Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Coat, who would have guessed it?

Every year I say, "This Christmas break I will sew a coat."  It is a long running statement; I have lengths of coating from, oh, three boyfriends ago.  They sit and they sit and they sit.  Each too beautiful and too expensive and generally "too" to be cut.

This year I did a little mind-fuckery on myself.  My favorite coating is this winter white wool, woven in a basket weave with a line of what looks like plastic raffia running through it.  It's special, trust me.  My boyfriend bought it for me from Mood the summer before last (he's still my boyfriend, so the boyfriend dating system doesn't work).  I saw it folded up in a corner and thought, "I should at least store this properly on a cardboard roll (stolen from Michael Levine's dumpster).

Very "Vronsky" ish coat in December's Burda
Ohhhh... how did that happen?

The two front pieces taped together to draft a shoulder reinforcement

Then I thought, "it's rainy, I should at least trace out that amazing military inspired coat from December Burda."  This coat is my idea of a modern Vronsky. Chic, dashing, glamorous, and totally impractical in white.

Over exposed pics of front...
And lo and behold, two days later, I have made a muslin, discarded it for being too small (apparently wishful thinking alone is not enough to make me a size 38 again), traced out a 40, thread traced the pieces, cut out hair canvas facing for the front pieces, made shoulder reinforcements out of bias hair canvas, made four acceptable bound buttonholes, made a heavy muslin back stay, sewed the back bodice.... and whew!  Maybe I will be sewing a winter coat after all.

I've used the classic Tailoring book that everyone relies on, but also have referred heavily to Gertie's book, her Starlet Suit Jacket video and her Lady Grey tutorial.  I've made a bunch of mistakes, but none too terrible, the only meaningful one is that my bound buttonholes are monstrously thick.  I would have done better to use Julia Bobbin's technique.

Onward and upward!  I'm going to tackle the sleeves today.  Oh, I made another mistake with the sleeves, cutting them with a 5/8" hem, rather than the 1 5/8" hem. I'm thinking of stitching some grosgrain ribbon to the bottom of the hem to extend it, thoughts?


Catherine Daze said...

Oh that's going to be gorgeous. It's a great pattern to start with and your fabric is fantastic. I think the ribbon would work for the cuffs. Will you sew it over the top of the lining or the lining over the ribbon?

Caroline said...

I'm aiming to hide the ribbon - it doesn't add anything to the coat... but we will see. There is a certain element of winging it. And I love your coat! It was a major inspiration for me to get going and work on this one.

cidell said...

Oh, this is the coat I've been obsessing over! And you're doing it in a light color too! Ok. Please post a lot. And, when you're done, just send me your size 40 pattern because I cannot even work up the strength to trace this pattern out. Spanx!

Caroline said...

Too funny! I will happily send you the pattern. So far it is coming together wonderfully...