I've now officially ran out of steam for sewing summer frillies, so have started work on my Abbey Coat (read on to the end of this post for a chance to win the pattern!) Before even thinking about coat sewing, I contacted my old mucker and coat maker extraordinaire, Karen from Did You Make That. Her best piece of advice? Leave yourself enough time. Which is why I'm starting now, in July...
My experience of coat making is pretty slim - I made one jacket last year through a combination of instructions from this book and making it up as I went along. I was pleased with the finished jacket: I liked the lining and the fit was OK, but the collar has never sat right, and looking back on it now, the fabric and buttons leave me a bit cold. They're both just so grey and drab. I've worn it out a couple of times but it's just not right. Making it was really good practise though, and as the cost of the entire jacket was only £5, the stitch-pocket side of me can rest easy at night.
This time round, I'm using a proper pattern, lovely strokeable petrol-blue wool fabric and my bee-oot-iful polka dot lining fabric.
I also sat down and read through the pattern several times, so that I could envisage exactly how this coat was going to be put together. And, wait for it, I made a muslin. The waist shaping and princess seams give it the fitted look I like, but it's still roomy enough to wear the odd cardigan or two underneath.
|I'm wearing a dress and cardigan under the coat muslin|
|Had to put this one in as my shoes look so lovely!|
On that basis, I think I'll sew it up as is, I think the fit is fine. To give an indication of sizing, I made up the muslin in a size 10, which more or less corresponds to my measurements, so I'd say that the sizing is pretty accurate. Jamie Christina patterns are well written and I'm happy that there's nothing that's intimidating about this make so far. Apart from buttonholes….
When I made my first jacket, I actually had to unpick three buttonholes that I'd sewn on wonkily. I'm worried that the layers of wool and interfacing may be too much for my machine, and the thought of having to unpick buttonholes on my lovely wool fabric makes my blood run cold. So I'm now debating whether to make bound buttonholes - the thought of which also makes my blood run cold, but Karen's look so lovely... It's not exactly a Sophie's Choice-style decision but I just can't decide. My tentative plan is to cut the coat out, and then practise both methods on the exact weight of fabric and interfacing I'll be sewing through. I'll need to make a decision soon though as bound buttonholes need to be made early in the process. If any experienced coat makers have their own buttonhole advice or stories, I'd be glad to hear them.
All this coat talk has hopefully made you want to run off and make your own. Yes? No? Well before you do, read on, as you could be in with a chance of winning your own copy of the Jamie Christina Abbey Coat pattern. A copy of this pattern has been very generously donated by the lovely Annie at The Village Haberdashery. It looks like it's going to be a great pattern to work with and perfect if you're looking to make a coat this year.
All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post - easy peasy. You can also get an extra entry if you sign up for the Village Haberdashery newsletter - you can subscribe at the bottom of the shop page. Just let me know in your comment if you've signed up or are already an existing subscriber. The giveaway is open worldwide and closes at midnight GMT on Saturday 4th August. Please make sure you leave your email address if it's not linked to your blogger profile so I can contact you if you're the winner. Good luck everybody! x