What a way to start off the sewing year, with cashmere! This fabric is so gorgeous, and while I typically don't like neutrals this warm camel color just begs to be a coat. Or in this case - a vest. But for some reason I just can't call this a vest, to me it is a coat without sleeves, probably because of the traditional shaping and collar/lapel.
In any case - this delicious fabric was not mine - it was purchased by my friend Alice on our New York adventure back in October at Metro Textiles (#wineandcheesewithKashi). There is even a photo of her in that post with the actual bolt of fabric. I think a few other people purchased some that night as well and I am looking forward to seeing what have come up with. Alice nor I can recall where we got the idea but somehow came up with this style of outerwear, a long straight sleeveless coat and I think it has turned out just as we imagined.
What a weather week we are having here in N. California - plenty of rain (finally) which didn't help with our photo session. The sky opened up about 5 minutes after we started but I did get all these pictures - it helps when your model/muse/friend looks good in almost anything :)
I think this is one of those styles that perfectly suits the wearer, so I am really happy how it turned out. The fabric was a dream to work with and pressed so beautifully. However - I barely had enough fabric - not sure if we weren't thinking clearly when we bought it or I just miscalculated but it had mere scraps when done cutting out. In fact a tiny area is pieced but I'll get to that later.
Some sewing details: here's a look at it on the dress form. It may look slightly lopsided but the wearer has asymmetry in her shoulders and my dress form is very crooked.
The pattern is Burda 02/2010 # 126 Three Button Coat. No matter what I am looking for I seem to be able to find it among the Burda PDF's available. I think because they don't do the "discontinued because Out of Print" that the big 4 patterns do, and make available styles from the past 5 or so years purchasable as PDF patterns that the selection is so good. Plus they are just great at coats and jackets.
I really wanted a super simple coat with no seaming, just straight cut and sleek looking with a traditional lapel. Here's the pattern photo and the tech drawing.
I omitted the welt pockets as I didn't want anything to break up the front of the coat, so I put side seam pockets instead. As for the collar, I made a muslin and was disappointed in the shape of the upper collar, it had a slightly pointy strange shape and you can see the horizontal edge of the upper collar portion, I prefer it to be at a more 45 degree angle so I changed the design. Also there was not a different upper and under collar piece, so no accounting for turn of the cloth or cutting the under collar on the bias. No No No - that was a deal breaker for me so I tested on a 2nd muslin a bias-cut under collar and then a slightly larger upper collar and it worked fine. Also changing the angle where the collar and lapel meet, maybe just by shaving off 1/4 inch but I could see the difference.
For shaping the coat does have one dart under the lapel.
More sewing details, I did my usual catch stitching of all the seams, and used Pro-Weft Supreme fusible interfacing for the upper portion of the coat and the under collar. I had tested using the Medium weight Pro-Weft but it took away some of the softness and drapeability of the cashmere so the lighter weight fusible was a better choice. I always planned to sew the lining in by hand so I turned up the seam allowance around the armhole as well and catch-stitched that down. Because the interfacing is there the stitches are completely hidden.
We bought this Ambiance rayon lining at Stone Mountain Fabrics, any excuse to go over there and I always know I will find the perfect color of lining. I omitted the back neckline facing and extended the lining up to meet the collar seam. Hand stitched in the lining around the collar facing as well as the armholes.
Now we get to the part where I had to piece the fabric. The cut of fabric had a section that was dirty so I had to cut around that, leaving the front lapel facings about 5 inches too short. Look at the bottom near the hem, I had to extend the facings by sewing on another piece there, on both sides. I was really careful when pressing as I didn't want that seam to show through on the front.
Back view, completely plain with no darts, however there is a bit of shaping in the center back seam. And that long vent, necessary for walking and it just looks cool in a full length coat of this style.
This is the "let's get going it is starting to pour" last photo but her smile makes it.
I love this and hope she wears it all the time! It looks best unbuttoned and moving as she walks. Alice is not always freezing as I am so the idea of a coat with no sleeves to wear over some other layers is OK with her. Plus she looks so fantastic.
Next up I'm not really sure - perhaps during these grey, stay indoors days I will have another go at pants.
Yesterday I received one of my gardening magazines proclaiming spring - the shivering birds outside my window will disagree.
Wherever you are I hope you are surviving these dark days of winter by sewing something fun. Of course if you are in the southern hemisphere then from my blog reading it appears you are enjoying sunshine and summer vacations (so jealous!!)
Happy January sewing,
today's garden photo - one last fiery red rose that bloomed in mid-December. Making it the last one for 2016. Now it is time to get out there and prune back all my roses but not until the rain stops. Maybe this weekend?