Oh my goodness, I can't believe it, but I have finished my coat!!
Here it is in all it's glory modelled by the lovely Rosie.
I finished sewing the buttons on about 5.30 yesterday afternoon and wore it to go out yesterday evening. Sadly only in the car, with about a 10 yard walk into a restaurant, so it wasn't seen by many people!
As you probably know, the pattern is Vogue 8548, which was out of print by the time I decided I wanted to make it. Luckily I managed to track a copy down on Ebay.
I made view C, with the narrower neckline, as although I loved the look of the wider neck I knew it would drive me mad. I'm glad I made that decision, as I had some major issues with the interfacing and my solution would have ruined the wider neck. I'll come to that in a minute.
I made a few changes to the construction. Firstly the addition of bound buttonholes instead of button loops, as mentioned in my last post. They're not perfect but for a first attempt I'm pretty pleased with them, and to be honest, when the coat is buttoned you can't see them anyway.
I wasn't totally happy with the way the skirt was finished, with the lining coming right up to the front edges, so I altered this to include a strip of the shell fabric along each front edge. Unfortunately I messed up on my calculations and didn't cut this quite wide enough! Consequently the seam between the facings and the lining has the smallest seam allowance imaginable, and the front facings don't quite meet up at the waist seam, as you can see near the top of the photo below.
As also mentioned in my last post, I constructed the outer shell of the coat and then the lining completely, rather than the rather convoluted way Vogue wanted it done. I then sewed the outer shell and lining together along the front edges and neckline.
This meant that the sleeves and skirt hems weren't finished in the way Vogue instructed, so I made faced hems for both the sleeves and the skirt. The skirt hem facing is finished with bias tape and handstitched to the interlining with blind catchstitch - courtesy of instructions in the Readers Digest Complete Guide to Sewing.
This book proved invaluable in assisting me with various aspects of sewing my coat. I used it for several steps I've described above, and also to assist with insertion of shoulder pads and sleeve heads. The shoulder pads were purchased and the sleeve heads made from small pieces of polyester fleece fabric.
The only real problem I had was when I'd put the coat together the collar wrinkled terribly. I couldn't work out what was wrong, then I realised that the interfacing I'd used was too stiff and was also coming away from the shell fabric! Eeeek!!! I did a bit of online research and spent most of Tuesday evening steaming the interfacing off the coat fabric. It's made the collar sit a lot better, but of course there is now no interfacing at all so it's a little floppy. I think it's OK as I've made the narrower neckline, but I'm going to add a press stud above the top button just to keep things in place a little more.
It's freezing cold here this morning, but I've braved the garden and taken a couple of outdoor modelled shots with the self timer.
Can you tell how cold it is?
I'm really pleased with how this has turned out, and it's been a total learning experience for me.
I've used the following techniques for the first time, and none of them were as scary as I thought they'd be!
Interlining a garment.
Insertion of shoulder pads and sleeve heads.
Although it's quite a destinctive style, I would consider making this coat again, as a lightweight spring/summer coat.