It's ready! It's finally ready! Got the idea two years ago, bought fabric one year ago, cut coat fabric in January, and now it's ready!!! (Warning for long, picture heavy post...)
The pattern, found on Tradera (Swedish ebay). Won after a fierce bidding, where I questioned if I really needed a pattern. So very, very happy I followed through on the bidding! Without this pattern I wouldn't have known what pieces a coat requires, and that was just the start of the process.
The fabrics, from left: green wool, woven fusible, 100% lambswool interlining, brown lining. Of course I later discovered I needed more stuff, like horse-hair canvas, shoulder pads, buttons, waaay more coat thread than I have here.
And all that material somehow turned into this. =)
Of course it was not as simple as that, there was no magic wand, but lots of sewing needles, pressing, and all kinds of new to me construction techniques. To my aid I had the classic Tailoring book, which was great. One thing it did not adress was how to pad-stitch a cut-on shawl collar, or how the assembly order changes for shawl collars in comparison to ordinary collars. I plan to post the solution I worked out =)
The fabrics were a pure joy to work with. In the end, nothing behaves as friendly as woven wool that has been treated. This had a Melton finish, making it impossible to pull out any strands, meaning no seam-finishing needed. Very helpful, since basically all the seam allowances were trimmed at one time or another, some down to 0.25 cm. Tightly woven and felted wool is a great idea then! Also, making invisible stitching is a breeze with a thick, tight wool.
Happy blogger! Also a demonstration of why it looks a bit uneven around the bust in the previous photo; it needs the ease so that my arms can move. But mostley: Happy blogger! =)
Of course, thick wool is a nightmare to press, but hey! Now I had to learn how to do it! I'll readily admit; not all seams are perfectly pressed, even though I did a lot of press-testing on scraps. I don't really care though, I love the coat!
Naturally the pattern didn't work straight out of the package, there were some huge fitting alterations: shortening the back, shortening the front (different amounts), Full Bust Adjustment, re-directing the bustdarts, adding width on waist and hips, and lots of small fiddly things. Still, the back worked as it was (with a lenght reduction), which was a first for me!
The only style alteration I did was to alter the collar slightly, it was way too high on the neck in the original pattern. I did keep the original skirt length, though. In old catalog photos the coat always covers the skirt/dress, and keeping that detail gives the coat a nice vintage flair, I feel.
So happy with the silhouette! Just like I envisioned!
There is huge amounts of handstitches inside this coat. To begin with all seams were handbasted, machine sewn,basting removed, seam pressed open, then both seam allowances cross stitched to the coat to ensure the seam would lie flat. The collar is pad stitched by hand, lining attached with slip stitches and of course all the hems are hand worked. Plus a lot more minor details... That was fun parts though, I love hand sewing!
A hint of the lining, the light from the street light does something weird to the colour though. Also the inside of my bound buttonholes. First time I've done any of those, so it was... interesting =) Of course some details could have been better, but I'm generally pleased with them.
Phew! A long post for conveying a long journey. I've enjoyed lot's of it, I've sworn quite a few times, I've learned tons, and now I'm very happy it has come to an end so I can go on to next step: using the coat! Come on winter, bring me that snow! =)
And finally: Thank you so much Elin, for being my photographer for a day!