11 February 2014

Coat completion!

I have finally finished my coat project! It has taken me about a month to complete...but it's finally done. As usual, I have been pretty busy with life. Mainly, searching for a job where I can apply my bachelor's degree and planning for my future in graduate research. But that's another story, so let's focus on this super awesome coat; I am beyond thrilled with how it turned out. Sure, like anyone who has creatively constructed anything...I have a couple of issues here and there...but overall (given this is my first coat, ever) I am very, very excited about it!

If you didn't read my past post on the start of this, I'll catch you up by saying this was made using a nylon felt. Close to 2mm thick, it had the wonderful advantage of being extremely forgiving in terms of how straight (or not straight...) the seams were. I also used McCall's 4153 (you can read about the start of this, here) from 1941.

The disadvantage however, was that the thick fabric constantly consumed my working space. As I worked, I trimmed away any overlapping seams before joining pieces together. There was still the occasional situation (mainly with the sleeves) where the presser-foot couldn't be lowered to it's sewing position due to the bulk of fabric. This was only a couple of times...but still frustrating. I pressed seams as I went a long, and despite being advised against using steam for this...I used steam anyway. A lot, of steam. Nothing would lay flat unless I used it...and since the fabric didn't shrink or pucker...I'll take it as a good sign.

The next challenge was the lining. I had decided on a nice satiny salmon pink to compliment the brown. I have in the past expressed my (at times, blinding) anger towards satiny materials, but I actually had no issues with this. I like to think I have now advanced to the level of higher seamstressing and have surpassed the slinky-fabric dilemma...but who knows. Anyway, constructing the lining was a breeze...but attaching it to the coat was a different story. I can be rather impatient at times, so the thought of hand-sewing the lining to the entire coat did lead to a bit of procrastination. I am really thankful I have a mannequin, otherwise it would have been very difficult to fit the whole thing properly and get it to stay where I wanted. Hours of work and many episodes of Land Girls later, I completed the lining.

The pattern advised that I attach the sleeves after I attached the lining of the body. I decided against that and attached the coat sleeves first, then I made the entire lining and attached that next. I wanted the inside to have a completely smooth appearance, so I am glad I did that. The lining was just all of the pattern pieces used for the coat, darts and all, sewn over the felt facing on the inside. Anyway, enough talk...here are some pretty pictures:







I did have to overexpose some of the pictures, as the fabric is a very dark chocolate and did not show some of the detailing. The sleeve darts, for example...you already know my obsession with those, but they were a bit difficult to see. This project has given me an even greater appreciation for war-time pattern detailing. Over the years, sewing and wearing vintage has helped me hone in on my preferences in eras. I definitely can say, with most of my patterns ranging from 1936-1943, those are my favourite years in fashion.

I forgot to mention that I hemmed the coat using a lacy mustard bias tape. I didn't want a bulky hem, since the fabric already had issues with laying naturally, so bias tape was a must. The back of the coat has a vent with overlapping panels, not sure if that's as visible as I'd like in the photos, but it's meant to look concealed. I can't imagine walking in this thing if it weren't present!

So, there you have it! My first coat...and probably my last for a while. Here in Seattle, there isn't a lot of occasion to wear something this warm (unfortunately, as I love the cold). In the future though, I would love to make a burgundy version of this with a caplet and maybe flap pockets. For now, my next project involves a late 1930's dress (more sleeve darts!) with long-sleeves in a dark teal jersey.

As a side project, I have also been making my own plugs. A lot of people think I just wear large clip-ons, but my ears are actually gauged to 16mm...which makes wearing vintage jewelry near impossible. When I was younger I was obsessed with victorian-era and art deco jewelry, so I've decided to work on elements of both and design plugs I can somewhat coordinate with my outfits. They do still just look like fancy earrings...

Thanks for reading!

24 comments:

  1. As I said in wesewretro, you did a great job! it worthed all the time you took to finish it!

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    1. Thank you! I am also glad I spent so much time on this, totally worth it!

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  2. This coat is absolutely fabulous!! I'm glad you posted and I'm glad I found your blog! Fantastic!

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    1. Thank you so much, for stopping by and reading my blog :)

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  3. Wow, such a beautiful job and it looks really authentic.

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    1. Thank you! I was really happy with how authentic it turned out as well! I think it's the shoulders and shoulder pads which did the trick. It really gives the triangular silhouette popular in those days.

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  4. Oh go on, you've got to make another one, you've made much too good a job of this one to stop there.
    Maybe a rich purple or burgundy velvet......

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    1. Yes, to all of those! I would love a velvet coat...sadly it rains too much here and I am sure it would get ruined quickly. But someday, maybe! Thank you for your compliment :)

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  5. Beautiful coat and it looks smashing on you!

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  6. wow, this is stunning. You did a great job on this pattern - and it looks retro but also modern. Well done!

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  7. You're getting a standing ovation from me, dear gal, on this timelessly fantastic coat. Really, really terrific job. I love the silhouette, colour, number of buttons, pocket placement - every last element, very much including how stellar it looks on you.

    ♥ Jessica

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    1. Thank you so much for your lovely compliments! With your wonderful attention to detail, this is a very high compliment! :)

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  8. This is so beautiful! Very well done. I love the lining too!

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  9. Truly inspirational - all of your hard work certainly paid off!

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  10. The coat looks great, you did very well with it! The colors you chose are gorgeous together. It suits you wonderfully, and the pattern really features some lovely details. I might need to get hold of this myself ;)

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    1. Thank you! The pattern is very simple to follow and is simple enough for future customization, but also comes with some lovely details, that's true...I say go for it!

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  11. Wow - this looks amazing and smart! Well done!
    (you wouldnt know it's hand sewn :D)
    x

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    1. Thank you so much for that, it means a lot! I always worry my projects come out looking home-made...but probably because I experience the flaws along the way!

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  12. I love the 40s look of the Brown color mixing the Black of the détails and of your hair. I could imagine myself in ! Haha

    Xoxo,
    Lorna
    Http://lornasharp.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you! I had the colour-scheme in mind when I put this together. I had been looking through catalogs from winter 1939 and it inspired me to use that as a palette.

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  13. wow, what a fantastic coat! it looks great on you ...

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  14. I love this coat! You did an amazing job.

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  15. I absolutely love this! Congrats on a beautiful finish.

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