I’ve finished my new coat, and I’m seriously in love!! Now that it’s all finished, I can’t believe I’ve taken so long to make this pattern, it’s wonderful! I bought the Pepernoot Coat pattern from Waffle Patterns when it first came out – which is some years ago now – and really, I could have had a few in my wardrobe by now. I think an unlined denim version, made from old jeans would have been fabulous for the summer here in the UK! (Might have to make that happen…)
So, you’ve seen most of the Work in Progress, and gone through the adjustments I’ve made already, so this is just to finish off and show off! As said already, the fabric is cashmere, originally from Truro Fabrics. I eventually chose the mustard gold lining from The Lining Company for the inside, and it was the perfect choice! I ended up cutting it on the cross grain to get the richness of the gold colour, the straight grain was just a bit too “meh” for what I was after!
Now, let’s talk pockets… This pattern comes with a very cool, large pair of pockets on the front skirt of the coat. They’re supposed to have a zippered opening/closing, but I left that out. I’m not a big fan of scratchy zips on my hands, especially in the wintertime! So I knew I was going to make welts, and having decided to copy the welts on my Seasalt coat, I can say that it’s worked better than I could have hoped for. The overlapping welts “hug” your wrist once your hand is in the pocket, not letting any draft in there! Warm, snuggly pockets! Can you get any better?
I sewed the inner hood pieces with the “wrong” side of the fabric out – it’s a lighter shade of grey to the outside and I like the contrast. Mr W thinks I should have cut the facings the same way round, but I disagree. I like it this way! And the hood is just right, big enough to go fully over your head without flopping over your eyes, like some I know… I’ve worn this coat loads since finishing it, it’s just so comfortable and the fabric so soft!
So there you have it, this is officially my new favourite coat, until I make another! The adjustments I’ve made were simple ones, a small FBA sorted the front out to hang straight, and I added a small amount to the seam allowance of the armhole in the front to stop the dragging there, and inserted decent tailor’s felt shoulder pads. Without the shoulder pads the armhole was just too deep. The minute I put the pads in, the whole thing looked and felt a whole lot better. I love how this feels on, it’s just great to wear.
Here we are again! I’m still working on my coat, taking to heart the idea of sewing slower this year! I cut it all out on the weekend and spent considerable hours fusing all the interfacing onto the relevant areas and tailor tacking the pattern markings so I was ready to sew. Tuesday was to be a sewing day! In the end, I only started just before lunchtime, but as I kept going until 8pm, I recon I still managed to get a full day of sewing in!
When I tailor tack pattern pieces, I also pin pieces together and pin darts to make a pile of stuff that can go straight to the sewing machine, so I had front and back bodice darts, sleeve tabs and hood pieces all pinned together ready to start. The darts were cut up the centre and pressed open, with the flappy bits stitched down with herringbone stitch to stop them flapping about!
Once darts were sewn, the yokes were attached and the topstitching done. Then I made the sleeve tabs, sewed the inner and outer hood and made up the front band. After that, I couldn’t put off the pockets and their new opening detail any longer!
New detail?? Well, I’m not overly keen on zip-opening pockets. I know they’re very practical, and they add a “sporty” touch to a garment, but zips are sharp and scratchy and my hands don’t like them very much. So I decided I’d use a detail from the pocket of my Seasalt raincoat. The pocket shape is actually very similar. They have two welts, one narrower than the other, and they overlap. The detail is suposed to mean water doesn’t get into your pocket, and having had worn the coat in the wet, I can say that’s true. So I copied that detail. I’ll do a seperate tutorial on the pocket in another post.
I tacked and basted a lot with the pocket, if you don’t want things moving, and pins aren’t helpful, basting is the only way to go! Gathering the curved corners of the pockets wasn’t tricky, and makes for a nice smooth curve. I chose to use ordinary thread for the topstitching, possibly next time I’d use something a little thicker, I’m thinking that Denim thread though, rather than the proper topstitching stuff that my machine doesn’t like. I’m not unhappy with the finish, but it does disappear into the fabric a bit.
I thought I’d show you the insides where I put the interfacing. I use Gill Arnold’s weft interfacing on the outer pieces for structure. I fused the yokes fully and cut a funny shaped piece for the back that continued the line and scooped under the armhole to support it. The front got similar treatment, except that instead of just going into the yoke interfacing line, the interfacing scoops up and over the bust area and down the front to support and reinforce that area. I extended that line of interfacing down the front skirt. Sleeve heads get interface too, I measure approx 10 cm down from the top point in the sleeve head and draw a curve into the lower part of the armhole from there, always better not to have straight lines here.
All the hems are supported too. As this coat has 4cm hems, I cut 6cm wide bias strips of the weft insertion and fused onto the hemline, 3cm from the edge of the fabric. This means that when the hem is turned up, 1cm of the inner hem has interfacing on it, supporting the fold, the rest extends up the outer fabric and protrudes 1cm above the hem edge. This is what I will stitch into when I hand stitch the hem in place, not the fabric.
The facings and sleeve tabs, front band, inner hood front edge, and the opening for the pockets were fused with Gill’s fine sheer interfacing. Those edges still need support, but not as much as the outer fabric, and to cut down on bulk it’s better to use a finer, lighter interfacing.
