This is the second time I have made this coat. The pattern was first printed in 2004 but it’s so simple I don’t think it can be attached to any decade.
This fabric is a piece that I bought on line from Emma One Sock. As is commonly the case with my random purchases, I didn’t really have enough fabric once I decided what to make. I had to supplement my 78 inches of flowered fabric with another length of black, cotton lycra blend, which I used for the front facing, the under collar, and sleeve facings.
This fabric isn’t one that I would normally buy. It’s a poly cotton blend, and being something of a fabric snob, I usually ignore anything with polyester in it. But, in this case I loved the print and the texture, so I went for it! That’s me living on the edge… Using polyester fabrics for garments that will have some tailored components – in this case the sleeves – is sometimes a poor choice because it’s tough to get a good result. Tailoring relies heavily on being able to shrink the fibres into place. In this case, although the fabric doesn’t shrink at all, the unique weave made it flexible enough to ease the sleeve cap.
The fabric feels like a jacquard weave. It’s quite crisp but still flexible. I underlined the whole body of the coat with a lightweight sew-in polyester cotton interfacing. I used a slightly heavier interfacing for the centre front piece, but now that coat is done, I think I would have been more satisfied if the front was a bit crisper. If I knew then what I know now…I would have used hair canvas in the front, or as I did with the collar, I could have used fusible Presto Sheer for the facing…I think hair canvas would be the best and perhaps a lighter weight fusible knits on the facing..
I wanted this to be a lightweight coat for Vancouver’s coolish fall and spring weather. The underlining supports the fabric and adds a bit of warmth. To make it even warmer I used Kasha, a flannel backed acetate-cotton blend, to line the body and a lighter weight Bemberg lining for the sleeves.
The sleeves are hemmed about 1/2 longer than normal and I added a small extension (about 3/4 inch) to the back seam. The sleeve facing is cut exactly the same as the sleeve and about 8 inches high. I left a 3 1/2 inch opening in the back seam so the facing could show a bit.
I added a shoulder interfacing of hair canvas and a chest piece to support the shoulders. The under collar is interfaced with Presto Sheer cut on the bias and the upper collar is interfaced with a fusible knit. I used shoulder pads that have been in the “stash” for years. They were 5/8 inch pads which were too thick, but removing one of the foam layers got them down to just under 1/2 inch.
These very interesting buttons are from a Vancouver store called Button Button. It’s a tiny place on Homer Street, and it’s a treasure box of every button anyone would ever want! I think these look sort of Victorian, which is about as close as I am going to get to the Renaissance Woman trend. I’m not happy with the buttonholes and I’m going to hand stitch over them with buttonhole thread. I haven’t done that before so when I finish, I’ll post a tutorial to show the result.
I am quite happy with this coat. It’s not one that I would wear every day, but certainly good to have for a change.
Materials for this project:
Flowered Fabric: 78 inch length of 60 inch wide polyester cotton
Contrast Facing: 40 inch length of 54 inch wide cotton lycra twill
Topstitching: Heavy topstitching thread by Gutermann and size 12 Topstitching needle- a good tip is to always use a topstitching needle which will reduce skipped stitches and other irritating problems.
Lining: 1.25 yards Kasha flannel backed acetate for the body, and 1/2 yard Bemberg for the sleeves