A New Jacket and My Favorite Sewing Tips

by Destri on March 5, 2010

Oh this coat, it has stole my heart!!!  I.Love.It.

Seriously, I can see my little girl wearing it, and her little girl and so on.  I love it even though the birdies are upside down on the bottom!  Oh well…so be it.

I love today’s boutique patterns.  They are easy to follow, with instructions written with the novice in mind, usually.  And this pattern is no exception.  I cut it out at home, and then attended a class at my sisters quilt shoppe, but found I could follow the pattern all by myself.  The only area that might cause confusion is when you get to where you cut out the pieces around the neckline, but other than that it was pretty easy.  Here is a more detail on the pattern.

The back of the jacket has a little detail, just enough to make it interesting but not overdone.  It is reversible and has the same detail on the opposite layer.  It is pretty true to size, but I made my little ones a size big so she can wear it this fall too – it worked out perfect, I only needed to fold the sleeves an extra time.

And just enough detail on the front….so cute!

Remember the scarf tutorial on my very first post here on TMH?  I told you it was going to go with the cutest coat.  At first I was thinking I might have thought that through a little more…spring…scarf, but seeing how we received 6 inches of snow today I am glad I did.  She can wear it now with the scarf to make it a little more winter worthy.

I hope you don’t pass the patterns by in your fabric shop thinking they would be to difficult.  Take a chance and give them a try, a lot of times they will offer classes and after a couple times you will feel like a pro.

Here are a few tips I have learned along the way, and as I learn more I will be sure to share them.  If you have anything to add, leave it in the comments!  Also I am linking this up to the Sew Mama Sew favorite sewing tips post.  They have a post that you can link up your favorite sewing tip and then they will compile a bunch of their favorites, go check them out!!

Ever wonder if you have the bobbin in the right way?  Pull on the thread after you have it in place – if the bobbin turns clockwise your good to go.

When top stitching use a longer stitch for a cleaner look.

I used to hate it when I would press the pedal to begin sewing only to lose the thread every.single.time.  I spent more time re-threading my machine than sewing. Then my sister showed me this little trick.  Just hold your thread out to the side as shown for the first couple stitches.  So simple. why didn’t I think of that?

When you get to a corner make sure the needle is down, lift the foot and rotate the fabric till it is lined up where you need it.  This also works well when you are trying to do a round piece.  Just lift the foot every now and then.

When sewing smaller pieces it is easier if you take off the sleeve around the base.

That’s it today, but next week….oh next week.  You just wait.  It’s going to be fun!

Do you have any tips for me?

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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Miranda March 5, 2010 at 11:25 pm

Destri! This coat is to die for. Oh my goodness, I must learn how to make that. I hope I can find fabric as adorable as those little birdies!

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Destri March 5, 2010 at 11:28 pm

Oh so glad you like it!! I was giddy when I finished it!

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Katie March 5, 2010 at 11:40 pm

I love this coat! It’s so cute. I really want to make it for my 8-month old!

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Destri March 6, 2010 at 6:52 am

It goes from six months up…Send pics if you do!!

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Karin March 6, 2010 at 12:13 am

That’s an adorable little coat. She looks so cute in it. Great job!

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Destri March 6, 2010 at 6:52 am

Thank you thank you!

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Stephanie March 6, 2010 at 12:14 am

who makes the fabric?? I love the coat and the fabric choice!!

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Destri March 6, 2010 at 6:51 am

I will find out! I bought the fabric at Gracie Lou’s in Salem if you are in UT. I will let you know when I have it.

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Fruitful Fusion March 6, 2010 at 2:49 am

What a lovely coat! And a great post! I’m a novice with the sewing machine and trying to make my first garment (a dress/tunic). So these tips were very much appreciated!

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shirley March 6, 2010 at 6:00 am

So cute! I am going to have to look for some boy patterns. I see lot of cute things for girls, but my boys are lacking. My sewing experience is limited to PJs & a a blanket or two. You have inspired me!

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Destri March 6, 2010 at 6:50 am

Shirley, If you click on the link to more information on the pattern then go to their home page. Click on patterns and you will see there is a little boy jacket that it similar to this one with out the gathering!

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Kim March 6, 2010 at 6:56 am

That coat is so very cute!! How do you find time to sew? I love to sew, but there just isn’t enough time in my day. :-( I need to reorganize my schedule.

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Destri March 7, 2010 at 1:38 pm

Honestly, that is why I love going to classes…you go home with a finished product!

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Julie March 6, 2010 at 7:07 am

Thanks for the sewing tips! I just started sewing and have been wondering how to turn corners!

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Melissa March 6, 2010 at 7:12 am

I use to lose my thread every time too. Drove me batty. Finally, I figured out that if the foot was up there was less tension on the thread, so now I pull the needle thread a few inches and drop the needle before I set the presser foot down. Problem solved.

