|Pattern Description: |
Semi-fitted, lined coat has rolled collar, yokes, side panels, no shoulder or side seams, side front pockets and two-piece (bias upper) sleeves.
Misses 6-22. I made a 12.
Wool herringbone from Fabric Mart, coating-weight with a somewhat stiff hand. I interfaced with hair canvas, and used a polyester crepe-back satin for the lining. Since Joann changed their sourcing for flannel-backed satin to a terrible quality sleazy fabric, there isn't an easy option for obtaining nice coat linings. Although I usually prefer Ambiance rayon or silk charmeuse for lining slacks and jackets, for coats a good thick polyester is great for ease of wearing, durability, and wind protection.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I lengthened the sleeves by 1.5 inches, a usual alteration for me. I also tapered out the sizing toward a 14/16 at the lower hem. I cut the hair canvas a bit differently than the instructions - they have you piece the interfacing for the yoke, presumably because interfacings are usually narrow, but my hair canvas was 60" wide so that was not necessary. I also cut the sleeve and hem interfacings on the bias, for which the instructions are conflicting between the pattern layout and the pattern pieces.
The instructions have you stitch down the rolled collar only along a short section, but that was not working too well with my fabric, so I stitched the collar down along the entire length. I also made hand-worked buttonholes using silk buttonhole twist:
I don't make these buttonholes often enough to have a lot of skill at it, usually I end up dropping a stitch somewhere along the length which messes up the whole thing. These turned out a bit too long, although I carefully measured and marked them. The hair canvas also tries to poke out through the buttonholes, but I can fix that with a red marker.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Mostly, although I think it would be nice for the pattern to have more discussion of techniques for working with coating fabrics. This pattern does not discuss choices of interfacings, working large buttonholes, or attaching buttons with a small button on the back and thread shank to work with thicker fabrics. I have made several coats before, so I really only paid attention to the yoke and collar construction.
The collar was oddly constructed, and I am not really sure why they chose this method. The collar consists of the main collar piece, which has small darts on one edge, and a facing that goes along the edge that is rolled inside. Because the faced edge is rolled inside, it is not clear why a bulky, useless facing is needed at all - it would have been perfectly fine to just finish the raw edge of the collar by serging or similar, since it is completely enclosed in the collar. The exposed ends of the collar are finished by folding in the end to form a self-facing with minimal bulk.
This pattern is described as "easy", but the difficulty will depend a lot on the fabric chosen, and there is a lot of fussy handsewing. For someone sewing their first coat, it would be beneficial to research a bit about special techniques for sewing coats before embarking on this pattern.
When I was finishing up the hem, I left the coat on a table, and it ran afoul of one of my cats, who accidentally snagged and tore up the fabric at the end of the collar. I was able to fix this in a matter of minutes using felting needles - I trimmed the loose threads and jabbed the ends back in to the collar. This is something that will work with thick wool fabrics with minor defects. I wish I had taken a "before" photo because it was pretty ugly, but I do have an after photo showing how well this works. Felting needles are inexpensive and can also be used for embellishment without buying an expensive "felting machine".
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I decided to sew this coat because I wanted a nicer winter coat that was not super long. I have a wool coat that I made a long time ago (Vogue 1266), but that coat is quite long and sometimes a shorter coat is preferable. The yoke and collar make this an interesting coat pattern.
I am not sure that I like the rolled collar that much, as my fabric is rather scratchy and this would need to be worn with a silk scarf unless you are wearing a turtleneck underneath. With my stiffer fabric, the coat is also a bit bulky about the lower armscye, although I don't think this would be an issue with a drapier fabric.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, although I used a much more plain fabric than the envelope photo. The coat sleeves look pretty short on the model too, I like my length better
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I don't need another coat, so I probably wouldn't sew this again. I would recommend this to an advanced beginner with the caveat that doing a bit of research on coat-making will yield a nicer end result.