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Oct 9, 2015

Why I Gave Away My Miyake Coat + More Shirtmaking!



One of my favorite projects of 2014 was the leopard print Issey Miyake coat I made as part of the Mood Sewing Network.  So glamorous!



Alas, my life is much less glamorous than this coat.  Which is why, after a year of having it hang in my closet, I decided to give it away.

This garment needs to be worn by someone with a dramatic flair and an innate sense of glamour.  My dear friend Susan Finch -- actress, speech coach (at Julliard, where she's also an alum), and woman-about-town is just that person!







Susan and I may do a more formal photo shoot some day (that doesn't include her smart phone).  But I think you can see in these quick shots that Susan, who has the quick wit and brilliant timing of the late Rosalind Russell, was born to wear this coat.







Best of all, Susan truly loves it.  I love the fact that it's being worn; the extra room in my closet is just icing on the cake.

Meanwhile, I sewed my little heart out today and still found time to get my flu shot.  (Have you gotten yours?)  Here's a quick peek at what I've been working on:





And that's it. 

In closing, have you ever given away something you'd sewed because you knew it suited someone else better and they'd get more joy out of it?

Did it feel good to know it was going to a good home? -- a bit like Jay's grandmother's fabric I suppose.

Have a great day, everybody!


30 comments:

  1. I've given away many things, sometimes right off my back! It's ver gratifying to give something to a person who adores your work, makes a person feel like a rock star.

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  2. It's also good advertising; she'll be asked where she bought that fabulous coat and armed with your business cards, she'll help spread your name and from appearances, among demographics with clients.

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  3. As fabulous as you look in that coat, your friend looks equally fabulous, and in a whole different way.

    I gave away a mohair scarf once that a friend's wife admired, but I had another skein of the same yarn so I went home and knitted myself another.

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    1. I did something very similar! It was nice to give a warm, hand knit scarf to someone who wanted it, but the knowledge that I could knit another was comforting. I ended up giving away the second scarf, too!

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  4. I much much prefer to give away things I've made if someone will wear them. I have more than a lifetime of great clothes. I sew as a creative outlet not to possess. If someone wants what I make im thrilled and my closet is less burdened. Bravo Peter for finding the right home for your masterpiece to be best showcases!

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  5. In high school, I made a short jacket out of suede cloth with fake fur sleeves. The whole thing was lined, and it looked really nice, and fit me really well. I even wore it to enlist in the Army, I liked it so much. A year later, I made a really good friend in training at a base in Texas. She wasn't going to be stationed anywhere close to me, (and in fact I never saw her again.) She admired my jacket, so I gave it to her as a going-away present.

    I think that's the only thing I've ever made for myself that I liked, but gave away anyway. I hope she kept it and wore it, and maybe she even still has it and thinks of me now and then. Perhaps we'll meet up on one of those veteran pages on FB.

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  6. Not sure where to begin on this one - Susans in New York City, or your charmed life and the people in it.

    [puzzled sigh]

    I'll simply say, she wears it well, and if fortunate to have such a talented and generous friend.

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  7. Oh gosh I love all this - Susan, the beautiful coat and how glamorous yet totally different you both are in it - and those absolutely gorgeous cuffs - I gasped out loud. The most perfect choice of contrast fabric!

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  8. Totally the right thing to do Peter (in my opinion). You looked good in the coat, but Susan looks FABULOUS! I held a giveaway a few years ago of garments I made that were lovely, but just didn't suit me or my lifestyle. Most of the recipients sent me photos of themselves wearing their new garments, and it was gratifying to see how much better they looked on them than me! x Beautiful cuffs by the way!

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  9. Your friend looks great in the coat. In the UK there are a few charities that will accept good quality clothing suitable for job interviews, which helps to provide smart clothing for people seeking work. There is Suited & Booted, and Smart Works that accept clothing donations.

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  10. Wow the coat is a masterpiece and I love the cuffs off the new shirt.

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  11. Made one of those for my best friend, she loved it!

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  12. i can see why you gave it to Susan, she was meant to wear it! I have never given away anything that I've made for myself, but I've never made anything that fabulous. I'm going to scroll up and look at those pictures again.

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  13. Good going, Peter. You looked great in that coat and you put on a real modeling vibe in those photos and you will always have those. But if it is not useful in real life, what's the point.

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  14. I loved this coat on you and I love it on Susan! It really, really suits her! But our city closets are are too small to keep stuff we don't wear. :) I love to give away handmades that don't really suit me. I spend too much time making them for them to be unworn and unloved!

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  15. I've also made that coat, and I don't care that it is boldly fabulous!!!! I love to wear it on particularly dreary days - it cheers me up! Better to give it away to someone who will love and wear it than to let it languish in your closet, though!

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  16. Tis always better to give than receive.

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  17. That last picture. The hair, the nails and the coat. You did the right thing.

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  18. Coat suits your friend very well, the swingy style, the coloring flatters her salt & pepper hair. Cuffs are delightful. Always loved the element of surprise & delight of a contrasting fabirc.

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  19. Oh yes, just two hours ago, costume sale, traded out the 50's creamy silk cocktail coat for a pair of pants from a costume 'fat suit', made of deeply yummy green wool. That wool is going into a vest for my son for Xmas. I am making several people happy this way, double win!

    It is the greatest pleasure in the world, to give something you made that someone loves. And even better to see her wearing it later. She's happy, you're happy, can't go wrong there.

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  20. I give away at least 50 per cent of what I sew.

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  21. You have such a generous spirit!

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  22. That coat is so perfect on your friend Susan. Goes with her hair. I made a Miyake coat once that was so wrong on me and so right on a taller friend. And I recently made a wonderful fleece coat with an attached scarf collar that looked so much better on another friend that I had to give it to her. I love when something I've spent so much time creating looks great on someone who will wear it well.

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  23. It's great to give some items a good home where they will be cherished. How many makes can you keep, when you keep sewing more? She might never see anything like that in a store and it is a one of a kind.

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  24. This was a very illuminating post that I wish all your sewist followers catch. You're right - your friend will enjoy this coat immensely. For we sewists, sometimes the joy is just in assembling the garment, but after that it's not much use for us. This is exactly the reason I got into designing debutante, wedding and formal wear. I love that stuff (my Barbie went to the opening of everything including envelopes!!!!....and she always was formal), but to be honest, to get all gussied up and go to those things is not fun for me - it's the making of the clothes that's fun.

    Sometimes we sewists forget this, and this post was a great reminder! Sewing something for fun/experience may not necessarily fit in your wardrobe!

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  25. Work it Peter! That's an amazing coat! Your friend looks fabulous in it! Yes, I have given away many great pieces that were not right for me but perfect for someone else. Even when I'm tempted to cut up or deconstruct a perfectly good dress just for the fabric itself, I stop and consider if someone else would appreciate the garment as is, if it's in good shape, I give it away, if not, then it's hello scissors!

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  26. I think this is Karma at its best. Jay gave you fabulous wools that are probably better in your hands than in his. You gave Susan a fabulous coat that she'll wear more than you would. You've paid it forward, and I think that's wonderful.

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  27. I liked the coat a lot and it looked great on you and it looked great on your friend. I can tell by the pictures that she is really enjoying it.

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  28. I agree with all the comments above, the coat looked great on you, but it is a perfect fit for your lovely friend: It looks made for her! And, like Jo H, above, I gasped when I saw those gorgeous fabrics combined in that new cuff! Perfection!

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