Firstly, a short update on my autumn jacket. As I mentioned in my previous post, I was not entirely happy with the button placement, which was a result of me having only four suitable buttons. Friday last week, however, I passed by the nearest thrift-store and found a bunch of large faux tortoise buttons. Fortunately, I was wearing the jacket at the time, so I could make sure the colours of the buttons matched. While I usually postpone tedious tasks like sewing on buttons, this time I immediately exchanged them and I am very happy with the result. Six buttons is obviously the way to go!
The jacket has served me well for this whole week. The shorter sleeves and hook-and-eye closure, however, make the jacket unsuitable for colder weather, so I’m afraid that I soon have to stop using it as outerwear. Another disadvantage of the hook-and-eye closure is that the hooks catch on everything: so far they have attached themselves to my scarf and cardigan and my daughter’s coat and tights. Try unhooking yourself from a wriggling toddler in the middle of a busy café while you’re already in a hurry!
Anyway, one of the goals I set for myself this year is to make a real coat. Although I have sewn more than one jacket, I have always been wary of sewing outwear. For some reason it seemed too complicated to even try, but I was also put off by the costs of the materials involved. Throughout spring and early summer I pinned vintage coats and patterns I liked and then, when the right fabric came along, I decided to go for Butterick 5824.
I bought this pattern on a whim and did not expect to sew it up anytime soon, as it requires a whopping 5m of fabric. In addition, choosing a pattern designed by Gertie is perhaps an odd choice considering I bought her first book soon after it came out and yet have to make my first garment from it. On the other hand, Gertie hosted a coat sew-along three years ago, so there is no excuse not to complete this project as any questions I might have are answered there!
The fabric I chose is a 75% wool/25% viscose blend with animal print from tyg.se. Planning on using it to make a skirt, I bought some of this fabric in last year’s autumn sale. It is a lightweight, loosely-woven fabric with a nice drape and a somewhat granular structure. This spring it was on sale again, now for a mere 28 sek per meter and that is when I decided to order more of this fabric so I could make Butterick 5824.
One of my main concerns is the weight and loose weave of the fabric, which makes it slightly see-through and causes it to fray a lot. As the fabric is prone to sagging, the waistline needed some reinforcement. I chose to do something similar to what I saw on sewaholic.net, except I added cotton band to both the bodice and the skirt seams. Time will tell whether this was the right decision. I should probably have added interfacing to the lower collar, as it is rather floppy now.
My sewing books advised against bound button holes in loosely-woven fabric that easily frays. At the moment I am thinking that button holes in the waist seam are the best option, but otherwise I will make ordinary button holes where they are marked on the pattern.
When I tried on the coat for the first time, I felt the collar could use some contrast to make it stand out more. I thought about cutting the upper collar from a solid fabric, but did not find anything I liked at the fabric store, so instead I bought brown faux leather piping that I might use along the outer collar edge to emphasize its shape. At this point, I haven’t completely cut out the lining, so I still have some steps to take before I will have to decide how to finish the collar.
As I have just started an intensive course to brush up on my Swedish, I am a bit short on time the coming weeks. Hopefully I will be able to finish this coat before it gets really cold, because I doubt that it will be warm enough once the temperatures drop to single digits (Celsius, let alone Fahrenheit).