Tuesday, June 20, 2006
I am so pleased with the way this coat turned out, especially because I had not made the pattern before AND I made it reversible which was not called for in the instructions. It is cute and comfortable. The only thing I might change later is the placement of the buttons, but more on that in a minute.
First of all, I hemmed the sleeves. The two sleeves nested inside each other and I just wanted to turn up about a half an inch to tuck in the raw edges.
I decided to literally do just that - tuck in the raw edges. I folded up the striped side and then the red side and put pins all around.
With red thread in the top and white thread in the bobbin, I sewed around the bottom edge of the sleeve with the zipper foot like topstitching. Whenever I wear the coat, I will fold up the cuffs, exposing the contrasting side.
For the hem at the bottom of the garment, I simply ironed up a narrow hem (folding it over twice) and sewed all the way around, switching the threads to red or white, depending on where I was sewing. I folded out the seam allowances at the front edges to reduce the bulk a little there and make it easier to sew.
For button placement, I laid the left side of the coat on the ironing board and then wrapped the coat around and overlapped the loop (right) side onto the left side. Then I put pins in at the ends of the loops. On the striped side, I just followed the same stripe all the way down. For the red side, in addition to putting pins in for the location running up and down the front, I also measured from the front edge to make sure the buttons were all the same distance from the front edge.
I tried the coat on at this point, to see how the overlap would work. In this photo, I have the camera under my chin, pointing downwards. I realized that the buttons needed to be much farther away from the front edge than they are with regular button holes but I may have second-guessed myself a little and put them too close to the fronts. It may turn out that after wearing the coat in real life, I will move the buttons a little farther away front the front edge, to provide more overlap. Time will tell.
I ended up sewing the button just to the side it matched. I didn't sew right through to the other side. I was concerned that in wearing the coat, the fabric on the one side would get pulled by the button and that it might also not be strong enough, so I considered sewing right through to the contrasting side. If I had done this however, it would have meant seeing the sewing on the contrasting side. For a while, I considered sewing a small button on the opposite side as an anchor as well as to hide the stitching. I decided against that because it would have looked odd and busy, to have a line of six small buttons (or I also considered beads) running down the right-hand side of the coat. If it turns out that the buttons pull or even become loose with the way I have initially sewn them on, I can always go to the anchor button later.
In the end, I also ran a line of topstitching down the front edges, to ensure they would stay nice and flat as I like. I am not anxious for the weather to turn cool enough for me to wear this cute and totally fun coat, but it's ready for the first day the temperature hits single digits!