Friday, January 18, 2013

My favourite jacket

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I bought this Paddington Bear-style coat last year in Edmonton and since then, I have very nearly worn it to death. I just love everything about it. I love the toggles. I love the pockets. I love the way it fits. I love that it gives the perfect amount of warmth for a -10 C day. It's just the perfect jacket.

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Or, at least, it was perfect. You see, months ago, I broke the zipper. *Womp womp.* I wear it anyway, but now the breeze creeps in the holes between the toggles and it doesn't keep me quite as warm. I've been debating for a while about what I should do – just keep wearing it as is, take it to a seamstress to be fixed or learn how to sew zippers myself. Considering how much I love the jacket, I feel like leaving it as is would be silly. But, the idea of taking it to a seamstress when I have a sewing machine at home holds me back from that option, and the fact that doing it myself is totally intimidating holds me back from that one, too. I haven't sewn much of anything in my day. I mean, this weekend I hope to sew a liner in a crocheted e-reader case I made and even that seems daunting. I just wish I had an instructor who could talk me through the basics. Ian's done a bit of that. He knows how to thread the needle and fill a bobbin and do some basic straight-line sewing, so that's helpful. But, what I really need is someone who can take me through a project from start to finish – a project that's more complicated than upcycling placemats to make a purse.

A couple of weeks ago, when I wrote about my fear of failure when it comes to trying new crochet projects, a bunch of you gave me great online resources for simple videos and patterns to help me improve; does anyone have anything like that for sewing? I'd love the help.

Happy Friday everyone.


  1. I don't have anything for sewing (sorry!), but I can totally relate to your post. I have a jacket that I wear constantly. The zipper is well on it's way out and I've already decided I will get it fixed as soon as it breaks. I will never find another jack as warm and easy to wear as this one! Your jacket is SUPER cute too - I wouldn't just leave it as is if I were you either :)

  2. I just learned to sew this past year after getting a machine for Christmas. My biggest suggestion is take ONE mini lesson with someone who knows how to sew ( my boyfriends Mom gave me mine)! They'll tell you all the basics, for me, it was how to hem a dress because that's what I needed to learn most. From there, it was so much easier! I watch youtube tutorials when I want to see a demo of something I don't know how to do. Hope that helps! Also, your jacket is adorable :)
    Happy Friday!
    xo Hannah

  3. I'm sure you must be able to find a jacket zipper tutorial on youtube somewhere! I usually search youtube when there's a new sewing skill I want to learn.

    My one tip would be to develop your skill a little bit before trying it on your (lovely!) favourite jacket. I usually find that the first time I try something new with sewing it doesn't go perfectly right. Oh yes, and buy a zipper foot for your sewing machine - my limited experience with zippers suggests that this is essential, despite what some people say.

    I honestly don't know how I'd have learnt to sew without my few amazing sessions with my mum. Nothing really beats having someone sitting there beside you. I feel really lucky this was an option for me. But I've used the web loads as well to supplement that - and trial and error!

    Good luck!

  4. Zippers are just straight line sewing! pin it in place, use thread the same colour are your jacket and off you go. The worst thing (I hope) that can happen is you have to pull it off with a stick ripper, and take it to the seamstress after all. I say go for it!

  5. I'm with Sara -- the cool thing about sewing is that it can be reversed with a seam ripper like nothing ever happened (unless it's on paper, which I've experienced the hard way, womp-wooooomp). Unfortunately I don't have any tutorials to recommend because, well, I've never sewn a zipper myself... but my friend Jenn did and said it's extremely daunting until you do it -- and then it's a piece of cake.

    And if that doesn't work for you, rip the stitches, take it to a seamstress. Just don't give up; finding the perfect coat is a pain in the ass (I've yet to find mine) so if you've found it, cling to it!


  6. Totally had that same issue with my favourite winter coat.. didn't use if for one whole winter.. then, wanted it back so bad that I just called around town to find a reasonable seamstress (I KNOW.. me, getting sewing help.. lol) I just don't like zippers/or straight lines! Now its back and wonderful ..only $10!
    I would advise that IF you do give it a go.. make sure you get the right needle for that thick coat seam (you know how I *love* busting needles) you'll likely find a wool or denim option works best.
    Not sure about tutorials - just google your guts out - I should probably do the same. ha!
    P.S.. you look all dramatic and pretty in these shots.. great lighting.
    needle and nest

  7. hi, i following the "aloha friday blog hop" and i would love for you to visit my blog and follow if you like it.

    new follower bev

  8. I always have like one shirt/skirt/pants/jacket that I love and pray that nothing happens to it. Something always does, haha.

  9. OKAY, friend, you taught me how to sew, so obviously you know THAT much. I have confidence in your abilities! (Also, I love this jacket.)

  10. Zippers are always a pain. I still kind of loathe them, and I took a three year fashion program! Haha. But with something like that (I'm assuming, since I can't see the whole thing) you should just be able to take a seam ripper to the stitching holding the zipper in and pull it out, slide in a new one, pin it in place, and stitch it back up. You may end up having to cut out the old one at the top and bottom though, otherwise (to do it fully proper) you'd have to take it apart a whole lot more and learn the true hell of zippers. :P

  11. I am afraid that I do lots of basic sewing but suck at zips. Not easy at all. However, looks like the above commenters have loads of great advice. You could always try on some practice fabric first before on your lovely coat. Do not give up!

  12. I am afraid of sewing. I have done a little bit in my time but sewing machines are SO loud and fast haha. I get exhausted from sewing small things because it makes me so tense. Best of luck! Your e-reader jacket sounds awesome! Hopefully, you'll share pics!

  13. Take your beloved jacket to the seamstress. She will put in a zipper no sweat. It will cost you a bit, but for how much you love the jacket it will be worth it. Zippers are tricky, and if you don't get it right, you will alter the fit of your beloved jacket, and it might not be so beloved. That being said, you should definitely try installing a zipper in something with your sewing machine. I say try making a zipper pouch, then, maybe a skirt with a zipper. After that then you will be ready to fix your next jacket when the zipper breaks. In the time you have spent waffling about this dilemma, it could have been fixed. (: As an experienced sewer, if a zipper in a garment breaks, I take it to the tailor. It's just easier, and the job gets done.
    Good luck.

    1. Great advice! Thanks so much. You're right – I would hate to alter the fit. That's part of what makes the jacket so perfect.