Blackwatch Plaid Coat: Finale

blackwatch twirlWell, the skirt was fun!  As mentioned before, it’s six quarter circles, and it twirls magnificently.  Perfect for a dancer, no?  I didn’t hem it.  It’s faced with a 2 inch self-fabric facing which is stitched 1/8″ from the lower edge and catchstitched on the upper edge..  The hem edges are left raw.

blackwatch side frontIt’s above the knee in length, at her request.  She doesn’t care for long “dowdy” dress coats.  I did not match up the plaid on the skirt with the CF panels deliberately.  I thought with the ample folds of the skirt, it would be nice to not have the edges match – sort of a continuation of the broken plaid lines in the skirt. I did match all the plaid horizontally at the seams of each quarter circle.

blackwatch backBTW, I didn’t get any pictures of her wearing it with her hands out of the pockets, so the sleeves all look completely wonked in these photos.  You’ll just have to believe me when I say they are the perfect length and hang properly!blackwatch coat
Whew!  I’m so happy this project was a success and that DD1 really likes the coat.  I had to wrestle her into agreeing to have it made (stylish leather jackets look ridiculous in the middle of winter with a party dress), and I think she’s happy she did.  She’s wearing her silk & spiderweb lace LBD with it today, on her way to a school semi-formal.  Happy dancing!

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Blackwatch Plaid Coat: Sleeves

Short post, but these sleeves were a trial for me.  You see, I decided to cut the skirt before cutting the sleeves, and the skirt is h.u.g.e., comprising six quarter circle panels.  So I was left fitting the sleeves on to what was left.  Not a big deal, really, because I did have enough fabric, but matching the plaid was a challenge without yards left to use.Marfy 1005 sleeveAnd it looks like that green stripe is running forward of the centre of the sleeve, but it matches up perfectly with the forward shoulder adjustment, and hangs straight on DD1.  The dress form doesn’t have a forward shoulder, so it looks off.  I don’t handle ‘I-don’t-know-what-I’m-doing’ and out-of-my-depth sink-or-swim learning situations very well, and trying to decide how to match the plaid, with enough ease for the shoulders left me with a shorter sleeve that I really wanted and cost hours of draping, hemming, hawing and one or two mental sewing sessions at 3 a.m. This is the sort of crux I come to and wish I had more theory under my belt, or at least someone to teach me as I do it.  However, trial, error, and a what little experience I have had to make it do.  shoulder match plaidThe plaid is matched all ’round the sleeve through upper and under pieces.  DD1 and I had planned to add a bias cuff, so I wasn’t too worried about the inch or so of sleeve length I was missing by the time the plaid-matching decisions were made at the upper/under sleeves were cut.   I wanted a deeper cuff, but I was literally working with scraps by this point, so they’re only about 6 inches wide.  I lined them with the same lining used for the coat in order to keep bulk at a minimum.  We also added a short peplum, cut on the bias, to break up the plaid and add a little of the McQueen silhouette into the garment.  It just seemed to ‘finish’ the look.  There are side seam pockets underneath the peplum.bias peplum and cuffWell, the next (and last) post on this project will be with a live model.  I’m hoping she’ll give us a twirl so you can see how lovely the skirt on this coat is.

Blackwatch Plaid Coat: Closure

I have been working furiously on making a blackwatch plaid coat in Harris tweed for DD1, as she does not own a dress coat, and needed one for a family wedding earlier in March.  I made a toile of Marfy 1005 and a coat called Talea from Burdastyle’s website which I downloaded a couple of years ago.  Neither one was quite to her taste, so we went back to the original Harris tweed coat I’d made for her a few years ago from Burda 9/2010 #101, and put together a frankenpattern for the blackwatch coat.

