We had some miserable cold rainy weather here in New England on Saturday, so I decided to cut out my muslin material and start working on this coat. I used an old pair of drapes that a friend donated to me – I put out a call for old linens to use for muslins and these were a good match since the home decor fabric was a little heavier and would give me a better idea of how the coat would look/fit with a wool coating.
I am amazed at how fast this was to sew – I omitted interfacing, topstitching, some stay stitching and the lining. I realize that the final product will take a lot longer because of those details, but the fast muslin was encouraging. The pattern calls for bound buttonholes, but after consulting all of my sewing books and the Internet, I decided to just do normal machine sewn button holes. I think bound buttonholes look nice, but seeing as I do not own a single RTW garment that has them, I don’t see why I need them on this coat. I know that if I attempt them here with the wool, it will be a disaster. At least if I do regular buttonholes I can use my automatic buttonhole attachment on my vintage Kenmore Zigzag machine and they will look OK.
I need to add the sleeves and then it is basically done and ready for revisions.
I am soooo glad I did a muslin for this because it appears I need to make some alterations to the pattern pieces… I cannot figure it out, this pattern is a Vintage Junior size 7, 31 bust, 22 inch waist, 33 hips. Now, I know that the hips are off – I’m a 30 – but this is an A line coat so it should be wider down there. The 22″ waist sizing should be way too small (I realize a coat is meant to have more wearing ease, but as I have a 25″ waist I expected this to be a better fit, considering the differences).
The coat seems like it is just too baggy. I am not sure how I want to fix this, because the pattern goes together in a slightly different way than most coat patterns. It does not have princess seaming, but it has a front and back T shape bodice, with side pieces that fit into the T to complete the regular bodice shape. Normally I would just lay the bodice pattern piece out and then take the appropriate amount of space out of it by reducing it at the armscye, shoulder, and neckline – a technique I learned here. That technique has proven very effective for me in earlier pattern sizing projects.
But with this unique pattern layout, I am not sure how to attack this.
I don’t want to mess around too much with the T shaped bodice piece because that would involve redrafting the neck facing and collar pieces as well, and I don’t have any experience with that (and really don’t want to make a second muslin, although the worst case scenario is to only sew up those pieces). I was thinking of maybe just taking the excess out of the side seams and the seams between the side front/bodice front and side back/bodice back. I realize that the line drawing indicates that this coat does have a boxy/rectangular shape to it. I am tiny and prefer my coats more fitted, so I may try to taper on the side seams to make it narrower at the waist and then let it flare out from there. I do not want this to be a long rectangle of a coat because I already have one (long, red, wool) and need something a bit more fitted. (Any advice on making fitting adjustments is appreciated. I guess I should do it the real way and after I make alterations to the muslin unpick everything and use the muslin pieces as my pattern – but that seems too cumbersome).
I also am wondering if the addition of the lining will make the fit a little snugger. I have only sewn 2 lined jackets before and I noticed that for both of them the fit got smaller once the lining was added. Perhaps that might solve the problem here? I know the lining will snug it up some, but I really want to avoid the Boxy Shape.
Speaking of lining, I decided on a solid color flannel back satin that is a few shades lighter than the wool. I couldn’t find any interesting prints or darker colors that really caught my eye, so I decided to play it safe. Next up is a need to find appropriate 1″ buttons.
Read Full Post »