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This coat was definitely a bit of a production. Because of the complexity of the pattern, I wanted to make sure that every detail was as perfect as I could make it – which, of course, it never is. I wanted to play with the idea of neutrals and color, and had this inspiration of West meeting East. I chose a really neutral camel wool, but lined the coat with the most fabulous Chinese patterned silk brocade. I was really torn on the piping, and almost went with a brown or gold, but in the end I decided to stick with my first instinct and use cherry red piping.
I few notes on construction. Definitely use a strong interfacing – the weight of the fabrics, and the coat itself will drag down a basic interfacing. Second, the pattern suggests using silk lining for the piping material. While that is perfectly acceptable, it is much easier (and a lot quicker) to use satin bias tape. Iron out all the fold in the bias tape, and proceed to use it as you would any other piping material. The buttonholes were the biggest problem I encountered. I have a basic, run of the mill, home sewing machine – and it was IMPOSSIBLE for my machine to punch through the two layers of fabric and interfacing. I ended up having to hand-stitch all of my buttonholes. While I throughly enjoyed the learning experience, I would have appreciated not having to do so much extra hand-sewing.
All in all, I am very satisfied with my finished project. I am looking forward to some chilly weather, so I can wear my coat.