Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Shop Update

Hi friends!

I didn't take the time earlier to explain what's currently in my Etsy store so let me do that now. All the coats have been sold, and two of the Bunny-&-Carrot sets. There is still one Bunny set left, 

and a couple of Bunny mini bags,

and Bunny kits (fabric and notions for making Bunnies) for just $20!

Also in the store is a family of Cat & Kittens. The kittens store in the belly of the mother cat, inside a zippered compartment.

Emily is making new wizarding wands for the store (or maybe getting a head start for the summer kids'c craft fair). When they're ready, I'll let you know so you can browse and buy!

Alpha pattern respondees: get your Bunny & Carrot pattern at 50% off before the end of the year - the code expires on Dec 31st. 

Monday, December 18, 2017

Coat for a Bunny Part Two

Welcome back for the second part of the Bunny Coat tutorial! In Part One, we learned to sew two versions of the hood - the simpler version without ear openings and the more twisty-turny version with.  In this second part, we're putting the rest of the coat together. It's a fully-lined coat without any exposed seam allowances, and in order to achieve that, we'll be constructing this coat using a completely different sequence than you might be used to when putting a typical sleeved garment together. There'll be some inside-out twisty-turny stuff happening, so it'll be a fun ride!

Please be reminded that this tutorial is meant for non-commercial use only.

Let's recap: this is our cutting plan, which I lifted from Part One:

  1. Hood Side (cut one pair)
  2. Hood Top (cut one)
  3. Coat Sleeve (lay out on the fold of the fabric and cut two)
  4. Coat Front (cut one pair)
  5. Coat Back (cut one pair)
  6. Hook-and-loop tape (4.5" x 1/2" or 3/8")
  7. Button Strip (1.5" x 1/2" rectangle; round off the short ends)

This is the identical layout/cutting plan for the lining pieces (key below photo), with the exception of the hook-and-loop tape and back button strip
  1. Hood Side (cut one pair)
  2. Hood Top (cut one)
  3. Coat Sleeve (lay out on the fold of the fabric and cut two)
  4. Coat Front (cut one pair)
  5. Coat Back (cut one pair)

Here are those outer and lining pieces superimposed over each other so you can see the corresponding matches. Make sure that you have all the pieces cut out (with relevant SA!) before you begin sewing.

Step 1: Prepare the sleeves
We want a rolled cuff effect for the sleeves so that the lining doesn't peek out. 

To achieve this, we're simply going to make the sleeve lining shorter than the outer sleeve. Principle: when sewn together, the outer sleeve's extra fabric will fold over the sleeve lining's hem. Easy. 

Cut off 1/2" of the straight edge of the sleeve LINING. Leave the outer sleeve as is - the extra length needed to roll over the lining layer into a cuff has already been added into the template.

Do this for both sleeve lining pieces. You'll now have two pairs of outer-lining sleeves, in which the lining pieces are 1/2" shorter than the outer pieces.

Step 2: Assemble the outer body
Lay out the six outer body pieces (including the sleeves) RS up on your work surface, as shown:

We're going to join the sleeves to the front and back pieces along their raglan lines DE. Note that the sleeve is symmetrical, without distinct front or back halves so both raglan lines are labeled the same: DE. Similarly, the raglan lines on the coat front and coat back are also both labeled DE, so that you can join either of the sleeve's raglan lines to the coat front or coat back. You must NOT join the coat front to the coat back directly along the line DE. 

So, with RS together, sew one sleeve to the coat front along DE. Then sew the other line DE of the same sleeve to the coat back. Repeat (in mirror image) with the second sleeve, sewing it to the second coat front and coat back pieces. Finally, with RS together, sew the long straight sides HJ of the coat back pieces together to form the center back seam. When finished, your outer coat body should look like the photo below. At this point, you can also sew on the back Button Strip. I simply edge-stitched it on across the center back seam. Set this aside until Step 4.

Step 3: Assemble the coat body lining
Repeat Step 2 with the six body lining pieces, but do NOT join the back pieces along their center back seam. See the gap between the back pieces? The two halves of the coat body lining need to remain separate. Set aside until Step 5.

Step 4: Attach the hood to the outer coat body.
In Part One of this coat tutorial, we'd made a hood either 

without ear openings                       or with.

