Trench coat wrapped

Sewing coats and jackets are my fav. It was a simple choice to make Simple Sew’s Trench Coat this month to welcome our warmer weather.

I love strong colours so I zeroed into the strongest Liberty colour-way print (MILLINERB) from White Tree Fabrics UK as the basis of this trench.

Granted, this lawn wouldn’t be a coat choice fabric. It’s true to say an Australian Spring can be quite hot so I only needed a light layer and this fabric works.

Oh. The print doesn’t readily show creasing and that’s the other reason I chose this fabric. 


I really should have read the suitable fabrics list, but now this coat is finished, I’m glad I didn’t (Breathable waterproof fabrics, heavyweight cotton, suiting, tweed, taffeta, denim,boiled wool).

Planning:

Coats are an over layer and they often get thrown around – with respect of course. 
With that in mind, the two aspects I kept in mind was to ensure the:
  • inside finishes would show and
  • need for interfacing and reinforced seams were a must.
Nice inside finishes = binding the facings and pockets
Reinforces seaming = fake machine felled seams
Interfacing for the facings, pocket opening and the belt.

Remember, if you don’t want to do this type of work, this coat is simple to sew by using a medium-weight fabric with overlocked seams.

Sewing planning:
There’s only 24 hours in a day and with work and family commitments this trench coat was sewn. In the wee hours of the morning before work I sewed up the initial pieces of the coat.
I kept the front coat pleating for when there were no family interruption. MrV was at the gym for the night so I had more time to work out the pleating.

Because the fabric is cotton, I ironed the front pleats from the waist to the hem. The skirt of this coat now sits better on me and is more balanced for my height.

The coat facings are interfaced.

The pocket openings are also interfaced because I use coat pockets a lot, so I felt it worth the effort to reinforce them.
I used bias binding to finish the pocket seams, facings and the waist join.

As the coat came together I kept thinking this trench coat could be a fab wrap dress. Is that crazy? The front bodice has bust darts and all you’d need are a couple of snaps at the waistline and ‘bam‘, there’s your wrap dress.

Construction:
1. Mark and sew in bust darts in front bodice pieces.

2. Sew in a know and thread at end of dart, do not back stitch. Press dart downwards.

3. Right sides together, join back bodice pieces together. Press seam open. I used fake machine felled seams to reinforce this fabric.

4. Join and sew front and back bodice together at the shoulders. Press seams open or finish using fake machine felled finish. Join and sew front and back side seams. Press seams open and finish them.
5. Join back skirt pieces together and sew at the centre back seam.
6. Press open. I finished this seam with fake machine felled finish.
7. Take two pocket pieces and with right sides together sew them where the pocket markings should be. I finished the pocket seams with fake machine felling.

My pattern didn’t have the pocket markings on the back skirt pattern so I traced off this marking from the front skirt pocket markings. Claire knows about this issue and the pocket markings will be on the next print run of this pattern.
8. Moving onto the from skirt pieces and mark in your pleats along the skirt waist. Hand tack or pin them in place. Claire recommends hand tacking and pressing them in. 

My fabric was a cotton so I was able to simply use pins and the iron. The fabric is great to work with.
8a. On the right side of the fabric, machine stitch the pleats in place and press them.
I pressed my pleats from the waist to the hem.

9. Take two pocket pieces and with right sides together sew them where the pocket markings are. Make sure these pockets align with the bottom pocket piece.
I finished the pocket seams with fake machine felling.
10. Pin your front skirt in place on top of the back skirt with right sides together. Match up the opening of the pockets.
11. Stitch from the top of waist to the start of the pocket opening. Back stitch and cut thread. Start stitching again from the bottom of the pocket opening all the way down to the hem. Press the seam open. Now stitch all the way around the curve of the pocket. You can overlock or zigzag stitch the pocket curves. I used bias binding for a neater look. 

12. Your coat skirt will look like a wrap skirt.


13. With right sides together, join and sew the skirt and bodice together, aligning the side seams. Press open. I finished the seams with bias binding.


14. With right sides together, join back neck facing to front facing. Press seams open. I finished the seams with bias binding.


