I had issues with the topstitching - it was loopy underneath. I adjusted the tension, used a topstitching needle and thread, used cardboard to keep the fabric flat (chunky SA)... it helped a little but still wasn't perfect.
The instructions would have you sew the bodice lining to the fabric. I skipped this because I bagged the lining. It is so much faster. If you've never bagged a lining before or need a refresher, here is a great article in Threads - How to Bag a Lining.
I continued with the construction of the jacket. Next were the sleeves which gave me great fits. I'm not happy with them. I've never had problems with set in sleeves until this coat. There was a huge amount of ease at the sleevecap. I could not for the life of me ease it in without sewing in pleats. It took me three attempts to finally sew it without pleats, but it is still puckered at the top. I think this is due to the twill because when I did this step on the lining (a softer, more pliable fabric), I had no issues. **I'd be interested in anybody's thoughts or experience about this.
The skirt construction was straight forward; more topstitching along the waistline seam. Here I didn't follow the instructions that have you topstitch through the fabric AND lining. I was already having issues due to the thickness so I topstiched before the lining was added. Same issues.The lining was constructed the same as the jacket, then bagged. I understitched all along the top neckline and front edges.
Because of my topstitching issues, I decided to not topstitch along the top, front and bottom edges. The twill provided structure and understitching preventing rolling.The sleeve edges (fabric and lining) were pressed under and slip stitched into place. I blind machine hemmed the lining and hand blind hemmed the coat fabric. I've grown to love hand hemming!!!
Then I made French tacks at the three seams. It was my first attempt at French tacks, which didn't turn out well. I do something weird with thread (and things like appliance cords) and always manage to twist them. (DH curses me when he pulls out the vacuum.) My tacks were more like French twists... or French tangles! Maybe one day I'll redo them...
After that was done, all that was left were the buttonholes and buttons. Thankfully, the end of the project went smoothly! I used fun buttons that blended from black to gray, to add some contrast and interest. I envision wearing the coat with these colors. The buttons will bring outfit and coat together.
This coat has many flaws and imperfections. But I still like it. Projects are funny like that. Sometimes a garment can be perfectly constructed, but it doesn't send you "the love." This coat, on contrast, has issues that I wish it didn't, but I will still wear it and have fun doing so. It's a great style and I love the vintage red twill. DH said that it looks very retro, like something off of the set of Austin Powers. My DS 11 y/o said it's futuristic! I say it's got style either way!