Akram's Ideas
Akram's Ideas: 2015 Sew-tember Sew Along: Planning & Fabric

2015 Sew-tember Sew Along : Planning & Fabrics

First I want to start by thanking everyone in joining me on my first ever self hosted 2015 Sew-tember Sew Along. If you haven’t already officially joined our Flickr group https://www.flickr.com/groups/2015-sew-tember-v1083/ you can do so at anytime between now and 2nd week of October, when our unofficial deadline is. Joining the group gives you a place to discuss the project and share photos of your progress. Also, feel free to add the official sew along badge to your website/blog, you can get that here.

Second and perhaps more importantly, I want to state that I am not a sewing expert, I’m probably a novice sewer at best. I do what I can and YouTube what I don’t know. This sew along is as much a learning process for me as it will be for everyone else. With that said, I’m happy to share with you what I learn and any tips and tricks I happen to come across as I work through this project. Feel free to share your tips and tricks as well, this should make this both a fun and learning experience.

Project Planning

Alright, now to get started with this sew along! Hopefully you’ve had a chance to get yourself the pattern we will be using Vogue V1083. Now to be honest you could sew along with any swing coat pattern, even a vintage one if you prefer. However, my posts will be focused on the Vogue pattern.

Before starting a project I like to start by planning out all the details using my sewing project planner I came up with.

The basis for this project planner came from the Iowa Home Economics Association Unit Method of Sewing book copyrighted 1955. This book I found about a year ago in an antique store. Inside the book was a great measurement chart that had a place for you to put your measurements, the pattern  measurements and notes for difference / alterations.

Measurement Chart from my Unit of Sewing Book
Measurement Chart from my Unit of Sewing Book


Sewing Project Planner

I decided that I wanted to create my sewing project chart. I also had come across some planners online that included places for fabric swatches and even inspiration sketches. Eventually I decided to combine all my favorite elements and make my very own sewing project planner.

There are some sewing project planner sheets online, even a nice once from Burda, but not all are free. So, I thought for this sew along I would share mine with you.

Also, note that for more sketch bodies I opted to draw a more retro cartoon figure than the traditional fashion model croquis. Why you ask? Simply because the retro cartoon figure is more me, and that’s how I draw anyways.

Sewing Project Planner
Sewing Project Planner


The sewing project planner sheets can be downloaded here (http://bit.ly/1i9qxbg). The sheet should be pretty self-explanatory.

You might also notice the Pattern Stash logo at the top of the page. I’ll talk more about that later this month, but in short I’m working on a new project called Akram’s Pattern Stash.

Fabric Choices

Alright once you have your plan written out let’s talk fabric. The pattern has an array of fabric choices, such as Camel’s Hair, Ottoman and Wool Broadcloth.

Camel’s Hair is a very soft fabric, ottoman is a more silky fabric while wool broadcloth (unrelated to cotton broadcloth) has a velvety nap. Each of these fabrics would make a good choice for this coat and all are relatively soft in feel and texture.


However, for me I have decided to make mine out of fleece. Why? Because I have sewn with fleece before and just love how easy it is to work with. Not to mention fleece is so soft, cozy and warm. Second, I have a lot of fleece which I got after winning the the Your Fleece Fashion Contest.

Granted fleece is not the best to wear in wet weather as it doesn’t take to water well. Thus, my coat is going to be a more autumn coat than a heavy winter snow coat.

Lining and Interfacing

So, with that said my plan will be to sew this coat using red fleece with a white satin lining for contrast. Also, this combination should give me the look of a particular vintage Barbie outfit I’ve always admired.

I've always loved the look of this coat
I’ve always loved the look of this coat



Now this particular pattern includes an interlining as well as interfacing. The idea behind the interlining is to have an added layer of warmth to the coat.

However, after consulting Miss Linda, my mother-in-law and sewing expert, she suggested not using an interlining because, fleece would probably be warm enough for an autumn coat.


The last thing to consider is the interfacing. The pattern calls for Hair Canvas interfacing, which is  woven interfacing that allows for crisp detail or firm control.

While hair canvas interfacing is common in coat construction it is also more experience as interfacing goes. Second, I’m not sure how much crisp detail is needed when you are using a softer outer fabric.

When I made my niece’s fleece coat, I used regular medium weight fusible interfacing and it seemed to work well.

Thus, I’ve decided to either go with a medium weight fusible interfacing or a fusible fleece interfacing. The fleece interfacing should also give an added layer of warmth to the coat, so I’m hoping to find this at a good price.

In Conclusion

Remember I’m not an expert and while I love vintage style, I’m all for cheap and simple when it comes to sewing projects. So, we will see how this project turns out.

The suggests I’ve made are merely suggestions. Feel free to take them with a grain of salt, and derive your own plan of action as you see fit. I am eager to hear how everyone else will be making this project.

We’ll that’s it for this part of the sew along. Next time we will be taking a look at cutting out our fabric.

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Akram's Ideas: 2015 Sew-tember Sew Along: Planning & Fabric

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Akram Taghavi-Burris

designer, writer, educator, tech nerd, crafter, baker, sewer and vintage collector, who Brings Creative & Crazy Ides to Life.

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