When I showed this coat to my family, the most frequent comment was something like "another coat?" But what they should have said is "another Burda?" because that is the notable point. Ok, maybe I don't need another coat but I did have this large-ish piece of fabric remaining when I made this vintage McCalls pattern last year. This was a piece of fabric I found at my local thrift store that was already pre-fused with a very nice interfacing so it made it a dream to sew.
The pattern came from the BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook which I found in my local library. In fact I checked it out, came home and found the pattern sheet for the coat was missing. I had to go back to the library, find another copy (which did have the coat pattern) and then point out that the first copy was missing that pattern sheet. It is great that my local library gets quite a few sewing books - mostly I find them by searching the on-line catalog and then requesting at my local branch. I am kind of torn about not buying the books but I like the library to know there is a demand for the genre.
I made the pattern almost as designed with one change to make the sleeves smooth at the shoulder instead of gathered. The style is very sweet as is and the gathered sleeves looked a bit pre-teen to me. I also skipped the belt, while I like the look of coats with a belt when wearing they drive me crazy and I tend to leave them at home.
I was a bit lazy when I traced out the pattern so I didn't even trace the lining pieces, just used the outer pieces to make the lining. I always figure that lining is just a guideline and when I make them I do little modifications for comfort and wearability. It suprises me that many patterns do not add a bit of ease to the lining pieces for outerwear and a center back pleat is a must. When I cut out the lining I add about 1.5 inches to the center back, whether on a fold or seamed, and then just sew the regular stitch line from the neckline down about 2 inches, then press the rest to create a pleat (see below right).
Do you like this lining? Which I found at an estate sale and knew it would be just right for something one day but never imagined this perfect :)
Another sneaky reason I don't use the lining pattern pieces is because so often coats have that round neckline facing piece and I prefer the lining fabric to go up the back as far as possible to meet the collar (since coat fabrics are so often itchy). I kind of improvise and match the front and back lining at the shoulder seam. This works as I sew the linings in by hand most times. One small live and learn moment was that I could have added a bit more interfacing in the collar, it is a bit limp but perhaps just something I notice when wearing.
I got these buttons at Stone Mountain fabrics in Berkeley but tragedy nearly struck when I was making the buttonholes as I have broken my cherished Singer buttonhole attachment. I do have 4 other ones but each one has some weird issue, wrong cams, screw missing etc. So they are like the proverbial car kept for parts. Luckily I was able to complete the buttonholes as it was way too late to put in bound buttonholes. Plus I had already decided early on that machine buttonholes would look better.
When I was cutting this coat out it was down to shreds of fabric remaining, and actually had to slim down the walking vent in the back. To keep all its width I finished the edge with some satin lining found in my scrap bag which was a very close match and I like the peek of satin there in the vent. I did put some white weft fusible on the hem to give it some body, it really helps the hem hold its shape and resist crumpling.
Here is me and my spring coat plus a garden photo all in one. Rushing as it started to rain! Talk about unexpected but very welcome for the garden.
Happy sewing, Beth
Happy sewing, Beth