I wore my new tweed coat for the first time a couple of days ago when it was -11°C. My fingers were numb after five minutes of trying to take photos outside, but the coat kept me toasty warm. It’s a very simple coat – nothing super fancy or head-turning about it. The coat is wonderfully comfortable, and I’m glad I interfaced the back on the bias because it gives the feeling of moving with me instead of being separate from me. Like it’s hugging me and keeping me warm. I’m sure I’ll get a lot of wear out of this garment. Here’s a shot of the back pleats. I’m a little disappointed in the way the pleats fall during wear. When the coat front is open, they fall perfectly. When it’s buttoned, they spread. The side hangs vertically in a straight line while either buttoned or not, so the pleats should hang properly during wear, but they don’t. If you look at pictures on the web and read reviews of this pattern, you’ll see that this is a problem on all versions made of this coat. Personally, I think it’s because I assumed the empire back and pleats would eliminate the need for a short back adjustment of 2 inches, and there’s some tweaking that needs to happen with the pattern to get the pleats to lay perfectly flat. The side back pleats need to be much deeper and shaped over the hips, imho. Here’s a view, buttoned, on my dress form.At least it mimics me in shape and drape! And now the interesting collar: View C with the very high collar.I don’t have a particularly short neck, but you can see how the collar is too high for me. Here’s a shot of it unbuttoned and folded over at the CB, which I think is much more flattering. However, in a gale, the high collar will definitely keep frigid winds away!And here’s the last finishing details. I finished the hem edge with bias taffeta.I added a hanging chain loop.And, of course, an extra button along with the wonderful Harris Tweed label that accompanies every length purchased from one of the mills in the Hebrides.Looks a little 70’s, don’t you think?
The lining for my coat is what we call kasha lining: flannel-backed heavy satin. I added a centre back pleat for the upper back.I simply cut a 4-inch wide strip, stitched each long edge of the strip to the centre back seams and then formed a box pleat.I then topstitched large triangles at either end of the pleat to hold all the folds in place. And for that extra little piece of finishing, I trimmed the entire lining with shot taffeta bias strips. Here’s an honest shot of the interior front.Looks pretty messy. I never noticed how off the lining was at the side front attachment seams until I took this photo, especially towards the hemline. How irritating. BUT… is it irritating enough to make me rip it out and stitch it again? That is the question. 😉
I wanted the nicest possible sleeve head for this coat, so I cut a bias strip of tweed and interfaced the top 4 inches of the the sleeve head.The cuff is interfaced with a wide strip of bias horsehair.After fitting prior to sleeve insertion, I decided to put in a very small 1/4″ shoulder pad. Here’s the front of the shoulders.Here’s the back view. The shoulders of this coat are quite sloped and designed with no shoulder pads in mind. I think this coat looks like it’s been in my closet for a while. Y’know – already broken in.
I interfaced the centre front pieces with horsehair cut on the straight grain, with the side fronts interfaced with bias interfacing. Here’s a pic of the bound buttonholes. I’m pretty darn proud of them, I must say. I measure and re-measured and measured again, and they are as close to perfect as I could hope for. *grin*The facing is underlined with silk organza, and I used silk organza patches to face the buttonhole facings. And here’s the front facing, fell-stitched in place.
Here’s a view of the in seam pockets. I wasn’t sure about keeping them inseam, but decided I would leave them as is instead of changing them to welt pockets. I added pocket stays to keep them from flopping around and extra organza strips to reinforce the pocket edges as they are just off grain and I don’t want the openings to stretch out of shape. I also added 3-inch (10 cm) wide strips of Harris tweed to the front pocket lining pieces to limit the view of the very shiny kasha lining.I am going to pick stitch the edges to keep all the allowances, organza and interfacing in place.
I’m taking my time on this coat. I decided to interface the upper backs on the bias with horsehair. I chose not to add front and back shields based on the fit. There isn’t any caving through the shoulders. I wanted the bias interfacing through the back to keep the movement of the tweed fluid.I underlined the back with polycotton broadcloth. The hem is interfaced with bias strips of horsehair. The seam allowances are all catch stitched into place, although these pics were taken prior to that step. Here’s the back with all the pleats.
Well, as sure as there’s sunshine today, I’ve decided on my course of action for my tweed coat. Thank you to everyone who left a comment! This isn’t the first coat I’ve tailored, but for some reason I just got stumped about which interfacing route to take.
Anyways, let me tell you how I came to my decision:
I was catching up on my blog reading and clicked through to Pinterest from one of the blogs and, would you believe it, there was this lovely pin on one of Steph C’s boards:
This is an Yves Saint Laurent jacket from the 80’s, and shows you one of the methods of interfacing that I was waffling on. Don’t you just LOVE interior pictures like this?!?!
I’ll be using this method, since it will stand up to years of wear and – if the pics in the linked Threads article (click on the picture above or here) are any indication – will keep its shape for at least 20 years.
Happy sewing, everyone!