The Harlequin Coat #8

Well, rats

Those ribbon froggings were a spectacular fail. I pinned them on and got stitching… endlessly. Only to discover towards the end of the process that the ribbon coils were held together with a single thread that wasn’t properly secured. They not only fell apart very quickly, they were also pretty hard to use successfully because the satin ribbon was very slippery and the turk’s head knot that was the ‘button’ would not stay inside the loop once any slight pressure was applied.

I re-did all the tedious hours of stitching. But in reverse. 😬

Time for Plan B.

I found these black metal clasps on Etsy and ordered two pairs. I’m hoping they’ll do the trick. Otherwise I might end up having to use the dreaded toggles; this is not a duffel coat. On the upside, I got the pockets on and the coat is done apart from the closures.

In other news, as if I didn’t have enough on, I’ve decided to make myself a purse/backpack to match the coat. I’m no bag designer, so I once again resorted to Etsy to find one that was a) simple and b) interesting. There are so many of them out there, but I wanted an adult/classy version without a frenzy of pockets and zippers.

In the end, I chose this Batala backpack design from Pink Pony Design, and while mine won’t be in purple and green with a tiger on the flap, I promise you it’ll look good with the coat, since I have a large piece of my favourite fabric left, plenty of the dark blue and some fun contrast fabric for the piping. Fingers crossed I don’t discover any issues on this project. All reviews of the pattern are very positive, and I’ve seen photos of some completed examples which look great. I really like all her bag designs, so this may not be the last one I make!

Now I just have to hurry up and wait for those clasps.


36 thoughts on “The Harlequin Coat #8

  1. Bugger. But at least the clasps you found are stylish as well as practical. I always learn something new here… I had no idea you could obtain such a thing as a backpack pattern on Etsy.

    • katechiconi says:

      There are literally thousands of bag patterns on there, to the point your search has to be pretty precise to avoid endless hours of scrolling! I really like the clasps too, and think they’ll be a lot sturdier and more user friendly anyway.

  2. Dayphoto says:

    WOW! On to something excitingly new!

  3. anne54 says:

    How frustrating…and disappointing. Fingers crossed that Plan B solves the problem.
    Tierney, who is one of our bloggy friends, is an experienced bag maker, and may have some tips and tricks for you.

    • katechiconi says:

      Yes, we follow each other, so I’ll bear that in mind. The pattern- maker has also said to reach out if anything’s not clear, so I have that too.

  4. Caroline says:

    Oh how frustrating about the frogging. There should be a special place in purgatory for people who sell such poor workmanship in the guise of something useful.

    • katechiconi says:

      Agreed! And of course, the packaging is always sealed so you can’t inspect in advance. I could have coped with the flimsiness if the satin hadn’t made actual functionality impossible, too.

  5. The hurry up and wait is the hardest part. I’m playing catch-up here. As usual. Cute bag design. I couldn’t keep a backpack on my shoulders anymore for some strange reason. Maybe the designs of them. Went to cross body when I carry a bag. I’m sure yours will be uniquely you. As it should be.

    • katechiconi says:

      One of the comments about this design was that the design ensured the straps didn’t slide off, which was a factor for me as I have a similar problem. We’ll see how it works out!

  6. Lynda says:

    I hate hitches in a finish… I hate hitches in a beginning even more. Seems like you have a good plan for the finish, and I love your back pack pattern too. Can’t wait to see your take on this one! Thank you for the link I just ordered it. ❤

    • katechiconi says:

      Oh good, glad it was useful. I’ll be starting the backpack today, hopefully, so I’ll probably do my usual progress posting along the way, in case that’s useful.

  7. nanacathy2 says:

    Bad luck on those thingies and good luck with plan B. Love the bag. Are you sure you can’t find a tiger, it does look good.

    • katechiconi says:

      I don’t have a tiger, but the fabric I’m using has a bird, butterfly and beetle on the flap where the tiger is, so I think I’m satisfying the zoological requirement!

  8. tialys says:

    What a pain but it looks as if you’ve found a good alternative.
    As for the backpack, if you change your mind about the tiger I have some of the Tula Pink fabric with tigers you could use. 🐯

    • katechiconi says:

      I think I like the replacements better, to be honest! Certainly much more durable and sturdy. I have the Tula Pink Tiny Creatures range as part of this coat, so I could if I wanted put a large pink and yellow stag on the flap, but I’m going with the more botanical Eden fabric instead. Thanks for the offer, though!

  9. I keep trying to find some value in mistakes and missteps (due to the volume of both I STILL make). Maybe sewing and tearing out sewing is, well, meditative. Or helping us make peace with ourselves. Or sparing us from running the errand that might have turned out badly. This likely all falls in the category of “oh well” but I try.

    • katechiconi says:

      Oh, I hear you… I think meditative is very much the wrong word for unpicking those dratted things, but disciplined is closer to the restraint needed when pulling tiny stitches out of a silk lining without wrecking it. On the upside of this whole fiasco, I like the new clasps *much* better!

  10. OK now – be honest – did you actually say Oh Rats when you discovered the problem or something stronger followed by something stronger. !! Awful! All that time sewing on then all that time sewing off – however I do think that good Fails are worth it – somehow – I love a good back pack! You are so clever.

    • katechiconi says:

      Oh Rats is one of my favoured more mild outbursts, but I think at the time it resulted in the much more robust Oh Boll*cks which is actually my favourite, bequeathed to me by my Pa, a man of few but pithy expletives. And it was a worthy fail, because it resulted in clasps which are not only more sturdy, but also much prettier. Let’s see if I can get the backpack made without any B-words…

  11. Going Batty in Wales says:

    How infuriating! But I am glad you found an alternative fastening. Good luck with the backpack.

    • katechiconi says:

      Thanks! So far, I’m finding it well-written and clear. I think if I like it enough to make it again, I shall make a much more durable copy of the pattern pieces, mounted on card or made from vinyl or something.

  12. kymlucas says:

    I like the clasps!

    • katechiconi says:

      Me too! When you know the right term to search for, there’s a wonderful selection, but these were both the right colour and the right size.

  13. Sorry I only was able to read and like your post yesterday ❕
    It was a doozy of a day with work and baby sitting and work & groceries ❗️
    But I got there in the end (albeit exhausted 😩).
    The new clasps look lovely and will definitely make the coat look classier if that were possible…
    And the bag 😍 can’t wait to see the finished product ❣️

  14. […] of these two webbings will I use for the Batala/Harlequin backpack?  My personal preference is for the colourful geometric one at the bottom but I’m inviting […]

  15. Amo says:

    It just wasn’t meant to be. The solution will be far superior. 😊

  16. Emmely says:

    Oh no, that is so annoying when you have to unpick so much! Did the new clasps work out?

  17. magpiesue says:

    I haven’t yet read about the ribbon frogs from the beginning, but what a disappointment. Hope the black clasps work out better. Meanwhile, I have to say that I like your version of the backpack much better than the pattern model!

    • katechiconi says:

      I do too! I was hoping they’d arrive before we go away for 4 days so I could so them on and do a post before we go. Otherwise, I hope they’ll be waiting when I get back. I prefer my colour scheme for the backpack, but to each her own, I’m sure some will find my version much too garish!

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