For the fronts, I add a canvas chest piece that helps to minimise the appearance of the hollow in the chest below the shoulders. It’s a curved piece of non-fusible canvas, cut on the bias, fused to a piece of weft insertion interfacing, also cut on the bias. I remembered I have photos and a post showing this same step, but with white interfacing, from 2012!! On each side at the top ( shoulder edge), cut out a section 3cm down, this is to enable you to keep the canvas out of the seam area while you sew front to back
Then the shoulder seam is pressed open and the canvas allowed back, turn the coat to the right side, and, supporting the body pieces, allow the coat to hand over your hand, simulating the shoulder. Pin the canvas in place through the back shoulder seam allowance, close to the seam.
Turn to the inside and pin again through the seam and the canvas, then remove the pins on the outside and stitch the cavas to the back seam allowance close to the original shoulder seam line.
This make such a difference to how your jacket or coat looks, with a decent felt shoulder pad. This is as far as I’ve got for now, tomorrow I’ll get the hood on, sew the side seams and insert the sleeves. Then it will be time to cut the lining!
I ordered 2m of Mustard Gold interfacing from The Lining Company to grace the inside of my gorgeous coat yesterday, and it arrived this afternoon. It’s beautiful, the colour like gold, so perfect for the grey!! If I cannot find a lining “in real life” for a project, chances are pretty high that I’ll find one from The Lining Company. They have so many different types, and the colours…. I love that they send out 5 free samples, of a decent size, all properly labelled for proper decision making. And they’re fast… I just use their standard first class postal service, it arrives the next day anyway!! (no selling fee here, just my personal recommendation).
Well, here we go with all the coats and jackets! I traced 5 jackets and coats over the weekend, so I’d have no more excuses to get started, because a toile doesn’t take long to make, given it needs no interfacing and hours of pressing. They just need suitable fabrics, something sturdy and with a bit of body and weight – you can’t successfully toile a coat using an old cotton duvet cover!
I have the main fabric for all of these patterns, and lining for the two Burdas. The Sienna Jacket and Grace coat are unlined, but I think I might be binding seams on at least one of them, just to make it interesting on the inside. I also have lining for the Tosti, but am thinking of padding that out by quilting it to a thin layer of interlining, for warmth. As I’m still thinking about that, I haven’t gone ahead and bought the interlining yet, nor do I have any zips or snaps or anything else to make that pattern!
I decided to start with the Pepernoot Coat because I love the big hood, raised waistline and flared skirt, not to mention those fabulous pockets! Now, I’m the sort who, once a pattern and fabric is decided upon, will put my head down and go, go, go, until it’s finished. But. I wanted to slow down this year, take a more considered approach. Even if it does mean I’m still making coats in the Spring and possibly early summer…
So, I have the most gorgeous, soft, grey cashmere for the Pepernoot, bought 3-4 years ago from Truro Fabrics in Cornwall. Everytime we’re in Cornwall, a stop at Truro fabrics is mandatory. There’s always at lease one piece of fabric that has to come home with me! 😀 But, I didn’t really think much about the lining I’d chose. So I don’t have any, and am trying to find the right colour. I don’t want grey, black, silver or anything dull.
I figured a day in Birmingham going round the big stores would solve my problem, so I headed off yesterday to visit Daughter No2 and buy lining. Except that I came home with no lining! The colours were all wrong, and most of the fabric quality was not what I wanted either, I really didn’t want a polyester lining in my cashmere coat! (snobby much?? ;)) However, in Fancy Silk stores, we spotted a very pretty jade green Chinese brocade with white and silver cherry brances and blossoms that made me think, a lovely rich green would be nice! But not that stuff, it was silk (sigh) 90cm wide and £22/m. Too rich for my little wallet, I’m afraid.
So I turned to The Lining Company instead and have ordered 5 samples of their lovely viscose twill linings, 3 shades of green, one gold/mustard and one copper. Grey and mustard is lovely, but I couldn’t shake the green idea, so we’ll see what they all look like once the samples have arrived. I did manage to get the separating zipper yesterday, so I feel I could get started with the shell in the meantime. I didn’t buy short zips for the pockets, because I have a different idea in mind, but haven’t checked that it works yet! That’s today’s task.
Along with the pocket opening treatment, I need to finish altering the pattern after performing FBA surgery on the bodice. My current measurements for Bust and High Bust are 101 and 95cm respectively, so I opted to trace the size 44, based on a full bust of 100. Once toiled with some lovely old smelly curtains from the charity shop, I decided I really needed more depth in the front, and only a little more width. So my FBA was a little contrary to the usual method, I decided the length needed and the rest followed! In the end adding 2cm on length resulted in just over 1cm of width, which has made the front lie straight, the waist seam sit parallel to the floor, and there’s a bit more room across the chest. I’m not sure why, but the measurement across the chest, armhole to armhole, is quite narrow on this pattern, made a little better when I insert a shoulder pad. I’m not wide in that area, but do have an upright posture and tend to hold my shoulders back quite a bit, so this seemed a little restrictive. The FBA has allowed more rooom, but I think I’ll be altering the armhole a little.
Apart from that, I have no issues with the instructions, Yuki always has good illustrations if you’re a little stuck. I’m going to have to put a marker on the sewing machine for the 1.2cm seam allowance. I can move the needle over and keep the fabric on the 1cm line, but the tension can go funny if I do that, it’s not the machine’s favourite way to sew!