Sunday, July 26, 2009

PC coat.

PC stands for Play Centre, but given the floral lining (no gender stereotyping) and decoration (an embroidered motif honouring our bilingual commitment to Te Tiriti) PC could easily stand for something else in this little jacket I made for my son to wear to Play Centre. When my husband saw it he laughed and said, "let's move to Grey Lynn." (Sorry, will have to kill the joke by explaining it to non-Aucklanders ...Grey Lynn is where the trendy liberal yuppies live.)

I have learned my lesson with micro-polyester and stay stitched and clipped the neckline before sewing it. Much better! Still, I was reminded afresh that it is really hard to sew something without any pins, anywhere. Next time I will just buy my son's wet weather gear, and consider it money well spent.

It's been a week of lessons actually. As I watched Gok's Fashion fix on Friday I was reminded afresh how important it is to have your own personal style. Gok's got a passion for fashion, and his kindness and bonhomie are endearing, but really, who wants to look like they've been dressed by a flamboyant stylist? Everything's so big - big hair, big belts, big bags, it made me grateful that no matter how badly I dress on any particular day, I always look like I dressed myself.

Like everyone struggling to create a workable wardrobe, I've read my fair share of planning books. I had an "ah ha" moment when reading "Women's wardrobe" by K Gross and J Stone . "Imagine you go on holiday and the airline loses your luggage, what do you need to replace? Those are your basics". I thought about my wardrobe and I realised that I buy basics, but I sew decoration. I sew things to go with the basics. The coats, the jackets, the skirts. That's because basics are really boring to sew.

Another "ah ha" moment - I like sewing details. I love: yolks, buttons, top stitching, piping, collars, pockets, placats, pintucks, bias trims, ribbons, fur, anything that makes something look interesting. Unless I can find a way to smarten up a basic, I'm just too bored to even bother starting it. Which is why I end up with a closet of clothes, but nothing to wear.

So next month's sewing theme is "not-very-basic basics."

Coat: outside, micro polyester, lining brushed cotton courtesy of Nana's Lady
Pattern: Burda 9828


  1. I'm intrigued. I like the idea of "not-very-basic" basics. Whatcha have in mind???

  2. Cute coat, especially loving the lining. I'm a sucker for cheeky insides ;-)
    PS Glad you explained the joke because I, ah, didn't get it. LOL

  3. Why is it so hard to find good quality basics. I swear there is a market to sell good quality T-shirts in different styles & colours because finding good ones is really hard. Look forward to seeing what your 'not very basic basics' are like...

  4. I'm hearin' ya! It took one of my sisters to point out that I had a closet full of evening dresses (for a stay-at-home, don't have a babysitter mum), but no t-shirts, black pants, black dress, black anything, white shirt etc etc). Let's see how long you can stay on the basics straight and narrow...bust of luck.

  5. Noice....very PC PC clothes, indeed ;-) You two are going to be one stylishly raincoated pair!

    I'm not so good on sewing basics, either; in fact, till the last few years I only sewed "going out" type clothes...back in the days when I, y'know, actually WENT out to places other than Pak N Save. Looking forward to seeing what basics you come up with!

    PS Have chosen a pattern for the tailoring course, I think: BWOF 08-2008-115.

  6. I totally agree with you regarding Gok. I love the show, but his subjects end up with some absolute winners and some outfits you need a stylist on hand to pull off. (I almost always vote for the designer picks in the end parade. Does that make me classy or snobby?)
    I don't mind sewing basics though, since once fit is sorted I can turn them out in my sleep (always a good thing in this house!) I really enjoy the challenging aspects of construction, but after a very complicated pattern it's nice to turn out a pair of baby trousers which don't require thought. (After a few pairs of baby pants I'm screaming for evening wear!)

    I LOVE the PC coats you've made. I wonder how long it'll take before someone asks about your daughter, or if his coat was a hand me down. People just don't understand that boys can (and should) wear florals. Good for you!

  7. That coat is ka pai and I'm sure he will taonga wearing it at PC, especially since it was a koha from his whanau.

  8. Me, too. Intrigued by not-so-basic basic.

    Totally cute jacket.

    I've decided early on that I will not sew any jackets or hoodies for my kids. They have no fitting issues, so I can easily find clothes for them. And they outgrow them so quickly!

    Nevertheless, lessons learned are lessons learned. I'll keep yours in mind while I think about making a rain coat for myself.

  9. I love reading about what you like specifically about sewing. There are so many different elements to be fascinated by.
    I raincoat is precious.

  10. I will say it again, you are amazing with that sewing machine. And I'm delighted to see that cute fabric put to very very very good use as well as perfectly PC. Very nice!

  11. Woah, the Hekes have got quite the outfits! I see some Prada influence there.