A trench coat has been on my to-do list for some time; I have collected quite a few patterns – and I liked this particular pattern as soon as it came out because it was classic, tailored and had some nice details like a seam across the bust, a 2 piece sleeve, double breasted styling and a slim fit. I waffled back and forth on a ruffle at the bottom (see previous post on this – and thanks for all who participated in the voting!) and eventually left it off because:
1) I was not going to make a muslin
2) I didn’t have enough fabric
3) this coat took so long to sew anyway I’m glad I didn’t add the complexity of a self-drafted possible wardrobe fail to the mix!
This coat took me over 30 hours of sewing time. There were 24 pattern pieces in this baby! I didn’t make a muslin, I cut a size 14 & simply added 1 1/2″ to the length of the sleeves and body. It’s fused with pro-weft for the fusible bits; and has topstitching and edgestitching throughout, a topstitched welt pocket, a separate undercollar (cut on the bias) and collar stand. It’s fully lined and has sleeve belts and belts. There are 4 buttonholes marching down the front (which gave me the most worry). The fabric is a wool gabardine in a classic camel from Fabricland, marked down to $10/m from $30/m. It sewed up like a dream. The rayon lining came from my stash. The finished coat feels substantial, but not heavy.
The only gripe I have is that the shoulders are a bit wide. I added shoulder pads (as called for in the pattern) but I would have preferred not to. It was too late to adjust the shoulders at that point, I had the sleeves set in and there was no going back! I think the photos look balanced, overall I would have preferred a closer upper body fit.
This is a size 14, and there is plenty of room to wear a garment underneath (in this photo I have a cardigan & silk shell under the coat) without looking too bulky. The sleeves are certainly wide enough to wear a blazer underneath, as well.
I took some notes as to where my needle and feet were positioned to accomplish all that topstitching as accurately as possible. This helped a lot as there was much starting & stopping as I worked in timeblocks of an hour or hour and a half when I had time. The great thing is with a pattern with this many steps I was able to see progress after each task; even by breaking it into hour blocks of sewing. I also had to do the topstitching when I wasn’t too tired. It took over 3 weeks to complete, but I have a well made garment that will be worn for quite a few years, I hope!
The gabardine pressed great and behaved beautifully with the exception of easing in the sleeves, which I should have known! They are the only part I wish had turned out a bit better. I also added 3 extra rows of stitching on the collar band, this is a RTW detail I liked when I scanned the interwebs. I had to cut the belt and sleeve belts a bit narrower than the pattern to accommodate the buckles I found.
Overall, I’m quite pleased. DH had me show it off to a couple of friends yesterday and I got the right reaction – gasps of amazement. One of them compared it to similar trenches she had seen recently at a Burberry outlet for upwards of $1400 (of course, with my time thrown it, this coat is priceless!!)
It feels good to be able to have this made just in time for the weather to be warm enough to wear it. Now onto some easier sewing projects!