Thursday, October 2, 2008

White and black trenchcoat






Now, don't ask me how I got the idea for this trenchcoat because I really cannot remember. All I know is that it obsessed me my entire holidays, it was taking shape into my mind and I was really looking forward to get back and start sewing again. Funny because I used the last week of my holidays to give a very thorough cleaning to our apartment - you know, when you move every piece of furniture to clean underneath?. I sometimes get urges like that to clean everything and put it in order, it is a bit like putting order in my entire life or starting fresh and clean (I'm born in autumn and tend to view autumn as a beginning, I know it might seem strange). So I only started to work on the trench after I got back to work.

I really love trenchcoats (especially fitted) and can't have enough of them, plus I wanted very much a white trenchcoat. I love white coats (even if they have to be washed or cleaned very often) and I like how I look in white.

Taking into account that I spent a lot lately on sewing notions and gadgets, stocking up on things harder to find, I decided I'd better shop my own stash for fabric and patterns - I have quite a lot already. There was no trenchcoat pattern in my stash, not for a classic trenchcoat, but more modern interpretations. The only pattern coming close to what I wanted was this Burda pattern - coat 111 from BWOF 10/2007. A coat pattern. Now, I had to downsize the pattern anyway, I'm a 34 in Burda and the coat is 36-44. A coat has a lot more ease than a trenchcoat, especially a fitted trenchcoat like I wanted and one in a pretty summery/early fall fabric (a thin cotton twill). I normally would have pulled one of my patternmaking books and try to see what is the ease in a coat and what in a fitted early fall coat, but I have no idea what kind of ease Burda uses (I think there are several "schools" in the field...) I thought a solution would be to downsize another size, thus going from 36 to 32. I'm not really sure this is the wise way to do it, but it does make sense in a way. By going down a size, you decrease the width, you get higher armholes, you decrease the width of the sleeve as well etc.

I must confess, blushing with shame, that I didn't make a muslin. I know, I should have. But I had two reasons: 1) Burda patterns fit me really well and most of the time I have no alterations to make (except the petite alteration that I always do, using this Burda workshop); 2) I get so obsessed with a project that I literally cannot wait to see it starting to take shape.

So, now to the "technical" details. The coat is made out of a thin cotton twill. The topstitching is done by hand, using multi-strand embroidery floss (all of the six strands) and a 0.5 mm (approx 1/4") running stitch, situated at 1 cm (approx 3/8") from the edge. There's topstitching on the pocket flaps, the belt, the lapels collar, front edge and hem of the trench, the back center seam (including the vent), the back sleeve seam.





I've used Diva Ann's tutorial for making a welt pocket using an organza "window"- see the tutorial here and was very happy with the result. See below how clean it looks:



I've used my Tailoring: The Classic Guide to Sewing the Perfect Jacket book for fusing various types of interfacing to the garment, interfacing the lapels and sewing the collar. Great info, I really like this book.

For bagging the lining, I've used (again), Kathleen Fasanella's series of Nameless tutorials. Really, once you try her method, I doubt you'll ever want to use another. Look how clean (and entirely by machine, no handstitching) the finish of the lining+facing at the hem:



I simply adore it. It looks so professional and it is so easy to achieve. I've been using this method for a long while now, but this is the first time I've used Kathleen's book to draft my own facings and lining. Guess what? The way she has you drafting the lining, you get rid of that pleat at the hem. I don't know about you, but I always disliked that pleat. It is such a pain to iron (I never know exactly how much I should fold it when ironing it) and then when you wear the jacket, the pleat unfolds a bit and you have a rigid crease where you fold it. I strongly recommend Kathleen's book. Besides the info in it, it also gives you one-year free access to her members only forum - another wealth of information.

Take a look at the photo below...



See how the lining "blouses" at the hem? Drafting the lining as Kathleen instructs you gives you plenty of ease to allow movement, but no pleat.

For finishing the vent, see this episode of the nameless series.

Unfortunately, when I cut the lining, I forgot to allow for the vent, and cut the back traditionally (omitting the vent). I added then a rectangle to the right side of the lining and I left the left side as it was, mitering the corner.



Mental note to self: Stop cutting fabric when very tired .

The buttonholes are corded, using the same multi-strand embroidery floss that I used for topstitching. The beautiful buttons are a gift from Summerset.

76 comments:

cidell said...

Laura, your coat is stunning. Thanks for pointing me to Kathleen, I'll have to check her out. Your attention to detail blows me away!

the_lazymilliner said...

