Friday, December 26, 2008

Vogue 8438 - Finished Part III

For the past four years I have been fortunate enough to make at least one winter coat per year. Last year, I made a coat for the first time for DD; the year before that I made my sisters coats for Christmas; and three years ago I made a coat for the first time for myself.

Last Spring Marji created a blog called: The Great Coat Sew Along. She invited fellow sewists to participate. Each contributor selected a coat of their choice, posted the various stages of making it, and published the finished coat. Several bloggers and members of PR become contributors to this awesome movement. The Coat Sew-Along is a great source of encouragement and allow each participant an opportunity to take advantage of several tutorials posted on the blog. Big Thanks to Marji for creating and maintaining the site.

At the beginning of the year, the blog will be made available for everyone to view. Several people are still working on the final stages of their coats.

I finished my coat on Christmas Eve and am happy to post my final review of the process.

Pattern Description: MISSES’ COAT AND SASH: Loose-fitting, lined coat, above or below mid-knee has princess seams, front snap closures, shoulder pads, center back pleat and side seam pockets. A, B: ruffled collar and collar band, two-piece sleeve. B: purchased belt. C: standing collar, sleeve with cuffs and optional sash.

I made view A.

Did it look like the drawing: Yes, it did. I added a few inches to the length and made some fitting alterations.

Where the instructions easy to follow: No problems there. Typical instructions for putting together a coat with princess seams.

What did you like or dislike about the pattern/coat: The thing that drew me to this pattern was the "flower petal" shaped collar. I'm always looking for patterns with odd or different accents. The other thing that drew me was the sleeve variations. The sleeves for view C could easily be exchanged between a variety of coat patterns.

After I attached the collar to the coat, I fell out of love with the coat thinking the collar was too big for me and the coat. This back and forth with like/dislike happens occasionally as I go through the process of finishing a garment.

My sister saw the coat Saturday, and she just love it! Especially the collar! She already put her bid in for a swing coat made of "beautiful" wool. No hurry, next winter is fine.;-)

Fabric: Bright Navy - Lightweight Melton CoatingBright Navy - Lightweight Melton Coating purchased from Ann's Gorgeous Fabrics. The lining is a brocade from Hancock. I didn't underline the coat so I thought the brocade would help fight against the strong Chicago winds.

Preparing the fabric: Before pre-shrinking the fabric, I trued the grain making sure the cross grain was perpendicular to the lengthwise grain. Then I folded the fabric in half and basted the parameter. I didn't want to go through the trouble of pre-shrinking it myself. So I sent it to the dry cleaners.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: First I made a muslin to check the fit. Then I transferred the observed changes to the pattern. After posting the muslin photos, I noticed I hadn't sewn the correct seam allowance for the center back seam. Instead of the usual 5/8 inch allowance, the pattern called for about 2 inches seam allowance.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Not for myself. The collar is so unique that I wouldn't sew this version again for me. But I would recommend it to others. It's a fairly easy pattern to follow for a stylish coat.

Conclusion: I'm back to my original thoughts about this pattern. It's stylish and offers a unique collar to a otherwise standard design. It's a nice pattern to try. I wear my new coat on Christmas, everyone love it!

Here are all posting related to making this coat.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ann's Cashmere Coat - Finished

I feel kind of like a loser girl. I have been enjoying reading everyone's posts, but I haven't done any posting on my progress. Mostly because, typical of any of my projects, nothing happens and then,wham! it's done in a flurry of activity and flying fabric bits. This coat is no exception. So I give you my finished "Michelle Obama Coat", Vogue 8548:

The shell fabric is a wonderful cashmere that I have had in my stash for a couple of years. I lined it with a brilliant painted silk charmeuse. It's one of those surprise linings that makes me smile and will probably cause comment when I take my coat off.

I posted all the construction details on my blog. The cashmere was tricky to work with. You need to treat it like a napped fabric, and use a gentle touch when pressing to avoid unwanted imprints.

I'm really happy with how it turned out. I was inspired by Erica B's version. This is a really great pattern and I'll be wearing it with pride for Christmas.

Happy sewing!