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.
Posted by LauraLo at 1:51 AM