|First, some more pictures!|
closer view of collar
Pattern Description: This elegant, single-breasted midi riding-coat has a Danton collar, wide flared cuffs closed with buttons and oblique flaps. Suggested fabric: vicuna, light-weight plain fabric, solid jacquard, perhaps with embroidered or velvet collar and flaps.
Pattern Sizing: Pattern available in sizes 42 to 46. I made a 42, my usual Marfy size, and it fit with minor alterations.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, although I probably used a heavier and bulkier fabric than intended by the pattern designer.
Were the instructions easy to follow? As usual for Marfy, no instructions. However, there was nothing complicated about the construction, this is really just a basic princess seam coat with flap pockets and a slightly unusual collar (that turned out to be easier to put together than a standard notched collar). The pattern pieces went together very well and there were plenty of helpful notches and letters in all the critical places. A pattern piece for the facing was included, but none for the lining.
For this coat, I used traditional tailoring techniques, using "The Classic Guide to Sewing The Perfect Jacket - Tailoring" book as reference, which was very helpful.
One slightly unusual feature (for me) is the placement of the flap pockets. They overlap three pattern pieces. It's difficult to see on the coat thanks to the fluffy fabric, so here's a picture of the pattern pieces (for those who are not familiar with Marfy patterns, it's usual for placement lines to be marked manually in pencil on the patterns). The placement line intersects both the front princess seam and the side seam. This caused several difficulties. Firstly, I like to close my side seams last for final fitting adjustments, which was not possible in this case. Secondly, this meant that my already bulky double welt pockets with flaps had to go over two seams including seam allowances. I was lucky however, the whole construction fit under my presser foot (barely), and the pockets turned out well enough. Maybe there would have been another way of constructing the pockets, but I didn't find any references for pockets with flaps that weren't double welts. And based on the fashion drawing, I think welts were the correct choice. Here's a picture with the flap tucked away that shows the two welts.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love that it's classic, yet not quite standard, due to the dramatic collar. Besides, the collar is wonderfully warm.
Fabric Used: A charcoal Italian Camelhair Coating from GorgeousFabrics.com that is difficult to photograph but is beautiful in real life. It also has the miraculous quality of not being a cat fluff magnet, which may not seem useful to many people but is a wonder for me
The lining is a black silk twill, also from Gorgeous Fabrics. As the lining was very plain, I added some piping between the facing and the lining, made from a dark red silk duppioni remnant.
I interfaced the lapels and fronts with hair canvas, attached with the usual pad stitching and tailor basting. As the hair canvas wasn't stiff enough for the collar, I used a stiffer collar linen instead (linen canvas from VenaCavaDesign.co.uk). This was nearly like cardboard to begin with, but was really nice to shape with pad stitching. Here's a picture of the collar & interfacing.
The buttons are really nice metal buttons from KnopfParadies.de that have been sitting for a while in my stash. I might at some point decide to replace them with plain black buttons for a less "military" look, but for now I quite like the look. The buttonholes are hand sewn, as my preferred method of welted buttonholes just didn't seem realistic in this fabric.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I had to change the shape of the back princess seams to fit my curvy back. I did this by adding extra wide seam allowances to the back pieces and pin-fitting on my dress form. No muslins for me. Besides, I'm not sure if I could have found a suitable muslin fabric to simulate the weight and drape of this coating fabric.
I widened the sleeves by 1 inch, which is a usual alteration for me.
I also added a back vent, a standard feature in a long coat, imho.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I don't think I'll need another one of these, but I would definitely recommend it.
Conclusion: I'm glad it's done. Coats take ages to finish, and get so annoyingly unwieldy at the end.
But still, this is another great Marfy pattern! I believe it would also be a great base for a steam-punk inspired version... too bad I have no use for that.