15. With right sides together, pin the facing onto the coat and stitch it in place all the way around from one hem to the other. The seam allowance here is 1cm.
Press seams open. Snip around the neckline curves. Then turn facing inside the coat and press flat.


16. With right sides together, attach and sew under-sleeve to top-sleeve. Press sleeve seam open. I finished the seams with fake machine felling. Attach remaining side of the under-sleeve to the remaining side of the top-sleeve. I did a french seam here. Turn up the sleeve hem, press and stitch in place.


17. Fit sleeve head into armhole right sides together and ease sleeve in to fit. The seam allowance here is 1cm. Stitch in place. Press.

 I finished the seams with bias binding.

18. Right sides together, join belt pieces together. Start sewing from one side and sew all the way around, leaving a turning opening along one side. Turn through to right sides, press and the slip-stitch the opening closed. I machine finished this opening.

Fold the edges of the belt loops flat, top stitch the edges down carefully and then machine stitch the first side onto your coat right side together where marked on the pattern.

19. Turn up the hem all the way around, press flat and stitch in place.

While I like fitted styles, this wrap trench has a great shape to it.

Cheers and thanks Claire and White Tree Fabrics Uk for this coat.

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 – hip pockets

Do you add welts to pockets on your hips if you really don’t want to draw attention to your hips. Common sense dictates that you wouldn’t but I have. My boss often says common sense isn’t that common. I know he was talking to me:)

Issue 1
On this pattern, the pocket placement sits on my thighs. Who does such a thing? They now sit at my tummy level.

Issue 2
I got confused by the pattern instructions. The pattern picture shows the pocket welts pointing to the centre front. The instructions show them pointing to the side seams. There’s also a button on the pocket welt. The decisions when you’re doing detailing while you sew takes time. I pondered over this issue for at least 3 days before ripping them out.

Issue 3
Sharon reminded me that the reason you do a toile is to test out the pattern. Head slap moment in a series of head slap moments. I’ve tucked the welt into the pocket for a sleeker look.
Issue 4
I used red lining for both sides of the pocket bag. The red peeked through quiet a bit so I’ve now used the fashion fabric for the back pocket bag that you’d normally see.
I have renewed my friendship with my seam ripper.
The beauty of changing the pocket on this coat is they are built into the seam, so I didn’t cut into the trench coat fabric like I would have with a traditional welt pocket on a coat. Phew!
Sharon’s trench progress
Sharon’s trench journey is just starting. I did say that this trench sewalong has no time limit so please don’t think that you need to start or even make a trench unless you want to. Sharon has chosen this Burda pattern.
When you go to her blog, you’ll see her fabric choices and learn that there are lots of detailing options to make – or not make. That’s your choice.
From the years that we’ve known each other, Sharon is very detailed and a dedicated sewer so you’ll learn lots from her posts. Among her decisions/tasks, she has to decide to use this double breasted option or adjust it as single-breasted.
When I converted my McCalls 5525 trench from double to single-breasted I folded out the excess from the centre front piece, front facing and then recheck the collar and collar band.
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

Peony Pt1 – Spring test

I like using indie patterns and sewing their styles during a sewalong is part of the fun. Sewing is fun – most of the time. Just don’t say ‘bound buttonholes’ too loudly at the moment. Just taking a moment away from the trench journey. Just for a moment and to relieve your boredom.

My first Colette pattern was the Macaron so the Peony was next on the list.

This week I got the invite to Diner de blanc – Sydney but missed out on registering on the day, and this Peony was supposed to be all white. If we did get in, I would then have had to scrounge around for DH’s white outfit. Anyway, there’s no need. DH was thrilled to miss out. I – was quietly relieved.

I did what I thought would be a quick check of the front bodice darts with the tissue and then made the dart changes. I tested the bodice changes with the lining to confirm the fit.

Then I tested the skirt to the bodice and found I actually did need the full bodice darts and I’ve split them into 2 darts. I still don’t acknowledge my body shape changes that I’ve gone through over the last 18 months. How utterly normal is that?

You can also see the extra back bodice width that will be adjusted on the fashion fabric.

