It really did seem like it was meant to be. I'd been eyeing off this hot pink wool coating fabric at Rathdowne Fabrics for months now, and finally got back to the shop with the hope of getting some in my hot little hands. But alas! Just as is always the way when you have left buying the fabric until too late, the pink was nowhere to be seen.
Morosely I cruised the aisles of the store, half-heartedly patting the other fabrics when I heard a squeal from my aunt who was rummaging around the remnant bin at the back of the store. She had found the very last piece of the pink fabric for me. It was coming in at a scant 1.6m, which was a bit smaller a length than I wanted, but we both decided that I'd be able to squeeze the shorter coat out of the length.
Happily I trotted over to the counter, where the woman proceeded to charge me $22.50 for it. "Er, I'm pretty sure the tag said $36", I said (I'm nothing if not honest.) "Don't sweat it, dahl!", she replied. "My mistake, your piece of good luck!"
So there I was, the proud owner of the pink fabric, and I'd paid far less for it than I'd anticipated. I was thrilled, especially since the original price came in at $45 a metre. With visions of pink coats dancing in my head, I got swiftly to work.
Ahhh, it seemed to be going so well. The pattern was easy to follow, the fabric was a dream to sew with, and it came together fairly quickly. It all appeared to be smooth sailing, until after I'd put the lining in. I don't know what the heck went wrong, but that lining was just too darn small. I double-checked my pattern, but it didn't appear that I'd done anything wrong, but when the lining was in the coat it made the back outside of the coat buckle up in the most atrocious manner. I consulted with my aunt, who is quite a sewing gun, and she recalled reading in a BurdaStyle magazine years ago that if the lining is of a tighter weave than the outside fabric, then the aforementioned bunching may occur, as both fabrics cannot find a happy medium in which to relax with each other. For that reason the magazine recommended actually cutting a longer hem on the lining, so you could take it up afterwards if need be on the inside of the garment, without resorting to any drastic measures.
As you may have read, drastic measures were what I took, as I had no intention of unpicking the whole coat, and buying new lining fabric since my lining was obviously too small. Instead I slashed open the lining from the side seam to side seam in the back of the garment so the lining could relax and the garment would hang properly. Once I was satisfied with that fit, I created a patch which I inserted into the lining slash, and carefully hand stitched the original lining onto the patch. It's not pretty, but it did the job. It was, however, rather disappointing to have to make such an alteration.
Other issues I have with this coat: It's nowhere near as fitted as I'd like it to be. I'd made the size 8, but I really needed to grade it down to about a 4 to get the snug, fitted look I prefer in a coat. Also the arms are way too wide and long. And the pockets are far too big - they actually hang down right onto the hem of the coat.
So all in all, you could say I'm not exactly thrilled with how this coat turned out. However, in my opinion, coats are like jeans - you can spend years looking for the perfect one, so I shouldn't have been surprised that this one didn't turn out to my expectations on the first go. By rights I really should have made a muslin, and tweaked away until I was satisfied, but like a fool I rushed right in.
You know how in the Harry Potter books our three intrepid heroes need to tap the Marauder's Map with their wands and announce "Mischief Managed!" in order to make the map look like a blank piece of parchment again? I feel like banging my head against my ill-fitting coat and declaring "Lesson Learnt! Make a bloody muslin!" Oh well, we live to learn again.
Pattern: New Look 6006, View C (shorter style)
Fabric: 1.6m hot pink wool coating from Rathdowne Fabrics, 1.6m stretch satin for lining from GJ's Discount Fabrics.
Notions: 1m jacket fusing, 4 buttons from Duttons For Buttons, Harrogate, England.
Verdict: I don't mind this coat (after all, it IS hot pink!) but with the fit issues it'll never be my number one. Sorry coat!
>> Tuesday, May 29, 2012 – Sew sew sew