Butterick 6385: Cafe au Coat

I’m soooo glad that I decided to plough ahead and do a wool coat in spring because it’s snowing today and I have had more than one opportunity to wear it already.  For some reason I figured Butterick 6385 was the easier of the two coats on the one I  should work on first. In reality I think that it was just the least expensive of the two ( less and lower cost fabric) so If I messed it up I wouldn’t feel as bad. The pattern itself was harder.

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The fabric I used was a 100% wool coating from Fabric.com in the color Cafe au Lait. I bought it during one of their 70% off sales so I scored 3 yards for just $36. Turns out I only needed 2 yards….and suggestions on how to use the last yard? Once it arrived it seemed a bit thin (again, hindsight it was probably fine). After reading an article on threads called Understanding Underlining I decided some flannel would make a cozy addition to the interior. Boy was it time intensive! First you cut out the flannel out of the same pieces as the coat.   Then stack them and baste down the middle. Trim the flannel to account for turn of cloth. The hand baste the flannel to the wool and treat as a single piece.  I think the extra effort was worth it because it made the coat super warm and toasty but I don’t think I will be using it on my blue coat because everything got very bulky.

Once I stitched the panels together I trimmed the flannel pressed the seams open and then catch-stitched all the seams by hand hoping to alleviate some of that aforementioned bulk.

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So much hand work, my fingers were hating me! At this point I took a break to make my easter dress.

Having never done a coat before I found some interesting details in the pattern. I’m not sure it this is standard or not but I think it makes my coat seem more special. The lining has its own separate pattern pieces and the center back includes a little pleat to allow extra mobility across the back in between the shoulder blades.

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The pocket (per the pattern) has wool on the side touching you and lining on the other side. So if the pocket peaks open you only see wool but the bulk is reduced by using lining for the other half

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The lining is attached around the wrists and neck but is allowed to hand free across the bottom. I took a quick look at my Calvin Klein coat and i’ts made the same way.  I liked this because the lining doesn’t pull in any weird way. I did some thread chains to attach the lining at the various seams.  I also catch stitch the coat hem so there are no visible topstitching.

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Enough construction notes…you want to see this puppy on right! You’ll notice it’s missing buttons. I bought some nice big wooden ones but when it came time for buttonholes I could not get my machine to do them. It made them just fine when I did a test on double thickness of wool but for some reason  it’s just too thick to work on the coat.  I could sew the holes by hand with a blanket stitch but I’m worried that it would look to messy and I would hate to mess up all the work I did with messy button holes. For the time being it’s to be a closureless coat. Lesson learned, do bound buttonholes on the next coat ( that one only has two so it shouldn’t be too bad).

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me-thinks I may have over pressed it

I can’t help but feel like a girl-boss when I wear this coat. It turned out almost exactly like I envisioned.

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Self Drafted Vest

After sewing a cushion for uzzi out of the wool remnants from my blazer I figured I had just enough left to make a vest. With no pattern that I liked I decided to try and copy a RTW vest from my closet. For my first copycat it didn’t go too poorly though I did make it a wee bit too small. Guess its time to lay off the cookies 🙂

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I also had enough of the original red lining to do the whole vest so other then the buttons this was a complete stash buster!

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The insides have a wool facing along the front center and the rest is bemburg

 

I think it looks really great with the blazer, though I need to make some higher waisted pants (I’ve got my eye on you Ginger Jeans!).

Wool Blazer: Part 2

I am happy to be able to share my finished Wool Blazer/ English hunting coat.

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Tony has already declared this the best thing I have ever made. Despite the long and tedious preparation process, sewing this was a breeze. Things like the collar and sleeves which I expected to be troublesome came together with no issues. I thoroughly enjoyed making this coat as it managed to challenge me and boost my sewing confidence in one fell swoop. I wish I had gotten some pictures of the guts before attaching the lining but I was just too eager to get it finished.

These are two part sleeves with sort of a faux vent. They have a 1/4″ shoulder pad sewn into the lining and some fleece as a sleeve heading to help fill out the shape of the sleeve cap. That’s a lot going on under the hood!

We have a notched collar that lays very well if I do say so myself.

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The pocket flaps are non-functional but there is a pocket in the princess seams below the flap. I found some plastic buttons that do a brilliant job of looking wooden and really tie together the English feel for me.

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The back has some gentle princess seams for a slight bit of shaping. I wish I had done a sway back adjustment but its not too obvious.

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My favorite part is the silky rich red lining. It really makes this coat feel like a luxury.

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Needless to say, I am pretty satisfied, though I don’t think I will be making another anytime soon. I learned a lot of tailoring  while making this and I feel like I can bump my skill level up a notch.

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Wool Blazer: Part 1

I have decided to start sewing my ‘English’ style blazer. I took my inspiration photo with me to the store and I found  a Simplicity blazer pattern that I think will work.

Im pretty sure the fabric is wool. Its one of the cuts that I got from the Denver Sewing Guild sale. I did a burn test and no hard plasticky bits formed so at least  I know its not synthetic. I know that the lining of a blazer needs to be slightly slippery  to help get it on and off and I was dreading having to use those awful polyester linings that Jo-anns has. It feels like wearing a plastic bag. Much to my surprise they now carry bemberg lining. I didn’t know what it was but it felt like a dream and is rayon so it should be breathable. It was $9.99 a yard but I had a 60% off coupon so I decided to spurge. It would be a waste to have such a breathable outside shell and stick a poly lining underneath.

When I got home I looked up bemberg, turns out it is the lining of choice for most bespoke tailors due to its durability, soft hand, and breathability….translation: I did very well.

So far I have spent a week on this blazer and I haven’t even started sewing yet. In order to make my standard waist lengthening of 1.5″ and arm  an lengthening of 1″.  I had to redraft 7 pattern pieces (darn princess seams). Then I cut it out. With the wool, lining, and interfacing we are talking 56 individual pieces. That took 3 days.

Day 4: Can’t get any of my chalk or pencils to mark on the wool. So I spent a day doing 72 tailor tacks.

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Day 5: Iron on all that interfacing. I decided to use the “Amazing Tip” from the pattern and add interfacing along the bottom of all the pieces and the neck as well. After all this cutting I want to make sure this turns out as best as it possible can.

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Whew..thats a lot of prep work. Hopefully I can start sewing it soon and see this thing come to life!