Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Coat Update

When I first posted about my coat project, I said I intended to make this my main project for February and indeed, I have been working on it consistently since the beginning of the month.  Never having made a coat before, it seemed like a big project to me, so I decided from the outset to break it down into small chunks.  I've even been keeping a little journal of all the work I've done on it.  And you know what?  It's really not very difficult - it's just that there are a lot of steps.

The first thing I did - very uncharacteristically - was to read through the instructions.  And I have to say, I think the instructions for this Burda pattern are pretty clear.  I'm glad I took the time to read them:  it was a real confidence-booster.

Last week I officially got started:  I traced out all my pattern pieces, then cut out my outer fabric on another day.  (I decided to cut the lining when I get to that point, since I'm running out of places to keep cut-out pattern pieces!)  I even got myself a set of fancy new pattern weights for the event:



Nine bucks at the hardware store!  And I love them better than my expensive shot-filled pattern weights from JoAnn's!

I also recently bought Sunni's whole pattern tracing system:  medical exam paper, double tracing wheel and wax tracing paper.  Up to this point, I've made all my patterns on Swedish Tracing Paper, but it gets expensive, especially for patterns I don't foresee making more than once or twice.  The initial outlay for these materials was significant, but they'll last much longer than a roll of STP.  It sure felt different though - it's going to take some getting used to!



On the same day, I tested out my favorite marking tool, Dritz Mark B Gone.  The ink from this tracing paper is supposed to fade within 48 hours, and it always has for me.  But I wanted to make double sure in this case.  The marks did fade, but I ended up using water soluble pencils instead because my tracing wheel left perforations in the fabric that I found difficult to remove.


By the way, that tracing wheel is one I stole from my mom's sewing basket years ago - sorry, Mom!  I love it though because it was hers, and also it's pink and says "Queen" on the side!

On Saturday I really only meant to make my markings and apply the interfacing.  But it ended up being a sunny day, so I decided to take advantage of the light and start sewing.  I got a lot further than I'd thought I would.  It's really starting to look coat-like!

{front}

The top sections of the sleeves are attached to the shoulder first, and then the side panel and undersleeve are attached to the body.

{shoulder to sleeve seam}

{side panel}
 
Since the coat is fully lined, I don't have to spend time finishing any seams!

I didn't set up my cutting layout to arrange the pattern in any way.  Since the darker roses form a rather linear pattern, I wanted to keep everything random in order to break the lines up.  The patch pockets and collar will help break it up more too.

{back}

I'm really pleased with how it's coming along.  I've tried it on at this point and the fit seems good.  I'll admit I was a teensy bit nervous about that even though I did measure the flat pattern, and it's a generous shape.

I'm also happy I chose to start with this pattern.  I think it's a great first coat.  I'm still kind of mystified by things not addressed in this project, like interlining and pad-stitching, but I'll cross those bridges when I get to them with my winter coat next fall!

41 comments:

  1. It's coming along fabulous, really beautiful choice of fabric!
    I'm mystified what pattern weights are used for? I fear my sewing techniques are very primitive :)

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    1. Thanks, Carmela! I use these washers as weights to hold down the pattern paper on top of the fabric, instead of using pins. Because I do all my cutting with a rotary cutter, the lumps caused by pins are problematic.

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  2. fancy that, i have the same set of pattern weights! :)

    looking awesome so far! if you start with the mindset that it's just gonna take a while, it's easier mentally to take your time and do it right. interesting how the sleeve is attached, sounds like a good first coat. i look forward to seeing your progress!

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    1. Hehehe - all the best people do ;-)

      My only real problem with having the mindset that it's going to take a while is that I really hate having unfinished business, especially when I feel like it's cluttering up my space (which is limited). I keep reminding myself it will be worth the slight mental discomfort!

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  3. Oh, wow, this is really going to be amazing! Can't wait to see it!

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  4. Lovely! I'm about to embark on my first adventure into outwear (a light jacket), so perhaps I'll pick up a few tips from you.

    Btw I too used to trace onto Swedish Tracing Paper but I always felt stingy about doing it since it was so expensive, so there were times I didn't trace things when it really could have helped me. Since I switched to medical tracing paper it's a whole new world for me!

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    1. I have to admit I've been pretty profligate with the STP, but recently I've had some pattern fails that made me question using it all the time. The medical paper is just so slippery compared to it - especially in this dry weather!

