I’ve always wanted to try making a coat for myself but somewhat scared of it. When I found out that there is a coat pattern in The Burdastyle Sewing Handbook, I knew that it was time to face my fear! I went to Yuzawaya and got myself some pistachio green tweed wool and lining fabric in stripes pattern.
The pattern in this book has no seam allowances and needed to be traced. I use size 34 on bust tapered to 36 on waist and hip. In the tissue-fitting session, I found out that the bodice needed to be shortened and the back needed swayback adjustment. It seems that these two alterations are the ones that I always needed.
After a quick muslin to check the fit, I also shortened the hem a lot (15 cm!) and lowered the neckline (1cm). I drafted a new collar, it is wider, flat, with no rounded corner. The outer collar was cut a bit wider than the undercollar so the seam would roll under. The under collar was cut on bias for a better shape.
The upper front pieces are block-fused, something that I learned from RTW Tailoring Sew along at Pattern Scissors Cloth blog. Actually I was looking for a slip dress pattern, and the blog was suggested (thank you Carmen!). Sherry, the owner of the blog, has generously provided a free gorgeous slip dres pattern, and also a great sewalong about RTW Tailoring.
The upper back pieces of my coat are not block-fused like the front pieces, but I added muslin back stay to keep the shoulders and armholes from stretching out.
The Burdastyle coat uses the same sleeves pattern for both sleeves and sleeves lining, while coat and jacket lining usually are a bit bigger than the outer garment to allow movement. So I learned to make new sleeve lining pattern.
The gathered sleeve was a bit droopy so I sewed a strip of sleevehead on the seam allowance for support. The sleeveheads was bought in Yuzawaya but it can be substituted with bias grain strip of wool or muslin. It really make a difference on the shape of the sleeves.
The side seam pockets were sewed using a technique that I learned from David Page Coffin’s book, Making Trousers for Men & Women. I also made new belt loops and attached them using techniques from this book. The back vent, skirt hem, and sleeve hems were reinforced with strips of fusible interfacing.
Things I should do better next time:
- The coat is quite fitted so I can’t wear too many layers underneath. I could have used some thin interlinings for added warmth.
- I really love the new collar but it was not rolled properly. I should have shaped and steamed the collar prior to attaching.
- The block fusing was not perfect in some parts, there are bubble on several parts if you look really close. Maybe hair canvas and pad stitching for interfacing would make a better result.
- There are a couple of folds around the back area near the sleeves that I don’t know how to eliminate. Is this normal? Should learn more about fitting.
- My sewing machine refused to make a proper buttonholes. After several failed attempts, I decided to use snap-on buttons instead. Should try making bound buttonholes. Scary!
Am I being too picky? I guess the more you learn, the less you know. Anyway, despite all of the faults, I had so much fun making it and learning new things. I love my new coat!
Pattern is from The Burdastyle Sewing Handbook with redrafted collar. Size 34 on bust and 36 on waist and hip.