Added Feb 8, 2013
London, United K...
At the start of the Autumn it occurred to me that I needed some staple, comfy, warm winter garments and I went out on a couple of trips to pick some up. On my travels I couldn’t help noticing gorgeous camel coats everywhere. I loved the warm neutral colour and the lovely soft fabrics and at the time I felt that I was in need of a winter coat that was long enough to wear over skirts and dresses.
I had a look through some Vintage patterns but ended up choosing a reproduction pattern originally from 1953: Vintage Vogue 1083.
I was lucky enough to find some lovely 100% Camel hair coating from one of my favourite online fabrics shops Truro Fabrics.
They also had a gold lining that worked really well with it, I have mentioned previously that I am a big fan of their ‘superior linings’, they are completely static free, breathable, easy to work with and they hang really nicely.
The coat calls for interlining and luckily I had some cotton flannel that I bought from The Cotton Patch left in my stash. Their flannel is lovely and as it’s primarily intended for quilting it is super duper wide! I also had JUST enough hair canvas for the front of the coat. Don’t you love it when that happens?
I decided to make up the version without the closure but to lower the neckline. I made up a calico toile of the coat in the size 6 (I would normally make up a size 8 but this looked big.) then I made the following alterations.
Construction wise I followed the pattern instructions pretty closely, being a vintage reproduction it uses a lot of the traditional techniques that I love. I added pad stitching to the shawl collar and stitched the hair canvas down with cotton tape, trimming the canvas so that it didn’t extend into the seam allowances. This is a couture technique that helps to create nice flat, crisp edges.
The facing and hem are stitched invisibly down to the inside of the coat by hand. The interlining is then stitched to the inside of the coat along all the seam lines by hand and then finally the lining is attached by hand on top of this!
Before embarking upon all this hand stitching I ran my thread through some tailor’s beeswax as this really helps prevent knots from forming in your thread. Once the coat was completed I created thread chains to loosely attach the lining to the coat at the side seams. This keeps everything hanging nicely and stops the lining twisting or riding up.
For tips on little couture techniques like this I would highly recommend Claire B Shaeffer’s book ‘Couture Sewing Techniques’.
This would be a fantastic project for anyone who is interested in sewing a coat using traditional techniques but that feels they need a little more instruction than may be offered from an original vintage pattern (the instructions in these can be a little thin on the ground.). It is not however a great choice for anyone who doesn’t like hand work- consider yourself warned people!
For a full review and more photos please visit my sewing blog http://sewinglondon.co.uk
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