      I'll look forward to seeing your jacket project - I'm betting it's going to be '40s themed, right?

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  5. This is going to be a gorgeous coat!

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  6. Oooh, great fabric! I use those same washers as pattern weights, but I've stacked them in threes and wrapped each stack in scrap yarn... Yay for something to do with that! :) Can't wait to see how the coat comes along!

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    1. I thought about doing that too, but then decided against it. I've seen it done with strips of scrap fabric as well. I really like using LOTS of them, all along the edge - seems to make my rotary cutting easier.

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  7. Looks like you have been in an equipment shopping mood! I have the same kind of weights as you and they're great - I also got them from a hardware store. They don't take up a lot of space once they're neatly piled.
    Your goat is already looking good! I'm also mystified by all these tailoring techniques, I hope to tackle them soon! (re-reading Claire Schaeffer's Couture Sewing Techniques)

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    1. Ooh, I need to get that book! It probably also would help if I'd actually watch the Craftsy course I bought about tailoring, LOL!

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  8. It is going to be gorgeous - I love the fabric :)
    I'm curious about your new paper for cutting out... do you use each for something different or are they the same? I'm off to click your links...

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    1. No, they're very different. This new one is more like a light vellum or heavy tracing paper - definitely paper, in that you can tear it pretty easily. The Swedish Tracing Paper is more like the texture of non-woven interfacing. You can sew it and it's very pliable but doesn't tear easily. I love it because it's so durable and takes pencil and pen marks easily. Also, it's fibers are kind of "grabby" so it sticks to the fabric and makes it easier for me to cut - there are times when I don't even use pattern weights if the STP sticks to the fabric well enough!

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  9. The print reminds me this big floral Jaegar coat I was checking out in autumn...http://cdna.lystit.com/photos/2012/10/24/jaeger-ivory-floral-printed-coat-product-1-4802164-046891464_large_flex.jpeg

    Same bright, fun scale. Perfect for spring!

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    1. Oh, very cool! Similar shape too!

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    2. I know! So similar, isn't it?

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  10. Looks very cute! Cant wait to see it finished:)

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    1. Me too, LOL! Even though it will be a long time before I can wear it!

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  11. Love the fabric! I can't wait to see the finished project.

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  12. I bought a pile of those washers at the hardware store recently, too! I use them all the time and love them. And a double tracing wheel?! Oh, my. WANT! Have you used it yet? Does it work well? I love the fabric for this jacket.

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    1. I have used it! It does work well, although since I'm used to the control of a pencil it feels a little unwieldy to me. I really love that the wheels are changeable - this pattern already had seam allowances, so I was able to remove one wheel and just trace the outline.

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  13. That fabric is beautiful! I love it! I've been meaning to buy those washers to use as pattern weights - I think I should get them before I start cutting into the linen and eyelet :)
    I got my wax paper from Sunni too and it works like a dream ~ I was definitely impressed with it.

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    1. I think you should get them too :-)

      I was so happy to make an order from Sunni - she gives so much to our community, I'm glad to support her in a small way.

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  14. Oh, I am so loving that coat! The fabric is amazing. If you wanted to go all retro or Royal Family you could make a matching sheath dress or a skirt to go with it. Can't wait to see it finished as it reminds me of my abandoned duster project. (I bought a new pattern so I have to sew all new muslins.)

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    1. Thank you! I'm loving it too! I managed to finish the second side seam and construct the collar the other day, then I laid it all out on the bed, arranged like a finished coat :-) I've been imagining a '60s vibe, with my brown Clover pants and some cute pale pink flats I have.

      That duster coat looks just your style - why did you abandon it?

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    2. The back fit horribly and it was just big all over (proved by the huge amount of ease in the pattern!) The new pattern looks more like my final vision and its 1st muslin looked promising but I need to work on it a bit more. Also now have three brand new projects in front of it!

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    3. That makes me even happier that I chose an A-line coat!

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  15. Squee! The fabric is gorgeous! Can't wait to see that beauty all finished up! It looks very "you"!

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  16. This fabric is so pretty! I love the greys with the pinks. I have never heard of these sewing tools before. I learned something new.

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    1. Oh good! Although I have to say, a dried-up sliver of soap is still my favorite marking tool!

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