Finally the coat is done! Except for a couple of snaps. And belt loops. And good press.
I FREAKIN' LOVE THIS COAT! I thought I wouldn't get a chance to wear it until October. But because Michigan weather is wrong on so many levels, I can actually wear it now.
Let me tell you about this weather. Wednesday, the high was 95F. Friday night, there were frost and freeze warnings. The high was 66F today. Do you see what I'm talking about? Wrong. Just wrong. Excuse me, Michigan, can we ease into this freeze? My body doesn't appreciate being shocked like that. Humid and 95 to breezy and cold is a bit much. Thanks.
Okay. Back to the coat.
Fabric & Notions:
- 2 yards of upholstery fabric (main body)
- 1 yard of upholstery fabric (sleeve and lower bands)
- 2 yards of Kasha flannel-backed satin lining
- 1.5 packages of Wright's piping
- fusible interfacing for the front, side front, collar, and all hems
- small piece of pre-washed muslin for back stay
- 2 11" x 3 " bias-cut polar fleece for sleeve heads
- 90/14 universal needle
- large and medium-sized snaps
- single belt buckle
- regular machine with walking foot
- serger with medium-brown thread
I wrote a series of posts about the changes I made to this pattern. For more info, please visit these links:
I was going to go all out and do padstitching, hair canvas - the whole nine. But since I have at least one more coat on my radar before the year ends, I scratched that idea and took the easy route. I fused interfacing to the entire front and side front panels, cut the under collar on the bias and fused interfacing to it, inserted a back stay, and added sleeve heads for cap support.
I cannot stress enough how nice it is to use sleeve heads to help set in a sleeve. My fabric was thick and I don't think using the two rows of ease stitches would have been enough to set the sleeve in nicely. I have ZERO puckers on my sleeves and got them both in on the first try. If you haven't used sleeve heads on your jackets or coats, do it!! Now! =)
Order of Construction
The instructions have you construct the bodice and bands separately, then attach the bands to the bottom of the coat. Instead, I added the bands to each panel (side front, front, side back, and back) so that I could fit the vertical and side seams as I sewed. This way just makes more sense to me.
The fabric raveled A LOT so I finished the edges first before sewing them together. I used my wooden clapper to help get nice flat seams and to reduce bulk. The seams on the lining were serged together and pressed to one side.
I decided not to bag the lining and let it hang loose. I wanted to be able to get access to the inside in case I need to adjust further for fit or repair some future weak spot. Like I said, the fabric raveled something awful and even though I serged, I'm not sure how it's going to hold up after lots of wear. After making the lining pieces and all of the other changes, I intend to wear the hell out of this coat.
Since my lining isn't bagged, I wasn't sure how to finish the area where the piping ends. So I cut out some of the cord from the end, tucked the end piece under and stitched it in place. I make a note to think about this more the next time (oh yeah, there will be a next time).
Though this coat took a lot of work, I am SOOOOO glad that I pushed through and finished. There were times that I felt like sending this project to Area 51 - the real one. I had already had the fabric and pattern for at least six years and waiting another year would have been nothing. The simple truth is that I was afraid of ruining the fabric. When I thought about it, I realized that this fabric I like so much is just going to continue gathering dust and not ever be enjoyed UNLESS I do something with it. So, I got over my fear and just cut. It was the right decision. =)
I want to take a moment to thank everyone who showed some love and support through the making of this coat. I am very grateful to be among a group of goodhearted folks like you.
Up next: I wanted to try making a woven button-front blouse for BeaJay's Scary September Challenge. But, I think I will sew something that doesn't take much thought right now. I'd like to make a few pieces from my Fall 6PAC plan that I have yet to blog about. Most of the patterns are TNTs so these shouldn't be to hard to sew.
Until next time, peace!