28 June 2016

Jamie Christina Abbey Coat: finished

Drum roll...

Yaaaaaaay!  After all of the hassle, I am happy that this coat is FINALLY done.  I suppose can't complain too much because I sewed it from start to finish in 20 days.  But still.  

My play son (and today's photographer) asked me, "So why do you make so many coats?"  LOL  I had NO answer for him.  I like making coats!

Fabric & Notions:
  • 4 yards of wool coating (stash; Metro Textiles)
  • 2 yards of Kasha flannel-backed satin lining
  • 1 fat quarter to make continuous bias for piping (JoAnn Fabrics)
  • fusible interfacing (stash; Mood NYC)
  • sew-in hair canvas (stash)
  • 9 7/8" gold metal buttons (Pacific Trimming NYC)
  • bias cut fleece strips for sleeve heads
  • 80/12 universal needle (for shell)
  • regular sewing and serger thread
  • walking foot

Pattern & Instructions:  The pattern is well drafted in that everything matches up nicely.  There are separate pattern pieces for the shell and lining as well as for the facing and upper/under collar.  
The lining pieces are already designed with built in ease and appropriate hem allowances.  I made the same alterations on the lining pieces instead of creating new ones. 
The instructions are very clear and well-written.  Pay close attention to the changes in seam-allowance, though.  While it may seem like a nuisance to some, I appreciated having smaller seam allowances in some areas:  flounce seam, collar seam, and cuffs.
The only illustration that caused some confusion was the one showing where the flounce is attached to the bottom of the coat.  The illustration shows that the edge should be flush with the center front.  However, my center front extended about an inch past the edge of the flounce.  

I figured this is how it should be since the flounce edge is finished before attaching it to the coat.  I reached out to a few PR members who sewed the coat as well as J. Christina.  They all assured me that this was correct.
I kind of liked that the instructions have you sew both the shell and lining together.  I usually do one at a time - even waiting to cut out the lining until I need it.  Doing it this way appeared to make things go quicker, though I did have to change out the machine and serger thread often. 

Tailoring:  The whole front is interfaced with heavyweight sew-in hair canvas using Kenneth D. King's method found in Cool Couture: Construction Secrets for Runway Style. 

The canvas is sewn to a lightweight piece of cotton using a serpentine or zigzag stitch (left pic).  Then the extra canvas is cut out of the seam allowance to reduce bulk.  On the side *facing* the fashion fabric, the lightweight cotton is cut out of the center (right pic).  Finally, the cotton-canvas unit is hand basted to the fashion fabric.  Below is a picture of the whole front completely interfaced.

I used the same heavyweight hair canvas as a back stay.
Finally, I added sleeve heads as usual to help pad the sleeve cap and make setting the sleeve easier.  Both sleeves went in smoothly on the first try.  Wuuuuuuuut!

Construction:  I finished the edges with my serger and sewed all of the seams on my sewing machine.  I am firmly in the not-couture camp.  If I can serge it, I will.
The buttonholes were a friggin' nightmare.  Oh man.  I was supposed to make nine; I stopped at five and used snaps on the cuffs.  I was SOOOO frustrated because my machine was having none of this thickness.  Two of the five buttonholes had to be completed step by step using a zigzag stitch.  Don't look to closely...mmmmkay?  

The fabric thickness didn't really allow me to get close to the center front.  I don't like how far in the buttons are but there's nothing I can do.  When I make the next coat (haha), I will either take more care to grade the seam allowance or learn how to do bound buttonholes.

I included self-made piping between the facing and lining for fun.  
My play son asked, "why is the fly shit on the inside?  This should be on the outside!" He thinks I should have piped around the collar etc.  Hmm...maybe on the next trench coat...

I used a regular fat quarter to make bias strips measuring 1.5 inches wide.  

I wavered between using the batik shown and another one that was primarily blue.  While I like the one pictured, I wish I had used the other one because it would give way more contrast. 

