And it’s finished! I have a car coat that I am happy with, and that I have already worn more in the last week or so than I ever did in it’s first iteration.
Compulsory inside view of the back with ease pleats. I am so much happier with this lining than the first make-do version!
I kept the pretty blue silk piping on the inside.
Here’s the inside view of the properly placed in-seam pockets, complete with pocket stay, attached to the front facing with ribbons saved from the Christmas Fiasconaro panettone. Do you do this? I keep all those decorative fabric ribbons that make boxes pretty: Maison Birks, Jo Malone, Fiasconaro, Pottery Barn, etc., etc. If anyone decides to dissect my jeans, they’ll be in for a surprise! They work surprisingly well when twill tape or some sort of tape is required in places.
Here’s another picture of the inside. I didn’t underline this coat because the fabric is actually a sort of knit, and I wanted it to be ‘free’. I did reinforce the hems, seams and facings with a combination of silk organza strips (straight grain) and horsehair (straight for the front and bias for the sleeve cuffs).
The grain across the high chest is now straight. The front is lapped, not snapped shut, so it looks off, but it isn’t. Back view on my double in the workroom. I’m happy with the grain and the slimmer fit.
And then the back view on me. No glamourous fashion footwear here; just practical warm winter boots. And a side-ish view, both belted and unbelted. I usually wear it belted.
I changed the placement of the belt loops, too, because they were too high in the original coat. You can see closeup photos of the actual loop with it’s lining back (less bulk) and it on the coat with the belt drawn through it here.
I am so very happy with this coat now! The fabric is from EOS, and it’s cozy and so pretty up close.
Woo hoo! First major project of 2020 is in the closet. Now I’ve just to finish altering DD3’s jumpsuit and get some photos of it so I can show you here make from a couple of years ago. Alterations are necessary due to height changes and the general slimming down that happens in mid-teen years. After that, all my alterations are done and I can start on new things!
My first project of 2020 is to remake the last winter coat I made back in 2018. I intend to shorten it to car coat length so that I will actually wear it, as it has only been worn twice since it was finished. There are several things that just bug me about the coat:
- It is a BIG COAT, which is what I was going for in the first place, but I really hated my slap-dash-use-whatever-I-have-lying-around-the-house-that’s-the-right-tone lining (drapery silk shantung that had been washed in hot water and put through a hot dryer cycle with tennis and dryer balls to soften up the hand) because it just made it so…. so…. ridiculous to wear, I guess. I really wanted a different lining – a softer, lighter lining; lighter than flannel-backed satin or kasha lining, typically used in winter coats.
- The original Burda pattern is a tall pattern, and I didn’t bother to place the pockets accurately, so they sit about 10cm lower than they should on me. I want to move the pocket up to where they will be useful and easy to access with my not-tall arms.
- The R front facing and front edge bugs me. It’s a grain thing, and I hate wearing it because of this. I intend to straighten it out and do it properly.
- It’s just too long and dramatic to get worn much, and I have other fabric for other dramatic coats in my stash that I hope to make up soon.
- The contrast band of linen velvet is nice in a dramatic coat, but I do actually want to wear this coat, and the current length makes it rather a process to get in and out of the car.
- It’s too wide. I hate coats that fit small, and I was very enthusiastic in adding ease to my original iteration of this coat, so each side seam will be reduced by 4cm, for a total width reduction of 16cm.
I’ve re-cut the lining from a lightweight satin-backed crepe fabric from my local Fabricland that was actually marketed as drapery fabric (???). I laundered it to get that horrid polyester chemical smell out of it before cutting it out. I used the old lining as a pattern, after making forward-sloping shoulder alterations and taking in the sides by a total of 16cm.
So far I have completed the following alterations:
- removed the lining
- moved the pockets up 10cm
- taken the side seams in 16cm
- straightened the grain across the upper chest by doing a forward-sloping shoulder adjustment (Why didn’t I do this the first time around?!)
- removed the lower velvet band
- redid the facings, which, in combination with the shoulder adjustments, has made the fronts hang straight. Happy day!
All that is left is to put the lining back in after deciding on the length I want.
More importantly than my news about remaking my coat, I want to thank each and every one of you for all your comments and kind words on my last post. It may be cliché, but your wishes and encouragement meant so much, and on hard days, I go back and re-read them.
Well, 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.
It’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.
BTW, 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!
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!
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.And 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. The 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.Well, 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.
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 time. I just felt like practicing buttonholes this time ’round. Need I say that the fourth one is significantly better than the first!BTW, 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!
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!
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.
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:
- Interfacing the bodice back with the interfacing cut on the true bias and (possibly) an extra shoulder piece, depending on the fit.
- 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?
- 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….