Does anyone watch X-factor/ Britain’s Got Talent/ other Simon Cowell type rubbish? Do you ever hear the contestants that are leaving talk about the “journey” they have been on during the course of the programme, and how much they have learned/ grown etc whilst they have been participating? Well, that’s how I feel about this coat. I will be honest….I don’t love this coat or the pattern (it was one I had in my stash). I wish I had had enough fabric to add the stand up collar, but I didn’t, and I don’t know if the pattern/ overall look is a little bit more “mature” than I would have liked. But this coat was all about the journey for me, and my attempt to learn some tailoring skills.
I used Jackets for Real People and thoroughly recommend it. BTW, what makes a coat “tailored” and not just “sewn”? According to the authors of Jackets for Real People, “Tailoring” is a method of sewing that makes a garment more durable than traditional dressmaking. It generally applies to coats and jackets. “Tailored” can also refer to a “man-tailored” fashion look with crisp details, masculine fabrics, and men’s suit styling. I attempted to use some tailoring techniques for the first time when making this coat, including:
- Using a suitable interfacing. I ordered some Palmer/ Pletsch PerfectFuse Tailor Ultra interfacing to interface the jacket fronts and I also fused the elbow areas of both sleeves. I found this interfacing really was a cut above anything I can get locally to me, and if I was making another coat/ jacket of this weight I would definitely use this interfacing again. It has a handle almost like cashmere and is far superior to cheaper alternatives. Interfacing in general: something I need to learn more about!
- Inserting a back stay. I drafted a pattern for a back stay using the upper back coat pieces, and cut the stay from some quilting cotton. The backstay protects the garment whilst you are reaching for things, and also whilst it is being hung on a hanger. The back stay was machine basted around the side, arm holes, shoulders and neck before making the rest of the coat up.
- Making bound buttonholes. I followed the Coletterie tutorial, but I think this is something that I definitely need to practice!
- Using sleeve heads to set the sleeves in. I used the “quick method” of setting the sleeves in using a strip of linen. You have to try this method to probably understand what a revelation it is. I got amazing, smooth, rounded sleeves on my first attempt, although admittedly, the fabric I used to make this coat is very easy to work with. Try it and you won’t be disappointed is what I say.
- Inserted piped lining. I used the Coletterie tutorial to make continous binding and made my own piping which I used for the lining, and I also inserted it along the coat front and along the seams at the back of the coat. I think it definitely adds a more professional touch.
- Bagged the lining. This technique is “simply” machine sewing the lining hem to the jacket and turning the jacket right side out through an opening in the sleeve. Although this pattern calls for a free hanging lining, I decided to bag the lining and I think it has made the front hem hang a little funny, but I am hoping a good press might sort it. I am not going to lie, this technique was a little daunting, but hopefully it will become easier to understand the more I do it. What it meant was I got a lovely professional finish, with NO hand stitching involved – result!
Lined coats in two lengths. I made view B (mid knee length). A – line without collar, close fitting with princess seams, back pleats, long sleeves with elbow dart and topstitching trim. I also added piping as a feature.
16 – 24
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, although I was working with “Jackets for Real People” in an attempt to learn some tailoring techniques.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I don’t love the pattern. I like the back on the finished garment. I am not so keen on the front. But it is very easy to sew.
Wool tweed? (tumble dried with damp towels and steam pressed prior to cutting) Don’t know exactly what composition the lining is exactly, but it was able to withstand a lot of pressing heat! The piping was made from a snakeskin effect manmade fabric of some kind.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
No pattern alterations as such. I cut my usual size for the bodice and one size larger for the skirt portion. This coat was an attempt for me to learn some tailoring skills, and so, for the first time, I:
- Inserted a backstay
- Made bound buttonholes
- Used the “quick” method of setting sleeves in (using a strip of linen)
- Inserted piped lining and piping as a feature on some of the outside seams
- Bagged the lining
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
No, I probably won’t sew this again, but I would recommend to others, but it is OOP now.
It’s a nice simple pattern for me to have practised my tailoring techniques on, and I wore it out today and it was comfortable and kept me warm.
In conclusion, this has definitely been a journey, and sometimes one which I found daunting, but it has made me a better sewist for it….next time I will tackle taping a roll line and pad stitching!