Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Project Revisited - Part 2

Well didnt I have a productive weekend!

After last weeks effort of pre-cutting all the pieces I would need to make my red coat, I managed to spend two whole days putting it together... but its not finished yet!  Oh no, there is still a way to go.

Making a coat like this is a bit of a committment of time and money, and if I'm going to do something I want to do it properly.  This means have the inside looking as pretty as the outside, even if hardly anyone sees it.

With that in mind I decided to run bias tape (because I can't readily buy rayon seam binding - might have to hunt some down and try it...) down all the long edges of the main pieces of the coat.  So it looks like this when the seams are sewn:

And wow didn't that take some time!  And some bias tape - about 16 metres of the stuff (or 17 and a half yards for my American friends).  A lot of effort considering the coat is lined and you will only ever see a couple of inches of it... Still, I'll know its there!

The other extra effort I went to was the button holes.  Ever since I found out what they were, I have always wanted to try bound button holes, but hadn't had a project worthy of the effort of doing them on... until now!  Serendipitously, the amazing blogger Laura Mae from Lilacs and Lace posted this extremely comprehensive tutorial on just how to do them!  You can find it here.

Using this tutorial, I did a test button hole using my fabric:

My first bound buttonhole EVER!

And I was so happy with the result!  So, with that in mind I moved forward on repeating the process on my coat front and facing.

This is the part where you make the little windows - kinda reminds me of a tissue box

Neat little windows

This is the end result, with the bits cut down and the thicknesses all graded

At this point some of you are probably wondering what buttons I chose...

Well the round buttons got two votes, and the lips got two votes, and the hearts got about 6 votes.  But, I really like the lips, even though they are crazy and over the top, so I've done buttonholes that are a teeny-weeny bit too big for the hearts, but should be alright for the lips.  This way I can start with the lips and then change to the hearts when I get sick of the lips!

Then it was just on with the basic construction - sewing it all together and matching seams and stuff like that.  And while I was at it I sewed all the lining pieces together at the same time so that both the inside and the outside were up to the same point (if that makes sense).  And following on from the detail oriented approach, the lining seams are all sewn using the 'french seam' method, so no frayed edges for the future!

At the end of two days of glorious time in my sewing room, I have ended up with this:

 The coat is all together bar sorting out the length, hemming it, and inserting the lining (and a few small other details).  And in putting this together I have been dreaming of the whole outfit I could create around this coat... but more on that later...

Oh, and if you want to see any other photos, check out my facebook page, which you can find here.



  1. Your coat is looking AMAZING! How did you go with all the tailoring bits? That's what's scaring me at the moment.

    Wish I had the time to settle into continuing on with my coats too. Its great you had a big chunk of hours to spend on yours. :-D

    1. Thank you! I'm really happy with how its coming out, and yes I am lucky to have a husband who golfs - leaving me plenty of time to sew :)

      The pattern instructions don't really go into tailoring techniques, so there hasn't been anything too daunting to have to deal with. This also means no searching for odd items like hair canvas...

      I'd love to learn more about proper couture tailoring, and went as far as to enrol in Gertie's tailoring class on, but I'm ashamed to admit thats as far as I got... mainly because I found it difficult to source some of the items on her list. Most of it isn't readily available in Australia (as far as I can tell), and shipping it in could be / would be expensive...

      Maybe I should just watch the classes and see what I could learn... hmmmm

    2. I bought the same class too but haven't got to actually watching much of it either ;-)

      Also worried about getting hold of things like hair canvas etc. I was hoping to find alternatives in Clegs but haven't looked yet. Or ebay could be good. I've found some good things on there. Shipping large lots of fabric is expensive but you wouldn't need much I guess.

      Our coats are going to be very similar in cut by the looks of it! Though your collar shape is different :-D

      Anyways - I can see its coming along really nicely in your latest post - it's going to look absolutely fab and you'll get a million comments for it. Can't wait to see what style matching dress you will make! The full coat skirt begs for a big fluffy number!

    3. The collar on yours looks lovely, but I'm a fan of the shawl collar. I would have made it bigger (I already have) but I couldn't bring myself to do it at the last minute. And I really like the pleats/darts (?) on the top of your sleeves! Nice detail!!

      And I love me a big fluffy dress with petticoats! I'm trying to get it all finished so I can wear it to a big event this Sunday - fingers crossed!

  2. This is gorgeous!!! Well worth the effort. It's fun watching your progress. Definitely an inspiration. I Liked you on Facebook. Can't wait to check out more pics. Great work.

  3. Wow Beccie you are SOOOO good! And you make it look easy too! It is stunning!! Congrats!! xox

    1. Thanks Bunny - I'm looking forward to putting more time into it so I can wear it before it gets too warm here!

  4. Well to start off with that coat is to die for ! (And I soooo love red...and polka dots !) Anyways, went to visit Lilacs and lace tutorial and it was right scary for a neophite like myself...I've only done skirts, trousers, a jacket and not much this whole buttonhole affair ! And then the penny dropped ! I knew where I had seen these bound button holes....on a fab semi-sheer cotton (like a very light linen) 50's plaid Eisenberg Originals dress that I got on ebay for a song because it was wrecked...and I resurrected it (and hand stitched all 7 metres of skirting....) I must admit, these button holes, with the little facing in the back give so much more hold on such a light fabric; they are definitely a statement that says "quality" ! And definitely a must on a coat of that era !

    1. Absolutely Johanna - bound button holes are one of those touches that show how much attention was put in when the garment was originally made. And I would never dream of making a coat without them now :)