What makes a great coat? Well, I think many things but the first is great fabric and Mood Fabrics' Italian Navy Wool Blended Coating is great fabric. This fabric is luscious yardage that sews beautifully and worked its way into a gorgeous pea coat, Vogue 1467. I knew when this pattern was released I wanted to make this coat in a deep, dark navy and this Italian Coating was perfect for the project. The fabric is wool, nylon and cashmere, which is wonderful to the touch but also has loft and warmth.
A sewalong was announced for this pattern and I knew immediately I wanted to participate. I headed right over to Mood Fabrics to pick my coating and lining. The pattern calls for a full front and sleeve lining with a partial back lining. I decided to go with a full back lining, using Mood Fabrics' Blue Abstract Viscose Satin Lining. The buttons I purchased are from Mood, also. Outside buttons and two inside buttons.
The sewalong happened over several weeks but I knew how I like to sew. I like to start a project and get it finished within one to two weeks. With other sewing projects, work projects and family, I started this jacket just over 2 weeks ago. This was perfect as the sewalong was just wrapping up and I could use all the information provided to make a good coat inside and out. I used the information from the McCall's Blog and co-host Rachel's blog as valuable resources and added MSN blogger, Erica's amazing sewalong blog for coat tailoring tips. Another blog I found invaluable was Gail's Today Agenda.
I used techniques I never had used before - machine tailoring the collar, shoulder reinforcement with hair canvas, carrier strips from muslin and so many more. That is one thing about the online sewing community, you can find so much information to help with your sewing and your sewing skill. I am so appreciative of all the information people share to help each and everyone of us. I did interface the entire jacket with a lightweight fusible interfacing, adding a second layer to the front facing and to the hems. While pressing the interfacing, I noticed a shine and marks on my front facing piece. Thank goodness, I had enough fabric to recut this piece. After this mishap, I consulted my Sandra Betzina Fabric Savvy book and found a cashmere blend needed to use self-fabric for the pressing cloth. I think the nylon had something to do with the shine, too. My back of the jacket looks and fits nicely. You can see a bit of the back seam allowance from the pressing, after this seam, I did only press from the wrong side. If I did feel like the jacket needed a bit of pressing on the right side, I doubled the pressing cloth. The iron was gently pressed on the right side and I used my tailor's clapper more frequently.
I have to say I enjoyed every step of this jacket's construction inside and out until the buttonholes. The thickness of my fabric and fabric layers made butthonholes very challenging. I would say for every one I made, I had to unsew them at least once. My tip for buttonholes is to use Solvy (water soluble stabilzier). I am so thankful I did this to help the machine stitch the buttonholes more smoothly and it made all the difference in seeing the stitching of the buttonhole to cut the hole. Honestly, I am not sure I would have been able to see the exact placement for my buttonhole chisel otherwise. And the Solvy helped to see the stitches to unsew all those buttonholes, too
A view of the front lining and let's mention it is ROYAL Blue! Yes, congratulations to the Kansas City Royals, World Series Champs. I think all of the catch stitching was done while watching game #3.
Full back lining:
There is one thing I would change if making this jacket again. I would add 1" to the sleeves around the elbow, at times the jacket feels tight at the elbow. I lengthened the pattern at the hem but think the length I needed should have been midway on the pattern. The two piece sleeve and the easing at that point would have benefited from a bit of length.
I did make a muslin but that is one range of movement I didn't test. Plus, in my experience, the layers of a garment reacts differently than the one layer of a muslin. That is one thing with sewing, we are always learning, right? I am so happy I participated in this sewalong for many reasons. My main reasons were to sew this gorgeous yardage of fabric into an equally gorgeous coat and to learned and execute so many new techniques.
A couple things in closing - yes, I am dressed just like the pattern envelope, gray pants, black heels and navy jacket. Original I am not but truly it was by coincidence and I didn't notice until working on this post.
Lastly, I leave you with heads and shoulders, knees and toes! No just kidding, it is just funny and I had to add a bit of out-takes. You never know what the camera and the remote will get you.
Disclosure - I receive a monthly fabric allowance from Mood Fabrics to make a garment. These garment are blogged at Mood Sewing Network first and then I will blog here about this garment.