September 19, 2010

E's new coat

You may have noticed a lack of new creations here recently. Or a lack of heavily documented planning...
Well, there was a reason for that. I was sewing an autumn/winter coat for E.
He wanted a coat which would be casual enough for everyday use but could be worn with his only suit without looking out of place as well. His career changes of the past year have forced him to brush up his wardrobe a little bit, but he did not yet have a coat to match.

Getting the fit of the basic block right took me a lot of time.
In women's wear, you can draft almost every top from the basic, fitted sloper. As long as you remember to add ease for certain garments and styles, of course. For men, there's no such thing as an all-purpose top sloper. Every piece of traditional men's attire, shirt, jacket, vest and coat in formal and casual shapes, has its own basic draft with added ease inherent to the style. You have to know these pretty well in order to make educated guesses about which one to use for a slightly less classic design.
I had tried to make him a coat last winter, based on a block draft for a formal jacket. Which utterly failed. I threw away last year's drafts and made a fresh start using a block for a casual jacket from one of my pattern making books. Drafted based on E's measurements of course. As it turned out, that block included a lot of ease in the body, which I had to take in, and not quite enough in the sleeves. Maybe E's built is just more athletic than the average.

Basic fit sorted, I turned to the actual design. It's got raglan sleeves which incorporate a back yoke. Details are button tabs, single welt pockets, a zipper closure and a simple convertible collar. (I lightened the picture of the back to show the detail)
The fabric is a densely woven, but not very thick, black wool coating which had been in my stash for over a year. It was very nice to work with and I still have about 2 meters left... I used a zipper which I bought last year, for my first attempt at a coat for E and black lining and fusible interfacing from stash.

I'm fairly happy with the coat. It looks good, cleanly finished and properly made. I fret a little over the fit at the front, where a crease seems to form between the neckline and armpit. I didn't notice it in the muslin. However, this isn't supposed to be a closely fitted item, so it might be all in my perfectionistic head. Most importantly, E is happy with it. He likes the look and the fit and is very pleased that the finished product allows him more freedom of movement than he thought it would (I expected this, the lining allows him a fair degree of movement inside the coat, unlined muslins didn't have the same effect). He is looking forward to wearing it a lot. :-D


  1. I think the coat looks really good and will serve as both casual and more business attire!

  2. Wow! I think you did a fantastic job!!

    I didn't notice the crease until you pointed it out. Now that you did, to me it looks like there is some extra room through that area. Or maybe he's standing funny. If it's extra room, he'll need it once he's wearing a suit jacket with the shoulder pads or something heavy like a sweater.

    I love the tab details. They really look good!

  3. It looks really nice, great work!

    Its not easy to make menswear, the fit and the choice of details have higher impact on the over all look than in woman's wear. Small variations can make big difference.

  4. Wow - That jacket looks stellar! Your guy is really lucky!

  5. Looks fantastic! I like the button tab details.

  6. A very smart looking jacket - I can imagine he must be very happy with it!