The coat has been mostly finished since Sunday, when I inserted the lining and did the final hemming. All that remained was to make the buttonholes and buy some buttons, but I needed a little time to think about it first. All along, I'd had the idea that I wanted to use fairly large buttons, 1.5 - 2 inches. But when I sat down to learn how to use the buttonholer on my new Janome, I was a little dismayed to discover that the largest it can make is 1 inch. At that point, I started wishing I'd opted to make bound buttonholes, but of course it was too late.
Finally, I decided to make a couple samples of the largest keyhole buttonhole I could make and hold them up to the coat. That convinced me that a larger button would probably have ended up looking a little clownish, so I went ahead and marked and made the buttonholes. But not without some trepidation! Despite my many trials (all of which worked out fine), I was really nervous that I might ruin my coat at this very last step - so nervous that my palms were sweating! But everything came out fine.
Cutting the buttonholes open was not scary at all, thanks to the buttonhole cutting set my mom gave me for my birthday! Thanks, Mom!
Here is a close-up of the buttons I got, which are just over an inch:
And here is the coat on its hanger:
Here are a couple pictures of the lining, which is a solid colored cotton voile:
I'm glad I took the time to finish that edge where the front facing folds back - it looks so neat. The lining was one of the things that scared me about making a coat, but it really wasn't that hard!
Altogether, this coat took me almost exactly three weeks to make, but I kept track of my work and I really only spent about 20 hours total. And my total cost was $76.67, which doesn't include materials I had on hand, like interfacing. A little more than I'd planned to spend, but totally worth it.
A year ago, I would have said that making a coat was beyond my capabilities, and maybe it was at that time. But this project was a real confidence-booster. I know I've said it before, but I think this pattern is a really great pick for a first coat. In case any of you are interested in this pattern, I wanted to give a little run-down of why I like it so much:
* separate pattern pieces for the lining
* many options: long or three quarter sleeves, long or shorter body, patch or in-seam pockets, collar or collarless
* easing at bust for the three smallest sizes, and bust darts for the other sizes
* the top sleeve piece is cut on the bias for ease of movement
* drafted-in ease pleats in the lining back
* clear and well-written instructions - they don't hold your hand, but if you've been doing some sewing you'll understand them
* seam allowances are included, and even the hem allowances are marked
There were also a couple things I found confusing:
* the side body panel is slightly lower at the front than at the back, so it does make a difference which way you put this in. Unfortunately, the markings for this aren't very clear, and I did end up putting in one of them in backwards - and not realizing it until the seam was already clipped. Since my lining was so lightweight, it didn't really affect how my coat hangs, but I was pretty disappointed about it because I spent SO much time and care constructing this garment that I wanted every last bit to be perfect.
* the notches for the sleeve seem to be on the front, rather on the back like they are with American patterns, which means you have to pay a little closer attention
Overall, this pattern is a winner for me. I'm sort of wishing I'd traced it onto my precious Swedish Tracing Paper, because I can see myself making this one again and again!
Have I teased you long enough? OK, here are some pictures of it on me:
It feels so great on - just the right fit and weight. Although my body measurements put me in a size 38 European, I chose to go down a size to 36. I think a drop-shouldered, a-line shape like this can easily be overwhelming on a short, small-framed girl like me.
|Love the pockets!|
|Back view. Room enough without being overwhelming.|
And finally, here's the whole ensemble:
|I need to go someplace fancy!|
I apologize for the rather drab Grey Wall photos. I was so excited to get this up! Never fear - I will take some more pictures when I wear it out into the world. And this baby will be going out into the world a lot this spring!