After two days of obsessively working on it, the Celtic Braid Coat is just about done. I need to remove the basting stitches, tack down one seam, and sew in two snaps to hold the collar closed. And that…is…IT!!
Which is a good thing, too, because my photo shoot is tomorrow! (Makeup starts at 2pm…the actual photo shoot starts around 3 or 3:30.)
I’m not going to post photos until I have the “official” ones from the photo shoot. But I will say that it is quite striking! I briefly considered gold-edged black buttons, but realized quickly that they would look awful if they were the slightest bit off-center in the buttonhole. I also didn’t like the “woven” leather buttons, so I wound up going with black plastic buttons with wavy/flame-like patterns on them. I elected to do a buttonless collar – tried hooks and eyes, but it really needs some snaps. So I’ll make a trip to the fabric store tomorrow, and finish it tomorrow morning.
I’m not really happy with the workmanship on this piece. From a distance, it looks fine, but if you start poking around in the seams you’ll discover all sorts of nightmarish mistakes and goopy bits. Working with such thick leather was nearly impossible, especially in the pieced sections; I broke several leather needles in my struggles with the piece, the seams are thick and inflexible (and some actually feel “crunchy” from the glue holding the seam allowances in position), and the whole piece weighs a TON. It will do nicely for photos, but if I were doing it again, I’d use solid pieces of much thinner leather rather than trying to piece together bits and pieces of thicker hides. Or, frankly, I’d just skip the leather and work with regular cloth. I could have done a marvelous job on this piece if I hadn’t been fighting with the leather every inch of the way. As it stands, it’s not up to my standards for my own work, and while I’ll happily wear it, I won’t be exhibiting it. But that’s OK; it won’t be eligible for a lot of exhibits anyway, since it’s going to be published sometime next year.
Speaking of publishing, I published my second post on the book blog today, “Starting out with Design”. I’ve got a third one lined up for Tuesday publication, and I’m hard at work on the fourth one (which will be about ways to make learning to design easier). I’m really digging this new format – short posts of 350-400 words are quick and easy to write, and the feedback in the form of comments, Facebook “Likes”, etc. is wonderful – like getting calorie-free treats every time I write another chunk! This could easily become a habit – which is, of course, exactly the point!
Off to write some more!
Pauline Schultz says
Tien – working with leather is never easy – it has a mind of its own – even if it’s a dead mind. Have you considered Ultrasuede? I used it in a combination Aran and Ultrasuede cardigan jacket and it worked out very well – nice and supple and easy to sew. A bit pricey, yes, but the end result was worth it.
Tien Chiu says
I’ve never tried Ultrasuede! But I will, next time I want something that looks like suede (without all the hassle!).
Thanks for the suggestion!