Monday, February 20, 2023

Coat completed: Burda 7169 in camel wool from Britex

Finally it's time to show the finished coat. And well past time, as I finished it back in November so Heather could take it on a Thanksgiving trip to the east coast. We took some very quick photos on the day she picked it up so they are very casual but I like the autumn feel. Because around here we don't get all that much fall color - but do get plenty of leaves to sweep up. 

Here are the previous posts for this coat construction if you are looking for sewing details:   First blog post and second blog post. 

H coat1

The fabric was from Britex in San Francisco, on that same shopping trip we also bought a navy blue wool. With that fabric I'm making the Auburn blazer from Cashmerette and I hope to get to that project in the next month. 
I'm really happy with the lapels on this coat, they came out very nicely and the pattern sewed together so well.

Coat lapels

Just as a reminder, here's the coat that that was the inspiration.

Burda 7169 wool coat

I think with coats it's all about the interfacing. I put weft interfacing on the under collar and coat front and then lightweight interfacing on the upper collar and the lapel facing. 
Here's a few more looks at the insides. I put weft interfacing on the bottom edge, cut with pinking shears to soften the edge, and I always have it continue up past where the hem is folded. It means you can hand stitch the hem and pick up the threads of the interfacing with the thread and then the hem stitching will not show on the right side.
I tend to baste hems before I stitch them. They could just be pinned but I like to baste at the hem fold and then I can decide how deep to make the hem and trim to that amount. 



Inside hems on thick fabrics it's helpful to trim the seam allowance back so that as it is folded up and laying against the seam allowance so it's less thick and softens that edge. As mentioned I didn't take a lot of pictures so we have to make do with a blinking one but I think this coat can work as dressy or casual, depending what it's paired with. She wanted it to be roomy so she can wear a thick sweater underneath. 


Sewing room realness - complete with all the scraps that I toss onto the floor.


H coat back2

I like the detail of the walking pleat at center back and I generally hem the underneath side every so slightly shorter than the side on the outside so that it never peeks out of the bottom. Eventually these hems are covered with the lining which I hand sewed at the hem. 


So that's the latest on this beautiful coat. The fabric is SO soft to touch. 
In other sewing news I have sewn another pair of Ash jeans for myself - can't stop, won't stop :)  and I think I might make a knit top as a little palate cleanser before I start my next projects.  Including the above mentioned Auburn Blazer from Cashmerette. My first time using a Cashmerette pattern and I have Thoughts! which I will share. First impression is quite good but definitely some things that bug me - which applies to any pattern brand, I always find a few things to criticize. 
This week we are supposed to have more rain and freezing temps here, so my gardening is still on pause - and we do need the rain despite that deluge in January. But I see some signs of spring and it will be here in an instant. 

Happy Sewing,

Today's garden photo - the February reliable for N. California is camellias. They were ubiquitous here in previous decades but seem to have gone out of popularity. I can see why they were used often, very tough, green all year and need almost no attention. But they are also very messy (dropping all those flowers which only bloom for a very short time. I've taken out several that might have been here at this house way before me but I've kept a couple. Mostly due to the trouble of removing and also they do bloom when most everything else is doing nothing. Plus this one is filled with sticky nectar and the bees love it. 

Monday, February 13, 2023

Part 2: Burda 7169 classic coat in camel wool from Britex

Time to show the rest of the construction of this coat so I can post the finished look. Here's the first post on this project. 

Let's skip ahead to some fit refinements as everyone likes to see those. I did all the interfacing and then machine basted the coat together for a try-on. I find that even if you fit something in muslin then the thickness and weight of the actual fabric plus interfacing does have an effect that differs. Here I thought that the princess seam above the bust was a bit bulky and not laying smoothly on the upper chest so I just changed the seam every so slightly to correct that. I think the left shows it just basted and then on the right is the inside, it's just about 1/8" of an inch in that hollow of the chest but it makes a nice difference in fit. 

camel coat basting
I will say this fabric is a bit fussy, as the two sides are just very slightly different but very hard to distinguish. So I probably went overboard with marking with wax chalk and even spots of blue tape on the wrong side of every piece. I don't know how people use pattern weights - I like to keep the paper pattern piece on my cut out pieces until the minute I need it to sew. And using a projector to cut out sounds like a nightmare. I probably don't understand it and this method works for me. 


Sometimes I think making a coat is mostly fusing the interfacing! And wondering when can I get to the actual sewing.  I used Fashion Sewing Supply Pro-Weft Supreme Light for this coat (and basically for all coats and jackets). They have the same in "medium" but I have found that too heavy for most anything I have sewn with jacket or coat fabrics. I think the key to choosing interfacing is to support the garment fabric and not change it substantially (unless that is the intent). 


Before I get very far along I have to decide about the buttonholes, because if I am going to have bound buttonholes they need to get made prior to sewing on lapel facing. I will say that I have never made a hand worked buttonhole - it's on my list of things I need to teach myself how to do. But this coat was not the time to try it. And the machine buttonholes just look wimpy on this coating fabric. 

