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Friday, 15 January 2016

Construction Details for Vogue V8626 Coat

Now that is a dry title! In reality, making this coat was a roller coaster. Mostly it was fun and interesting and I learned a lot but there where a couple of times when I was just like

... ! >:(((

You know?

One was when I sewed up my side seams a tried on the coat for the first time.

Super weird ugly silhouette! I nearly shit a brick. It took an extra couple of hours but I was able to fix it by taking 6" from the width at the hem, tapering to just below the waist and eliminating the unflattering hip bump...thing.

...Anyway, the other thing that tripped me up needed some serious surgery.

I had constructed the lining with the lambswool interlining (all in one day. I was seriously on a mission!!!!) and attached it.

I was all ready to hem it when I realized the problem:

My pleat goes right to the hem, so for me to enclose the raw edge of the lining in the hem of the coat, the lining has to be, like, folded into the pleat. but because the coat and lining were separate, the coat pleat and the lining pleat are stacked on top of each other. I needed to treat the lining and the coat back as one. How the hell is that supposed to work???!?!

I scoured the internet but couldn't find anything that was helpful. The instructions that came with the pattern just said to hem the lining and the coat separately. Which is totally gross. Seriously. Ugh.

It took about 15 hours of stewing on it but I came up with a plan that I thought would work.

So on the off-chance that someone else encounters that same issue, here's what I did:

(Side note: Everyone else should stop reading right now because this is boring unless you're actually making the pattern. Thanks for stopping by!)

Okay, so for those of you (are there any of you?) who are making V8628 and want to enclose the lining in the hem of the coat, read on.

I you haven't sewed the coat yet, listen up: BASTE THE BACK WAIST SEAM when you sew across the back pleat. Coat and lining. Okay? Okay.

If you're reading this, chances are you're way beyond that. Don't worry though - everything is going to be okay. Your first step will be to undo the gorgeous feather stitching you did when you put together the lining.

While you have your stitch ripper out, open the back waist seam in both the coat and the lining to release the back pleat. (You might want to baste the back bodice pleat first but if it's been pressed you're probably fine.)

Once the lower back pleats are released, treat the back lower lining and the back lower coat as one. According to the pattern instructions, you would have made the lining pleat and the coat pleat as mirror images of each other. You might want to re-press the creases in the lining so that they match the creases in the coat but I didn't and everything turned out fine. I just gave it a nice steam after I was all finished.

So at this point you've refolded the lower-back pleat, treating the lining and coat fabric as one. Baste, and then and sew it to the back coat bodice. Leave the back bodice lining free for now. Press the seam upwards.

Re-sew your feather stitches to tack down some of the bulk of the back pleats. Fold the back bodice lining hem allowance over the back waist seam. Slip stitch or fell stitch the bodice lining to the lower-back lining.

Boom. Done.

...Well, hem it and then you're done.

Saturday, 2 January 2016

The Adventure of the Ulster Coat

Happy new year friends!

You may have noticed that it's been very very quiet around here. Well, here on the blog. Things have been very busy in the real life, what with Christmas and being the best sew-er evar!!!

I finished the coat on Christmas Eve, just in time for the unseasonably warm holiday weather!

I'm so happy (and surprised) with how well it turned out! It's so comfortable and cozy.

While working on the muslins, I was having trouble telling whether or not the proportions were going to be flattering, but I think it looks really smashing!

You may recall that this is very much inspired by Sherlock's Belstaff Ulster. I immediately fell in love with the pleating in the back of his coat and I think my version stands up admirably to the original. I only wish I had included a pleat in the back bodice to match the back of the skirt, but I was unsure of how to line it so I kept it simple. As it was, I had to really wrangle the lower lining to get it to work with the pleat and the enclosed hem, which was non-negotiable. I'll be posting a step-by-step of what I did. I have no idea if the way I attached it is conventionally acceptable, but I couldn't find a satisfactory answer online, so I had to improvise.

Speaking of Sherlock, did you guys watch the Abominable Bride yesterday? I'm still trying to decide whether or not I liked it. There was definitely some stuff that happened that had me like "what's the point of this?" and then there were the scenes with Moriarty, which I thought were brilliant and hilarious. Man, that Andrew Scott is an absolute nut! Such a good villain.

Speaking of villains, here I am acting mysterious and turning my coat collar up so I look all cool. Tragically, The fabric I used is a little too soft and drape-y to keep my collar popped. I'm also missing the cheekbones necessary to really do this look justice. Such a pity.

I ended up using three different patterns, plus adding my own drafted pockets. After lengthening and fitting Vogue V8626, I was having trouble finding the collar shape I wanted. I just didn't really know what the type of collar I wanted was called! I posted on reddit and someone suggested that I wanted a peacoat-type collar, so I bought the Burda Style pattern for "Navy Peacoat 10/2014 #125." 

Turns out what I wanted was just a wide peaked lapel with a very deep notch. This was my first time sewing a peaked lapel but things went pretty smoothly, thanks to Tailoring: The Classic Guide to Sewing the Perfect Jacket. Finally, I added cuffs by modifying a pattern that I found at Value Village - McCall's 5524.

Of critical importance to the success of this coat was its movement when worn. Early in my research I saw something - I can't remember where - that recommended the use if drapery weights in the hem. This is absolutely genius. I'm so happy with the way this coat moves that I had my wonderful photographer/cinematographer friend, Brian, make a gif for me!

(The ground was soooooooo slippery!)

I should mention that Brian Chambers took all of my photos for this post and is an absolute champ. I knew that I needed photos to do the coat justice. Thank you Brian!!

Edited to add: I just watched TAB again and I totally do like it.