I finished my coat!! And I already have been wearing it out every. single. day. It turned out exactly like I wanted and I couldn’t be happier. I am still missing a tripod, and I am secretly hoping / was told that with Christmas being so close I shouldn’t go out and buy one. Although I am notorious for buying things I want and need right before gift giving holidays. Usually they are the things that someone else has already bought for me too… So, in the absence of tripod, I have to take shameless selfies in poor light and with a bad angle. What can you do?
The coat ended up coming together really nicely. I didn’t really have issues with it at all! Nothing major at least. After the first fitting I mentioned in the previous post I was very happy with the way it looked and I proceeded to sew the sleeves. Unfortunately the tab at the bottom of the sleeve didn’t want to lie flat no matter what I did to it, and kept looking like it was gathering the whole sleeve. I took the sleeve seam apart a few times trying to fix it but it wasn’t happening. I even interfaced the bottom of the sleeve hoping that if I make it stiffer it wouldn’t look gathered. That didn’t help either. So I ended up hand stitching the tabs to the sleeve so that they are lying flat against the fabric. It’s not what was intended, but it doesn’t change anything about the look or the functionality of the coat at all. Thinking about it now, if I really want to I can try taking my stitching out and see if having lining added bulk to the sleeve and it doesn’t look gathered anymore, but I really could care less.
When I got the pattern from Lekala, there was an option to make shoulders wider and sleeves longer. I made sure I clicked those off, since I have winder than normal shoulders and longer than normal arms. But I soon learned that was not necessary! When I set the sleeves in for the first time they were a good 1.5 cm wider than I needed. So I ended up having to re-set the sleeves so that the shoulder line sits on my shoulder where it should be. I have to say, I do not mind setting sleeves into a coat at all. I probably sound crazy since most people hate setting sleeves in, but I find on a coat it is a lot easier. Wool is very pliable and responsive to heat, so one has to try really hard to mess up sleeves in a coat. I also had to shorten the sleeves because with extra length they were too long for me.
I used kasha lining to line the coat. It is very thick satin lining with flannel side. It is warmer than regular lining and it is not bulky at all. There are other options if one wants even a warmer coat, but I wanted something that will not be bulky but will still be warmer than normal lining. Unfortunately FabricLand does not carry a great selection of kasha lining colors so I decided on this silver looking color. It doesn’t match my coat, but it adds a little fun to the inside of it. I am pretty sure I wore my lining as I was sewing and setting sleeves into the coat too… its so cozy!
To line the coat I finally decided to give a bagged method a try. I read about it a long time ago but I was just too scared to try it. I’ve tried my own versions of it, or what I call half-bagged method. I am sure it is a proper term for it as well. In my method I would still need to hand stitch the lining to the bottom of the coat. But this time around I decided that I am going full in and trying the whole thing. Jen from Grainline has an amazing tutorial on bagging a jacket/coat. She even made a tiny little jacket for it! So I followed that step by step and ended up with an amazingly finished lining. There were scary moments when I doubted my ability to turn my whole coat out through a hole in the sleeve, but I did it! I still can’t believe how good and professional looking it turned out. Every now and then I admire my lining when I wear the coat… Just yesterday I was telling Mr. Man on our ride home about how amazing my lining is. I must say my Man is also amazing because he listened to my whole story. I can’t imagine it being super captivating.
Oh yes, I did not talk about coat fabric! I received a very generous gift certificate to the FabricLand for the cushion I made (I also got some amazing silk that I am keeping safe until I find the perfect project for it!!) and I didn’t hesitate to put it toward a really nice Melton Cloth I saw and pretty much daydreamed about but wasn’t planning on buying. So when I got the gift certificate I knew where it was going to go – coat and denim! Two things I wanted but couldn’t justifying buying yet. When I look for coating fabrics I prefer a nice blend with at least 70% of wool content. I find anything less than that is not warm enough, doesn’t behave well in sewing and doesn’t wear well. This particular Melton Cloth was 80% wool and 20%… something else, that I already forgot… Something man-made that I remember thinking altogether was a really good blend. It was a dream to sew and mold with heat, and so far it has been a dream to wear, but we’ll see how it behaves in a year or two and how it holds up!
In the end I am very happy with the coat. It turned out exactly like I wanted it to and it is a, I hate to call it that, basic coat that goes with everything. I have been and will be wearing it to work every day, and I imagine that will be the story next year as well. Well, every day until it gets too cold and that is when I imagine my next coat project, the one that I actually planned for this year, will come in – Cascade coat. But that’s s a different story!
P.S. Secretly hoping that with my tripod, whenever that happen, I will get a better picture of the coat!