Thursday, January 24, 2013
a twenties coat
Well, I finished my 1920s pattern coat this week! View part one of the project here.
This coat ended up being more complicated than I expected, in large part due to the era of the pattern. Oftentimes the instructions suggested methods of sewing that (for me) needed to be translated and simplified into modern sewing methods. I found myself reading and re-reading the instructions, then Googling alternative ways to accomplish the task the instructions suggested. Because of this, you'll see a lot of links to online tutorials I used in this post.
This is the oldest sewing pattern that I've ever sewn with (I've used 1930s and 40s patterns before but never pre-30s) and needless to say, next time I'm starting with something simpler.. like an easy dress with four pattern pieces. But all the work paid off and I have a finished coat I love, so that has to count for something.
Another word of advice.. I used non fusible interfacing to line the lapel and collar of the jacket, and I regret that now. It worked really well in the structured skirt of the brocade holiday dress I sewed last month, but this coat doesn't have that same structured fit. I consider it more loose, fluid, and therefore I should have used something less stiff (and more tear-proof) that could move easier with the coat (like muslin or lighter canvas). A word just in case you guys find yourselves sewing a loose-fitting coat like this!
Beginning where I left off in part one, I pieced together the lining of the jacket. My friend Lauren suggested that I line the sleeves with something lightweight and slippery rather than bulky velvet, so I took her advice and used some black silk I had in my sewing room - so the body of the lining is velvet and the sleeves are silk.
I hemmed the wool outer shell with an inch and a half seam at the bottom, then pieced together the jacket lapel in velvet, sewing it right sides together to the front and neck edges of the wool shell.
Once the velvet lapel was sewn on, I pressed it inside and topstitched around the edges. I attached the lining to the jacket by sewing the edges of the lining to the lapel inside edges (right sides together), then hand-stitching at the side seams in place to keep it together. While the method described in my sewing instructions was a bit different, I always go back to this well-illustrated article on lining a jacket for help.
Next, sleeve cuffs. I used a scrap bit of muslin for extra interfacing at the cuffs and followed this handy tutorial on attaching cuffs to a jacket, making sure to follow each direction carefully - including basting the cuff layers in place, which helped a lot when it came time to add the cuff to the sleeve.
With everything pieced together, I then had to add a button and buttonhole to the front. I covered my button in matching black velvet, then hand-stitched a buttonhole using blanket stitches and embroidery floss. Here's a handy explanation for stitching buttonholes by hand.
I decided against the front pockets - instead I'm going to add invisible side pockets (plus a button at the neck for a funnel neck enclosure) at a later date. Right now, I'm just happy to be finished.
Happily I have several more sewing projects lined up, coming as soon as this weekend.. a couple more wintery projects then I'm moving onto spring, because Neil and I have a trip to Florida planned for early March and I need to sew up some outfits for the occasion!
Tonight, seeing Argo with friends and eating at our favorite pizza place. Happy Thursday!