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Erin March 6, 2010 at 7:27 am

So cute! I love the fabric you picked!

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Mauri March 6, 2010 at 8:29 am

Adorable coat! I could see my little girl in it.

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maria March 6, 2010 at 10:49 am

So adorable Destri! Miss E. Looks so fabulous too. You really are inspiring. I need to get more organized so I can rekindle my creative juices.

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Ivana March 6, 2010 at 11:25 am

Your post made me think about the difficulties I’ll have when I start sewing… It’s high on my list, but for now it has to wait until I feel like I’m settled in one country for more than a year :) In any case, even with knitting conceputalizing how certain pieces go together is what I find the hardest. Since sewing is ALL ABOUT doing just that, I think it might be more of an effort for me. But perhaps it will help me finally develop that area of my brain ;)
Adorable little coat! :)

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Destri March 7, 2010 at 1:43 pm

am pretty certain that sewing is easier than knitting!!! I don’t know why, but knitting scares the begeezeez out of me!

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maleahbliss March 7, 2010 at 7:05 pm

Knitting is fun, but crocheting is easier! It’s much more free-form. I make up my own patterns when I crochet all the time. It’s super fun and really easy. I have a baby boy and have found that there are few accessories for boys. :( So I’ve taken to making him cute hats. :) They’re quick to make and the conceptualizing part is fun. The favorite so far is the dinosaur hat.

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Christina March 6, 2010 at 2:59 pm

Thanks for the bobbin-loading tutorial! I kid you not, many-a time has gone by when I just cannot figure out what’s wrong with my darned machine. Almost always, its the 4th or 18th bobbin re-loading that fixes the problem. Why must the simplest things be so hard?

And, LOVE the jacket! Wish I were gutsy enough to undertake it! :)

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Destri March 7, 2010 at 1:44 pm

I know, that was a life savor for me too. It really was not hard!!! Try it!

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Kate March 6, 2010 at 7:27 pm

Holy crap Destri – you made that???? I mean I knew you were a bit niffty with a Singer, but that little coat wants me to go and have a little lady in amongst all this testosterone! Beautiful my love, beautiful.

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Destri March 7, 2010 at 1:45 pm

Ahh thanks Kate…they have a boy version too…you should check it out!

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Suzanne March 6, 2010 at 10:01 pm

So adorable….oh the coat too! Your model is precious and growing up too fast. Love, love , love the coat!

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Destri March 7, 2010 at 1:45 pm

way, way to fast.

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Shasta March 7, 2010 at 11:52 am

Ahhh…the glory of knowing I taught you all things relevant…bwahaha just kidding! For those wondering what the fabric line is, it’s called Frippery by Andover Fabrics. The red dot is Moda Dots. I think we should try to find some red polka dot wellies for Beni.

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Destri March 7, 2010 at 1:46 pm

hehehe……the best part is if I am wrong I have someone to refer to! Thank you for the fabric names, I will have to add them to the post.

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Aubrey March 7, 2010 at 8:07 pm

What an adorable coat Destri! I am sooooooooooo impressed. I can’t wait to see it in person! Of course I love the scarf too!

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MakingTime March 8, 2010 at 11:09 pm

Very beautiful! What sort of weight is the material? And is it cotton?

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Destri March 18, 2010 at 8:15 am

It is cotton, and it is a heavier weight, I will find out for sure and let you know!

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Andrea March 18, 2010 at 3:32 pm

That fabric is awesome!! I love the pattern too. So cute. You did a great job!

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Danna May 26, 2010 at 2:35 pm

To keep from losing your thread make sure your take up lever (the lever on the front of your machine that you thread through) ends in the up position and you will never lose thread when you start you machine again. You are losing it because it has to go up to create the first stitch and then it takes the thread with it. Make sense?

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Destri May 26, 2010 at 3:01 pm

You may have just changed my life. For reals. How come no one has ever told me that!! Thanks Danna!

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Danna May 27, 2010 at 1:02 pm

You are so welcome! I didn’t know that for years until I asked my mother in law why it was doing that and she told me how to solve it. Who knew!!

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Munaiba May 26, 2010 at 4:13 pm

That coat is really gorgeous. I didn’t notice the upside down birds till you mentioned it. That is exactly the sort of thing that I do so I know how you feel but really it doesn’t matter it looks stunning. Well done.
I also have some sewing tips. You can find them here: http://sewjournal.wordpress.com/2010/05/25/four-tips-for-the-sew-mama-sew/

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Clover@farrbetterlife August 14, 2010 at 10:50 am

Hi! THis jacket is too cute. I have a thing for jackets even though I live in Southern California and dont wear them that often:-) I cant seem to link to your links with in the post. Can you email me the details of the pattern. i would love to give it a try even though I am a beginner. Also thanks for the tips! I am self teacing based off all the wonder ful sewing blogs out there.

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