Decklyn, Murphy, and Reality

Have you ever had one of those projects that seems to take on a life of it’s own? Well the Decklyn coat by Blaverry was mine!!! I think often we see all these pretty pictures of finished garments on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, blogs, and think to ourselves – ‘I wish I could make that!’ ‘Her daughter is so beautiful!’ She is an amazing seamstress.’ “I wish sewing was that easy for me!!’ Well people reality is reality. Some of us have a lot of funds to spend on really nice fabric. Others of us up-cycle to save every penny. Some of us have a few additional team players helping with kids, cleaning, or dinners. Some of us pick threads out of the soup because we leaned too far over the pot. Facebook is not reality! Pinterest is not reality. Instagram is not reality. These images we see are a moment of reality- a snippit, a still frame. A well constructed, thought-out concept that took hours of sewing, planning, posing, lighting and Photoshop. Whether you blog as a journal, a business, or a hobby – you know you have planned out most high profile projects to the ‘T’. Reality, however, is composed of all the little moments that fill the space in between the start and finish. Today I want to share with you my reality.

First let me start off by saying I LOVE  this pattern! Christie, the beauty behind Blaverry, has a great sense of style. She is a great mix of fresh, edgy, modern classics. The Decklyn is coat pattern with great detailing! It is an intermediate/advanced pattern that requires construction and sewing knowledge. I am qualified for this pattern, however I decided to attempt this project with a friend… you all know him as Murphy. Worst idea EVER! February was a busy month for Phat Quarters! We had just finished a tour for Art Gallery’s new denim, helped celebrate the birthday of SLPco, celebrated three birthdays of our own, hosted a tour for a new fabric line we love, Minshan by Lewis & Irene, participated in a Love Notions tour, Boys Can Wear Pink tour and it marked our 3rd year of business as Phat Quarters. So… I decided to make the coolest new spring coat for my middle daughter – the Decklyn, because I had all this spare time you see…

And all that is my second job. My first job is as a wife and mother. I have 5 kids and like dominoes they each fell, one at a time, to a nasty head cold then the flu that Murphy brough along in his sewing kit. My youngest ended up having steroid treatments and got an ear infection. I fell ill about halfway through but it I was determined to work on Decklyn anyway. The pattern itself pieced together seamlessly and I used the layers option to print just the size I needed. I wanted to use one main fabric and so to highlight the style-lines of the coat I decided to add the detail of handmade piping. I used this to show off the pieced elements of the coat. I am thrilled with how that turned out! But back to reality….

I started this project with 2 sick kids and by day three there were four sick kids, one sick mommy, and all I had managed to do was cut out all the pieces and make the piping. By the time I was ready to start sewing I was drinking Dayquil every four hours. Apparently Dayquil and sewing do not mix. How do I know this? Lets just look at the evidence….

I was so sick that I literally thought “What kind pattern did Christie make here with all these wonky placed curves?” So much so, I almost sent her a PM to say ‘I think something might be wrong with the pattern’. What is almost worse than completely embarrassing myself, is that I did not even notice that there was a problem until my sleeve would not fit. After checking and rechecking the pattern pieces and the tutorial I finally realized that I had put the left collar curve onto the right bottom bodice as a sleeve curve AND put the opposite set together as one piece as well!!! Seriously?!?! Worse than that is that I attached the front pieces to the back bodice and attempted to put the sleeves on before I even noticed anything was out of place! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!! How did I NOT notice something was really funky with the sleeve curve!!! So I had to pull everything apart.

Skip forward FIVE days of vomit, coughing, steroid treatments, one ear ache and a sick husband and all I manage to accomplish was to buy my zippers. Although I forgot my coupons and bought the coat zipper in the wrong size. The next day I manage to sew the lining together. I used Studio-E’s Peacock Peppered Cotton and while it is stunning it is hard to make out a right and wrong side. So of course I ended up with two beautifully top stitched left lining pieces and nothing for the right side. At this point I do not know who or what I hated more; Murphy or the seam ripper! Finally I progressed from a head-cold to the flu and our family ship sank! I pull everyone out of the raging waters five days later and successfully attach the sleeves, cuffs and zippers….Murphy must have gotten sick himself cause he was no where to be found. Ridding the momentum of this wave I attach the waistband and was ready to finish it all off with the zipper. But remember, the zipper was too long. So at 11 PM I snip the base of my zipper to the proper length and stitch that bad boy in. I test my zipper and pull the *(#(_%@*!%# zipper-pull right off because I CUT THE BASE OFF!!! I HATE MURPHY! I HATE BEING SICK! I HATE ZIPPERS! I HATE PENGUINS! I pretty much hated everybody and everything until I feel asleep. (I actually adore penguins! They are one of my favorite animals.)

