While I like making pieces, I love making an ensemble. When I made the jacket to coordinate with the chartreuse dress, I realized how much I missed creating an outfit. My first ensemble for 2013 is a coat, vest, slacks and blouse in the chartreuse and taupe color scheme.
I’ve been working on the coat. The outer fabric is a chartreuse wool/mohair and the lining is rayon in a dark taupe color. I selected the buttons to coordinate with the brocade I am using for the vest. I splurged on everything as a treat to myself, purchasing the fabrics and buttons at Britex while I was in San Francisco in November for a business meeting.
I am using Butterick 5685 with a few changes. I moved the pockets from the side seams to the front princess seams making it easier to reach into the pockets. I also deepened the pockets because I felt the pockets were too shallow and items may easily fall out. I didn’t want a double-breasted coat so I removed 2 ½” from the front edge of the coat including the collar edge. The sleeve is one piece with no ease for the elbow. Therefore, I lengthened only the back sleeve length ½” to allow for ease in the elbow area. I increased all hems to 2” because I think a generous hem hangs better.
For a fleeting moment I thought about not doing a muslin fitting for the coat. I quickly decided not doing a muslin would be a bad idea considering how much I paid for the fabric. I would rather have a wadder in cheap cotton than one in expensive wool. I selected the size using my upper bust measurement and used the D cup pattern piece. Based on the fitting, the shoulder fit fine. I don’t like to feel confined so I added ½” at each side seam allowance, adding 1” overall to the sleeve width (bicep and wrist) and 2” overall in the bust and waist areas. I shortened the sleeve length which was too long. I made a sway back adjustment by shortening the back bodice ½” at the center back.
I liked the “wrong” side of the fabric better because I thought the texture was more visually appealing for this ensemble. Before cutting out the coat pieces, I block-fused the wool fabric with weft interfacing to stabilize it. I also interlined the coat with cotton broadcloth for additional warmth. I made custom shoulder pads for the coat using the method I blogged about previously. I didn’t follow the sewing instructions for this pattern because of the collar construction Butterick used. Sewing the collar first and sandwiching it between the coat and facing would have created bulk. Also, Butterick sew the bodice and lining together, then the lower coat and lining together, then joined the bodice to the lower coat. Instead I stitched the coat attaching the under collar, stitched the lining and front facings together attaching the upper collar, and pressed the neck/collar seams open. Then I stitched the coat to the facing/lining. Two of the buttonholes are bound buttonholes and two of the buttonholes are in-seam buttonholes. The armscye seams are wrapped in fleece, creating a subtle roll in the sleeve caps.
I have plenty of hand work ahead, finishing the buttonholes, tacking seams together, hemming the coat and sewing on buttons. Here’s a picture of the coat in its current state.