Added Jan 14, 2011
Brooklyn, New Yo...
I finally put away my dreaded puffer coat for good (I hope)! I wish I could say it was because it’s summer already, but quite the opposite. Winter is here in full, and the other night it snowed. I was wishing for a snow day as I missed the real blizzard that hit New York a few weeks ago. Not as much snow as I had hoped for, but enough to cover the grimy grey concrete with a blanket of white for a day at least.
Black being a default color of most of my coats, I slowly salvaged the only colored one I own. It was an awful shape with shoulder pads and the lining was shredded to threads. The “mandarin” collar was neither here nor there and over all the coat felt stuffy to wear. Even Clio (shown in the photo below) made a sad face when I was taking photos of this thing. The only redeeming quality about this coat was the wool material and color.
I decided on shortening, re-lining, re-shaping, re-pocketing, and adding hand knit collar & cuffs. It did take a long time for me to finish, as I started in September, HA! During the process I did wonder to myself if this was even worth doing… but by then I had already purchased the materials so forward I went! Finally, I finished in the new year, and am very glad I did. Just in time for winter, when I usually have to keep warm in my boring old down coat.
Some of you have been asking about the technique I used to make this coat.
Below are the steps I took to attach the knit pieces to the coat, but by no means is this a professional or right way!
For larger images, go to my blog
1. After cutting and sewing together lining, stay stitch around the neck line and cuff edge (1/4" from cut edges)
2. Fit the lining to the outer coat, line up the neck lines of the outer coat and lining. Turn in about 1/2" of seam to the inside so the raw edges of the neckline are folded inward. The stay stitch on the lining should help it turn in easier, and keep the edge strong. I used a steam iron here to embed the folds.
3. Hand stitch the neckline closed. I used a simple whip stitch that went a little diagonally. Do smaller stitches with doubled thread, so that it’s strong. You can sort of see the kind of stitches I made in the photos of the coat placket where the snaps are.
4. Attach the rib collar to the finished neckline with the same simple whip stitch. For this coat, the rib collar looked better sewn with the edge of the knit piece showing on the outside of the coat. I think this might be different depending on the thickness of the collar and the look you want. *Note: Because I used a chunky yarn, the stitches do not show, and mistakes are not noticeable.
5. You may need to top stitch the seam allowance at the neckline, to the lining so you have a flatter seam.
6. The cuffs are attached the same way, but I finished with a wide cotton twill tape and then attached the cuffs to the inside so the edge of the knit piece does not show on the outside. This was more doable because I knit the cuffs using a plain jersey stitch, and not rib. The rib tends to make the knit piece thicker.
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