Matching plaid is always a challenge. This plaid is slightly irregular, which made some matching really hard to wrap my head around. I had to choose between matching horizontally, vertically or both. In some areas, I was able to match both ways, but when I had to sacrifice, I chose to match horizontally (except when I chose to not match at all). I had to re-do this CB seam three times before it lined up. I found the topstitching pulled the fabric slightly askew. The bodice back is completely interfaced with bias hair canvas. The shoulders have an extra piece, padstitched together.
The shoulders were a big challenge for me. DD1 has both wide and broad shoulders, and she wanted the pagoda look. So I researched how to make pagoda shoulders, and, after learning it’s the most difficult shoulder to tailor, decided I’d focus on getting her wide-broad-forward shoulder adjustment just right instead. I made several toiles, but here’s the results in a nutshell:
- one inch broad/wide shoulder adjustment
- one inch forward shoulder adjustment
These looked quite extreme on the pattern pieces, and I doubted my eyes (until she put the toiles on), but she wanted her shoulders accentuated as much as possible, as well as growing room built in. Once I show you the pictures of her wearing the coat, you’ll see it isn’t extreme on her at all. For the record, the dress form modeling the coat in the last picture has totally square shoulders.
As an aside, I referenced Fitting and Pattern Alteration extensively, but which alterations to do for DD1 was a little difficult to determine. I tried broad shoulder, broad-wide shoulder and protruding shoulder blades before I realized which one worked for her. Does anyone else struggle with “reading” toiles to determine the correct alterations?
I cut the collar completely on the bias, both top and under collar and interfacing. The stand is on the straight grain. The collar is a detail from Burda’s Talea. coat pattern. It’s quite deep – about 3 inches. I really had to take breaks trying to match the plaid across the shoulders and sleeves. I started going cross-eyed from staring at it so long. I ended up second-guessing myself and cutting an extra (different) front piece, but discarded it the next day when I saw (with fresh eyes) that my original cut had matched up just fine.There were a lot of things that made the construction of this coat a messy business for me. I used 1 inch seam allowances, which totally messed up the side bodice pieces (every other step of the construction went fine with the larger allowance- d’oh). I have no idea what I did, but once I trimmed everything back to the standard 5/8″, the armscye and princess seam went together like a charm. Lack of experience, I guess. Next up: the sleeves that made me cry.