Coats

Two years ago I developed a bunch of Trench coat sewalong posts for McCalls 5525 

I still wear my trench and it’s also a PR favouriteSo now I’m working on a couple of coats/jackets for a change. Not quick to make but rewarding to have as warm layers in the winter. Our winter lasts for all of ‘5 minutes’ so I have to make these fast.

Jackie is one of them – and it’s on sale now. 

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Jackie has classic lines and is semi-fitted. It’s a cool throw-over layer and has some detailing that can be achieved if you want to add to your sewing skills. Just think of this as a ‘bit more straight stitching’.

The other jacket I’m making is Vogue 8732 by the talented Claire Shaeffer as my next Minerva make. 

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Claire’s jacket is unlined and the pocket construction has a lot of detailing. But see the forgiving back pleat and front pleats. 


I’ve 

  • tested the jacket pleats and taken out some of the centre back fullness 
  • adjusted the shoulder line and done the roll-shoulder adjustments to the yoke pieces. 
  • left the jacket length as is to beat the cold. 
  • decided to not add the top pockets because I don’t need pockets on my chest
  • checked the sleeves and lowered the sleeve base curve by 1.5cm. You can see the pulling of the sleeve base on the picture above at the back. But it’s a very simple curve change, so I’ll show you that in the construction post.
  • kept the pockets on my hips. 
Here’s a WIP peek at the jacket. Fabric available at Minerva Crafts UK.

I’m also binded the seam finishes on the front facing and hem. Yes. I’ve been using a lot of bias binding at Chez Velosewer. It’s been a bias binding making hive all year really.

Minerva projects – ta dah

From Melbourne Cup day to Australia Day, it’s the ‘silly season.’ So my kit includes the first piece of my new summer ensemble and a great party dress. Yes. I made 2 items this month.

 

First up – the Party dress:
In the lead up to December, there are always get togethers before Christmas. I chose Vogue 8827 as my party season dress – the dream dress I mentioned last week. My original Minerva Crafts fabric choice went fast so I checked with Vicki on my next print choice and she thought this would be a great combination. This dress kit includes the ribbon for the tie used in this pattern dress.

The reviews of Vogue 8827 indicated the dress is big. Voluminous. Oversized. And I’m short so, in short, I had to test it. After making the 6 size as a top I got a very good idea on how the collar size would drown me to gnome size. But as a top, it gave me a good idea that this style would work with modifications.

My pattern drafting tutor agreed on how the collar could be sized down. But I wanted to keep the folds because the collar gives it a bit of 80s style. Almost ‘Dynasty’ like.
Oh the fabric. It’s colour fast, irons nicely, holds its shape well and doesn’t show creases. A great poplin print and its 112cm wide. And its colour was true to the photo on the Minerva website. Minerva Crafts does a great job representing the true colours on their website and on their ebay store. I did the ‘happy dance’ when my fabric arrived. This is a great print and the colours are great for summer and for parties. 

The dress itself has a smaller collar. The collar pieces are wide and large. I cut the collar pieces right back and straightened the collar width, so it still has beautiful folds.I love those folds. As this is a cotton woven, there’s no interfacing needed in the collar. This fabric has the right balance to hold its shape but folds over beautifully.

I’ve tamed the back gathers with an inverted pleat at the back yolk. After wearing my dream dress out to dinner, I stitched the inverted pleat at the waist too, so that it stays put. The pattern has a ribbon tie on the inside of the dress. I’ve also added two snaps – one at the waist and the other above the knee so the dress doesn’t fly open when the wind picks up. Safety first!
Everyone loves this dress, and I’ve worn it a few times already. I love it too.Thank you Vicki for helping me make this simple dress a stylish party dress.
Caught buying a late night gelato…Mmmm. 

Summer work trousers:
Most of my work clothes are corporate grey, black and blue – safe but yawn. Summer in Sydney is vibrant so I chose a linen-look purple fabric from Minerva. Purple is my favourite colour.

When I wore this outfit to work, everyone noticed the difference and smiled or commented. And we had some very hot Summer days in Spring so I know this fabric is going to be great when Summer really heats up. The blouse was made earlier this year. The trousers are McCalls 5397.

