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.
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. =)
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!