Lots of previous reviews commented on the skirt fullness and as I’m short, I decided to slim down the skirt fullness, by 2″. After testing the skirt, I kept the waist width and made the gathers into darts and slimmed the hem fullness. I will raise the skirt centre front seam by 1cm so it doesn’t have a sway back tilt. I’ve already made the sway back adjustment on the back bodice at the waist.

The dress is going to be fully lined because of my eyelet fabric choice and I’ll add black piping to the neckline and sleeves.

The first test dress is next, using the test lining and there are two fabric earmarked.

The main reason I chose the eyelet fabric is because I made an eyelet shirt a couple of years ago and I’m adjusting the side seams so I can wear the shirt this summer.

This huge purple tropical rayon print was from a visit to Vanuatu. It’s soft and light weight.

This rose print is light weight and either fabric will give me the chance to play with placing the prints while testing the dress. And I would still line both fabric because they have a white. Mmmm.
Sew Busy Lizzy has already made a Peony with lemon eyelet fabric and I agree with her advice when you decide to make a Peony. She used piping on her lemon Peony and had bodice adjustments.

I do appreciate the effort of Sarah, Erin and Rochelle who are hosting this dress sewalong for Sew Colette 2.0. The Oolong and Roobios in my stash for future tests.

Sew Squirrel is an excellent way to buy indie patterns in Australia. I was very well looked after when the patterns I wanted weren’t in stock but they became available within a week and she kept me in the loop!

Trench coats ready to wear
Here’s the back of a Burberry Prorsum on The Outnet discounted to £805.87 if you don’t have sewing time or are obsessed with trench coat detailing.

Here’s the D&G purple version discounted to £513.33.

Now because I’m all over the shop, I’ll list the useful Trench coat entries on the right hand side for your reference and mine. I’m no expert but I’ll endeavour to make sure that you can always see useful trench coat posts whenever you can fit in sewing a trench.
 
Janine commented that when she made a trench without the detailing it looked like a lab coat especially if it’s beige. I suppose if the fabric is bright it would still be a bright coat but the detailing, including sewing time, your energy and a clear head, will help your trench evolve. My SIL’s Jalie city coat easily became a trench with the shoulder epaulets and a belt. Have a great weekend.

M5525 – da hood

The Minoru jacket had a hood in the collar so I’ve taken the hood pattern to use it on this trench. Why not read the sewalong instructions that Tasia has done? I’ve lined this version with red binding.
The red lining was used to prepare the welt / zip opening. Tasia has a more impressive and professional version on preparing a zipper opening on her blog.
Here’s the outside collar band look, before applying it to the collar and shoulder. 
Guess what? The collar band isn’t wide enough to house the hood. And the hood covers the back shoulder detailing. I don’t like the hood on this trench, so the hood got the flick.

I will use this hood again, but with a wider collar band. I’m happy that I applied the hood to the collar and really happy that it’s not on this trench coat. It just doesn’t work with a hood but it could work for you.

Trench coat inspiration
TJ of The Perfect Nose is always way ahead when it comes to researching most things in life like trench coat styles. When I was stuck in a glove rut, she sent me a gloves Thread article right when I needed a nudge along. Well she’s done it again for anyone who’s contemplating trench styles that aren’t from the big 4 sewing pattern companies.
We tweeted last week about McCalls 5525 being too big for her. That’s where the big 4 sewing patterns let some of us down who are busting to sew, but need a pattern that generally fits with a few adjustments.  TJ has listed Patrone, Burda and Knipmode versions you’ll drool over.
Renata is in the middle of making a Burda trench but she’s rethinking a few construction issues.
That’s why I’ve been trawling to other trench options and finishing. And I have a habit of checking out what’s available online, again for detailing ideas.

Now that I’ve been making a trench, I’ve enjoyed doing more research into indie pattern coats.

Roobeedoo has an addiction to Deer and Doe patterns and they have a lovely transeasonal jacket. The Poppy jacket. This is very tempting because of the fit and design lines.

This pattern is rated intermediate however, the style is so feminine it’s very tempting to want to try. I can’t read French so I love using Google translate on their website.
I do like the Lady Grey too by Colette patterns.


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