Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Winter coat prep work

Tomorrow I monitor the last exam for the semester and after I post the marks, I'll be done working (for money anyway) until January, when I'll be teaching two more courses at the college. If it weren't for the total lack of money, I'd feel quite like the woman of leisure.

My friend took me and my machine over to the Sewing Machine Hospital where I explained the problem with the breaking thread. The first thing the guy did was look at the needle because needles with burrs on them do break threads. I gritted my teeth and explained that I replaced the needle ALL the time and it wasn't that. Anyway. He still hasn't called and it has been 6 days (today is the 7th day) and I am starting to miss my machine. However, I decided I would cut out the coat next while I am waiting and so here I am again. Hello!
coat pattern
This is a very similar pattern to the reversible red coat I made but that one fit a little snugly so I decided to make this in the 14 so I could fit sweaters underneath. I have a longer, warmer coat for the minus 20C weather but I wanted this wooly one for the weather when it's cold but not cold enough to bring out the fake fur. Interestingly, when I bought the purple "wool", right next to it on the table was the exact same red "wool" they used to make the coat in the photo on the pattern envelope! I liked the purple better.

I am making the view shown in the photo, because I wanted a coat that buttoned up to the neck. When it's cold and windy out, you don't want an open shawl collar, thank you very much. In fact, I have an open shawl collar on my minus 20C coat and I tie it closed with a scarf around the neck and I have never liked doing that. I am probably going to retrofit that coat with a loop for a button at the neck but I'll blog about that when it happens.

This fabric also frays easily and profusely so I am anticipating potential difficulties. First of all, since I want it to be warm, I am going to cut out pieces of lining for each of the coat pieces in the body and sleeves, and sew the lining pieces right to the coat pieces, before they get sewn together. In this way, the coat will be more windproof and the pieces may retain their shape better.
pattern pieces
I'll be "double lining" the sleeves, the side front and side back and the back. For the front, the pattern pieces are the front and the front facing. I have decided to iron on interfacing on both of those pieces, not just on the front facing. I have been thinking that when I sew the front and front facing together to make the front edge, that the seam may ravel and ruin especially if I clip it to reduce bulk. I thought about putting some kind of applied trim around all the finished edges but then I thought, if I iron on interfacing, that may glue the fibres together enough that they won't ravel. If they do ravel later, I can always put the trim on later.

I'll also be doing this with the interfacing on both of the collar pieces (top and bottom) so they won't ravel either. (Don't you find it interesting that "ravel" means both to disentangle as well and to tangle up? And "unravel" means that same things? Cool - but confusing.] And there are the buttonholes to consider, if I do buttonholes. In any event, with the entire front interfaced and "glued" together, the buttonholes or whatever fastening I end up using will be less of a problem. Now I just have to discover if I have enough lining odds and ends to do the "interlining". I have a nice piece of quite thick polyester for the "real" lining.


patsijean said...

Have you thought about underlining your coat body and sleeves with flannel (washed and dried 2-3 times to shrink it) for warmth, then inserting the lining? I don't feel that a lining fabric alone is going to do much toward making the coat warm.
I love this pattern and actually tried to purchase through Pattern Review but was told that it is now Out of Print. Bummer.... I agree with you, your fabric is prettier, but I do like looking at purples.

Debbie Cook said...

Good to see a post from you! You've been missed. I hope your machine is fixed up and ready soon.

JuliaR said...

Patsijean, good idea for another coat! I decided to make this one lightweight, hence the interlining. But that woud work for a different coat.

Thanks Debbie! I missed blogging too and now I feel back in the swing of it.

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