|My inspiration coat... but why are her sleeves too short for her?!|
I found some solid contenders for my pattern. Here are a few of them:
-Silhouette Pattern 1925 that says it's meant to be a version of Burberry's coat. I didn't choose this after finding that the sizing is a bit confusing.
-The Burda Piped Trench is really good looking but I wasn't looking to use some of the elements used in the pattern.
- The Burda Trench also is a nice option but the sleeves are only one piece and I was annoyed the gun flap in front was on the wrong side to be functional (I know I could put it on the correct side!)
I am using Vieew C from Vogue 8884 for my pattern. It has princess seams and a two piece sleeve, making it easier to fit. It doesn't have the gun/storm flap, the back storm flap or the epaulettes... all terribly simple components to draft.
I have been using a few resources to guide me along in my sewing process.
-Tailoring: The Classic Guide to Sewing the Perfect Jacket This book is top notch and has been my main resource. It describes all the needed steps in tailoring a jacket and is absolutely user friendly with great photos. I've been mostly following the directions in here as opposed to following the directions in my Vogue pattern.
-Singer Complete Sewing Guide To Sewing This book shows how to make custom shoulder pads... so easy. I decided to just start making my own custom shoulder pads already. Custom ones are soo much more economical and I have more control in shaping, thickness, etc. You can actually see this page online in a preview available HERE (page 194) in case you don't have the book in your library.
-Inside a Burberry Trench This is a blog post from Gorgeous Fabrics that has some nice detail shots of how a trench from this company is made.
I am using a black wool/poly blend material, it's quite crisp and doesn't have much give at all. It's water repellent and perfect for the rainy, transitional times of spring and fall. It has a twill-like texture, a little like gabardine but not that exactly. For my lining I have a deep red bemberg.
I sized down a 1/2 size overall from what the pattern recommends for my measurements. I saw how large the finished measurements were and thought it would be wayyy to roomy. I was right on with that! I made between a 14 and 16, then graded to between an 18 and 20 for the hip. I made sure to wear a sweater and a t-shirt underneath my muslin to get a nice, roomy fit.
Overall, a halfway decent fit. I added 1" (2.5cm) to the sleeve length to the pattern before even making up the muslin. You can see my main concern are my back shoulder area. My shoulders thrust forward fairly far and I need to correct that.
2/7/14 UPDATE: I totally forgot to share how to fix this nasty wrinkly area caused by a forward thrusting shoulder! Geeeez. I had a sweet and adorable 3 year old crawling on me while I originally typed this up. Okay, so in the tailoring book there is a nice little illustration to fix the bodice's shoulder... but it doesn't share how to really fix the sleeve to match it up properly. I eventually found this wonderful tutorial on how to fix the top of the sleeves on Heather's blog.
Also, I found I had a super hard time moving my arms around with the really weirdly low arm holes. I used this article from Threads Magazine to help me how to alter my sleeves to allow for more free movement. So I added about 1" (2.5cm) height to the bodice underarm as well to the underarm area of the sleeve. The photos above of me in my yellow muslin were taken AFTER this adjustment. Plus I added 1" (2.5cm) to the bodice length.
I laid out a general pattern for my front an back storm flaps. I then drew these elements on my pattern paper, traced out new pattern pieces for the flaps and then cut it from my fashion fabric. I actually made my back flap about 1/2" (1.25cm) wider on the bottom to accommodate easy arm movement. I cut my undercollar and collar stand in half as recommended in my tailoring book.
I used sew-in hair canvas for the collar interfacing. I also got my shoulder pads ready to be covered with my lining fabric.
I did some top-stitching on my pocket welts. I decided to use a scrap of this red and pink plaid shirting for the pocket lining, you can see it right before I sewed down my welts. I also used sew-in hair canvas here as well.
I added a backstay made from a cotton muslin. Again, my tailoring book describes just how to make one. I used a 1/4" (.64cm) twill tape to reinforce the shoulder seams. And guess what... I do not have ANY interfacing on the inside of my jacket... which you can see in the photo here. This was not my original intent. The back of my black fabric is a fuzzy texture and my weft interfacing would not iron on properly. I examined my fabric and realized it has a really nice drape and weight as is. So this jacket doesn't have the recommended interfacing that the pattern says to use. And, yep, I even cut every last piece of interfacing before I realized my silly error.