Mini Trench

I’ve been working, pacing myself on this mini Trench, aka the Oliver + S pattern I got a couple of weeks ago. It’s going well, as you’ve noticed on Twitter and IG. I’ve rushed a couple of projects lately, specifically the Victorian ballgown, and I’m regretting it. I actually want to take the bodice apart and add an underlining to the outer shell. It needed more… anyway.

I’m trying to have the mindset that I do it right the first time.

There have been too many times that I pace in my sewing lair, knowing what I should do, but either not having the know-how to do it right or just thinking it’ll work out fine if I cut corners. Yup. I said it. I’m prey to cutting corners. This is exactly why I’m trying to reprogram myself to do it the way I know I should.

My word for the new year is precision. I’m enjoying doing things with precision on the mini Trench. It feels good to pick stitches to get the pattern lined up and spend more time carefully pressing this tropical suiting.

When I wanted to learn how to knit an adult sized sweater, I practiced by making a bunch of baby sweaters- good thing I had family and friends with babies on the way. Once I understood the basic construction, I made a sweater for myself. It was all stocking stitch and while I’d never do that to myself again (or moss stitch- man my hands cramped for days after), it was a start.

The mini Trench is a start in making jackets the way they need to be made. No short-cuts…well, unless you call fusible interfacing a short-cut. One step at a time. Right?

16 thoughts on “Mini Trench

    • Leila says:

      It’s a shortcut to hand sewing it in. It would have a softer feel, though you can get a similar softness from cutting the interfacing on the bias…but I’m still learning all these tricks to get things how I imagine them in my head.

      I’m so glad you asked.

  1. Betsy says:


    When I learned to tailor years ago I did all that hand basting and padding and rolling of lapels , etc. I grew to really enjoy that part of the hand work. It was a magical thing happening the forming of the collars, and it made such a difference when joinging up the parts. Same thing with sleeve caps and the easing and pressing and forming. It is a very Zen thing if you pace yourself and don’t rush it. The gentleness with which you work the fabric tells in the end.

    No doubt those who do it all the time can whip it out very fast, but I was not speedy , just methodical and careful. I learned if I had to rush something, it was not that sort of project.

    Have Fun,


    • Leila says:

      I’m so eager to learn zen sewing. 🙂 I’m learning slowly and maybe one day I’ll make a tailored jacket. Even one would leave me satisfied. thanks for the comment.

  2. Brooke says:

    Unless you are making something completely couture, I don’t consider fusible interfacing a shortcut – and besides, there are so many different weights and weaves. =) Can’t wait to see the tiny trench!

    Rushing a project is a thousand times worse when someone else makes you rush it, trust me! (I don’t even want to put my cheer project on my resume because it wasn’t up to my standards in the end due to stupidity of others involved). And at least with your personal projects, you can always go back and fix. =)

    • Leila says:

      thanks for that. I would like to make something super super hand sewn one day. Just to have that experience, y’know? Sorry to hear about the cheer project. Sounds like it’s done, hopefully? Sounds like a horrible situation for you. ugh.

  3. Gjeometry says:

    Can’t wait to see your mini-trench. I actually wish I had a young girl, daughter, niece, etc. because I found a book to make couture doll clothes! I thought it was such a great idea, for the reasons you mention here. You can get all kinds of experience and satisfaction, but won’t have wasted all the money on fabric and time on making something human sized, if it doesn’t work out.

  4. Rachel says:

    I tend to alternate between fast sewing and more zen sewing. I am totally guilty of falling victim to wanting it done and maybe you know clipping a corner. I’m actually making something for my self right now (gasp) and trying to be careful and slow on it also!

    • Leila says:

      I think I’m the same. I’ve always got a really difficult-to-me project in the background. Right now it’s my Edwardian gown. I have to alter so much of the pattern to get it to fit and I know I should just do it and I’ll be happy.

  5. chuleenan says:

    You really do have to have patience to do it right. Nearly every time I’ve rushed something I end up regretting it and then redoing the work. And I really don’t like ironing but I don’t skip that part ever – makes a big difference. I still get impatient though esp. when things seem to take too long to finish.

    • Leila says:

      I’m sure there’s something about not having the experience and confidence that is helping me make something this methodically. It’s a good sign, right? 🙂 Yeah, for all the things I skip, I never ever skip ironing.

  6. Chris Lucas says:

    It sure is worth putting in the extra time and effort as the results show in the end and I think you have far more self satisfaction know all the finer details have been put into place 🙂

    • Leila says:

      I’ve had so many regrets in my sewing just because I knew at the moment of sewing that I was doing it wrong but I just wanted it finished…and now, even tho I wear these garments, they bug me because I didn’t take it slower and do it right the first time.

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