The next day I tear the previous zipper out and go buy a new one in between chores and a doctors appointment. After all the babes are in bed I sew in the new zipper, smile, and feel the pressure of having this project done slip from my shoulders. I slept really well…for about 2 hours – there we still 2 kids with the flu. The next morning I have my daughter try the coat on. She looks at it and at me unzips it a bit and I turn away to do something. Next thing I hear are these annoying grunting sounds and a bit of whimpering. I turn around to see her pulling it over her head and getting completely stuck. I have to admit (since I am being honest here) I snapped at her a bit and say “What is your problem? It’s a coat unzip it and put it on right!”

What was her problem? ….I bought the wrong zipper and sewed it in without noticing. It is NOT a coat zipper. It does NOT detach! She HAS to slip it over her head. It is too tight, she freaked out, got stuck, and then I snapped at her. THAT is her problem! I start to cry a little, laugh a little, and I am not exactly sure what the others sounds were that came out of my mouth- but they were not pretty! She is stuck in the Decklyn and the rest of the kids are ‘giggling scared’ cause she looks ridiculous and I look like I might crack at any moment. Lucky for me I have another daughter who is a year younger and smaller too. I hand her- HER new coat and go cry in the shower!

Murphy stuck around for a few more days as it rained and rained. I finally told my youngest that she would be taking pictures in the rain and that was that! So here is my beautiful daughter in her amazing new coat that is skillfully sewn. But please remember that this is just a still frame, a snippet, a moment.

These pictures are NOT reality. Reality is all those other moments that took place between the first stitch and the last. I made a bodice with two arm holes and no collar!!! Then I made two linings for the same side. THEN I cut off the ends of my separating coat zipper only to replace it with a standard coil zipper (at least it was the right size) turning my stunning new Decklyn Coat into a Decklyn Pullover!!! I give-up! It is what it is! Murphy wins this round. My youngest daughter loves her new coat and I have now signed up to test a coat for the slightly disappointed older daughter who will have to wait  a week or two for her new spring coat. This is SEW my Reality and I will keep moving right along!



11 thoughts on “Decklyn, Murphy, and Reality

  1. Oh my GOODNESS!!! Gemia, you are a riot! You know how much I laughed over the bodice mess up but now the zipper and your dd trying to put it on? You are cracking me up girl!!!

    I cannot tell you how sorry I am about all of the horrible sickness you dealt with in such a short time span. Each within it's own time would have been bad enough but all at once like that… seemingly never ending? You are a superwoman for sure!

    If this isn't a "sew reality" nothing is. I'm truly sorry that the experience wasn't filled with fun and success but the fabric you used is TDF!!! and it looks fabulous on your younger dd. (who btw, is stunning!) Maybe once you've had time away from the project you can muster up the interest in changing out the front zipper. Or then again maybe not, lol.

    Thanks for sharing your "behind the scenes" experience of your project.


  2. The was absolutely my last project. Everything that could go wrong with the dress did starting with printing the pattern without checking the 1inch box. Those projects are teaching moments…..right? 😉

  3. Oh No! Isn't great though once you work out all the kinks and you are able to say I conquered you! -you stupidly amazing pattern you! I bet it turned out great too.

  4. love the jacket, love your beautiful photos, and love your honest story telling – I was cracking up, I think I've done all of these things at some point. You rock!!!!

  5. Love it! Both the jacket and the retelling!! I had some of those moments as well…sewed up a whole bodice, only to realize that what I thought might be the right side of the eyelet fabric was actually the wrong side and I had to seam rip the whole thing. :p

  6. I love this, all of this!! The fabric, the pattern and the self irony. I am a firm believer that if something starts to go wrong, it will keep going wrong, but it is best to try to finish that xf# project anyway and than indeed you seomtimes end up with a great sweater! Humor makes everything better that is a fact, I hope this will become your best read blog post ever, making this coat a huge succes in a slightly different way than that you anticipated.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *