This was off a sailboat. Now it is a sailcoat.

So my uncle and aunt watch a lot of Project Runway. I don’t actually, but I know how it works.  One day over our usual Sunday family dinner, they issued a challenge.  My uncle, you see, has a sailboat, and he had to buy a new canvas sail cover since his old one was, well, dead.

(Yes, anime fans, his boat is in fact named Arcadia. It’s from ‘et in Arcadia ego,’ not any reference to Captain Harlock, but a fun coincidence nonetheless.)

So he issued me a challenge: make something, whatever I wanted/could, out of the old one as seen above.  I figured with that sort of weathered green canvas, a sort of steampunk-y coat might fit the bill.

So he gave me the old cover.

Now the problem here is that, while it was big, the amount of usable fabric was actually rather small.  First thing I did was pull on the fabric from all angles to see which bits were strongest.  Anything I ripped through had to be discarded, obviously, because I didn’t want it ripping on me randomly.  Once I’d sorted out the usable stuff, I had enough for a short jacket.

I worked from a historical pattern, basically a short Victorian ladies’ coat, and made a few adjustments to account for the amount of fabric I had and the fact that, you know, it’d be really stiff.  In the end, I chose not to line it because it would be a nightmare no matter what I used.

Right, so.  Above are the ‘Before’ pics … now here’s the ‘After,’ modelled by my new dress form, Alto-hime:

My cousin actually gave me a last-minute idea when she saw what I was about to throw away — i.e. the bits with the huge grommets.  She asked why I didn’t just use those bits as well … as you can see, I decided to toss in a bit of that on the bottom:

I knew I was going to do the stitching in a different colour, and I ended up going with the same colour thread as had been used on it initially.

The fabric was (unsurprisingly) unforgiving, but I ended up not needing a special needle or thread to sew it.  If I were making something to put outside on a sailboat, sure.  But for wearing purposes, my usual gear did just fine.  The worst part was I didn’t have any heavy pins, so it was rather hellish pinning everything together.  Turned out rather good in the end, though.

I’ll probably be showing this off at MarsCon this weekend since I’d like to incorporate it into a costume or two I designed myself. I’ll likely be putting up a fair number more entries on here since con season is about to be in full swing and I’m back sewing fairly regularly — though the other thing I’m planning to have this weekend is made of much more traditional things.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Emile Husson
    Jan 13, 2011 @ 02:55:11

    Nicely done, Kara! Glad you could give just a little bit more life that old piece of canvas I dropped on you.

    Reply

  2. Joan Husson
    Jan 13, 2011 @ 16:49:08

    I love it!

    Nana

    Reply

  3. Marian Hess
    Jan 14, 2011 @ 11:42:03

    Wow that is amazing what you did with that tarp like material, it must have been really fun to work with, but what you did with it came out great. You win the Project Runway hands down. I would diff buy your designs..

    Reply

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