Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Vogue 8346 - The finished coat

Friends, this shall forevermore be known as The Coat in capital letters!  It is, without doubt, the longest and trickiest garment I've made, but I absolutely love it.  Much thanks to the poor, long-suffering, Andrew who has had to listen to random streams of consciousness about coat making for the last seven weeks! And far warning, there are about a billion photos in this post, (well, maybe not that many)...

I'm not going to waffle too much in this post, The Coat can do the talking!  But here's a list of all my blog posts about it, and also all the resources I used:

Blog Posts

Resources - All bought by me, except for my tailoring book, which was a present from my sister.

Craftsy Class - "Pattern Making And Design: Creative Sleeves" - I used this to change the one piece sleeve on the pattern to a two piece sleeve.

Craftsy Class - "Pattern Making And Design: Collars And Closures" - I used this to alter the collar and lapel.

Craftsy Class - "Classic Tailoring: The Blazer" - I used this for drafting the pieces for the canvas interfacing, and pad-stitching the collar and lapels, and making the back stay.

Craftsy Class - "Inside Vogue Patterns: Coat Making Techniques V9040" - I used this for sewing the hem lining and making the swing tacks.

Book - "Tailoring: the classic guide to sewing the perfect jacket"

I think I did a pretty good job of re-creating my inspiration coat above, which I believe was from Top Shop.  The only thing I didn't do was the cuffs on the sleeves.  Well, I did do them, but they looked rubbish, and I had enough fabric left to re-cut ordinary two-piece sleeves.



I used this magnetic clasp to close the insides together to the right of the buttons.  This was harvested from my old black winter coat.

I used some black cotton fabric for the underneath of the epaulets, back tab and faux pocket flaps to reduce bulk.

I am beyond thrilled with how my coat turned out, and dare I say, am looking forward to the winter to get to wear it!  I like to think that it was fueled by Tardis power, because I watched four series of Doctor Who whilst making it.    Also, I can totally see me running around the Tardis in this coat - Bwah Ha Ha!!


Thank you very much for reading all my waffling about making this coat.  I'm glad so many people have found it interesting, and good luck if you're making your own winter coat.


Vogue 8346: View B - Part 6, Facing, Lining and Hem

The coat is finished, but before I get the finished photos post, I want to talk about the facing, lining and the hem.

Facing and lining

This bit is pretty difficult to photograph, as it just looks like a big jumbly mess of fabric.  Here's what the coat looks like on the dress form before the facing is attached.


My tailoring book recommended using knitted fusible interfacing on the upper collar and facings, so I got some black weft insertion fusible interfacing from Tailor Mouse.  I think this is where I got my canvas interfacing from, but I bought it ages ago.

There isn't a back neck facing piece on this pattern, so the lining at the back neckline attaches to the upper collar.  This meant that I  had to attach the lining, front facing and collar to the coat in one go - here it is before attaching.  See what I mean about a jumbly mess?!

Once it's sewn together, the seams are trimmed, graded and presses.  The bottom of the lining and the sleeve lining are left loose so everything can be turned right side out.

Next was making the windows in the back of the buttonholes.  My tailoring book, and a Craftsy video suggested cutting a slit into the facing and sewing to the back of the buttonhole.  One definitely didn't use any interfacing, which made me extremely nervous!  So I used the method in Karen from Did You Make That?'s ebook , and made the little "windows" for the buttonhole backs. 

I used some black cotton lawn for the backing, and I thought I had a photo of that bit, but clearly I don't!  The back of the buttonholes are then hand sewn to the fronts.


The coat sleeves are pressed up by 1 1/2", and hand sewn using a herringbone stitch, and the sleeve lining hem is folded back on itself, and hand stitched to the sleeve hem.

The coat hem is done in the same way.  I used some iron on woven interfacing cut on the bias to stablise the hem.  This is cut 1/2" longer than the hem, so mine is 2" because the hem is 1 1/2". 

The lining got sewed twice, because the first one looked like the cats had done it!  I originally did it the same as the sleeves - turning under and hand sewing to the coat hem - but it was a disaster!  The coat hem looked like a stack of spuds! 

Then I remembered about how the hem is done on a Craftsy class called "Inside Vogue Patterns: Coat Making Techniques V9040".  One of these days I'm going to make that coat, because it's gorgeous.  Anyway, this way has the hem free-hanging from the lining, and it made a lot more sense given the volume of the hem on my coat.

