Monday, January 17, 2005


Sewing Project Update 4: Tibetan Panel Coat

There are 33 pattern pieces to a typical Tibetan Panel Coat. This sounds like a lot. It actually is a lot. Quilts can have hundreds of pieces, but clothing usually tops out at ten or eleven. 33 is plenty.

In order to organize the pieces, I wrapped each type of pattern piece in a paper towel. On the paper towel I wrote down the name, type of fabric, quantity, and label from the instructions. I stacked them out of the way and kept cutting. There were five different fabrics, thirty-three individual pieces, and fourteen paper towel packets.

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Here I am beginning the process of sewing the long strips together to make the back, sides, and front of the coat. Tibetan coats don't have sleeves. The coat is formed from long rectangles and skinny triangles. I used a rotary cutter to slice the fabric into the pattern pieces, following the Tibetan Panel Coat design in the Folkwear book.

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Here is the center back panel coming together with the side panels.

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This is the center front panels coming together.

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Front, back, and side coming together. The colors are red and green, with peach lining and peach and gold fabric for the facing, which I hope to get to tomorrow. Cutting out the fabric took most of the first day, working very lightly. Sewing the body of the coat took most of the second day, also working very lightly.

I've noticed that I've chosen a large amount of green fabric for these three projects - the Ranger Burnoose, the Chrysanthemum Burnoose, and the Tibetan Panel Coat. I do really like green and I tend to go with my gut when picking out colors. I originally intended to get some rich blues for at least one Burnoose, but there were not any blue brocades available at the fabric store that day. Since the post-holiday sales were in full swing, reds and greens dominated the fabric store landscape, and ended up being the colors I brought home.

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Here is the coat, with lining pinned on the inside, on the dressform.

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This is the bottom half of the coat on the dressform. Not sure why it's so uneven after all that careful measuring, but whenever I do the hem, I'm sure it will all work out.

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The book that I got the patterns for the Burnoose and the Tibetan Panel Coat is called The Folkwear Book of Ethnic Clothing : Easy Ways to Sew & Embellish Fabulous Garments from Around the World and is by Mary Parker. It's a beautifully illustrated book with solid descriptions and only slightly cramped sewing instructions for the projects within it.

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