Vintage coat in progress

And so, six months after my gruelling battle to win this beauty of a pattern, work has begun, in earnest. When I was bidding the for pattern, I had the finished coat, clearly in mind and so to be faced with 19 pattern pieces and the usual vague set of instructions, the fear set in.

Butterick_547

I’ve made a jacket or two, I’ve even tackled the wicked welts. So what was I afraid of? Doing it justice, I think. If I was going to go to the bother of making a coat – not just any old coat, but the coat of my nightly dreams since battle was won – I needed the right fit, the right fabric, the finest construction, let alone the neatest bound buttonholes. (Something I hadn’t yet conquered !)

I live near fabric heaven, The Goldhawk Road. And so finding the right fabric should have been easy, right? Easy enough when your expectations aren’t stationed on the moon! I searched high and low and eventually found this amazingly eccentric fabric, onlineΒ at ‘Fabric Dreams‘. Quite apt, really! I initially had tangerine wool in mind so I ordered a few different free samples and then sat under the letterbox for all of 4 days!

When they did arrive, it was a no-brainer. Even though the fabulous, firey fabric was 100% not wool (and not just tangerine, but an entire fruitbowl of colours) and the others were, it screamed at me to be given a chance and so I agreed to put it centre stage. After all, if I was ever going to go to the bother of making a coat, there’s no way I wanted it to go unnoticed, oh no!

I even made a toile. Just the body section. And this confirmed my need to loose some circumference. I had my suspicions that the coat would be a little big, and it was, but was worried I’d loose the nipped in shape if I took it in at the top and let it out at the waist (the usual Ooobop sausage-shape adjustment!). So with some careful measuring, re-measuring, a little panicking and some more measuring, I took out half an inch, vertically, all the way down, from each of the front and back pieces. So as not to affect the silhouette of the design. Incidentally, like a good girl, I had pre-traced all the pieces!

And then to cut the real fabric. Ooooo the suspense, the fear, the excitement! The pieces are massive. I know I will eventually chop off about 6 inches but I wanted to start long so I could make that decision later. But that did mean I had to cut out on the floor. My kitchen table just ain’t big enough! And that, in turn, meant I had to wash the floor… doh! Always something to hamper a plan! Still took three roll outs of the fabric and continual shooing of cats.

cutout_on_floor

Honestly, why do they insist on laying where I’m cutting? It’s not like there’s no other piles of fabric in the house!

Cat on fabric

An hour and a pair of stiff legs later, I had a wonderful pile of cut pieces. It’s quite tricky to cut though the ‘corded’ texture but it doesn’t fray.

Yesterday I sewed the main body sections and oooed and arrred as I steamed those seams open. For all it’s 100% not woolness, it presses beautifully. And I haven’t had to clip any curves either.

pressed seams

It was getting late last night and I did hesitate to start on the bound buttonholes but knew my dreams would be sweeter if I at least had a go. So I tried a few tester ones on some scrap fabric using the instructions on the pattern sheet. They were rubbish! So I went to YouTube to find someone who’d show me how. They were rubbish too! And then I remembered Karen’s fabulous Ebook download which proved to be the perfect method and I’d even go as far as saying I loved doing them!

bound buttonholesbound buttonholes reverse

Practising those stood me in good stead for making the welt pockets too!

welt pocketsPretty camouflaged huh?! Thats without the invisible stitching which is yet to be done. I’ll be fishing around for ages trying to find a way in, when it’s finished properly!

I pondered for ages, wondering what kind of collar I should have. Should it be the big dramatic scalloped one? One of the self same fabric to keep it simple or a little furry shawl collar? I opted for the latter, after going round in circles. Mostly in the shower!

Faux fur is fast running out in the Goldhawk Road. The good stuff anyway. I’m told by reliable sources that no more will be ordered as summer stock will soon be on it’s way! So I was well chuffed to find this short pile, soft-as-you-like, faux fur. Works a treat.

faux fur collarThough I’ve made fantastic headway this weekend, there is still a lot of work to be done. The sleeves, the length, the hem, the lining and the facing behind the buttonholes. But it will be worth it I’m sure. I can feel those sub zeros honing in over the next few weeks but hey, bring ’em on. I’m going to be snug as some bugs!

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53 thoughts on “Vintage coat in progress

  1. Awesome, truly! I am hemming and haa’ing over starting a coat myself! The tricks our minds can play on us! I think you have all the fussy bits out of the way, and the rest will be easy peasy. Maybe not fast, but easy. Cheers!

  2. Looks fantastic! and yes, that fabric is perfect! And I totally understand fabric dilemma, you can see perfect fabric for– well, what?? but the fabric in your mind’s eye, that you need for this project, no-one sells it! I look forward to seeing the finished article!

  3. This is incredible! Love all those details about it and I’m laughing for a great time with your thinking about finding pockets when you will be wearing it.

  4. So how much fun was it to read this post?? Loved every word!! I’d say you have made amazing progress – and all the right decisions so far. Can’t wait to read more about it. (Aren’t cats just the best?)

  5. Oh My! My heart is racing reading this, can’t wait to see the finished coat. I’ve wanted to make a coat like this for years, but never have found the right pattern. It looks like it will be wonderful.

  6. Seriously gorgeous and love that colourful fabric! I’ll use some of your hints esp on bound buttonholes for my upcoming coat. Thanks for the post πŸ™‚

  7. Wow, I can’t BELIEVE how much you got done on this so fast!!! It’s going to be amazing when it’s done. your buttonholes are incredible – they look perfect!! πŸ™‚ That fabric… it’s the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat in the making!! πŸ˜€

    I have to lock the kitten in the bathroom when I do floor cutting or pattern tracing. It sounds mean but she LOOOOVES pouncing on the perfectly placed pieces when they are HALF CUT. Yeah. And then she gets the older one involved and it’s game over. Without her instigating he’s pretty good, but the two of them… no. LOL.

  8. Who wants a coat that disappears into the crowd (I saw that to be a very definite tendency in the UK when I arrived there after living in Italy for a year; all that winter-clothing greyness really took me aback)? Yours certainly won’t and it looks wonderful already! It’s hot enough here at the moment that I’m not jealous. Not yet! But I am, like everyone else, really looking forward to seeing the finished garment. it’s going to be wonderful.

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