Monday, 2 November 2009

Project 16 - Purple Coat

Ok, so my first coat – and I picked up McCall 5513 over the summer in one of the $3 sales (BARGAIN!) I’ve got a few smart coats and an old battered leather jacket, but I really like the current styles and this one is my favourite.

I’d already decided not to do the appliqué on the back – it’s just not my style and to do some funky contrasting stitching on the seams. I picked up some fairly cheap purple wool coating (a GORGEOUS) colour along with some red lining from Fabric Land. I was going to face it in either lighter purple or red, but when I unpacked the purple I realised I’d been sold 150cm wide when I was told it was 115cm wide so I had loads too much so I decided to self-face. I also bought a set of massive red shell buttons (costing almost as much as the fabric).

I got it all cut out this week, then after spending most of Saturday re-arranging and cleaning my sewing room I got started on Sunday morning. The bodice went together like a dream. All the easing of the shoulder seams and sleeves slipped into place so easily. I officially love working with wool!!! I did all the topstitching in sparkly red thread which is very exciting (although it does snap at the most inopportune moments). I didn’t change anything really except to topstitch most of the seams (only a select few are stitched in the design and that looked a bit random to me) and to machine the lining onto the shoulder seam rather than hem it and slipstitch it. I’m going to get some red binding for that seam to smarten it up, but it feels fine.

Dark fell (so early – since when has it become NOVEMBER?) and after dinner I got onto the skirt. Now that’s more complicated. First are the dozen or so pleats, the only section so far where the instructions are really lacking. All it says is pleat as shown in the picture. I’d never done pleats before, but with a little help from a book I got them sorted and looking rather smart.

The bottom has to be gathered to about ¼ of its original size which with the wool fabric is hard work. The instructions say to run two lines of stitching along the bottom and use those to gather, but my thread just kept snapping. I ended up unpicking that and, following a review I’d read on I found some thick elastic, cut it to the right size and sewed it on stretched out. Even then I had to manually “squidge” the wool as it went through the machine as it was longer than the full stretch of the elastic!!! Eventually (I must have been working on that seam for 2-3 hours – the first difficult part of the coat) I got it done and stitched to the lining and headed off exhausted to bed. I was really disappointed I couldn’t finish it yesterday (I wanted to wear it today), but I’ll do my best to get it done on Tuesday night. It looks like there’ll be a bit more gathering at the top of the skirt but I’m on instruction 54 of 63 so I’m almost there...

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