red cotton with white polka dots. After I basted the lining pieces to the shell pieces the body of the fabric changed a lot and now it feels much more like outerwear.  I thought that a shell made of twill would be somehow cheap looking  and without body but it is not and  I am really happy with my fabric choices.

After I got my order it took my a few days to get back on track with sewing the parka, but last weekend I finally cut out the pieces for the lining and now I have sewed everything together.  What is still missing is binding the hood/jacket seam, inserting the zipper (which scares me a bit), finishing the front edges of the jacket and hood. This is done with a facing which first has to have it’s edges finished with bias-tape and the final step is hemming.  Wow, when I write it down like that it is not much at all.Photo0364_modified

Maybe I’ll have it ready before the weekend 🙂

I can’t wait!!!