Tuesday, March 4, 2008

SWAP item #5 - Not your usual coat

More than two weeks have gone since my last post. My working life has been so busy and stressful that I ended up having some health problems last week, that got me a bit worried. I'm quite alright now, taking some pills, lots of vitamins + minerals. A discussion with my boss concerning my workload and stress levels also helped so I do hope that the next weeks will be a bit easier on me.

I've worked on this coat on and off for two weeks. The pattern is BWOF 11/2007, coat 115.
You can see the jacket version of this pattern made by Paco Peralta here.

(I was in a playful mood last night when I took the pictures and I decided to imitate Jackie O :) )

Why is this not your usual coat?
  • First, because of the print. The red/white/black boucle from TimmelFabrics gives a different touch to this coat. It looks more cheerful and less formal to me, plus it ties in beautifully with my SWAP wardrobe. I only have coats in solids but this coat made me think about other prints (well, plaids, houndstooth) for coats.
  • Second - it is all in the lining. The lining is a wool jersey, very soft and thin (I've read about Coco Chanel using wool jersey in her jackets). I think I've said it many times lately that I've become very partial to underlinings. After making my Chanel style jacket, I was absolutely thrilled with the softness and lightness of this jacket (after all, the Chanel technique of quilting the lining to the jacket is closer to an underlining than an actual lining), with the way the lining moves together with the garment, and not as a separate body joined at some seams. Read here an online Threads article by Sandra Betzina about lining versus underlining.
  • I therefore decided to use for this coat a technique described by Shannon Gifford - click here for the Threads online article. She calls this technique "Line and Underline in one step", but I've also saw it called "flatlining". I won't insist on the technique as it is clearly described in the article but feel free to ask if you have any questions. I did however some things differently: 1) I didn't cut the seam allowances to 1/4 inches (approx 4 mm), as I'm using boucle and this ravels so easy that you don't want to take that chance; 2) In my opinion, topstitching the seam is not absolutely necessary. After pressing the seams well, I could have left them like that. I decided to topstitch because I thought a supplementary stitch will help even more in stabilising the boucle and preventing raveling and because the boucle is forgiving and all the stitching is "burried" in it any way. 3) I wanted to get closer to the Chanel technique, therefore after lining the entire coat, I quilted the lining to the coat. Yes, I get crazy ideas like that some times, must be all the work stress :) This time I spaced my quilting lines at 2 inches apart (approx 5 cm) instead of 1 inch (the way I did in my Chanel style jacket) and I've used again silk thread and my walking foot. And lots of pins. There are three rows of quilting on each panel, this makes for 24 long lines of quilting. It was difficult and time consuming because this time I was working with the entire coat sewn, not with one pattern piece at the time and my sewing table being quite small, my pins kept hitting other things on the table and coming loose and the coat was hanging all over the place. Well, I managed and to my surprise, the wool jersey burries the stitching even better than the boucle!
  • What was different from making a Chanel style jacket: I taped the roll line, I taped the center fronts and the neckline, I staystitched and taped the armhole, I've interfaced the hem, extending the interfacing past the hemline. I didn't use a chain in the hem but still I needed something to weigh down this very light and drapey coat. Therefore I borrowed another technique of Paco and inserted a curtain weight cord in the hem - see here the photo on Paco's blog of the cord and the way it is inserted.
  • The facings, the hem and the sleeve seams are bound with satin bias tape. The facings are slipstitched by hand to the coat.

  • Changes made to the pattern: I ditched the pockets (you cannot have in-seam pockets with this underlining technique). I first thought of making patch pockets but I didn't think they would go very well with this design so I gave up pockets altogether. I don't use coat pockets very much anyway, they go out of shape so easy. I also ditched the zippers inserted in the sleeve seam.
The result is an incredibly light coat, feels lighter than a cardigan and is very good for spring. Despite the lightness, is surprisingly warm, due to the wool jersey used in the underlining.


paco peralta said...

Laura .- hope that your health is better. The coat is wonderful and all the techniques employed in it are to keep in mind, really. The garment industry has done away with this technique sewing and the work of the liner. We thank you for this post where he sees clearly inserting the liner and the whole fabric. Ah! And thank you for the link. A big hug. Paco

Pta .- and you also feel very good and very chic

Anonymous said...

Laura, you've done a wonderful job. I think you will enjoy wearing this coat for years to come. Thanks for blogging about the details. It was really enjoyable to read and think about.
Wishing you good health (and happy sewing!).

Adrienne said...

Laura, what a fantastic job you did! Your coat looks outstanding!

Nancy W. said...

I LOVE your coat. I took Shannon's "stitch and flip" class a few months ago and really liked the technique. It sounds like the same as what you did. I think part of the purpose of the topstitching is to give added support and to keep the lining from shifting. It's a good thing you don't live closer, because I might have to sneak over and steal your coat. You always do such nice work.

