Friday, February 21, 2020

A Classic Wool Coat--Butterick 6385

This is a Lisette design for a classic wool coat which I have sewn twice before already—once for me in 2017 which I wrote about here and another one for my sister. For this third version I sewed view B which has a pointed collar and went along with the length as designed.


If you regularly follow my blog or read my pattern reviews, you may notice that there was a time I was obsessed with the color pink—specifically the dusty hue. But lately that has changed and I started embracing warmer colors that really suited my tone. So when I saw this shade of brown at the Mood Instagram page, I decided to take the plunge and add a brown wool coat to my wardrobe.

This solid boiled wool is 60% viscose/40% wool.
Color: Adobe Brown

For lining I used stretch polyester charmeuse in Italian Almond, also from Mood. 
The boiled wool fabric had a little bit of crosswise mechanical stretch so the stretch polyester charmeuse was the perfect lining for it. I love that the lining was a bit more substantial than China silk or Bemberg lining. 


Thread:  Guttermann 100% polyester all purpose thread for the seams.
               Dual Duty Plus jeans thread for topstitching.
Needles: universal size 90 for the wool
               Microtex size 70 for the lining
Sewing Foot: in addition to the standard, I also used a walking foot when sewing the thicker seams.
               Blind hem foot for understitching.
               Buttonhole foot for the buttonholes.

Construction HIghlights:

I used masking tape to mark one side of the fabric as the right and wrong side were almost hard to distinguish from each other. 

Cutting the pieces took longer than normal as I had to use single layout for all the pattern pieces. 

Here are the cut pattern pieces. 

Clips helped in areas that were too thick to pin. 
Pocket flap after topstitching the edge. I did not really cared for how it looked. 

I decided to just hand sew in place.

I think the flap looks better without the topstitching. 

Pocket in action. 

This is the finished shell. I already attached the shoulder pads and I added sleeve heads. I also added a chest shield on the front. 

To make the sleeve heads I cut a 2" wide piece of cotton batting and covered it with a bias strip of silk organza. 

These are scraps of silk fabric from a previous project. I decided to make some flat piping for the lining/facing seamline. 

In addition to the flat piping, I also used the silk print to make a frame for my personalized label.

Here's how I made the label frame using Heat n Bond Lite. 

Hemming the coat's shell. 
To hem the shell's bottom edge I borrowed a technique which I have used before from Sew Stylish magazine Fall 2010. It involves using double interfacing, one lightweight and another hair cloth, in the hem allowance. This not only adds body to the hem but also allows one to hand sew truly blind stitches that will never show on the outside of the coat.

For the lining, I also did my own as I did not care for the pattern instructions which have you sew the lining hem and then leave it free hanging so you can still the wrong side of the coat if you peek. I prefer the other method where you sew the lining's hem to the coat's hem, a few inches above the raw edge so the lining will have a soft pleat when all is done.

An important note about this. The lining will end up wider than the coat's hem if you don't sew the center back allowance. The lining back pieces were purposely drafted to be wider than the coat to allow for the upper back pleat. However the pattern instruction only addressed the upper back pleat and neglected to tell you what to do with the rest of the excess center allowance. It only mentioned basting it down.

Sleeve hem
I wanted to do bound buttonholes. I tested on some scraps but gave up as the wool was just too thick and bulky. So I just used regular buttonholes.

Testing buttonholes.

I Using my Juki F600 automatic buttonhole stitches, I had to lower the presser foot pressure by one notch and lower the tension by one to achieve some nice stitches. I also did not use the exact button but went down one size because my fabric tended to stretch. 

I added anchor buttons on the wrong side of the facing to hold the outside buttons more securely. 
And now for some photos of the finished coat. 

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Vogue 1606 Anne Klein Blazer

A little more than a month ago, I purchased three yards of this gorgeous Rag &Bone wool blend suiting fabric from Mood Fabrics. It did not take long for it to be all sewn up. I was able to make a pair of trousers and shorts and a blazer. This post today is all about the blazer. 

The pattern I chose was from Vogue. If you don’t check the line art, you won’t realize from the model’s photo that the blazer has some nice design lines which actually worked well for my fabric. 

My fabric had a houndstooth and tattersall pattern that required some serious matching. 

The blazer front pieces are connected to the back pieces by a single side piece (so there is no real side seam). That made it tricky for my fabric pattern matching. It meant I had to match front, side and back. To make it easier, I decided to cut the side piece on the bias and stabilized with interfacing cut on lengthwise grain. Hence I ended up with a nice play on the fabric pattern as shown below.

The piece on the left is the bias cut side piece and the one on the right is cut on lengthwise grain. 

 These are the two front pieces sewn to the front edge of the side piece. 

I did the same thing with the sleeves which has two pieces—front and undersleeve. The front piece needed to be eased in to the undersleeve so there was no way my fabric patterns would match. As shown here, I cut the undersleeve on the bias. 

Unlike the other bodice pieces the sleeves were not interfaced so I stabilized the bias cut undersleeve by underlining with silk organza cut on lengthwise grain. 

Inside view of the two sleeves sewn together along one seam. Here the difference in grain direction is more clearly seen. 

Here are photos of the finished garment showing the areas with bias cut pieces.

I lifted the sleeve up to show the side piece that connects the front to the back. 

This is a closeup of the sleeve seam between the front sleeve and the undersleeve which was cut on bias. 

For the rest of the pieces that I had to pattern match, I did the following to ensure accuracy:

Cut using single layout with fabric right side up and pattern right side up. 

 For pattern pieces in pairs (like two front and two back), use the first cut piece as a guide for placement of second piece to ensure the fabric patterns match. 

When it was time to sew, I used walking foot to ensure even feeding of the top and bottom fabrics being sewn. I also hand basted seams before sewing. 

Here are some photos showing pattern matching. 

This is the front piece sewn to the front facing. 

The two back pieces have been carefully matched at the center seam.

 The front piece matching with the front facing. 

One of the features I like in this jacket is the welt pocket.
I cut the welts on the bias to provide contrast and allow the pockets to be visible. I really do not care for "invisible" pockets. 

I thought the contrast provided by the bias cut pieces is really attractive. This photo shows the welt pockets still basted close.

I thought the instructions for the welt construction were more than adequate. The key is accurate marking of stitching and cutting lines.

I initially used tailor's tack to mark the stitching lines. 

I ironed a strip of Totally Stable stabilizer cut in the size of the welt opening. I then machine basted around the perimeter.

View on the right side of fabric. The machine basting was clearly visible and more accurate than the tailor's tack. 

Machine basting on the cutting line instead of pencil or chalk marking. 

Easy enough to tear off the stabilizer when done.

Welt strips after they were sewn on the right side of the fabric. 

 Pocket pieces.

Welt pocket done and basted shut.

Another feature I liked was the way the lining was treated.

A piece of piping was sewn in between the facing and lining pieces making for a professional looking finish. 

 Inside views.

The rest of the constructionwas pretty simple and straightforward.

And now for photos of the finished garment. 

Not sure if the houndstooth and tattersall pattern in the fabric are obvious in desktop view. In smart phone and tablet, the pattern is more clearly seen. 

The side views clearly show the high-low hem.

Posing like the pattern envelope cover. 

Some close-up of details.

Cool pocket.

Pleated lining hem.

My personalized label.

 Stylin' my blazer.
Worn with store bought leggings and Jalie knit top. 

Worn with denim. 

Worn with ponte dress (Butterick 5672)

Worn with New Look 6345 skirt. 

Finally the whole ensemble from the Rag & Bone fabric. Trousers sewn using Vogue 9092.