The Tommy Coat


I am quite sure this is the longest break from blogging that I have taken during all these years – it is about to be three months without a word here!

I have a very good reason for this, though 🙂 I now know from experience that expecting a baby drains all my sewing mojo despite of not having any nausea at all, but I just feel tired and apathy takes over in the early stages. In later stages, I find it very hard to sit for prolonged time so then there is this reason. So if there hadn´t been a very conveniently organised sewing course right in my hometown, I wouldn´t have anything much to show you even after this three month hiatus! But now there is this….

I started the coat sometime in autumn, but as I said, lost all my mojo until I had the chance to participate in a sewing course. The course was not designed for coatmaking, but the participants could make basically anything they wanted, so I wasn´t the only one making a coat. There were also people who started with their first ever garments from scratch. As I am self-taught, I always find interesting to learn from this kind of courses and I also enjoy the company of people with similar hobbies.

And really, without that course, there would not be another coat in my wardrobe. There were weeks where I only progressed during the three-hour weekly class and when initially the ten meetings seemed to be more than enough, in the end I managed to finish the coat but nothing else.

The pattern is Burdastyle model 113 from November 2017 issue. With the help of my teacher I added a semi-self drafted collar as I felt that making a fully (except for the sleeves) windproofed coat without a collar wouldn´t make sense.

The fabrics I used are both 100% wool and initially bought for a jacket and a coat, so I have plenty of the camel tone material left over. The lining is Tommy Hilfiger, hence the name of my coat 🙂

I guess my favorite thing about coats and jackets is the piping between the lining ant the facing. This time I hesitated between a plain blue one and the one that you see I finally used. I love how it echoes the golden snaps that my husband attached to the pockets and front of the coat.

Right now I can still wear the coat buttoned up, but not for long. However, the slightly oversized look is exactly what I wanted so in autumn there will be a chance to wear it as intended. Together with the instructor we decided to take out 4 cm from both of the side seams, tapering to nothing towards the hem. I think without that change it would be too baggy on me even in my current condition.

Of course, narrowing the coat that much from the under arms meant that getting the sleeves right was also a bigger deal than usually. I am so happy that I had professional help!

My teacher wasn´t so happy about the length of the sleeves after we managed to set them in since they turned out a bit shorter than they should have been. However, I only noticed this after she mentioned that, so for me this is no big deal. But I do need some kind of a hat or a suitable headband to wear with the coat as the weather is still quite chilly here.

So this is what I have been up to, basically! I have also made a few things for Liisa-Mai and for her sibling who should arrive in summer. I really hope by that time the world is functioning more or less normally again.

I am currently working from home and so grateful that I can do that, but next week will be off as I had plans for a short getaway to Cyprus…. of course no way to do that even if I still wanted to!

So, stay safe and maybe this situation offers opportunities for sewing that we otherwise do not have due to the busy schedules!

In Process: The Stardust Coat

Today I finally got down to my hobby again and jumped right into deep water – I will try to make a coat.

The last days in Athens, among all the other errands I had to run, I was also frantically shopping for fabrics, because the variety and prices definitely beat Estonia. Although I hadn´t planned making a coat, when I saw the fabric, there was no way I wasn´t going to give it a try. See for yourself:

I just cannot get the colour right, but I would describe it as muted blue with silver thread in it. It really looks like covered with frost. The colour is something between the two photos. According to the salesman, it should be wool, right from Paris!

The pattern I have decided to try is from The  Burdastyle Sewing Handbook:

I opted for this to make sure I get detailed instructions. Unfortunately an unlucky coincidence has already undermined my project – firstly I suspect that more fabric is necessary than the pattern calls for and secondly, I was sold less fabric than I asked!

The pattern requires 1.80 m of 1.40 m wide fabric. My fabric is 1.50 and I asked for 1.90. Today, when placing the pattern pieces on the material to start cutting the coat, something seemed odd at once – I could not follow the cutting layout and even after rearranging several times, some pattern pieces were still left out since there was not enough space for them! When I measured the fabric, I realized I had been sold 1.70 m for the price of 1.90 m!

You can imagine my disappointment! If I was still in Athens, I would go and complain and get more material to accommodate the pattern, but in order to get more of the same fabric now, I would have to send a sample to Greece, have someone buy the extra fabric and send it back to me. So I decided to omit the pockets (and I had been debating, whether to keep them or not, since I am not really fond of side seam pockets) and see, if I can make the belt either from a contrasting fabric or patch it together from the leftover scraps. I also left very narrow seam allowances and the underside of the collar will have to be made of lining material.

There are some other ideas for saving the project and I am not really sure what to do. One idea is to make the belt (and the collar?) out of another material and pretend it was intentional. I was thinking faux leather maybe, but it is difficult to let go of the original image in my head on how the coat should look 😦

Since the fabric is warm but not wind-proof, I decided to add an interlining, which is a totally new technique to me and as I see, there is not a lot of information available on internet either. Interlining the bodice part should not be a problem, but the gathered sleeves and the pleated lower half of the coat are potential pitfalls.

This is how the front piece looks from the inside right now:

Both materials create a lot of dust and tiny particles are flying around my house, as if the trouble with the shortage of the fabric was not enough, but I am still keeping fingers crossed for a wearable result!