I’m kinda torn. I almost don’t want to post about this at all, and wait until spring when I can get better photos. But I’m also afraid if I do that it just won’t happen. And I’m impatient. And I really, really like this jacket.
So, way back in the day, Lady Katza of Peanut Butter Macrame posted about this (already-not-news) “duster” coat-dress-thingy. It’s apparently Ralph Lauren. I don’t know. All I know is I agreed with her about its general fabulosity. Anyway, memory morphs, as it does, so what I remembered was a long, swingy denim coat trimmed in lace. And somehow when this drab camo twill showed up at my local Fabricland (which has been a pathetic, camo-less wasteland for over a year, I will point out), well, it seemed like the perfect riff on this idea. Especially matched with McCall’s 6800, which I have had a crush on since it came out.
In fact, it’s pretty much everything you could want in a swishy coat pattern. Princess seams (two sets). Two-piece sleeve. Lapelled or standing collar options. Detachable hood. Detachable fur collar, if that’s your style. It even had the high-low hem option ready-made! And I will make a real wintery-coat-version someday, but it was a great starting-place for the image in my head.
Curiously, the really ugly greige-colour of cluney lace at Fabricland looked perfect with this fabric. Unfortunately, they don’t have much selection in that colour, and and this was the only one that was the right kind of edge and scale. And all they had was four metres. Which seemed like plenty at the time, but as it turned out, was just enough to go around the hem once. My dreams of lace frothing at throat and cuffs were dashed. Maybe I’ll add it in later.
After checking the finished measurements, I figured I’d be safe to go down a size, with the possible exception of the waist—so I made part of my usual petite alteration right at the waist, figuring that would shave off the narrowest part. Then, I figured I’d add lacing in the back, for some extra fit insurance. Because who doesn’t love lacing? And it turns out I’m glad it’s there, so I probably didn’t need to worry about the waist being too narrow. I’m glad I made my usual petite alterations, though I could’ve skipped the swayback. I think I don’t need it in full-skirted things like this, hard as that is to wrap my head around. I added 4cm length to the sleeves, divided between upper and lower (and there was a lengthen-shorten line in each! This was enough added length, but definitely not excessive. 5 cm (2″) would probably be perfect, especially in a bulkier fabric. I did find the sleeves quite full when I first tried it on. Of course, I had already topstitched the outseam, but I was able to take it in fairly satisfactorily at the under seam. By 1/2″, so a total of a full inch per sleeve. Of course, if I were making a winter-coat version, I would probably want that fullness. While I’m talking about the sleeves, I shaved down the sleeve-heads by about 1/4″ and could probably have taken off more, considering cotton doesn’t ease well. In wool, I think the amount of ease would work. The shoulders are nice and narrow, maybe because I went with the size 10. They’re perfect for this, but I wonder if they wouldn’t be a little narrow for a winter-coat version with shoulder pads (yes, you do need shoulder pads for a tailored coat. Not thick ones, but *something*)
I showed you my bound seams before, but here you can see (however blurrily) the pockets. I made a little support running between the pocket bag and the facing, so it doesn’t flap around. Speaking of the facing, that’s one of the two (maybe three?) things I didn’t like about this pattern. There is no separate piece for the facing—they just tell you to cut four of the CF pieces. Well, I did that in my Winter Coat and I can’t help but suspect that it was a contributor to the mysterious front-flaring-out that almost killed the coat at the final stages—only major hand-stitching (basically padstitching the two layers together) saved it. Anyway, when I went to cut my second pair, I skipped the flare. For this topstitched design, I wasn’t concerned about turn-of-cloth allowance on the lapels, but if/when I make a proper version, I’ll be over at the RTW Tailoring Sewalong posts, where Sherry went over all the necessary changes for drafting a lining and facing properly. Such a good sewalong.
Of course I had to use jeans buttons. Of course, I couldn’t find ANY of my handy-dandy little thingies that hold the two bits in place while you hammer, nor could I find my awl. Let me just say, those two gadgets make life a lot easier. I made the buttonholes with a vintage Singer buttonholer.
I should perhaps mention it was the first time using this particular buttonholer; in the past I’ve used my Greist one. I did not notice a measurable difference between the two (and they both use the same templates, which means my little extra kit that has the short keyhole template works in either). I did NOT try to use the topstitching thread for the buttonholes—I have come to the conclusion that this is just asking for trouble. They look just fine in regular, matching thread.
I used 8 buttons, which felt like quite a lot, but I like the closely-spaced look. Also, less gaping
if when I lace things up really tight. And my nifty-measury-gadget only does 8 holes. Probably that’s enough for most things.
There was no rear neck facing piece (another boo—basically there were no proper lining pieces, though there was a proper undercollar). So, I made my own. I’d go into my process, but a) Sherry covers it really well, and b) I totally didn’t follow her advice and just kinda laid some tracing paper over the half-finished jacket and traced out the shape. I am glad I remembered a hanging-loop, even if I didn’t think to add it until after.
So, I’m pretty happy with the outcome. And even Osiris approves, which is pretty rare, although he wondered why I didn’t use more lace. Sadly, the weather being what it is, this jacket won’t get much wear for a couple of months. What can I say? I was, ah, inspired. Which is a great feeling to follow, isn’t it?
Now I had better go be a good girl and make a onesie for Syo next…