Tuesday, 17 January 2012


Last summer, a friend asked if I could make a new coat for her Dad. He does Wild West re-enactments and they wanted something authentic. She ordered the pattern online and they picked up the material. It sat in my sewing room in a bag for months. Yes I’ve had other projects that had time-sensitive deadlines, but I’m also really bad for procrastinating. But I’m working on it now!

Here’s an interesting note about the difference between the metric and imperial systems: the pattern is in imperial (yards) and the local fabric stores only sell by the meter. Whoever cut the material for my friend and her dad didn’t know how to convert. A yard is 36 inches or about 92 centimeters. I’m guessing the person at the fabric store must have thought a yard was more than a meter. My friend told me the blue they wanted was short so they got some extra of something close. When I pulled it all out, the blue they wanted (in the middle of the stack) had almost 10 meters! That’s 1.5 times what the pattern called for! And even more of the alternate material! I’ll be making vests or something with the left over.

I do like the old-fashioned feel of this pattern, though some of the instructions are really confusing. Sometimes you just have to trust the instructions and go with it.

Adding the pocket flaps to the front of the coat:

Cutting the opening:

Pinning the flap:

Pinning the back of the pocket over the flap:

Back of pocket & flap sewn on; pinning the front:

Front turned in, reinforcing around the pocket opening:

Pocket from the inside:

Sewn closed and finished: 

Completed pockets:

The first use of my serger! Serged the center back seam:

Pinning to prep for ironing the back flap:

Preparing the “gusset”: This goes inside the back flap.

Serged the shoulder seams:

The lining was done the same way to this point. The pattern didn’t include a lining so it took some creativity to figure out how to get it into the jacket.

Pinning the lining to the jacket at the shoulder where the sleeve will attach, for basting. There is no lining in the sleeve so it had to go on now.

Pinning the neck line for basting:

Once everything was basted together, the challenge was getting the flaps to work together. To do this, I cut off the flaps on the lining and folded the outside over, the way it was meant to be.

With the heavy-duty thread I am using for this, the good-looking side of the sewing line is the top, so to get this on the outside, I flipped the coat over, repined and used my tailor’s pencil to mark where the edge of the flap was on the inside.

The finished seam:

Now to add the gusset:
Again, I wanted the nice looking seam on the outside. This one was much easier to do.

Sewn on and tucked in: 

Pulled out:

Next step: sewing on the sleeves. Have I mentioned I don’t like doing this? Well this was even harder using this heavy material. It really didn’t want to match up, but after much cursing at it and many stab wounds to myself, I managed it. It’s the small victories.

Pinning the under arm and side seams. This one didn’t want to cooperate either!

Here is the coat as it hangs now.
I’ll be working on it more today so I can post more updates on Thursday!

So far this project is at nine hours including all the cutting.

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