Conclusion:  Love!  I won't be able to wear heavy clothes underneath, but this is still a good transition coat.  I adore how it moves too!  I am so glad that I removed the interfacing from the flounce; the coat would not be as fluid.  I am also glad that I shortened the overall length.  That extra length made a world of difference; I went from oompa-loompa to not too shabby. =)

J. always gets me with the spontaneous action shots.  I was turning around to button the coat while he was snapping away!  Aaaah the swirl!

And a very lovely picture of my play son, future Dr. M.  He's a sweetheart through and through.  I couldn't be more proud of all that he has accomplished and what he has yet to give to the world. 

This little guy stopped to watch the photo shoot while munching on a grape.  Maybe squirrels shouldn't have grapes because this one was TURNT after like five minutes.  It ran all over the place hopping up and down doing flips and barrel rolls.  Still cute though. =)

Up next?  A nap and then to finish the accidental trench skirt.  

Until next time, peace!



  1. "why is the fly shit on the inside? This should be on the outside!"
    He's my hero!

    L this is a lovely coat and will be fun to have in your wardrobe. It's cute and sweet and chic all in one!!

    1. LOL He is a hoot!

      Thank you SCC. I love how it moves unbuttoned too. Very mini Matrix like. =)

  2. L, I love this coat, and this color is amazing! And your play sons phrase regarding the lining and piping is, epic,lol! I love it!

    1. Haha thank you Candice! He really has me thinking about piping the outside now. I have to get way better at finishing the ends first though!

  3. Some projects are long 20 day projects, and some projects are short 20 day projects. I think whenever you hit snags any project turns into a LONNNNGGG one no matter what the time frame. Looks lovely - and yes, buttonholes on thick fabric are hopeless to make with most machines. I think learning how to do bound buttonholes will stand you in good stead as you do adore making coats. Looks fantastic, and so do you.

    1. Yes this was one of those LONNNNGG projects. I unpicked sewing stitches, serger stitches, basting stitches, stitches stitches sooo many times. When my machine started fussing over the buttonholes, I almost had it! I had to improvise by doing a 4-step buttonhole to try and cover up what the machine couldn't do. Oy vey! Thank you for the compliment SL. =)

  4. "So why do you make so many coats?"
    Because you don't live in Florida. :-)
    Love, love the new coat! The color, the shape, the movement, the fly shit inside. You've made a fabulous coat!
    I'm almost jealous (almost) of needing winter coats.

    1. LMAO! That is the answer I will always give when asked why I make so many coats. =)

      Thanks Debbie. I'm happy with it - fly shit and all. LOLOLOL

  5. Fabulous coat. Color, piping, interior are all great. I've used Kenneth King's method of applying hair canvas once too, such a clever method.
    20 days isn't long for a coat!

  6. I want to applaud!! And, you've totally inspired me to use sew in hair canvas. And, to try and sew some of my coating stash. I love coats so much. Your changes really saved the coat. The color is glorious too!

  7. Your coat looks amazing, the length is spot on and the fit is also. Love that you used all the tailoring for this coat and your piping add that extra special touch.

  8. Wow, you did an awesome job on this coat! I love all the beautiful details too! I know longer make very many coats since I moved to Florida and agree they are a lot of work! You definitely had success with this one!

  9. Lovely, lovely and in one of my favorite colors! I admire any sewist who has the patience and skills to make a coat--and you do it so well.

  10. Gorgeous coat and your play son is fabulous. Nothing like creative comments from fresh eyes lol..

  11. Your coat is fabulous! It fits you beautifully and what a gorgeous color on you too. That flounce is just so much fun. Bravo!

  12. It looks great and I love the photo of you with the lamp post.
    I think you make a lot of coats because you like more involved sewing...like with the jeans. Either that or you're a glutton for punishment. ;)

    I can hear Kashi now...."You're very talented! Want to buy some more?" :)

  13. Wow, what a beautiful coat. The color and style are gorgeous on you! I have this pattern and should really think about making it up, now that I have seen your fabulous version!


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