Saturday, 29 October 2011

It's a coat!




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!

Love, Erika

19 comments:

Dial V for Vintage said...

Your coat is absolutely breathtaking, you did an amazing job! I wish I could find that pattern too, I'd make it in every colour! :)

Anna | Mormor hade stil said...

Resultatet är ursnyggt, klart du ska vara nöjd!

Emily & Gracie said...

Gorgeous fit and color! I have a similar pattern that I have been nervous to use but you have definitely inspired me to just get it done. It looks so worth it.

xxGracie

Cinquefoil said...

Been on the lookout for a coat pattern for a long time, and I think your coat looks just absolutely perfect! And the amount of work you put into it. Oh my. :) Looking forward to reading more posts about the construction and sewing process. Lovely, just lovely.

Anne Toft said...

WoW - Fantastisk! Jeg tager én i rød og en i sennepsgul :P

En frakke ligesom din har også stået på min to do liste i lang tid. Måske skulle jeg se at få taget mig sammen ;)

Melizza said...

You coat looks amazing. The finish is flawless. I have never seen a coat like it. LOVE it!

Isis said...

What an amazing work you have done! It's beautiful and you look gorgeous! Very flattering colour for you and I love the gloes and handbag!

Erika said...

Thank you so much for your enthusiastic comments, everyone! Every single comment really warms my heart!

Blanka said...

The coat is amazing!!!
I love it... The colour is wonderful.
I wish to have such 1940s coat. If I only could sew...

Boo Boo Kitty said...

LOVE IT!! WOW! i looks perfect :)

Drappa said...

So, so, so amazing! Would you mind sharing which tailoring book you referenced? I have a similar pattern, but been too scared to try it out yet. You have inspired me!

Drappa said...

Nevermind, I missed the hyperlink...:)

Kitten said...

Åh, den blev ju hur fin som helst!! Färgen passar dig och jag gillar hur du kombinerat med röda accessoarer. Imorgon sticker jag på kapptygs-jakt, vi ska nämligen sy kappor i skolan! Tyvärr har jag inget lika fint mönster att utgå ifrån dock. Hoppas du får mycket användning av kappan i många år framöver!

Erika said...

Thank you so much, everyone!
So happy I inspire some of you to start sewing your own. It was time consuming, but I've never been happier with any project I've made. Good luck with the coat sewing, and have fun tailoring! =)

Emily & Gracie said...

Oh my gosh, SO lovely! That coat is perfect for you - tailoring, color, style, everything! Its amazing that you made that, just considering a project like that makes my head ache.. you did a really good job!
- Emily

Miss Meadows said...

Gorgeous! Love the shape of the coat, the color of the fabric, and the way you styled it! You look lovely in it. Well done! Maybe you could make one for me too, so I wont freeze to death here in kalla Sverige... ;)

Rakel said...

Å så fin den ble! Og kledde deg perfekt!

Anushka said...

This looks really amazing! I love the cut, and it's so brave of you to have attempted a coat for your first tailoring project.

Malin said...

HELT fantstisk kappa. Bra jobbat! Och fin blogg...