Camel coat test buttonholes


I found these buttons at Stone Mountain and they were exactly what I was looking for.  I have written lots of posts previously on doing bound buttonholes on the front of a coat, and if you want to see the details here are a couple of links: Red coat and scroll down on this plaid coat post.
I think it's interesting that most of the coat and jacket patterns I have made recently (at least all the European ones) have this construction of collar with the small stand, and neither piece is cut on the bias. I find it a bit odd although it works fine. This is as compared to a one-piece under collar cut on the bias.

Here are the sleeves ready to go, with interfacing around the armhole and also at the hem.  Because I made a muslin and marked the exact sleeve length I could adjust the length and then hem them before attaching to the coat. Also because I sew the lining in by hand as opposed to bagging the lining.


Here's the inside of the coat with just the last steps of attaching the sleeves and then the hem plus lining. The buttons are sewn on because I always complete the front closures before doing the hem, this insures that the front overlaps nicely and the hem is even at the center front.  Note this pattern had in-seam pockets but I changed that to welt pockets across the front princess seam. 


Still a few steps to finish the sleeves, doing the sleeve heads and putting the shoulder pads. 

Burda 7169 wool coat

The next post will be some details on hemming and the finished coat photos.
Since my recent foot surgery (almost at 4 weeks now) I think I will be back to driving later this week although no long trips. And not much work in the garden - it feels ok if I walk very gingerly but I think I need to take it easy for a couple more weeks. I guess that means more sewing! 
Up next, I'm making some more corduroy jeans, and then I might squeeze in a wool jacket for myself before the temps warm up. What I really should do is finish my closet cleaning which I promised myself to do during this stuck-at-home time. 
Who knows, I might find some gem in my fabric stash, it does seem to suprise me with stuff I forgot all about!

Happy Sewing,

Here's today's garden picture - We have daffodils! as well there should be, I planted about 80 bulbs in the fall and always forget where I put them so it is a happy suprise when they pop up. Also note on that rose bush all those stems popping out. Spring is coming :)


Monday, February 6, 2023

Burda 7169 classic coat in camel wool from Britex

If you read my previous post you saw that I am stuck at home now recovering from a foot surgery. It's going well and I should be back to being out and about in another 1-2 weeks. So I need to continue my resolution of using this forced stuck-at-home time to blog projects that are long completed. I have been meaning to get to this one as I know you really like when I show projects I make for my friend Heather. Custom fitting, gorgeous fabrics, classic designs - sewing heaven. 

To start with, a small sneak peek of the finished coat. Burda camel wool coat  

Here is the inspiration photo of a coat she saw online. 

Burda 7169 wool coat

So I searched among coat patterns to find this style. Actually it turned out that I had used parts of the following pattern for a coat I made for her back in 2013! But that copy of the pattern was really chopped up and I wanted to start fresh so I ordered a new copy on on Ebay. 

Burda 7169 wool coat

I think it's important to note the drawings for this coat, and why I chose it, apart from having the same lapel shape and look of the example coat. Two words - Shoulder princess seams! They are just absolutely the best for adjusting the fit, particularly for a full bust. You can see they have pockets in the front princess seam which I always think are useless, and the example coat has horizontal double welt pockets but it was pretty easy to add those. 

Burda 7169 drawing

Here's the fabric which we bought at Britex in San Francisco. In person - she is not an internet fabric buyer and always needs to see the color and texture in person. So we make our periodic trips over the bridge to SF for shopping. I'm not 100% sure but I think it is this fabric from the Britex website, or something similar. They have so much more in the store than online.


I cut 2 four inch squares from the fabric and steamed and pressed one of them like crazy, in an attempt to check how much it would shrink. I cut the pieces, and compare to my paper test square. The answer was almost not at all, so I then moved on to my interfacing tests.  Although there probably wasn't much question, I used the Fashion Sewing Supply Pro-Weft Lightweight for most of the coat, hems, undercollar, coat front and then the Sheer Elegance Light for the upper collar and lapel facing. 



Onward to cutting out, and I like to use these shears which were given to me long ago as a Christmas present by the same great-aunt who first taught me to sew.  And yes I am team "cut out that pattern tissue" if I have a copy I cut it! You can always find another copy for sale if you need again. 


So that's a start to this coat - which I think will take 2 or 3 more posts to complete. 
What else have I been working on? In between other projects I cut out another pair of Ash jeans, in burgundy corduroy. And I have an urge to sew up a one or two nice blouse patterns I've seen recently. I just finished doing a Trouser class online with Hello Stitch and once my foot is back in action I will schedule more in-person and online classes. AND I can't wait to get back out in my garden, so many things to trim and seeds to start. 

Take care and Happy Sewing,

In garden news before I had the foot surgery I got out and trimmed all the roses and hydrangeas which was a good idea as they are all sprouting their spring growth now. I came across this little fellow on my favorite rose bush so it was good to see even in these freezing temps. Well, freezing for us - below 32ºF at night, getting down to 29ish sometimes here. 

Ladybug on rose bush