I have completed the hidden button opening, complete with hand-worked buttonholes instead of the snap buttonholes I used last timeBurda 09-2010-101 hidden closureI just felt like practicing buttonholes this time ’round.  Need I say that the fourth one is significantly better than the first!hand-worked buttonholesBTW, if you google “blackwatch McQueen coat” (runway version) you can see the inspiration behind this one.  I am not a master cutter by any stretch of the imagination, and this project has both frustrated and challenged me.  It has whet my appetite for more tailoring, and I truly wish I could just sit and learn somewhere on Saville Row, or at a tailor in my own city.  Projects like this make me realize just how little I know and how much more I need to learn.  It’s been a big project, and I loved every minute of working on it.  More details soon!

interfacing a coat

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:How to Interface Jackets: Lessons from an Yves Saint Laurent Garment

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!

stalled…

Waffling on how to go about certain parts of garment construction sometimes really trips me up on productivity.  I’m currently have my Harris tweed dress coat cut and ready to assemble, but I’m undecided about the interlining/underlining. undecided (600x800)

I want this garment to hold up to years of wear without falling out of shape, so I’m using hair canvas, which you can see at the very back of the picture.  I’m making Vogue 8626, View C.

Here’s the options I’m having a tough time choosing between:

  1. V-8626_thumb.jpgInterfacing the bodice back with the interfacing cut on the true bias and (possibly) an extra shoulder piece, depending on the fit.
  2. Should I underline this tweed with silk organza (I don’t want a lot of bulk), trim away all the bias interfacing seam allowances except for the shoulders and armscyes and catchstitch the interfacing to the organza?
  3. Or should I underline each back piece separately and cut a back “shield” for the interfacing ?

And what about the front?  I’m doing bound buttonholes, and will interface the front on the straight grain, but should I interface the entire length of the side fronts on the bias?

Do you ever get stalled on a project because you can’t decide which method to use?  This won’t be the last coat I make, so I guess I could just use this as an experiment and use whatever method I don’t choose on the next one….

Winter Plaid Jacket

B 11-2010-133 side

So, after not doing anything with Marfy 1401 but letting it percolate in the back of my mind, I’ve come to the conclusion that I like the idea of that coat, but I don’t really like the idea of that coat in my life.  Why?  Well, simply put, I like… no…. LOVE the collar, but I just don’t need a long swing coat in my wardrobe.  If I need to dress up and it’s cold, I’ve got choices.  I could have played the Marfy down with the wool plaid, but in reality, I just want a casual coat that I can throw on and run errands in that isn’t a ski jacket.  Now, I hear you all.  Yes, I could have shortened the Marfy pattern, but I didn’t want to for some inexplicable reason.  I’m sorry to disappoint, but the Marfy Lab Coat project is officially dead.  So I went mentally wandering through my patterns for something else.

B 11-2010-133

B 11-2010-113 drawingEnter BurdaStyle’s November 2010 issue, #133.  It’s got bands, pockets and is a big, casual design with no fussing.  Win!  I chose this pattern because I liked the idea of bias bands with this plaid.  The fabric is wonderful.  It was a thrift store find a couple of winters ago that was originally intended to be a maxi skirt, but it was a bit on the heavy side, and so languished in stash until now.  I washed and dried it in the dryer about 3 times to get it to felt a little bit.  The process added the weight I wanted. The coat is not lined, but I lined mine with kasha lining. I made no adjustments other than sleeve length, although I did change up the construction a bit.

The first big change I made was to cut strips of bias for the bands and forget about Burda’s pattern.  I cut them 10.5 cm wide and washed them again to fray the edges a bit.  My idea was to overlay the edges of the coat itself and topstitch them into place rather than encasing the band between the coat and lining.  I wanted the casual frayed edge.  I did not interface the bands.

B 11-2010-133 front band

I measured 3 cm in from the edge of the coat and laid the inner edge of the top band along the markings.  There was a lot of easing and shrinking to do at the curved front bottom edges.  Once the top band was basted into place, I laid the band facing in place (wrong sides together) matching up the outer edges of the facing and band and topstitched them together.  Then I stitched through all thicknesses to attach both layers to the coat itself.  I really like how it looks.

