Tuesday 31 March 2015

Spring coat progress

Did I mention cutting 42 pattern pieces? Check! As a result every surface in my sewing room is covered in glorious coral pink. But let's pick up where I left in my previous post. I started by making a muslin since I had never made an Ottobre pattern before. The fit was spot on, except for some length issues. I added 1cm to the bodice and 5 cm below the waistline.

Ottobre does not provide pattern layouts or cutting suggestions. After adding 6 cm to so many pattern pieces I got a little worried about the amount of fabric I had bought, knowing it was no longer available. Can you believe my luck? After cutting 3.20 meters this was all I have left:

Careful sewing ahead! Messing up the collar, late night scorching incidents or other mishaps and it's game over. Not to mention yet another reason to sew very carefully, coated poplin is hard to handle. It's like sewing leather: no pinning and no unpicking seams. Even the tiniest pin will leave a permanent hole. After finding this out the hard way I reduced the number of pins to the bare minimum and made a quick trip to the hardware store for more washers. Not the heaviest of pattern weights but for this kind of fabric they were doing just fine. Several tests for the topstitching resulted in the use of a microtex needle and stitching at half speed. Note to self: slowing down is clever when unpicking is not an option!

When I finished the cutting I was a bit disappointed by the looks and the hand of the outer shell. Although windproof it was very thin. The print of the lining showed through and it just didn't feel right. Back to the cutting table to add a layer of light weight cotton underlining. By that time I lost count of the number of pattern pieces lying around. 

After the epic cutting session life got busy. Work, tax forms, househunting for a friend. My sewing time got reduced to half an hour to an hour a day. Well, this trench coat may be complex and time consuming but it's easy to split it up into nice, small tasks!

On some days there's just enough time to produce some pockets.....

..or sew mitered corners for the lined vent. For the next few days epaulettes, collar, belt, loops and sleeves are on the do list. Splendid lunch break sewing! Fingers crossed for some more sewing time next week to join all 60+ bits and pieces together. Only time will tell how long it takes to finish this coat but in the meantime I'm enjoying every step of the way.

Happy sewing!

Tuesday 10 March 2015

A coral spring coat

 When the first signs of spring are showing I just can't help myself. I need to buy coral fabric. All of it. Coral shirts, cardigans, lingerie, you name it, it's in my closet. So when I saw this coated poplin I knew it would make the perfect wind and waterproof spring coat. 

The print for the lining is from my stash, the selvedge mentions Sprintex, Made in France. Sprintex is a company from Villefranche sur Saone, known for its digital rotary and inkjet prints. I haven't done a burn test yet but it looks like viscose and has a very soft and silky feel. The ivory satin will be used to make piping.

The pattern I'll be using is from Ottobre magazine, 2/2014. I've never made an Ottobre pattern before and am not familiar with their sizing or amount of ease in their finished measurements, so I'll make a muslin first. According to the size charts all patterns are drafted for women of 168 cm plus or minus 4 cm. At 173 cm I'm only just above the top end of that scale. However, Ottobre uses models of different sizes and heights and shares this information at the bottom of the page. The model wearing this floral trench is 163 cm and I think the coat is rather short on her. Must check!

The number of pattern pieces is adding up to 42 so cutting will take a while!

Buttons, a whopping amount of 17, in two different sizes, lots of matching thread for topstitching and I'm ready to go. 

Happy spring sewing!