I’ve borrowed the format of the title from Amanda because – hoo boy – this one was a doozy.
Once again, it’s a coat in the middle of summer. The Fashion Critic and I spent this afternoon sitting outside a bar on the waterfront, enjoying the sun and drinking cider. Then we took photos of him in a winter coat, poor guy. Between this and the constant threat of standing on a pin, I’m not sure why he sticks around.
I can’t decide which part of the coat to tell you about first. There were so many new things to learn, and so many improvised steps that worked out OK in the end, and so many things that went wrong that you never have to know about!
The pattern is the Thread Theory Goldstream peacoat. I muslined it first, but then was too nervous to make any changes, so it’s a straight size L. The shell is a grey wool blend from the Fabric Warehouse. The whole thing’s interlined with some flannelette from the stash to make it extra snuggly. Want to see the flannelette?
It’s almost a secret but I put a little patch inside the inner breast pocket, as a reminder.
Interlining was a new technique to me. I didn’t decide to do it until I’d already cut out the pieces for the shell. So I laid out my flannel and put each piece of shell on top, wrong side to the flannel. Then I basted the shell to the flannel before cutting round each piece. This is pretty time consuming, so you’ll want to drop a few hints to the future owner of the coat, about restaurants you might be wanting to go to, or maybe some part of the house that needs a clean. In fact you’ve probably got enough time to drop hints about both.
Then I was impressed by the non-wrinkliness of this guy’s version, and decided to use horsehair canvas on the front pieces (is there anything that Made on Marion doesn’t have tucked away? I have yet to find out. They certainly had horsehair canvas. I was hitherto unaware of the existence of such a thing).
I pretty much used the Thread Theory tutorial to attach it, first basting it and catch-stitching it along the top edge, then taping the roll line (did I really write that sentence? This coat makes me feel like I’ve been moved up a grade at school).
Construction was pretty straightforward. I used Gertie’s easy way of setting in tailored sleeves.
It’s lined with some snazzy striped silk. Ooh yeah this stuff feels good.
Last stop, buttons. I think these are part of the reason the coat looks a bit special. I did Spanish snap buttonholes (ideally followed by a glass of sangria, I guess, otherwise they may as well be regular snap buttonholes). I learnt the hard way that it’s really important to cut the oval backing bits on the bias, otherwise they don’t “snap” into place at all (they just pretend not to notice you, while you’re pulling at them madly trying to turn them to the inside). After a bit of swearing, and lots of unpicking and re-cutting, the ovals turned inside as directed, but tended to pop out again, so I used iron on hemming tape to get them to stay put.
The buttons came specially from As Cute As A Button, a specialty store in San Diego. Mighty expensive, but I think worth it. But I discovered the horrors of the shanked button! This double-breasted coat has two rows of buttons, one row that go through the buttonholes and one that’s just there for effect. The former need a shank, but the latter don’t, and just dangle looking silly and sad without a buttonhole to go through. Not to be defeated I enlisted the help of a jewellery-making friend, who sawed off the shank and made a new hole closer to the body of the button. Dangly buttons begone! (Heaven forbid any fall off, now that they are truly limited edition buttons).
This was my Big Project of 2015. I’m really glad I took it on. And the Fashion Critic will be nice and warm all winter, even when I’m not around to snuggle him.