Lisa Laree said...

Beautiful! What a marvelous job you've done (as always). I hope life eases up a bit for you now ;)

Linda said...

Laura, I am glad that you are feeling better. Your coat is stunning, inside and out. I would be tempted to wear it inside out just so everybody could see the impeccable work in the inside too. I am going to keep the idea of the weight for the hem in the back of my mind. I know I'll need it someday.

dawn said...

Lovely..and you really could be Jackie O! Really beautiful finishing.

Sigrid said...

GORGEOUS coat, love it, and would like the same one.
Sorry to hear your work is giving you so much stress that your health is affected. Take it easy!

Anonymous said...

The coat is beautiful I also love the photo You do look like Jackie O

Erica B. said...

That coat is outstanding! I love when I pick up new tips... love the hem!

Vicki said...

No wonder you weren't well with work overload and this coat! I hope you are feeling better now.

The coat is gorgeous! You have done a wonderful job (as usual) and your techniques are great to see. Thanks. PS, like the styling too:)

Summerset said...

I do hope you're feeling better. Many people don't understand when stress affect your health how bad it really can be. Take care of yourself!

Wonderful coat - the interior is just perfect and will be just the right weight for spring.

Angelia said...

Love your coat!! Glad you're feeling better... I've missed your posts!

Alexandra said...

Beautiful coat! What a great idea to use wool jersey for lining.

Berry said...

First of all I wish you that things cool down at work. Then I must say that your coat is Jackie O-tiful, this alone should put you back on your feet in the minute ;o)
Thanks for all the information, I'm definitely off to read that lining vs underlining article. Take good care of you!

christina said...

Take care of yourself! I'm glad you were able to talk to your supervisor about adjusting your workload.

Fabulous coat. I love the Jackie O poses :)

Tany said...

Outstanding job!!!! It's a fantastic coat, and the way you constructed the lining is really inspiring (I have an ivory boucle in my stash... Hum....).

You look like a moviestar in that outfit!!!
(and do take care of yourself - I know, I should listen to my own words too!)

kbenco said...

This coat is beautiful, and you look great impersonating Jackie O.

AllisonC said...

I left a comment over at pattern review about your coat, but I just want to add here that I am amazed you can produce thisin 2 weeks while you were having health and work problems. Good for you for talking it through with your boss and I hope that you feel much better now.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Laura - you put so much thought into your garments. Not only are they stylish, beautiful and well-fitted but you can see how much time you've spent on working out the construction and the techniques used to create them! Love the Jackie O look for the photos! Love the coat!

laura said...

Yet one more success. You have such an incredible wardrobe. I'm glad you approached someone about your work load. Sometimes you have to speak up! Thank you for all the links to the sites that help you. I'm light years behind you in ability and knowledge but I can certainly see where I need to go! You're an inspiration.

Lori said...

Laura, your coat is stunning and I love the styling of your photos. I hope you are feeling better and work is calmer and less stressful.

LauraLo said...

Thank you very much for your comments and wishes of health! I am indeed better, it seems it was mostly stress and a lack of minerals (mostly potassium and calcium). I am trying to take it easier, in fact I will have next Monday off (to spend it with my mother who's visiting for two days)!
Sewing relaxes me and makes me happy. If only I would have more time for sewing, I think I would be the healthiest person in the world!

CharityinAlaska said...

This is fantastic! It looks fabulous on you. I'm really enjoying following your progress on this swap.


Katrin said...

Hello Laura,
you created an absolutely gorgeous coat. I fell in love with the fabric once you posted it first.
You used a great technique which makes your coat one of a kind.
Please take care about yourself and about your health. I know that stress can make you really sick.
Best wishes,

Keiler said...

I love seeing everything you make. It's so inspiring!

doracouture said...

Laura sei molto brava.E perfetto complimenti!
Ti seguo sempre!
By Dora!

alethia said...

Laura, thank for the indepth explanation about your coat. You did a fantastic job. "BRAVO" to a well constructed coat.

Anonymous said...

Hi Laura
I really think you make the most beautiful clothes and you look fabulous in them!
Love your blog!

Zoubida said...

How well done is this coat! It'a treat to read about the details and techniques you used. You're inspiring.
I hope you'll be able to solve your workload problem, I know how it feels to be in such a situation. Take care of yourself.

nina said...

Lovely! I need to try this technique as soon as i could.

jemima bean said...

It's a beautiful coat Laura!! I'm going to use underlining for a little jacket/top for my daughter too. I'm hoping for a little body without a lot of excess "stuff".

Can't wait to see all of your wardrobe finished!