That’s it! My final project of the year is just completed and not only am I pleased but also very relieved as it’s been dragging on a bit too long to my taste. As for the trousers from the same pattern, that will have to wait till January I’m afraid!
Last time , I mentioned I was off a pretty good start. Well, the second part of the project was a different story altogether and the fact I’d never made a coat before didn’t work in my favour. Adding to this, I am by nature quite impatient if results don’t show up quickly enough…irritable if things don’t go to plan…and even let very unpleasant words come out of my mouth if it all goes horribly wrong! The “Triple Threat” as I call it which I experienced first-hand when I realised much later that one of my sleeves created a bulk at shoulder level and made the garment uncomfortable to wear. I initially blamed it on the lining, then the shoulder pad – anything really – before realising I sewed that sleeve the wrong way…ah, the joys of fixing mistakes!
Going back to my initial train of thought, following meticulously instructions to the letter isn’t quite enough. There are more techniques involved that meet the eye so I’m glad I had my friend Rita to give me a hand for the second part of the project. I mentioned I would need one trip to her place, I actually needed two. The instructions want you to sew the whole lining (including sleeve lining, facing and upper collar) in one go before attaching it to the under collar, front opening and lapel edges. It seems straightforward in essence but that didn’t go according to plan despite clipping the fabric around the curves. My collar and lapel edges didn’t come out nicely and eventually Rita had to step in to fix that challenging area which got overstretched through stitching and unpicking the fabric too much.
Rita advised me for the next coat project to individually attach the upper collar to the under collar, then the facings to the front (which should be loosely hand sewn to the back so that it sits nicely) and finally attach the lining and sleeve lining to the upper collar and facing.
In hindsight, I should have done my research before jumping in head first into this project. Peter documented the coat process very well since working on two coats at the start of the month and I’ve certainly learnt a thing or two from reading his latest blog entries. I’ve also bought “The carefree fly-front coat” video on Crafsy so I hope to hone my skills by the time of the next coat project. Some of finishing steps baffled me a bit – I couldn’t make any sense of instruction 68 and the drawing left me wondering for a while – and I decided against doing the buttonholes on my Bernina, a wise decision as I got a much more professional result going to a small shop in central London. I really like my choice of buttons, I found those on eBay and I love the glossy black rim against the textured centre.
So that’s it for my winter jacket…well nearly…I’m currently working on something a little special, stay tuned until next week! In the meantime, I leave you with this tongue-in-cheek cartoon picture from my BFF Nadia, who’s never been afraid to show her softer side now and again…