Thursday, January 17, 2013

Vronsky's Revenge aka The White Coat

I finally was able to twist my boyfriend's arm into taking pictures. He is not a natural photographer, unlike my sister, who has an instinctive grasp of light, angles and the need to take 500 pictures in order to get one decent one... Oh well!


Excuse the harsh shadows.  I have a narrow window of opportunity before my photographer runs off to sue someone.

I am 80% happy with this coat.  There are some issues and things I don't like, but this was my FIRST attempt to make anything tailored or "four dots" in Burda. In fact it's probably my first truly complicated project ever. I may add shoulder pads, and I need to resew the hem at the opening edge (it looked fine pre-pressing, but now it hangs unevenly).


Things that worked:

The pattern.  I used Burda's 12-2012 asymmetrical coat pattern.  It's a great design with lots of fun details including vented sleeves, a fabulous Nehru or Mod (depending on your perspective) collar, seam lines that meet pleasingly in the back (where the sleeve and bodice come together) and a perfect length for me.  There is a reason that I sew 95% Burda.  Their drafting is truly fantastic.  I may well sew this coat again, but in a lighter fabric.



The Fabric. The winter white wool fabric is from Mood (as is 99% of the fabric I sew with).  It is extremely soft and quite thick (which made pressing it very problematic).  My favorite detail is the line of what seems to be plastic, but probably isn't (since it doesn't melt) running through the fabric.  It gives the coat a great dimensionality and texture that elevates it significantly.  Having said this, the fabric probably would have worked better with less seam lines and details, as it is very trick to work with when there are multiple layers.  My Janome hated this coat! Thank g*d for my grandmother-in-laws fifty year old New Home, which has metal throat plate and a stronger motor, she just steamed through with no problem at all.











My Sewing.  The best thing about this coat is realizing I am capable of making trickier pieces.  I did it all Gretchen / Tailoring style.  Hair Canvas, sleeve heads, etc.. I came away with a lot of questions (mostly about how to anchor the various interfacings to the fabric and whether I should have caught the hair canvas in the waist seam) but in the end it was a fantastic learning experience.  My boyfriend estimates I spent about 120 hours on this coat, which seems crazy, but he is a lawyer, so maybe he is right!

There are a few things I will fix.  1) is the hem, which came back from the rich-lady dry cleaners uneven.  2) looking at the photos it seems like I may need to add better sleeve heads or shoulder pads. What do you think?  3) the buttons are perhaps too big, though I'm not sure I care enough to change those.

Phew....!

11 comments:

Ms. McCall said...

That's really really gorgeous! Congrats on a very advanced sewing endeavour. It's a huge bonus that it's actually still cold enough here in LA to wear it!

Amy said...

I think it looks fabulous! The part that is hanging down lower- could it be fixed with a hidden button or hook and eye? It just looks like it's because of the asymmetry of the coat, not a hemming issue.

Leslie said...

Absolutely gorgeous! I hope to make a coat one day as well and you've inspired me to try! (well, maybe try later this year anyway)

twotoast said...

Love the coat - very classy. I also like the buttons the size they are!

Faye Lewis said...

Your coat is absolutely beautiful. I love the lines and the color.

Meg @ Mood Fabrics said...

Caroline, this coat is amazing! Seriously, I wouldn't change a thing about it. Wear it as much as possible then tackle another coat next winter. And I know you bought your fabric at Mood LA, but would you mind linking to our website? Thanks!

Catherine Daze said...

Well done, what an achievement!

cidell said...

You know I've been waiting for this coat to post! It's just as pretty as I imagined. I know it's going to be my next coat project in the fall. Thanks for taking it on!

SEWN said...

Beautiful coat!!! Wow, you can really see all the hard work you put into it. I wonder if the sleeve head need you mentioned is actually a case of the shoulder being a little long (hanging over your arm)? I'm not great at fit issues, but that is my meager thought on it.

But I agree with Meg, don't re do it, just move on to the next awesome project! You can always make another coat.

Amanda said...

I really love the winter white color and the texture of it. A nice way to bring snow to LA. :) The coat looks great overall to me, perhaps just readjusting the front hem as you mentioned. And I think the buttons look great!

Amanda said...

Your coat looks great and I love the winter white fabric and the texture. A nice way to bring snow to LA. Hopefully the hem in front wasn't too hard to fix. I think the buttons look great too! Perfect for mod LA.