November's White Shirt and a Quilty Coat

 It is still gloriously Fall, but it has gotten colder.  I was really loving the long lingering finish on this summer, the warm sunny days seemed to just keep coming.  So as I was thinking about my November white shirt I was definitely thinking long sleeves and cozy.  

When I got the grey sweater knit earlier this summer I also picked up the last little bit of the same fabric in a creamy off white.  Duh!  I am still fawning over it.  I didn't have a huge piece, but I had enough to get a very comfy long sleeved top with a mock turtle neck that is cut in one with the yoke.  I had seen the neckline on a sleeveless top at some point in time, and decided to try and recreate it and add sleeves.  I am very happy with the outcome and the sweater knit is just the right weight for the collar.  

I went back and forth about whether to run the 'cables' across the yoke.  In the end I didn't have a choice...I didn't have enough fabric to do otherwise...but I really like the way it turned out and the cables help keep the collar fold neat and tidy.

November white shirt...Bam!  I can't believe I'm almost finished with my year of white shirts.  I might extend to January since I actually didn't start the challenge until February.  We'll see...

I also made a new coat this month.  I wasn't thinking that I would be making many coats going forward, but this idea was nagging away at me so I just had to do it.

I have been seeing lots of quilted jackets on social media.  Some in solid colors with designs stitched into the quilting pattern.  Some that use traditional quilt blocks, some random and patchy...I thought it would be interesting to make the outside in something "quilt-like" and stitch it to a sweatshirt fleece instead of batting to provide the structure and warmth.  I found a nice heavy fleece and then started rummaging around in my boxes to see what kind of 'quilt' I could come up with.

Once again I defaulted to my box of linen scraps.  It seems that this is the year of the linen scrap pile.  I chose a palette of grays and naturals.  As I started to play around with my pile-o-linen, I realized that I would only have enough if I did a random pattern.  I started by cutting a bunch of 4" squares and sewing them together in pairs.

I didn't want to end up with the same fabric next to its self so I laid out each section of the jacket to make sure I wasn't doubling up anywhere...

Once I had all the pairs laid out I stitched them in rows and then stitched the rows together.  Finally I stitched them to the fleece using a twin needle and following the seam lines.  Nothing fancy, but I liked the affect.  The project did remind me of why I don't make quilts 😝!!!!  It seemed to take forever to get to actually making the coat.  I used the fuzzy side of the fleece to make cuffs and a collar.  I tried a bazillion different ideas and in the end I did a simple cuff and band collar.  I think I just got worn down!

I used some cool tortoise shell snaps for the closures.  The thought of putting button holes in quilted sweatshirt fleece made me kind of squeamish...the snaps are really lovely and keep the front from getting too busy with buttons and plackets....

When I finished I told my husband that I wasn't sure I liked it.  I think it was kind of like when you cook something all day and by the time it's ready to eat, it doesn't even taste good.  I worn it out a few days later and actually had two different people comment about how 'elegant' it was.  Elegant was not what I was thinking when I started making a quilted coat...crafty maybe, or cutesy...but elegant is much better...I'll take it!

It has started to grow on me and I really like the weight for the weather we are having right now.  It is just the right level of cozy!  We'll see how I feel about it next May when I get back to Michigan.  Maybe a winter away will make the heart grow fonder!

...it seemed to fit right in with the sculpture at the Shiojiri Japanese Garden in Mishawaka, Indiana.  We visit this garden each fall to see the Japanese Maples in all their autumn glory!  The sculpture was a gift from the school children in Japan who were the pen pals of the Mishawaka kids when the garden was made.  It is a really sweet place.