You all know I like instant gratification projects, but I do work on longer term projects that I don’t share. And then, unshared and in limbo, they languish in my WIP pile. Or worse, I realize a project will take me a long time and don’t even start it! No more.
With WIP Words, I’ll be popping in to write posts about longer term projects I have in the pipeline. Many sewing bloggers already do this without the catchy headline, but…hey. I like catchy headlines. It’s what I do! Anyway, hopefully this series will both be helpful to you — giving you all the nitty gritty regarding a pattern, etc — and helpful to me — making my little baby steps visible enough to keep me going.
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New England is enjoying another mild fall, but winter always comes and coats of all weights and compositions are necessary for this time of year. I’ve long feared coat making, for all the parts and notions and time they require, but I’ve rarely been happy with my RTW coats. Enter Lekala 4383.
It’s not an easy or simple pattern, but I liked it. I liked the design lines, the giant buttons, the pockets. I bought it. $3.14 including seam allowances, and drafted to my personal measurements. Starting off on the right foot, right?
Erm, no. Identifying all of the pattern pieces on the ‘pattern layout’ sheet proved impossible, so I taped everything together and rough cut all the pieces. I labelled them all as best I could, but still had several pieces I couldn’t identify, even full sized. I then lined up all the pieces roughly as they’d be sewn…this helped a bit, but I still had to check and re-check my handiwork. Finally, I figured out all the pieces. Some notes:
(1) This coat has a center back seam not indicated on the technical drawing.
(2) The cool diagonal design lines on the upper side fronts don’t actually exist in the finished coat.
(3) I don’t understand why both sides of the front need a placket.
I began to read the directions. They were okay if you know basic garment construction. From a sewing perspective, this coat is pretty straightforward. From a translation/language perspective…well, for a $3 custom pattern I ain’t complaining. I did enjoy the use of the word ‘pairwise’. Is that a word? I stopped reading when the instructions got to the lining because they began to be overwhelming. Cross that bridge when I get to it.
I love having Porky. I cut everything and pinned the pieces to her as best I could, to get a sense of the size and design lines. I will deepen the pockets by an inch because I have large hands and like to jam them fully in my pockets, but I suspect the extra space isn’t really necessary. I’m going to muslin the hood and the sleeves to see how they fit my large head and large biceps, respectively. My goodness, it sounds like I’m making a coat for King Kong!
For materials, I — as usual — complicated things. I’m using a knit fabric I bought in Montreal last year, some insulating interlining I bought at a local fabric store (Sew Low, now closed), some cotton jersey or cotton flannel for a lining, and some faux fur I bought at a different local fabric store (Winmil) for a contrast lining. I also got buttons and snaps from Winmil. I don’t do buttonholes, my friends!!!