Once upon a time there was a coat. Well not so much a coat exactly, but all the materials required to become a coat, a lovely, navy blue military inspired coat.
All the fabrics were there, the navy wool blend for the shell, the flannel for the underlining, smart navy self striped lining. Buttons were purchased, shoulder pads and sleeve heads obtained.
The pattern was downloaded, printed off and taped together. (A labour of love in itself!).
Then all the poor pieces sat in a cupboard for a year, feeling unloved and thinking they'd been forgotten.
Then one day their owner (lets call her Sam) opened the cupboard, gathered them all together and brought them out to be used and loved. They were so happy!
They sat patiently while Sam made a muslin and adjusted the fit. They whispered to each other as she laid them out and cut the pattern pieces from the shell fabric and the underlining. The lovely striped navy lining sat by and watched, awaiting its turn with growing impatience.
Sam stitched and trimmed, made bound button holes and pressed. Everything was going well.
Then the poor coat got pushed to one side. It was nearly Christmas, Sam was busy with other things, shopping and cooking and lazing about watching television. The coat began to wonder if it was ever going to be finished.
Imagine it's joy when once again Sam came back to it! It had missed her hands gently smoothing its pieces into place, carefully stitching its seams. Finally the shell of the coat was complete and Sam set about making the lining. The lining fabric was almost overcome with excitement when it was her turn to be cut, and as she was sewn together all she could think about was finally being part of the lovely coat she'd seen taking shape from her place on the shelf.
But it was not to be. Disaster was on the horizon!
One weekend Sam got up especially early so that she could spend lots of time working on the coat and finishing it. The weather was cold and she desperately wanted to wear it.
Again Sam pinned and stitched, pressed and trimmed. The coat was coming together. Soon it would be ready to take its first step out into the world and (hopefully) be admired by everyone that saw it.
Then came the time for Sam to try the coat on. It wasn't completely finished. It's hems still needed stitching and its buttons attaching, but at last it looked like a coat. It shivered with excitement as Sam slipped it on, holding its breath as she walked to the mirror.
It was then the disaster revealed itself. Sam had made a mistake... a big mistake. She had missed a pattern piece when cutting the skirt lining, which meant that the poor lining was too small, and was trying to pull the shell of the coat to the inside to join her.
Sam took the coat off and cried. She'd spent so much time on it and had thought she'd been so careful! When she had calmed down, Sam told her husband what she'd done.
"Can it be fixed?" He asked.
"I don't know," Sam sniffed. "Maybe I can cut the side seams and add a section in. It won't look perfect, but that should solve the problem."
So Sam cut the side seams of the lining and measured the extra she would need to add.
"I'll just try it on again to make sure this will work," she thought, slipping the coat on her shoulders once more. She was confident all would be fine, and if Sam was confident, then so was the coat.
They stood in front of the mirror again. The poor coat still didn't look right. There were wrinkles across the bodice, it looked like it was pulling somewhere. It looked like the lining was too small!
With a sigh Sam took off the coat and got out her tape measure. Almost holding her breath she measured the coat's bodice, first the shell, and then the lining. The coat held it's breath as well, awaiting the verdict, dreading the result.
Sure enough, Sam had made another mistake... the bodice lining was also too small. Sam shook her head, she couldn't understand how it had happened. She had used exactly the right pattern pieces, not missed one like she'd done with the skirt. What had gone wrong? Could the coat be saved?
Unfortunately by now, Sam had lost interest. She thought she could save the coat, but only with a lot of work. Lots of seams to be unpicked, new lining to be purchased and cut (whilst crossing her fingers she didn't mess it up this time!), new seams to be sewn to places where seam allowances had already been trimmed and clipped.
Sam just couldn't face it.
She folded the poor coat up and put it back in the cupboard, where it sits to this day, wondering if it will ever be loved.