I'm with Cidell, this coat is gorgeous...I'm a sucker too for a white trenchcoat. Congrats on a well-done job.

Vicki said...

Just stunning! I love the hand topstitching.

Adrienne said...

GORGEOUS Laura!!!!!!

Marji said...

It's a beautiful coat, and beautifully made. So happy to see that you've gotten your sewing mojo back in good order.
Kathleen's book is on my list of items I covet too. Maybe I'll get myself that for Christmas. I'd love to find out how to do that with the lining pleat.

senaSews said...

Laura, your coat is adorable. All the topstitching by hand must been a lot of hard work. But the result is worth all the effort. Your coat just looks perfect.

Christina said...

Another aweseome garment from Laura! The topstitching really adds something special.

melissa said...

Absolutely wonderful! Thanks so much for linking to all those tutorials, too...

Elaray said...

WOW! And, thanks for the links!

Erica B. said...

Laura, that coat is beautiful! I love the contrast topstitching!

Melissa said...

Absolutely breathtaking trench! I love white too, but with four kids I probably wouldn't get out of the house without it already being dirty - a girl can dream tho. :-)

KayB said...

G-g-g-gorgeous! Love the top-stitching and fit. Great, great project... reminds me that I promised myself starting with my parka.

Lori said...

Laura, your coat is incredible. I really like it in the white and the black stitching just puts it over the top.

Summerset said...

So that's what you did with the buttons! Well, I'm not sure those buttons are worthy of such an amazing coat. Very chic and nicely done!

Lory said...

Very beautiful! I love your attention to detail in this trench coat, it's awesome. :):):):)

A few months back I saw some photos of both Hayden and Miley in white trench coats.

http://www.imnotobsessed.com/photogallery?nid=27474&pic=/files/legacy/2007/11/hayden-trench.jpg

http://www.shoehunting.com/blog/2008/01/03/miley-cyrus-in-via-spiga-whisper/

It made me say "I want that" a few months back. And after seeing your gorgeous trench coat...."I want that".

lol

Hugs,
Lory

Birgitte said...

That trench is a head-turner! The top stitching is fantastic and it fits you to a T.
Kathleen's book is a must-have IMO, the facing/lining draft genius in its simplicity.

loopylulu said...

The topstitching by hand looks super duper awesome. I love the entire look of the jacket.

Jenny said...

Wow, your trench is beautiful. The topstitching makes it so unique.

Sismada said...

Laura, your coat is beautiful!!!! kiss

Shannon said...

That coat is a beauty! I must say you are braver than me to wear a white coat - I'd have stains on it before I could blink an eye!

Paola said...

Laura, your coat is wonderful!!!! I love it!

Lesalicious said...

Hi came across your blog and have to say I love your work. Your trenchcoat is so lovely great job.:) will have to keep hoping in.

kbenco said...

Your coat is gorgeous.

Anonymous said...

Another beautiful garment. Absolutely fabulous. I'd be interested in knowing how you got the hand stitching to be so uniform? Did you use a guide of some sort? Susan C

Cherie said...

Laura, so beautiful and smart - now this is my kind of eye candy! Your details once again are exquisite!

Rose said...

Laura, it 's so great to see your work again! This coat is amazingly. Wonderful. thank you for sharing. It's so inspirational.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

When you come back - you come back with a bang! *smile* I LOVE the new coat!!! All of the details and the fit...simply amazing and absolutely Laura!

Claudine said...

Fabulous topstitching! I love all the details, and it looks wonderful on you.

Tany said...

Laura, you have outdone yourself! What a masterpiece! I love everything about this coat!! MAGNIFICENT, BRAVO!

Ann's Fashion Studio said...

What a beautiful coat! Great work on the topstitching.

Sigrid said...

What to add to all that's already said? It's a gorgeous, stunning coat. You really have made most of your sewing time.

I followed your link for Kathleen Fasanella's book, but doubting to buy, the table of contents shows so much info that I'm not interested in, seems written for people who want to go in business. Could you probably say some more on the book in the near future?

Tracey said...

Cute, Cute, Cute! The top-stitching is absolutely great!

a little sewing on the side said...

Wonderful coat with exquisite details- enjoy wearing it!
And thanks for all the info. I use a lot of techniques from your blog.

Faye Lewis said...

Such a beautiful trench.

Lashell said...

Brautiful coat. I love the color and the topstitching is fabulous

Nina said...