B 11-2010-133 back band

I liked the idea of topstitching the pocket to the front, so I did that.  And I wanted a rolled-back cuff look but without actually having to roll the cuffs back.  The sleeves were long on me without the cuffs attached, so I trimmed about 4 cm and machine stitched the lining in place.  inside of sleeve

Then I stitched the cuffs and cuff facings together around the edges like I did the bands.  I folded them in half and stitched the edges together like a French cuff and laid the entire cuff over top of the sleeve.

cuffs

Needless to say, that’s a lot of layers, so I used a fell stitch to attach the cuff to the outside of the sleeve, and then a long back stitch on the inside to attach the edge of the sleeve to the cuff.  The cuffs extend past the sleeve edge by about 4 cm.

B 11-2010-133 pockets

It thoroughly snowed on Friday – FINALLY.  I’ve been waiting since October for decent snow.  Yesterday it was all sunshine and sparkles with a blue blue sky – just gorgeous!  The snow makes everything brighter.  I love winter.  Today, it’s supposed to rain, so the snow seen in the pics is actually half of what we got in about 24 hours last Friday.  Loved it!  Winter is supposed to be full of white fluffy cold stuff!

B 11-2010-133 back 2

I didn’t put any fastenings at the CF (I may change this later and add snaps) so I’m holding it closed with a belt.  Haven’t put any belt loops as of picture-taking time, but I think I’ll add some.  And now that the snow’s scheduled to melt in the rain today, I’m ready for those casually dressed errands without a ski jacket.

B 11-2010-133 front

Pattern Review: Vogue 7792

v7792 side viewWell, the coat is finished! It didn’t take that long to do, once I got started on it. As you can see from the picture, this is not the first time I’ve made this coat. I’ve made up this coat three times now. The first was in 2002 when DD1 was about 5 years old. I don’t have a picture, unfortunately. It was of a dark purple melton with a faux persian lamb collar and hat. The second version is on DD2, on the left. My DD1 chose the fabric (it was originally made for my eldest), but I didn’t purchase enough fabric, so it’s a bit shorter than I would have liked it to be. The latest version of it was necessary as DD3 had outgrown all the coats in the closet. Both coats are a Vogue size 10. You can see a picture of the pattern here.

sarah bella coatsI realize DD3’s is a bit big, but I’m hoping she’ll wear it next year, too. She’s very tall, and as she’s only 8, the coat will look perfect next year.

The beret and both coat collars are of a rayon faux persian lamb. I love this faux fur. I wish all faux furs were made of rayon, because you can steam them into shape without the fibres melting. The mystery fabric was interesting to sew. It behaved like a fleece, so required some care. I probably should have used a walking foot, but didn’t. I’ve left a 4 inch (10 cm) hem allowance on the cuffs, and pleated an extra 2 inches (5 cm) into the sleeve lining as a “growth” pleat. I’m anticipating DD3’s sprouting over the next year.

I was trying to be economical with this coat, and raided my button stash. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) I had to be satisfied with four different buttons. Some of them must be vintage, because they’re quite interesting. Hopefully you can get a closeup look at the picture. And I got stuck with the buttonholes, as you can read about in my previous post.4 different buttons

And here’s my pattern review:

Pattern Description: Children’s/Girls’ coat and hat.

Pattern Sizing: 4-6; 7-10; 12-14

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Absolutely!

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes. The instructions for this coat are particularly easy to follow and well-written. There are no errors.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I was initially drawn to it because of the back pleats and the length options.sarah coat backI personally love a long winter coat, and my girls are happy to have dress coats to wear. I also liked the hat pattern. It’s got a little of that jaunty Parisian air to it.v7792 beret

Fabric Used: light teal wool melton and white kasha lining for DD2’s coat. Dark teal mystery fabric, silver kasha lining for DD3’s coat. Rayon faux Persian lamb for the beret, collars and DD3’s belt.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I did not make any design changes either time. This is a lovely pattern and it’s got a lot of ease and movement to accommodate different shapes of little people. I know it’s an OOP pattern, but if you can get your hands on a copy, the resulting garment is worth it.