After having sewn very classical PJ’s and a raglan sweater, I wanted to sew something a bit more demanding. I have decided to test less and to devolve more time to structured garments, like a coat and/or a woven blazer.
The genesis of the coat project
Sewing a coat has been on my ever-expanding To Do List for a long time. I had bought patterns, I had also bought coat fabrics during sales, and I had read blogs about the technical difficulties behind sewing a coat.
But I had never jumped in for fear of not being able to sew it, of not finding the time to do it, and of a clear financial loss.
In short, I sewed a coat in fabric bought 5 years ago on the web (Lolie-shop), lining bought on Etsy and even older than the main fabric (+ polyester for the sleeves) and I used a pattern bought in 2016 on La Jolie Girafe‘s website. I had that little voice in my mind telling me that if it failed, all the cost had already been cleared.
Le Précieux coat
Le Précieux means “The Precious” in French. This a pattern that got my attention because of its front and back yokes. But ‘yokeS’ means more cutting.
And I had to add the seam allowances. It usually deters me. I hate adding seam allowances, especially on princess seams. But this coat pattern was so delightful…
I didn’t muslin it too. Not that I am a rebel, but I’ve just started my freelance translation business (LCC Traduction) and I bought an expensive software so I minimize my fabric buying.
I did a XL with a smidge more at the waist and hips since I was a bit over the XL size there.
I decided to cut and sew the hood, but I didn’t sew it to the coat because of my sewing machine being not stronger enough for such thickness.
Because of my machine’s issues with thickness, I decided against buttonholes and chose toggles. I almost quit! I had big troubles placing them and sewing them was tricky and painful. But they’re so worth it. Since toggles are extremely expensive, I chose mid-range toggles on Ma Petite Mercerie (they have wonderful toggles, but at 14 euros/piece, you’d better be sure!!!).
Since I used wool coating fabric, I placed shoulder pads and sleeve head wadding. I bought everything online (A et A). These shoulder pads are by far the best I’ve ever had. Best quality ever. And I followed the video tutorial and got everything nice and smooth.
I also decided to tack the hem. It measn tacking the hem allowance to the main coat, with a catch-stitch. It prevents the hem to fall down over time. I also tacked the cuffs.
Nice length to be worn over a dress (fabric: Minerva). Me, blinking in the sun…! 😆
I also did some French tacks at the shoulders between the lining and the main. Everything will stay in place.
I tend to enjoy these handsewn details now.
Difficulties and what I will change for my next Precieux
This is a pattern I enjoyed sewing even if it was sometimes tricky. I had troubles understanding how to finish the corner between the main and the lining. Even with the stre-by-step illustrations, I didn’t understand everything. I had succeded doing that with my Billie jacket though…
My final list of alterations after having worn that coat for the past few days:
- Adding ease at the waist and hips wans’t necessary.
- I would shorten the collar’sheight and I would add stitch-in magnets to keep it closed.
- My wool coating had some flaws. I think that’s because it had been folded for too long.
- Toggles are nice, but so expensive!
- I want a hood, but first I need a new machine than can handle thickness.
I enjoyed the sewing-a-coat journey. It was demanding and even if it’s not perfect, I have now a nice coat in a color I love a lot. I must admit that this wool coating is a cat-hair magnet though!
Speaking of cats, let me introduce you to our first Behind The Scene, with this photobombing Eclair:
Whach out your paws!!!
Now, I need to find thousands of translations to get a sewing machine that sews thick fabrics well!!! I’ll tell you more about my research in this field in a new article.
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