Last year I sold 15 of my dresses. I wanted to reinvest all of that money back into my passion. I took some of the money and set it aside for photo shoots and the rest I invested into Wearing History Patterns.

Tracy McElfresh Wearing History Patterns

My first make would be the Ahwahnee coat. At the time I did not know I was going to be matching plaids. The most scariest thing in sewing!! The pattern says you can use an old blanket. An old wool army blanket would of been my very first choice, although they are a hot item right now as everyone is wanting to get away from plastic clothing.

Hancock Fabric in Beavercreek, Ohio Photo by Tracy McElfresh

I took a trip to my old stomping grounds, Hancock Fabric. I worked at this little shop for 7-8 years as a project specialist. I learned to sew from my mother but this is where it really took off. Back to the coat!!!

Tracy McElfreshAhwahnee Coat Photo by Tracy McElfresh

For my coat I chose a wool blend weave. Instead of lining my coat I thought it would be better to make a sleek fun dancing dress to go under it. I get to make all of the rules here and another dress seemed fun.

Tracy McElfresh

Here is the rocking dress I made to go under my Ahwahnee coat. It’s an adaption from another pattern and this is the 3rd time I have made this simple frock. I used Scuba knit and it most of it was sewn on my serger. The bottom is 3 simple squares all aligned in different places.

Cutting my plaid, Tracy Mcelfresh Ahwahnee Coat

Let me tell you all about this pattern. That big piece in the middle of my kitchen table is the raglan sleeve. It was the only piece I was not sure if the plaid would match up. I followed the layout on the pattern in hopes that it would and it did. The body of the coat has no side or back seams so that made it so easy to start with (no matching needed). I matched up all the other pieces the best I could and tried not to be to hard on myself! Hey we are all just winging it really!

Ahawhnee Coat Tracy McElfresh

I used vintage buttons from a coat Leslie Ruby Randall gave me and an old 1980s heart belt buckle. I added belt loops to hold my belt on a little better.

Wearing History Patterns Ahawhnee Coat by Tracy McElfresh

The most challenging part of this coat, besides matching up the plaid was the welted lined pockets on the breast of the coat. They are hard to see and I often forget they are there. I love the two large patch pockets on the bottom of the front of the coat. I matched the print on those too so they are hard to see. (hence my #solidschallenge for 2016)

IMG_2488 Tracy McElfresh Ahwahnee Coat

I absolutely love that big elvish looking hood.

Ahwahnee Coat by Tracy McElfresh

Wearing History Pattern’s Ahwahnee Blanket Coat was so much fun to make. It took me about 10-15 hours to make from start to finish but it was well worth it. Lauren the owner of Wearing History Patterns said that that was a fast time for it’s completion. Most likely because I did all of the work on my modern sewing machine, serger and left the lining out.

Modeling Leslie Ruby Randall and photo by Sharon Elaine Photography Coat sewn by me and pattern by Wearing History Patterns

Modeling Leslie Ruby Randall and the professional photo is by Sharon Elaine Photography. The Coat is sewn by me Tracy McElfresh and pattern by Wearing History Patterns.

Behind the scenes~ After a year of matching prints and plaids that hide all of craftsmanship and any imperfections; I have chosen to challenge myself to sewing only tricky materials that are solid for 2016; no plaids, florals or stripes. Look for my hashtag #solidschallenge

Here is my first make of 2016. It’s a wool dress replica. I underlined every piece in organza and properly treated the wool before sewing. I will blog about it’s process more when it’s finished with dress and get a better picture.

Wool Dress Replica by Tracy McElfresh

Thank you for reading!

Tracy McElfresh

Tracy McElfresh is the owner of Tracy’s Sewing Studio LLC.
Tracy McElfresh

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