This fabric washes well, holds its colour and irons nicely. I love this colour and want to keep it that way. It’s cotton although it’s a linen look weave and is 145cm wide. Love wide fabric!

The photo below should look slimmer because it is. I tapered in the side seams and inner seams by 1cm because the first pics looked baggy.

My usual trouser adjustments are: the front rise is shortened at the centre front by 3cm and tapered to 0 at the side seam; the back crotch is deepened; and the inside thigh is extended.
Confession: I did move the zip from the centre back to the centre front, added a fly front with shield, and added a waistband and belt loops. I used the easy fly zip tutorial on Threads online by Sandra Betzina, to relearn how to sew in a fly front zipper.
After inserting fly zippers at least 3 times during testing, I was able to insert this zipper in less than 30 minutes with no stress. That’s equal to one episode of ‘Friends’. This eyelet blouse was also made earlier this year.
If you’re feeling the heat of summer and want to brighten up your wardrobe, hop over to Minerva Crafts and grab a kit before the summer heat gets to you.  

Order a bit extra of the linen look fabric for an office jacket. That’s what I did. I’ll show you my jacket in December. I still wear a jacket in the office in summer, because the aircon in Sydney is always chilly.

A finished trench coat

All I wanted was a strong coloured single breasted trench coat that needed the least amount of hand sewing possible. The lining is machine sewn to the coat and I hand sewed the buttons and some of the buttohole detailing – and that was it.

Here are the previous trenchcoat posts:
Trenchcoat sewing
Jalie city coat trench : 2680
McCalls 5525: single breast trench
McCalls 5525: a hood in the collar
McCalls 5525: pockets
McCalls 5525: shoulder detailing
McCalls 5525: bound buttonholes
McCalls 5525: belt carriers

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

M5525 – Belt carriers

McCalls trenchcoat has a main belt across the waist as well as the faux belts near the sleeve hems so a stack of well-finished belt carriers are worth making – if you have the time.

This stage of making the trench drained my energy because I knew that I could finish it fast once I attached and finished the sleeve belts (plural) before sewing on the bagged lining. Sewing on the lining includes hemming and that’s when I can really feel the end of the project near. The last steps are attaching the buttons and making the buttonholes and then the trench would be finished.
But not just yet.


At the beginning of construction, I made up the belt carriers. I didn’t use tape like Steam a seam lite 2 or any fusable hemming tape. The belt carriers worked out without tape but after doing a zipper workshop, I saw how well finish this detailing becomes when you use fusable hemming tape. So I’ve used hemming tape on the coat hook loop at the back of the trench. 

And the sleeve belt carriers were constructed the same way.

The belt will have a buckle – now that I bought a few from Birdsall’s leather, the leather saddlery place at Botany.

A note from Heavenlyprincess:
I just finished up a red wool coat with trench detailing! In fact, it won a state fashion design competition on Saturday. We’ll see how it does at Nationals.
Anyway, here’s a link to the post I wrote about
understitching while making this coat.
All the best at National HP!
Webcasts
I’m really loving the webcast Peggy Sagers(Silhouette Patterns) has on trench coat construction and finishing.

I also had the chance to ‘participate’ in the holiday blouse webcast that Peggy did this week. She has a lot of industry knowledge. The webcast was a great experience from a viewers point of view – if this makes sense. The whole hour was live and the audience could interact with each other via ‘instant messaging’ during the webcast. Peggy answered our questions as they were asked. The webcast replays are just as great to learn from but I thoroughly loved the interaction too. Thank you Peggy and your wonderful team.

007 Skyfall:
Judi Dench’s character ‘M’ wears a double breasted light coloured trench. She also wears a dark brown/aubergene two- button duffle woollen coat with welt pockets in a country scene so even M has at least two winter coats.  M’s office wardrobe is dark, fitted and fierce!

These are the trenchcoat posts:
Trenchcoat sewing
Jalie 2680: city coat trench
McCalls 5525: single breast trench
McCalls 5525: a hood in the collar
McCalls 5525: pockets
McCalls 5525: shoulder detailing
McCalls 5525: bound buttonholes
McCalls 5525: belt carriers
McCalls 5525: finished

m5525 – shoulder detailing

Epaulets and shoulder detailing makes a trench more trench worthy. And the options for finishing these did delay construction time.  There are no buttons on these epaulets because they don’t show up under the collar.

