Christmas coat, part one

Yes, I know it’s still November, but I have to get this finished so I can wear it on the 1st of December. Most of december I do Christmas storytelling, and this year is no exception, so I decided to enhance my Mrs Christmas outfit with a coat.

Then I realised if I made myself a Christmas coat, my mum would be dead jealous, so I decided to make her one as well, for her Christmas present.

They’re both going to be the same basic design, but in two different colourways. I apologise for the shameful lack of design sketches, this is because I do almost everything in my head, so there aren’t any. This habit used to humungously annoy my silversmithing teacher, who thought I couldn’t draw for years until I treid to make a chandalier and had to do technical drawings – I think she wanted very badly to smack me, hard, with my own sketchbook. You, however, will have no choice but to bear with me and see what unfolds – or log off – but trust me, this will be worth it for all it’s glorious, blingy, christmassyness.

 As you can see, I’m having a nice tasteful (well, as much as a Christmas coat can be tasteful) dark colourway.

And my mum is having something…cough…slightly brighter…cough, cough.

Mum’s will be blingier, but I have already come to terms with the fact that, my mum being my mum, it will not be blingy enough no matter what I do. Nor will she respect my use of negative space in the design scheme, but will plaster any empty space with sparkly brooches and sequins.

and probably a few spaces that aren’t empty to boot.

The technique will be the same as that of my kits, and in fact the kitty will be a variation on one of my favourite designs, flower kitty, who will here be holly kitty (hope she doesn’t get spikes up her bum!)

 The tree will occupy the back panel, bordered by stars and chrismice. The tree and mice were just cut freehand and by eye, which is how I do most things, but for the stars I used cookie cutters as templates.

There wasn’t a pattern as such for the jacket. Its based on a lightwieght coat of mine, and I just traced a pattern from the existing garment without taking it apart – its only five pieces  so its fairly simple – then tacked together the result and tried it on to make sure it was ok. It actually hangs very nicely, although I did add a little extra flare to the basic shape as I want it a bit swingy.

 And here are kitty…

…and the sleeves, all tacked down ready to sew.

I have cut and tacked both coats, but as they’re identical in design I won’t bore you with both.

I’m sewing mine first because I need it, mum’s can be done after.

 I did the tree first, and as you can see, I changed my mind about the little pastel star buttons I had originally intended to use as baubles on the tree, and went with the sparkly hearts instead. I’m quite pleased with the way the beaded trim works as tinsel, I used loads of it though, almost three metres, which is slightly horrifying, as so far i’ve spent over £100 on these coats, and that doeasn’t include the price of the wool.

I used zig-zag stitch, buttonhole, and whipped chain stitches, as well as a couple of french knots for the eyes of the chrismice. The smaller stars are just long stitches arranged in a pentagram, then overworked with another, smaller, pentagram in gold thread.

As soon as I cleaned this up in order to take a picture, Branny came to inspect it and got quite stroppy about it. He had a bit of a rant about how some monkeys are right insensitive philistines, removing all the aesthetically pleasing grey fluff he’s so carefully worked into the piece. He’s a bit sensitive, poor lad, he got so worked up I had to give him a cat treat to calm him down.

 I’m quite pleased with Holly kitty’s sparkly green eyes, I think they really pop.

You might have noticed that the chrismice are running towardsHolly kitty, rather than away from her as meeces ought to. This is because the chrismice and Holly kitty have formed an unholy alliance, a sort of guerilla organisation within Santa’s workshop, and are working together. The chrismice steal toys, piece by tiny piece, that Santa  has earmarked for deserving, but quite frankly rather dull children – you know the kind of child who knows with absolute certainty from the age of five that they want to be accountants when they grow up. Obviously they aren’t mean enough to leave children without gifts on christmas morning, but replace them with sensible things like slippers, socks and bubble bath, which which the junior accountants are absolutely delighted.

The chrismice take the toys to Holly kitty, who reassembles them and sends them to entirely undeserving adults who will actually play with the toys and enjoy them. They know that the junoir accountants will only leave the toys in their pristine packaging, hoping to be able to pay off thier mortgages in thier thirties by selling them as “collectables”.

With this in mind, any adult lucky enough to recieve Lego in thier stocking this Christmas ought to be rather forgiving about the occaisional mouse turd or feline hairball enclosed therein.

I have also machine sewn the printed cotton lining together, which was a bit of a chore. Cotton is my least favourite of all natural fibres to work with, whether sewing by hand or machine, it just never behaves as well as wool or linen – working with cotton always makes me realise why some costumiers are so fanatical about ironing things (I’m domestically challenged, I don’t iron) cotton need it in a way the linen and wool don’t.

As I type the sleeves are also appliqued, which leaves me with tomorow to assemble the coat, as I need to wear it Thursday. then I can start on mum’s – once I find my shades, obviously.

No Pictures of the finished thing til Sunday though, as I have no one to take pictures for me until the weekend.

~ by opusanglicanum on November 29, 2011.

14 Responses to “Christmas coat, part one”

  1. Eagerly awaiting Sunday!

  2. I hope to get a mouse turd (and a toy) in my stocking then! You are a multi-talented lady – story telling, silver smithing, dress making and the opus anglicanum. And owned by a cat!

  3. What a super-fun and neat NEAT idea!

  4. That is so cool 🙂

  5. Such a pretty coat, I want one…I do! Pussy and meeces … what fun! My friend Sarah told me a great story of coming into her sitting room one day and finding her cat at one end of the coffee table and her white budgie, who can’t fly at the other. Puss had a palpable air of ‘look mum, aren’t I being good!’

    • i only ever seem to find my cat at the table with his bum sticking out of dinner, so yes, he was being good!

      I did breifly consider trying to do one as a picklepatch kit, but it would be harrendously expensive, the materials are costing a fortune – I could have bought a coat for a lot less. obviously it wouldn’t have been a nice coat, but a coat nontheless

  6. I love the truth about the chrismice! You have a wonderful storytelling talent, as well as sewing talent, which I completely lack! You should write some children’s books! The junior accountants mightn’t like them, dull as they are, but I’m sure other heathens, such as my own, would love them!

    • Am far too bust telling stories to write them down- I’ve spent all day telling the story of the christmas spiders to a whoel primary school. NAd yet despite the fact people pay me to tell stories, publishers refuse to give me a contract

      heathen children are far more fun

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