Hello Laura,
it´s so good to see you posting again! Your trenchcoat is absolutly wonderful and the white is "your" color.

Best wishes,
Nina

Maja said...

Gorgeous coat! Wonderful work on the details!

Isabelle said...

Simply amazing... I love everything about your coat, Laura. Such perfect details! Bravo!! It is so lovely to see you post again. Gros bisous.

margi said...

Hi Laura,

Glad to see you're back-a search team was about to be sent!

Love the coat and thank you for the information on Kathleen's book. Looks like it is a must-add to my collection.

AllisonC said...

Gorgeous coat, I love the hand topstitching detail. That you too for all the helpful links to tutorials.

Adelaide B said...

The handstitching on this coat is amazing. I am inspired to try this myself.

angie.a said...

Holy cow, that is stunning. GREAT coat Laura!

Angelia said...

So glad to see you back!!! I missed your posts!!
The salsa top is soooo sexy!!! and the trench... AMAZING!

Dei said...

I'll add to the list of kudos, stunning! Thx for all the links.

o.rie said...

That coat is very very very beautiful!!!

-E said...

just found your blog and I love it! Your white coat is beautiful- Thanks for the tutorial links :)

DiddleDaddleDesigns said...

Just found your blog. The coat is stunning. Thanks for sharing.
Teresa

Kennis said...

Laura, it's a BEAUTIFUL coat!

One (stupid) question, if you use the "Kathleen" method to complete the hem/lining as well as the vent, how do you turn the coat inside out afterwards?? I guess I am a bit confused...

Janene said...

What a great coat! Love the color and the detail of the black stitching. Thanks for always giving pics and details of what you've made to help improve the sewing skills.

peacockchic said...

that coat is amazing. I love the black topstitching!! Great job!

paco peralta said...

Laura .- as we say here: it's better late than never. Finally a moment to visit his blog and congratulate you for this wonderful trench. I love the white with the contrast of the decorations in black. is a success. my best wishes and see you soon. Paco

kathleen said...

What a great project! It looks entirely professional.

You know, you can leave a comment over on the nameless tutorial entries saying it worked out for you. It was annoying when people were poo-pooing the idea without even having tested it.

alviana said...

wow! awesome coat! u look awesome. I wish i can make one like those too...

lorrwill said...

Extremely well done as usual!

ella said...

Hey Laura, You are my favorite sewing blogger!
Are you OK, you have not blogged for a long time.
*LOVE* your white coat and.... well.... actually al the clothes you have made. They all suit you so well.
Take care,
Ella, currently living in Japan

Linda said...

Great looking trenchcoat. Thanks for pointing out helpful links to sewing linings in coats/jackets. I have been bagging lining for a numer of years but still have issues at the facing edge.

I love the topstitching you used. Truly a great job on this.

Anonymous said...

I love the topstitching you used!

Sewing Machine Parts

Mamis said...

La Multi Ani!!!

Elizabeth said...

Laura, come back! We miss you!

lorrwill said...

Hey where are you? What fabulous things have you been working on?

Bonnie D. said...

How have you been?

I nominated you for the Kreativ Blogger award. See my blog for details!

Birgitte said...

I see someone beat me to it, but you've been nominated by me as well. Soooo... let's see your pretty face again, okay! :))

Karen said...

Well, now one more person has nominated you for Kreative Blogger - me. Step away from the sewing machine and let us all know how you're doing.

Kuka said...

that is so hot! I love the black stitching details!

Berry said...

You are nominated. That makes 4 of us now! I hope everything is fine despite your silence. Take good care of you. Big hugs!!!

Meg said...

I nominated you too. Cheers

PatoBB said...

Laura, I left a nomination for you in my blog. I always follow your blog but never left any comment, anyway I think this is a wonderful blog!!

Val said...

Seems you're greatly missed. Hope everything is well. Can't wait for you to start showing us your works of art again.

Aminat said...

Come out of your shell girl, we are really missing you in blogland. Hope all is well with you. Have fun

lorrwill said...

Laura! Don't leave us!

TDB said...

BEAUTIFUL

andrea said...

very cute, i like the seamed? is that the right term edges

Jezebel said...

Wow, the trench is amazing!...

Madame*Canaille said...

love it !!!! it's stunning, and the colour really suits you !!!

Rachel said...

LOVE this jacket!! Cool blog! Love, http://popculturesewing.blogspot.com/

Fashion Designer101 said...

I absolutely LOVE this!
The detail is stunning.
I'd be elated if I had something like this =)