January 3, 2013

Coat progress

Unexpectedly, I had quite a bit of time yesterday and today to work on E's coat. As a result, significant progress has been made:

This is (about) where it's at. 
I had to do a bit of puzzle-work with the facings to get this coat cut out of what I had left of the black wool coating (which I also used for E's previous coat). It's a good thing the two other people who half-requested black coats in the mean time didn't go through with it...
After cutting fabric and lining, I had to make some decisions about interfacing. And I had to find buttons. I knew I wanted to make bound buttonholes and in those are best done early in construction, so you won't have to deal with a huge slab of already-constructed garment. 
I found plain and simple, but large enough, black buttons on the market last week (a card of 12. I need 6 for this coat but hey, they're black buttons...). And as for interfacing, this lovely, fairly thick, densely woven black wool just screams out for the use of horsehair... Looking back, I can't imagine why I didn't use any on that previous coat. I still had some fusible horsehair (yes, that exists. I bought it some years ago when I was looking for the regular kind. It sticks really well and makes for a very stiff interfacing which is why I haven't used it in a lot of projects. For a fabric like this though, it's pretty ideal) which I used for the facings, collar and pocket flaps. 
Because this coat is a bit more formal and a bit more fitting than the old one, I decided to interface the upper fronts as well. For this, I used normal horsehair interfacing (also because I ran out of the fusible stuff which I originally bought in a closing-down sale) Which I stitched on by hand at regular intervals. I will also do some real padstitching for lower lapels of the collar later.

Then, construction could actually start. I made two bound buttonholes (the third one is in the 'waist' seam) sewed seams and made the pockets which hang from the horizontal seam and have only their flaps showing on the outside. I'm pretty pleased with it so far. The fabric definately helps. Thick-ish wools are the best: this one sews well, presses well and just generally shapes well. And am I the only one who enjoys the smell of pressing wool? Like clean sheep. Not to mention the smell of the horsehair. Largely made of linen, that smells like freshly mown grass. Clean sheep in a clean meadow, like a summer idylle ;)

After taking this picture, I also inserted the sleeves and made the collar so the lining is next. Not my favorite part, lining fabric is always disappointing after the nice stuff used for the outside, but definately worth it. 
I hope I can finish the coat this weekend, so I can take some pictures of E wearing it...

P.S. Just a comment for those of you reading this blog on a mobile phone or use the RSS feed: I've altered the sidebar last week and it now contains a blogroll and a list of links to all my tutorials.


  1. Looks amazing. I'm sure it will be gorgeous too. Happy new year!

  2. nice photo...I filled my little tailors ham with tasmanian huon pine so that when i press my fabric I get my favourite smell in the world..it's a sweet woodsy smell. :-)


  3. I love the good smells too- and occasionally I've been surprised to smell silk in pressing something I thought was synthetic. I love the thought of the smell of summer in a winter coat! Sewing by my nose-

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