Monday, October 12, 2009

The Red Twill Coat

This coat was a mixed bag. Some parts were easy, other parts gave me fits.
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!

18 comments:

Shannon said...

Beautiful coat - great colour! It looks fabulous on you!

Trudy Callan said...

Talk about stylish. You look very put together with this coat.

Julie said...

Ooh, pretty--I love the color!

Sara said...

Wow, lovely coat! I just bought those buttons for a coat I'm making!

Kathi said...

The coat looks great on you -- stunning!!

ClaireOKC said...

Holy Cow! This brings back fabulous memories....these were the types of things that bridged the restrictive 50's to the free 70's!!! Twiggy would have looked fabulous in this...it's all very Mary Quant. Her stuff was so unbelievably classic and yet very forward. Love that coat!

Serenity Love Sincere Peace Earth said...

Whatever problems you had were well worth it because this is an amzing garment. It looks professional and more importantly it looks good on you and you will get a lot of use and compliments on it.

Jenni said...

That looks great on you - a fabulous red!
Looks like it was all worth perservering with too.

Sheila said...

You did a fantastic job and you look so chic.

Marji said...

Great looking coat. I understand about the "grab you" element. Something surely to do with silhouette and color, maybe more than construction techniques.
You asked about what to do in future instances of too much sleeve cap. Cut the sucker down. Gasp! Really. That's what I did when first presented with the idea of taking ease out of a sleeve cap by someone like Connie Crawford or Louise Cutting back several years ago. But since I've had it confirmed by other experts too. Kathleen Fassanella has written a great set of posts about sleeve cap ease. Especially in a coat, there is no reason to have an inch and a half more length in the sleeve cap than the armscye. If there is, and there commonly is in home sewing patterns, just cut down the curve of the cap between the notches across the top, marginally, until it fits well.

When Ladies Dressed said...

Thank you all so much for your lovely comments! It is a fun coat to wear, I got a compliment on it when I took the boys to swimming practice! Marji, thanks so much for the info about the sleeve cap ease. I nearly did that... but wound up sewing the sleeve seam allowance deeply (sleeve part only), to a point where it didn't pleat. It would have been much easier and "cleaner" if I'd had cut/trimmed it. Next time, I'm ready!!!

Anonymous said...

What a lovely coat! And beautiful hair! (Did you model when you were younger?) I´m contemplating whether to make this coat too and have a question: how does it look worn open? I have a coat with a asymmetrical closure and it looks stupid when worn open. Thanks a lot in advance!
Anna

Diana said...

That looks awesome! One of my sewing students made it as well in gray wool. love that pattern!

Tina said...

You coat is gorgous! I love it!

Maggie said...

You look great! I love a red coat.

Karin said...

That coat looks great. I love the popping red colour!

Cindy said...

The coat is beautiful on you. I made this pattern in a wool last year. I felt the same way that you do--it wasn't my best but I still wear it. There is something off in the fitting/pattern. And french tacks is a great idea!

Audreys86 said...

Wow! I love this coat! What pattern is it?