Coats and Shirts……

Sooooo, it’s been a while and I can only apologise again, I’ve been somewhat busy – I’ve started a new job, so that has taken a lot of time – I’ve completed the coat for mum, sewn a shirt and a vest top. I will also be moving shortly, so there is going to be another hiatus with very few posts.

Hopefully once the move is over and I’m settled in the new place (with far more room and light) I will be able to sew and update the blog more regularly.

I know I said in my last post that I would be putting some details of the fitting and alterations to the Toile, and I will get round to that, but unfortunately It’s not going to be in the short term – sorry. x

So, Mum’s coat. I completed the Toile and had a fitting – the front needed extending to allow the coat to close, the shoulder seam needed shortening as did the sleeve, and as Mum doesn’t like a lot of fullness in the shoulder it meant basically fully re-drafting the sleeve. Once I’d done this, the fitting was tight and pulling under the arm and across the back, which meant re-drafting the back adding in some more ease and also adding this back into the collar.

Sleeve Insertion

Once the Toile fitted well, I then took it apart to re-draft the pattern, cut my fabric and started sewing. The sleeve insertion (above) went very well, as you can see, this is quite a flat sleeve head and all my seams line up (this is before pressing).

I’d decided to do bound button holes on this coat as I felt it would give a better line and a more authentically period feel to the coat. This is the first time that I’d attempted bound buttonholes and I was quite pleased with the results. 2 worked beautifully, the other 2 were a bit wonky, so I un-picked and hand stitched them until I was happy with them. I won’t go into detail here as there ar loads of great tutorials for bound buttonholes on the web. I will just way that for thicker fabrics like wool as this is, I’d use woven fusible interfacing on both sides of the coats and 2 pieces of folded fabric to create the ‘lips’ – this reduces bulk and makes the finish a lot neater.

Lining Material! Oh dear lord, I really struggled with this – next time I’m going to overlock from the start! I got the lining in ans fitted and then it started pulling, so I had to overlock the seams in the (almost) finished garment. I did make a bit of a boo-boo and overlocked the vent in the back of the lining, but this really doesn’t show and doesn’t affect the fit, so I didn’t have to redo the entire lining. (If it gives in the future, I have enough material to create an entire new lining…..)

Although the lining material was an absolute pain to sew, it really does look good in the finished garment and slip-stitches quite well. I do find that when I’m hand sewing I sort of get into a state of ‘zen’ – it’s very relaxing and therapeutic.

I added 4 buttons, but to make the coat sit properly, the top button is stitched onto the right side of the collar – it’s a little un-orthodox but it works.

I also created a lacy vest top to go under coats and things, basically this was self-drafted – no pattern, but based on a jersey top and made to fit.

Since the picture was taken, I’ve amended the original design, shortened the length and made a couple of adjustments under the arms. It was a really quick make though.

I then decided that I need a ‘selfish’ make – something for me. You may recall that I bought some lovely fabric when I went to Goldhawk road nearly a year ago, and had planned a couple of shirts…. well, I made one of them.

The pink fabric was a steal at £2, but it was sun damaged, but I was able to cut around this. I also had decided to use a contrast material for inner and under collar and inner cuffs.

The fabric is lush (although it creases as soon as you look at it!) and works well. This shirt took me about 10 hours from start to finish as I know the pattern so well, and that includes buttonholes and flat-felled seams. I’m planning a couple more, one in blue with pink contrast and one in white with blue contrast again; although I have no idea when I’ll get around to making them……

I have been asked why I have the stripes going vertically on the collar rather than around the neck – and the simple answer is I didn’t think of any other way of doing it! I also think looking at the back of the shirt, it ties the whole garment together, with the yoke cutting across it.

Incidentally any pattern matching is purely coincidental! 🙂 x

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