Monday, March 11, 2013

Legions of Latches

If you are ever looking for interesting and unique closures have I got the place for you! I stumbled across them while doing a search for coat closures. Patterns of Time has a huge array of neat pewter and other metal buttons, closures and buckles, along with all sorts of historical patterns and clothing. The website itself is kind of bland and hard to navigate, but the products wonderful and the shipping pretty darn fast. What all this means is that I finished up on the coat. And of course having done that, spring has also arrived.

 Yesterday was topping 60 and we are expecting like weather all week. Rhonda is happy to model in any weather so here you go.


The final finishing was not without struggle. That was a kind way of putting it. Making the tabs and getting the machine over all those thick concentrated layers of wool and horsehair interfacing, was in a nutshell, a bugger. I found the limits of my Pfaff, but we got it done.  And here is a final photo of the lining complete.

 The coat is itself is heavy and luxurious feeling. The cashmere blend soft and warm. I couldn't be happier with this coat and hope to get many years of hard wear out of it. One thing is for sure, I know how to replace the lining should that wear out before the shell does. The other thing is that Michelle is waiting for a picture of me in it, and I'll get soon as it's cold again and I'm not schlepping around in old sweatpants and a sweater that is more dog hair than anything else at this point.

After all that coat work I wanted something simple, fast and fun.

 I find Indygo Junction patterns to be nicely drafted and not requiring too much thought or prep work to complete. The TV dinner of the sewing world! They keep markings and such to a minimum. Put the pieces together and just sew. This one is their Retro Raglan Jacket.

It still needs a few buttons and to be hemmed but from pattern to garment was about 5 hours, counting multiple interruptions. And check out the vintage tablecloth piece used for the collar lining. Dogwoods!

Remember that last awaited gift I alluded to? It is not a puppy, but if it was, it would be a something big and strong with a lot of bite! There is a back story to this. Last summer a friend who was embarking on a new journey in her life found herself without a decent working sewing machine. I had not been using my old Singer 401A since doing upholstery work on the love seats. It just seemed like a match and off the two of them went happily together. Fast forward to the mid-century modern furniture invasion we had here. There will be a need for a heavy duty sewing machine again. You just know it, and so do I. The Pfaffs will handle it, but not anchored in a table makes it difficult, and I don't want to tie up my free arm machines in one. The need has been fulfilled perfectly.

 This is a vintage mid-seventies Kenmore 158.14301. He has a big Japanese made motor and a huge lift for the presser foot. He came too late for the coat work and honestly, until he is set in a table, it is hard to use.

 This model was meant for a case or cabinet only. It doesn't have the 4 little legs (only 2 on the motor end), to just set it on a table top. It is in pristine condition. It was bought and never used. All metal.

 Put away for years. It has been gone through, oiled, tuned up and ready to go once a cabinet is found. I do so love the hunt! :)

And now, it's off to clean house. Oh joy, oh happy day....

Parting shot: Peter,  I love your beautiful little funny face.


  1. Oh WOW! I still have my Kenmore machine that I bought in 1975!!! And, after years of not being used, I recently put it back into service. What a workhorse! Have fun! Peter...what a cutie!

  2. Love the Kenmore and how lucky are you to find a "new" one. I sewed right through a modern Kenmore - all the plastic gears did not stand a chance - learned my lesson.

    Peter you are indeed an adorable funny face!

  3. That coat is gorgeous, and what a great job you did on it! I'm sure winter is not done with us, and you will most likely get the chance to put it to use. Give Peter a pat for me, what a cute face!....Anna

  4. I still have my Kenmore from 1973, my high school graduation present, it was top of the line then with all the cams for decorative stitches. It's a nice heavy workhorse of a machine that is now living on the coast for beach sewing.

    Love your coat!

  5. beautiful coat and that vintage style jacket is fab! congrats on the new machine! my hubby is tunning up and putting new electrical cords on my old 1940's brother. i love a good solid all metal machine. of courses im not the talented seamstress you are. :)

  6. Stopping back by to see that gorgeous coat, that terrific jacket, that awesome Kenmore and the funniest Peter face ever!

    Like Cindy I still have y Kenmore from works but needs a tune up as do all my other newer machines. That Kenmore can do anything you ask of it.

  7. The coat is beautiful. I like the dogwoods peeking out of the color on the jacket. I lust after a industrial sewing machine, having used one with a walking foot for making chaps. I don't have any idea what I'd do with it, but it would be neat... (can you say "hoarder"?).

    My sister helped me fit a pattern during her visit, and we're trading dressforms. I had gotten "Lola" for a fiber booth accessory, but was pretty sure she was a close fit for my sis. She had gotten Mom's press-to fit wire dress form, and hadn't used it. I've been informed that Lola is happy in her new home, and "Gina" (our Mom's name was Jeanne) is on her way to me! I'm really excited.

    Now to find time to sew in between work, dyeing fiber for shows, and trying to get my horse in shape!

  8. Your coat is fabulous, including the hardware. Very nice. I love IndygoJunction patterns as well. Your jacket is terrific. Nice sewing!

  9. Well done on the coat! I bet it will make you smile every time you put it on. Nice find on the closures, as that makes a huge difference on how a coat looks.
    Oh, to find a pristine used sewing machine like that! Have fun searching for a sewing cabinet to put it in :-)

  10. Judy, The sewing machine is in amazing condition and just right for those heavyweight projects. I might also add, it is whisper quiet.

    gwensews, Oh, the IJ patterns are just so much fun. I like that they can be crafty for some, but at the heart of it, some really good solid patterns.

    Laura, I'm sure you find uses for a commercial machine. I see them quite often here listed for pretty cheap. How exciting Gina is on her way. What pattern did you two work on fitting?

    LOTL, Good to hear from you. Isn't Peter's face just the sweetest. When I picture him in my mind's eye, that is just how he looks to me.

    prttynpnk THANK YOU!

    Heather, I bet you do just fine sewing and how fun to have that vintage Brother being spruced up for use!

    Cindie, I loked at one with the cams and thought them quite nifty, but with all the other sewing machines here I really didn't need decorative stitches on this machine. The condition and free shipping sold us.

    Anna, Thank you. I adore the coat. It's probably one of the best things I've ever made. I don't adore it anywhere near as much as I do Peter though...Pats doled out in your honor!

    Martha, This 70's Kenmore is a nice vintage, still has the steel guts but the lighter aluminum body. It is whisper quiet too. None of my other machines are as quiet.

    LA, My Mom had an old Kenmore ( much older than this new to me one) that served her well for many years although it was not as nice as this one. Good to know from others that they are workhorses.

  11. Wow, I love the way you tackle the sewing challenges and how professional the results always turn out. And I love buttons and closures of all sorts. So thank for the source!

  12. Don't worry about not being able to wear your new fabulous coat...we still have time for more snow before the real Spring arrives! Love the dogwood facing cheerful and bright. So glad to managed to conquer the closure challenge and power through the stitching! Love the new cool machine...the oldies are goodies!

  13. I found your blog through Pattern Review.
    Thanks for sharing your process on the coat. It looks lovely and very well made. You've inspired me to get going on my own duffle coat before spring arrives. :)