Hello again…let’s get this coat finished!
I proceed with sewing my coat like an F1 driver on the home stretch…I want it done and impatience has set in. I’m mindful of this and try and force myself to pay due care and attention…to not rush to the finishing line…but still I find myself easily irritated and rushing anyway. And this is the quandary; I know not to sew when I’m in this mood – mistakes likely happen – but given that my mood is underpinned by bloody-mindedness, I carry on.
Carrying on where I left off last time, I topstitch the bodice pieces (back yoke seam and front two princess seams). That all goes fine. I used my new Hump Jumper / Seam Jack thingy, even though the seams aren’t too bulky in themselves here, simply so I could have a go. (The jury’s still out as to whether it’s really any better than my folded bit of card, I think I need to try it again on bulkier seams).
I pin the hem into place but then decide I don’t want to be slowed down by hand sewing it in place at this stage. Which means I spend the remainder of this sewing session getting prickled, jabbed and downright stabbed by said pins whilst I sew the sleeves in!
Sewing the two part sleeves is lovely though. I create the sleeve tabs, baste them to the upper sleeve and then sew and serge the seams to join the upper and lower sleeves together (finishing their seams being the only time I use the serger in this whole make) I decide not bind the sleeve cuffs just yet, as I want to properly assess the sleeve length once they’re sewn on first. I then sew the gathering stitches and attempt to ease the sleeve caps into the armsyce.
Which takes flippin’ forever! I’ve lost my notches in the slight fraying of the fabric and there seems to be a huge amount of fabric to ease in here. In retrospect, if I’d only slowed down I would have eased the sleeve in better than I did; as it stood, there was some slight gathering at the head of the finished sleeve. Do I unpick and do it again? No I do not, telling myself it looks fine, intentional almost. I then proceed to bind the armhole seam.
After which I decide I can’t live with the gathering after all, rip it all out and do it again. There’s still some slight, almost non-existent, gathering in the finished sleeve head but at this stage I really don’t have the energy to care! (Next time I’ll be more mindful to sew the sleeves in, in-between the two rows of gathering stitches).
I then try the coat on again. Once the sleeves are in, the shoulders look a little wide which is making the sleeve heads ‘cave’ a bit and acerbates the look of what little remains of the gathering. Next time I think I would remove 0.5” from the shoulder at the paper stage, or else add shoulder pads maybe? There’s no way, Jose, I’m doing either of these things retrospectively! I’m nitpicking here, it’s a minor issue.
I make and attach the belt loops, belt and sew on the buttons.
And then proceed to stand in front of the mirror admiring my almost completed coat for, possibly, half an hour before going on to twirl in front of the kids. I need to hem this thing (I’m still routinely scratching myself silly from the dratted hem pins, haha) but I’m sooooo happy with how this coat looks.
I mean, I’m incredulous…it actually looks like a coat and …. I sewed it!!!!
I pour coffee, sit on the sofa with my daughter and happily chat away whilst blind stitching the sleeve cuff and hem in place. I’m smiling the whole time, it feels calming and therapeutic and I’m really pleased with how properly invisible my stitching looks from the right side. This fabric really has been great to sew with.
So do you want to see what it looks like?
Inside first….(sorry, it could do with a press…)
I took these outdoor pictures with my daughter. She was ‘helpfully’ blowing bubbles into frame “…they’ll be arty pictures, Mom!” But, sadly, none of them has actually made it into shot! I wore my (not yet blogged) Eleanore jeans and long boots initially to try and show how I’ll likely wear it come Autumn. But, although these were taken early morning, it was already insufferably hot (well, insufferable in Coat, jeans and boots anyhoo) so I quickly turned on my heel, went back indoors and changed.
So it’s linen pants, bed hair and flip flops, thank you!!
Really, I should look in the mirror properly before standing in front of a camera…apparently I can sew a coat but I can’t remember to button it up properly! Or untwist the belt. Or have both lapels turned down. Ah hum!! 😉
Thank you for following my ‘sewing-a-coat’ journey! I hope it’s been illuminating or at least interesting to see my whole working process; the hassle as well as the highs. The sewing craft involves some graft, eh!?
And it’s all been more than worthwhile, I simply adore my new coat! I can see myself making another, in red maybe or …a black one would be good…
You can find :
the fabric I used here
You can read, my blog posts on:
Supplies & Prep here
Cutting out and pattern alterations, here
Bound Buttonholes and Bias Binding, here
Collar and facing, here
Until next time, when I’ll be sewing something a little more seasonally appropriate…a floaty viscose Cheyenne Tunic…(watch the weather turn cold now I’ve said that!)
If you’d like to, you can join me on Instagram here