My Finished Deer & Doe Luzerne Trench Coat!

Hello again…let’s get this coat finished!

I proceed with sewing my coat like an F1 driver on the home stretch…I want it done and impatience has set in. I’m mindful of this and try and force myself to pay due care and attention…to not rush to the finishing line…but still I find myself easily irritated and rushing anyway. And this is the quandary; I know not to sew when I’m in this mood – mistakes likely happen – but given that my mood is underpinned by bloody-mindedness, I carry on.

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My Deer & Doe ‘Luzerne Trench Coat’ Makers Diary – Part 4 : Collar and Facings

“Mom, I’ve spilt my drink all over the floor”… “Mom, can you make me a sandwich?”… “Mom, there’s a wasp in the lounge!” … Oh the joys of trying to sew when the kids are off school for the summer!

But sew I do. We’ve agreed that Mommy can sew in the morning and we’ll do stuff together in the afternoon. I can’t sew in the evening as a rule, my brain just doesn’t work. In fairness, it doesn’t always fully function in the daytime either but, slurping coffee, it stands somewhat of a better chance!

So back to sewing my Trench Coat!

I left off last time with just needing to Read More

Deer & Doe Luzerne Trench Coat : A Makers Diary – Days 2 and 3

Hello there!

Thank you for joining me again in my quest to sew the Deer & Doe Luzerne Trench Coat (if you want to catch up on Day 1, you can read it here). Today I’m covering pattern alterations, cutting out and clueing up on bound buttonholes!

Whilst waiting impatiently for the fabric and supplies I’ve ordered from Minerva Crafts to arrive, I use the time to consider what, if any, alterations I want to make to my traced out pattern pieces. I feel pretty sure that the basic Deer & Doe block fits me well; they design for a fuller bust (C/D cup) so I wasn’t concerned that I’d need to do an FBA. However, I was a bit unsure as to the sleeve length on this pattern. I consider myself petite in height (I’m 5.3″) but sewing their Melilot shirt revealed that, surprisingly, I didn’t need to take anything out of the length of that sleeve. Looking at the Luzerne sleeve pattern piece though, it looks way too long for me. Mmmm. What to do … Read More

A Makers’ Diary – The Deer & Doe Luzerne Trench Coat : Day 1


I’m starting something a little bit different today…a short series of blog posts covering the one, more involved, make. I’ve come back to my sewing table really craving a longer-term project. I’ve reached the point, I think, whereas to curb getting jaded, I need to push myself out of my safety zone and learn some new techniques. I want to invest the time to sew a garment that I should be able to wear for years; a project to breathe new life into my sewing bones, if you will.

So what did I decide upon? Never mind that the sun has been beating down and ‘cracking the slabs’ these past few weeks, what I want to sew … is a coat. One of my 2018 Make Nine, to be exact, the Deer & Doe Luzerne Trench Coat.

This short series then is about sharing the whole process of making this coat in, more or less, ‘real time’… Read More

Carolyn Pajamas : Sewing the Collar & Lapels – a Photo Tutorial type thingy!

I’ve sewn two pairs of Carolyn PJ’s to date with a third pair in my sewing queue. I think it’s fair to say my love for this pattern has been well documented both here on my blog and over in my Instagram feed! A few of you have commented that you’re keen to sew them up too but are perhaps a little daunted at the prospect of constructing the notched collar/lapel. I know I certainly was at the start!

So I took photos of the main steps in the process of sewing the collar and lapel when I made my second set, which I thought I’d share here in case anybody else would find it useful. And, let’s be honest, as an aide-memoire to myself in case my ageing/befuddled brain forgets everything by the time I get around to the third pair!  Seriously! Certainly it’s not meant as a substitute for the pattern instructions or the really useful post on the Closet Case Files blog, which are both really excellent. I guess I’m hoping this just aides what you will find there; I’m a very visual person so the more photos or diagrams from different perspectives that I can study when approaching a new technique, then all the better! If you’re the same, then this is for you! :-)) These do not cover piping I hasten to add…just the basic construction of sewing the collar and lapels to the body of the shirt.

Enough waffling, let’s sew already!

1. You’ve already part constructed the collar. Now comes the part where you join the bottom collar to the shirt. Take care to match notches and circles. Just take it slowly, stop occasionally with your needle down, lift your presser foot and adjust your fabric as you sew so your seam is nice and neat.

Collar lapels Carolyn Pajamas closet case files sewalong

2. At the centre back neckline, you want to make sure that your top collar slightly overlaps your just-sewn seam so it’s completely hidden. Topstitch.

Collar lapels Carolyn Pajamas pyjamas

3. Pin and baste each side shirt neckline/top-collar seams.

Sewalong tutorial closet case files collar lapels

4. Once you’ve finished the raw outside (straighter) edge of your lapel facings as directed in the pattern instructions, pin lapels to shirt fronts, right sides together, being ultra careful to ensure you are again matching circles. Pin and sew from the bottom. You will need to curve your lapel when you reach the top to join your previously basted side neckline/collar seams. Make sure you STOP sewing when you reach the shoulder seam.

Closet case files sewalong tutorial Carolyn pajamas

5. Notch and grade seams and turn right side out. When you press make sure your seam lines are pressed away from the visual front to the underside. Remember, on your lapel, this changes at the point where the first button will go. use your button guide pattern piece to determine where this is.

Sewalong tutorial Carolyn pajamas pyjamas

6. The pattern instructions state you can either wrap and hand sew the remaining lapel ‘flap’ under the shoulder seam or stitch in the ditch from the outside. I saved myself some hassle and hand sewed it. It’s also worth noting that when you sew your shoulder seams earlier on in the construction process, the pattern instructions don’t mention finishing the seam. By all means finish it, just don’t trim or serge any of!

Closet case files Carolyn Pajamas sewalong

Tada!!!! All done!!! You will enclose the lapel facings and topstitch around the entire edge of the lapels and collar at the very end (if you’ve got an edgestitch or stitch in the ditch foot, all the better!)  There’s nothing else fiddly or head-scratchy with this pattern, honest!

Let me know, was this in any way useful?!

Until next time,

Sarah X

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