Let's attach that hood now. Take the outer coat body from Step 2 and lay it RS up on your work surface. Gently (we don't ever stretch a neckline!) spread out the neckline so it is as straight as possible without pulling it taut. Lay the hood on the outer body so that
  • their RS are together
  • the hood is upside down
  • the back edge of the hood CBHBC aligns with the neckline of the coat
  • the back midpoint of the hood H matches up with point H on the neckline
  • the corners C of the hood match up with points C along the neckline (depending on how stretchy your fabric is and how precise you were with the SAs while sewing the hood, these C points may not exactly match up, which is okay. More important is that the hood be centered along the neckline, so make sure that at the very least the H points match up).

Baste the SA of the hood to the SA of the neckline.

This is what the RS of the outer coat should look like now with the hood attached:

Step 5: Sew the sleeve layers together
Lay the two halves of the body lining on either side of the outer body with the corresponding matching pieces (outer coat front-to-coat front lining, outer coat back-to-coat back lining, etc.) next to each other (the next photo shows this pairing more clearly). We'll be sewing the straight edges FF of the sleeves together as shown:

Flip and lay the lining pieces on the outer coat so that their RS together and all the corresponding parts in each layer match up (coat front-to-coat front, coat back-to-coat back, sleeve-to-sleeve). Sew along the straight edge of both sleeves as shown.

This crazy looking thing is what you'll have now. 

Step 6: Complete one sleeve and side seam
With RS together, now fold the sleeves along their midline. In the process, bring together the outer coat front and back pieces, and (separately) the coat front and back lining pieces. We're going to sew the side seam of the outer coat and coat lining, and the sleeve seam. With RS together, sew from point G of the outer coat to the armpit E, then along the sleeve through their connection point F, to the armpit E of the lining and down to G of the lining. 

Step 7: Complete the other sleeve and side seam
Repeat Step 6 with the other sleeve to get this. Now the side seams of both outer and lining layers are sewn, the sleeve layers are connected at the cuff, and the sleeves themselves are completed. 

Step 8: Sew the lining CB seam
Separate the lining coat body layers to expose the RS of the back pieces. Bring the back lining pieces together so their RS are touching and their long straight edges HJ align. 

Sew along HJ to make the lining center back seam. 

From the top view, you can see that the entire garment is a sort of loop. 

Step 9: Sew the neckline
This part takes some maneuvering, so don't rush through the instructions. 
First, lay the outer coat RS up on your work surface and flatten is as best you can. Push the coat lining out of the way.
Next, flip the hood upside down again to expose the neck seam you sewed in Step 4.

Then lay the lining on the outer coat so their RS are together. Align their necklines, matching up the midpoints H and the corner points K.

The hood will be sandwiched between the two layers.

This is how it will look when you've matched up the points and aligned the neckline. Sew along the neckline KHK through all layers, securing the hood between them in the process. 

This is the view from the outer coat side. Now we're going to sew the remaining seams, but the sleeves are in the way, so pull them up over the shoulders. 

Step 10: Sew the layers together
Now that the sleeves are over the shoulders, the front seams and bottom hem of the coat are unobstructed. Match up the sides of the outer coat and coat lining and sew from K to L, then from L along the bottom hem to the other corner L, and back up again to the other upper corner K. Leave a gap anywhere along this seam (I like leaving mine in the bottom hem) to turn everything RS out. Clip any corner SA where the fabric might be bulky. If you are using a woven fabric, snip the SA along the neckline so it will lay flat when turned RS out.

Step 11: Turn Everything RS Out a.k.a. Abracadabra
Go ahead. You know you can't wait to see if it worked. 

Yes, it did - rolled cuffs and all!

Lining side: no exposed SA. Huzzah!

Step 11: Final details
First, hand-stitch that opening shut. Alternatively, you could edge-stitch around the coat and close the opening in the process. 

Next, attach your choice of fastening. I used hook-and-loop tape, but you could use snaps (press-studs) or buttons with actual button holes, or hooks-and-eyes. The position of the fastening depends on whether your Bunny is going to wear this coat ears-in or ears-out (which is why I did not include any position markers on the templates). Put the coat on your Bunny to try the fit, and then mark your own positions.

Add embellishments! I used buttons 

and hand-sewn saddle-stitching (I used pearl cotton or 4 strands of embroidery floss),

but you can add faux welt pockets and belt loops and whatever floats your boat. For added inspiration here are photos of another coat I made for Jenna's bear Bearaby, which has faux welt pockets (a rectangle of stitching)

and a back kick pleat (you'll have to design this into your template from the start, though).

Here is the completed coat!

Don't forget the saddle bag

filled with carrots.

Happy sewing, friends!

And Merry Christmas!