So everything got unpicked and I re-sewed the coat hem, and was delighted with how beautifully  it was hanging on the dress form.  The lining was cut to be level the with bottom of the coat, pressed up by 1/2" then turned in on itself and machine stitched.  Finally, it's attached to the coat at each seam with swing tacks.  I absolutely love how it turn out!


The last thing to do was to top-stitch the front and around the collar.  I was dreading the bits around the curve of the lapel and the collar.  So I googled a top stitching foot for my machine, but couldn't find one - then I thought to use my 1/4" foot.  Oh. My. Goodness!!  My top-stitching has never been nicer, and there was zero unpicking!

This is a fabric scrap I was practicing on, and  I took this photo after I'd finished the top stitching because I didn't have my camera to hand when I was doing the real thing.  You can maybe just about see the little "blade" to the right of the foot.

I used the normal straight stitch (not the 1/4" stitch) didn't move the needle, and this gave a row of stitches 1 cm from the edge of the fabric.  Here's a better photo of the 1/4" foot below.


I'm not going to hang about with posting finished photos, so click here for the reveal post where I also have a list of all the resources I used.  Spoiler alert: my coat is fabulous, and I love it!


Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Vogue 8346: View B - Part 5, Sleeve Heads

Today I want to talk about how I set in the sleeves on my coat.  The method I used was the bias strip method, which I've used before with great success.  The first time I can across this was on the Craftsy Starlet Suit Jacket class by Gretchen Hirsch.  I don't think this is available any more, but here's a video on how to do it from Gertie's Blog For Better Sewing. 

Here's a run through of what I did.  I cut two strips of my coat fabric on the bias, they're 2" wide and 12" long.

Fold the strips in half lengthwise, and mark the middle with a pin or a little snip with the scissors.

Pin the centre of the strip to the top of the sleeve head on the wrong side.  It's not very easy to see in this photo, but the strip is pinned to the point where the top of the sleeve head lines up with the shoulder seam - it's marked with the middle lilac tailor tack.  

The strip gets sewn to the sleeve head with a 1/2" seam allowance.  

How you do this is to pull the bias strip taut, and slightly push the sleeve head under the foot at the same time as it goes through the machine.  Start at the top of the sleeve head, where the strip is pinned, and work to the end of the strip.  

 This all sort of magically gathers up the ease in the sleeve head, as you can see below!

And here's what it looks like from the inside.

Then it gets pinned into the coat armhole, and sewn in.

I read a great tip on a website somewhere about using the bias strip to pad out the sleeve head.  I can't remember what website it was though, and I think it was something in the comments.

Anyway, what you do is fold the bias strip back on itself towards the seam, pin and hand sew in place.  Here it is pinned in place, sorry about the flash photo, I was doing this at night time.

And here it is hand sewn in place.

And this is what it looks like from the outside!


Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Vogue 8346 - View B: Part 4, Canvas Interfacing

The next step on my coat is attaching the interfacing to the coat front and undercollar.  My resources on this were a Craftsy class called "Classic Tailoring: The Blazer", and a book called "Tailoring: the classic guide to sewing the perfect jacket".

I've found this book to be very useful, as it shows three different ways to interface a coat; the complicated and time-consuming way I'm doing, the quick and easy way with fusible interfacing, and a combination of the two.  Basically, the difference between them is the finish.

Anyway, both book and class show you how to make and attach an extra layer of interfacing at the shoulders.  Below you can see the outline for mine in green on my coat front pattern piece. 

And this is the actual pattern piece. 

This is cut from the canvas interfacing and is sewn to the shoulder.  Thankfully this can be done by machine, because the next bit is hours and hours of hand sewing! 

The lapel is pad-stitched to the front of the coat, then twill tape sewn to the roll line and edges. 

Then the under collar also gets pad-stitched, but it doesn't need twill tape.  The Craftsy class is great for a detailed explanation of this. 

Not going to lie, this bit is really time-consuming, and does get a bit tedious, but it's lovely once it's done! 

Finally, the collar and lapels are shaped with water and steam from the iron.  I got this technique from a Craftsy class called "The Starlet Suit Jacket by Gretchen Hirsch", but I don't think it's available any more.
Here's what I did - I sprayed the pad-stitching with water from a spray bottle, and then blasted it with steam from the iron, the iron doesn't touch the fabric though.  Then I shaped the collar around my ham, and held it in place with pins. 

One lapel was shaped using my seam roll, and the other with some rolled up tea towels.  Everything is left to dry, and can then be sewn up so it actually starts looking like a coat!

Next will be setting in the sleeves.