The coat is finally done! It took a lot longer than I’d planned, mostly due to my sewing mojo being the lowest it’s been since I was in grad school and trying to juggle that, my TA duties, getting a teaching career going outside of the university’s music school, and actually seeing my friends on occasion. But I did the last bit of hand-stitching and sewed on the buttons last night, finishing it just in time for the cold to come. Literally. Yesterday it was in the 60s, and today we might scrape the upper end of the 40s if we’re lucky. Brr.
Since I’ve used this pattern before, there isn’t really a ton to say about it. I did do several things differently this time, mostly involving hand-stitching all of the internal seams down because they weren’t pressing flat enough, and underlining. I used up that silk organza I’d mentioned in a previous post to underline almost everything (I didn’t have quite enough for the sleeves, so I left it out of there), and I also underlined (interlined?) the lining with Thinsulate. Which was way less time-consuming in the long run than my last coat, where I quilted two layers of quilt batting into the lining. This coat is still heavy, though! I think it’s mostly due to the outer fabric, which is pretty thick and heavy compared to the suedecloth I used for the last coat. Oh, and I had to draft the pattern piece for the collar stand, because apparently I also failed to return that to the envelope the last time, along with the first page of directions. Organization fail. Maybe next time I need a coat, I should just get a new pattern!
Oh, and I did bound buttonholes! This was my first attempt at doing it, and they are a little wonky in spots (also probably due to the thickness), but they blend in well enough with the fabric that it isn’t blatantly obvious unless you’re looking up close. I did cheat a little bit–the original coat pattern calls for an additional buttonhole on the part that goes underneath the main buttoned-up part, to attach to a button on the lining. But honestly, I rarely, if ever, buttoned it there when I was wearing the other coat. So I figured I’d save myself some time and skip it! I also stole the buttons from the old coat, since they were still perfectly good.
I cheated on the lining a bit, and just shoved the raw edge of the lining underneath the serged edge of the coat and hemmed it on machine. At that point, I just wanted it DONE. But honestly, I think it will hold better in the long run than hand-stitching on this particular fabric, and since the lining pleats over top of the hem, you can’t even really see that serged edge.
This project may have taken forever, and it was honestly sheer stubbornness combined with my fear of cold that pushed me to finish it. But it was great for stashbusting! All together, I completely used up 3 yards of that tweedy stuff on the outside, 2 yards of Bemberg lining, and about 3 1/3 yards of the organza–it wasn’t full width everywhere since it was leftover from a previous project, so I had to do some creative pattern work. I do have a decent-sized piece of leftover Thinsulate, so I’ll need to figure out what to do with that at some point.
So, one project of my FESA plan down, finally. I’m hoping I can still squeeze in my SewDisney project before the end of November, but I’m starting off with a Renfrew hack, so this should theoretically go much faster! And at least I’ll manage to stay warm in the meantime. I hope. Since this is me we’re talking about, after all.