It’s been a few weeks, but I think I’m back to my normal blogging schedule! I took on a commission that ate up two weeks of time, and have spent the last week trying to prepare videos for the next two months. Which hasn’t left me with a lot of time or enthusiasm for writing. But I do want to get back on track, and I’m starting by talking about my plan for a winter coat!
I really like making jackets and coats, so it seemed appropriate to make myself one that I could wear on a regular basis. But to make it more interesting I decided to base it off of designs from a period I haven’t explored much before – the 1920’s. A while back I came across this post, and fell in love with some of the designs in the Bellas Hess catalogue. I used those as inspiration and will be incorporating a lot of the detailing into my jacket, I just slimmed the silhouette by a lot to make it more flattering.
For this project I’m using a faux wool flannel from Joanns, I like the texture and weight of this a lot.
I also bought a fun flannel for the lining, and a polyester silky lining for the sleeves and front panels (to make the jacket easier to get on, and to avoid bulk).
Then on etsy I found these beautiful vintage buttons – they are a bit smaller than I wanted, but I love the design too much to care. They are a rich orange color, with copper stars on the front. I paid seven dollars for sixteen. The seller doesn’t have any more listed, but they have some other neat ones and they are way cheaper than buying carded buttons in store!
I draped the pattern the way I usually do. This was my first time (successfully) draping an asymmetrical pattern, so that was interesting! The only things I knew about drafting asymmetrical jackets were from this book*…but they involve a lot of darts, and are very fitted, so it didn’t prove to be very helpful. But I eventually figured it out!
After draping I transferred the pieces to paper to create a pattern.
I worked on the collar first since it’s the most striking part of this design. The collar is made from four pieces (two on each side) with an additional four pieces cut out for lining. Both the top layer of the collar, and the lining were cut from the faux wool.
Then I backed the pieces with interfacing, which was cut to sit half an inch away from each edge.
All the pieces were sewn together. In this state it has the shape of a giant dead moth. Glamorous.
Then I pinned the top layer and lining together, making sure all the points lined up.
I sewed the pieces together with a quarter inch seam allowance, then turned it the right way out.
It’s such a crazy shape, I love it. Here you can see the back of it on my dress form.
Now onto the bodice portion! I started by cutting everything out, and adding interfacing to the panel that will overlap the other.
Then I sewed all the pieces together.
And the same process with the lining. As you can see the back portion of the lining is cut from printed flannel, and the front portions from silky lining to avoid excess bulk. I cut the very front of one side of the lining from the faux wool, just in case a bit of the lining is visible after it’s all put together.
Then I pinned those layers together across the neckline, arm openings, and front edge. I sewed around those edges as well.
I pinned around the arm openings.
Then topstitched across those edges with brown thread.
Around this point my buttons arrived, and I loved them soo much that I decided to topstitch the jacket with thread that matched them. This was a great idea in theory, but I have a machine made for lightweight fabric. And when I work with many layers of heavy fabric, it has the tendency of skipping stitches (even after changing the needle and making new bobbins).
By the time I remembered this I was already too invested in the process. But the skipped stitches look really bad. I’ll either have to fix them by hand or come to terms with how it looks 😦
The topstitching runs across the front edges of the jacket and the edges of the collar.
With that done I gathered the front panels of the jacket.
Then sewed on the waistband. I topstitched it on with one row of stitching, but I think I’ll add another row later so it matches the topstitching on the rest of the jacket.
And I sewed the shoulder seam up with a french seam.
Here it is pinned on my dress form with the buttons (roughly) in place. I want to move them closer together, but my inspiration coats don’t have many buttons. Then again, they have much larger buttons so the proportion is different. I’m going to wait until the rest of the coat is done before deciding for sure.
Then the collar was sewn on by hand, with heavy duty thread and a whip stitch. It still needs closures and sleeves, but the top of this coat is done! I reached this stage a couple weeks ago but have been too busy to make more progress since then. I’m hoping I’ll have time to finish it this week since I want to start wearing it already!
And the back. I love the collar soo much.
(aside from that damn topstitching)
If you’re interested I also have a video showing this process, it can be watched here, or down below depending on your browser/email settings!
And that’s it! Thanks for reading!