Thursday, March 20, 2014

Owl Coat, Eva Blouse, Ginger Skirt, leggings

I said I would post the results of the Albion coat contest that I entered. I am putting the link in here so that you can click on it and decide for yourself who you think was the winner and who the group picked as the winner for first, second and third place. Here you will find a list of all the people who entered the contest. If you want to see more photos of anyone just click on the photo shown there and it will lead you to all the photos that were available for us to make our decisions.
No, I did not win the $2,000 Bernina sewing machine or even get mentioned. That part is a Bummer. But the good part is even more valuable - I learned a lot!!!!! Time to put on my protective owl coat I made a couple years ago. 

Really, I feel better already in my magic owl coat! It works! 

When I entered the contest I told a friend that I knew it was the right thing to do because it would "show me where I stand" in the community of sewists that I have been learning from, buying their patterns, following their blogs tutorials, etc. What I thought it would show me is where I stand in terms of how good of a sewer I am. I had NO IDEA that this was going to be a lesson about where I stand in terms of beliefs and values!

I used the same technique for the embroidery here as with the Albion Coat. No, I do not have an embroidery sewing machine! I use a very simple, old 6019 Janome. I use a walking foot and move the felt under it- a quilting method I learned from Ellen Eddy's book called Thread Magic Garden at

 The ONLY people who voted on the Albion Coat contest were the sewers themselves. We were not allowed to vote for ourselves. I must admit it was tough to choose who I thought should be the winners because every coat in the contest was really well done! I had to ask myself what makes a piece of clothing a little bit better than the next piece?

 I made this last fall. It is the Eva Blouse I used the pattern "1938 Blouse" from This took a lot of major adjustments. These Vintage patterns seem to need a lot of modification to fit. I lengthened and widened the bottom part  a lot- corset days are over. Added scallops which I learned to do on tutorial.

 With regards to the Coat contest to answer that question I had to choose the people who went one step further than what is called for in the pattern. The people who altered the pattern to make the coat more unique, while at the same time ending up with a cohesive whole garment - that is a step beyond the norm. The people who altered the pattern to make the coat fit well to the body. The people who took the extra time and effort to personalize it with an element of beauty - something meaningful to them like hand made moose antler toggles, hand embroidery, extra pockets, etc.

 Even if I do not like their particular style it was clear to see who in the coat contest put in the extra learning, the extra effort, the thing that makes a garment truly excellent and beautiful!  NONE of the people I chose as the winners even came in the running! 

this skirt is the Ginger skirt from The waist band is way cool with a scalloped front and I made scalloped pockets with a button. Colette's patterns are really the easiest patterns I have ever made. They usually don't require a lot of adjustments. I got her book a couple years ago and that book is really what taught me to sew! I Still turn to it all the time! 

WOW! I am so shocked! The coats that the sewers THEMSELVES chose as the winners were the ones that looked most like something you would buy in Macy's, Nordstroms, REI, or some other store where one pays a large sum of money for the NAME BRAND of the coat! Clearly, all of these sewers are talented. Any one of us sewers could go out and buy nice wool coating, machine made toggles, and sew a great looking coat. 

The leggings are a Kwik pattern #K3988. 

 Recently. I read this somewhere: " You'll look so good that people will not ask 'Did you make that?' they will ask 'Where did you get that?" I thought "OMG! That is NOT for me, I WANT people to say 'WOW! did you make that?!"

 Why are we sewing after all?!!!! I am reminded that one of the main reasons I am making my cloths is so that I am not imprisoned by the NORM uniform. I am sewing because as a friend said "we are what we wear" and I will wear BEAUTY instead of a dollar sign or some brand name (the social norm).

I made a detachable owl hood - I button it on and off- gives me freedom of choice!

  Thank you to all of my friends who supported me in the making of the Albion coat, who gave me such flattering compliments,thanks to my husband who LOVES his new coat and WEARS it, and all who understand exactly what I am talking about in this post. 

Bless you all in your small beautiful ways that you do not conform to the nauseating normality that is pushed on us all the time. Thank you for being truly FREE HUMAN beings by responding to imprisonment of conformity with BEAUTY.   


  1. amazing work! this really inspires me to work on my own ideas. please let me know when the next contest starts i would love a word or two on my ideas as i have always been into clothing and fashion.

  2. Blue and white! What a beautiful combination. This owl motif is looking awesome and i just loved your coat.