By now, I'm almost convinced that I will love the new coat as much as the old one.
The most fiddly work is done now: bound buttonholes, single welt pockets. And I've sewn the main pieces together so I could kind of put it on to try and see what it might become. And so far, I like what I see.
This morning, I started working on the collar. There were some issues with that on the old coat. I had only used a lightweight fusible back then and it is a pretty wide collar. As a result of both those factors (and the fact that I wore the coat a lot when riding my bicycle. An activity for which you always have to stretch your arms forward) the points of collar had started to curl.
So, some more serious treatment was called for.
Unlike a lot of bloggers, I don't mind using fusible interfacings. It's just a matter of using the right one for the job. In this coat, I'm using a very light, slightly stretchy woven one to stabilize the fabric. For shaping a collar however, nothing beats good, old-fashioned horsehair canvas (I have fusible cotton which is as stiff, but that can't be shaped in the same way. Or at all, really).
I considered pad-stitching but decided instead to use a slightly lazier technique: Sewing the horsehair to the outside fabric by machine.
If this seems like sacrilege to you, you should how I got the idea...
Designer friend M has a small collection of vintage jackets which she uses as reference for details and tailoring techniques. It is in a mid-century beauty from that number that I saw this. It was made from a smooth black wool suiting and had a combination of zigzag and straight stitching on the under-collar and under the lapels.
My fabric, with its rather plush surface and the tweed effect, provides much more of a background for the stitches to sink away in. The stitching is not invisible but it doesn't stand out (and don't forget that in classic pad-stitching you also apply the horsehair canvas to the outside fabric. Those stitches can show as well).
And now, half-assembled like this, the collar looks great. I can't wait to put it on the coat.