Then there’s the question – add shoulder pads? or not? Thankfully this pattern has set in sleeves so I added shoulder pads but the padding wasn’t the traditional shoulder pad shape.

I thought the shape similar to a sleeve head shape would work better because it’s more likely that I’ll be wearing this trench coat with work jackets that have shoulder pads. I thought I might look like I was becoming a gridiron football player, with 2 sets of shoulder pads by the time I put my trench coat on.

And I’m short so I’d look like the shortest gridiron player ever.

Oh, and I did add the right front shoulder detail although lots of trench coats have front detailing on both shoulders.
Go to Peggy Sagers webcast on Trench Coats Part II – Construction and Finishing for some good details on finishing your trench. She show you industry techniques.

These are the trenchcoat posts:
Trenchcoat sewing
Jalie 2680: city coat trench
McCalls 5525: single breast trench
McCalls 5525: a hood in the collar
McCalls 5525: pockets
McCalls 5525: shoulder detailing
McCalls 5525: bound buttonholes
McCalls 5525: belt carriers
McCalls 5525: finished

Single breasted trench – M5525

This pattern has all the bells and whistles for a trench coat, but I really wanted a single breasted version. I’m making View E and it will have lots of detailing, even though I’m probably a touch too short to carry it off.

So I folded out the excess from the centre front on the centre front piece and the collar. 

I’ve also used this purple fabric because it’s a fabulous colour and I’ve used red trim, so that means red top stitching – is that too much? Most of the trench will remain purple. I’ll leave the leftover cream snakeskin trim for another time. Mmmm.

DH gave me the obligatory nod to use red lining. I think he’s getting used to the decision making side of sewing. Or is he just being polite. Maybe both 🙂

What I will need is the patience for making each trench bit, so this trench might take a while to complete.


I do have a couple of knit dresses in the wings as a distraction, or to keep me motivated.
Note to self: do not rush this coat!

I did cut out a light interfacing for each piece of this coat. It’s a fairly soft fabric and I’d like to make sure this trench keeps its shape over time. Is that being pedantic?

Why is it when you’re working on a project, you see it everywhere. I’ve seen a yellow trench used here at Cardigan empire from a post about when to spend and when to splurge.

These are the trenchcoat posts:
Trenchcoat sewing
Jalie 2680: city coat trench
McCalls 5525: single breast trench
McCalls 5525: a hood in the collar
McCalls 5525: pockets
McCalls 5525: shoulder detailing
McCalls 5525: bound buttonholes
McCalls 5525: belt carriers
McCalls 5525: finished

Trench coat sewing

Is it time for a trench coat? A slow sew-along maybe with no real end date? The ads for trench coats are everywhere.

Renata, Sharon and I have been talking about making a trench coat for a few months. I’m ready to tackle this so if you are, let me know or just keep an eye out for trench coat post. Colette patterns is hosting a coat sewalong and there’s a sewalong for the new Anise jacket launched earlier this month.


McCalls 5525 is what I’ll be working on. Handmade by Caroline did a divine ivory version. Sandra (dillander) also did a ordinary outside version vs wild inside version trench.

We’ll be sewing and posting up our progress and I’d love to link to your trench posts if you contact me. There are no deadlines. Just trench coat techniques and pattern options.
Gertie is also hosting a coat sewalong for her Butterick 5824 coat and has already pulled together a stack of coat Vlogs here. I’d love to attempt her coat one day.

The trench posts we’re thinking of are fabrics, notions, and all the detailing techniques that make this coat worth making. These post can be from anyone who’s interested in showing how they tackled their trench coat. You can use well-documented techniques or whatever worked for you and your post doesn’t have to be recent. Oprah website has a listing of fall coats if you don’t feel like making one – including a yellow trench coat.

I have enough of this gold fabric to make a formal trench… that’s my goal.
These are the trenchcoat posts:
Trenchcoat sewing
Jalie 2680: city coat trench
McCalls 5525: single breast trench
McCalls 5525: a hood in the collar
McCalls 5525: pockets
McCalls 5525: shoulder detailing
McCalls 5525: bound buttonholes
McCalls 5525: belt carriers
McCalls 5525: finished