I love this coat. I feel so warm and cozy, like I’m wrapped in a hug, when I wear it. The weight of the wool is heavy like a blanket, a blanket that I get to wear while I walk down the street. A blanket that makes me feel chic, yet subtle enough for my small coastal town. When I wear my new coat it makes me happy that I sew. I feel great in it and people can’t believe I made it myself. BUT it is by no means perfect.
This jacket taught me a lot about perfection in sewing because although I can see the mistakes screaming at me when it is hanging on the rack, when I wear it I feel good. No one can tell, they are just stunned that I can make a jacket at all, let alone one that they felt inclined to compliment (a feeling I am not yet over, by the way). It makes me realize, again, that this is supposed to be fun and that no one is a harsher critique of your work then yourself. I mean, no matter how bad I wish my sewing room was Project Runway, it’s not and Nina Garcia is not waiting to judge me.
This is my first attempt at sewing a winter coat. I had grand intentions, I found a sleek coat with raglan sleeves that looked like a great starter. The Malu by Schnittchen Patterns, a German pattern company. This may have been my first mistake. The pattern was labelled as a beginner pattern, but I would say that it was a questionable rating. I also think that some key instructions might have been a little lost in translation. But, hey, it could have been just me, this was my first coat.
After picking out a coat pattern I went to Stonemountain and Daughter’s 50% off section upstairs and found some fabric that I felt would be subtle enough to stand against the fabulous floral rayon that I was set on using as a lining. This may have been another mistake. I really think I should have chosen something a bit slicker. Something that would allow the coat to hang gracefully again my clothes. I also think that I should have interfaced the delicate fabric a little more thoroughly, or at all. It is starting to tear a bit at the neckline, but shhh I won’t tell if you don’t.
During the process I managed to mix up the collar AND the cuffs. Oops. Aparently it is isn’t glaringly obvious to anyone else, but the cuffs are sewn upside down so they roll to the outside and have a slight bell shape. On the plus side they are the perfect length for my arms, which makes me think that I may want to consider lengthening future jacket patterns. Maybe I have gorilla arms, oh the things sewing teaches you. The collar I managed to fix by tearing it out, but the fabric disintegrated so quickly that I dared not attempt to pick any future stitches.
My third and final sewing confession is that the jacket some how got terribly, terribly distorted while I sewed it. It completely pulled out of shape and I had to hack away a new even hem. Whatever I could survive this blatant mistake. However, I forgot to hack away an equal amount of the lining so now the lining droops down giving the jacket a curved hem. Which I quite like. So, perfect no, but lovable, yes.
This jacket is supposed to have buttons, mine does not. Long story short I have decided it is a great design feature, truly. Short story long, my sewing machine will make button holes for anyone else, but me. Seriously, could only get it half way through a buttonhole when it would stop and give me an error sign. So I took it in tho the shop where it performed perfectly on its first try. WTF. I tried it there several times until I finally got it to work, but when I took it home, no such luck. I still have not figured out this mystery as I am not doing anything differently then they showed me in the shop.
The big pluses to this jacket are the fabric, the cut of the jacket, and my first welt pockets. I practiced twice on muslin and felt confident when putting in the pockets and feel the turned out fine, but, man, I had no idea that there were so many different kinds of welts pockets and so many ways to put them in! I looked at several tutorials piecing together a method that worked for me. Next time I hope to have a sew along that is specific to my pattern, I am considering the Clare Coat.
The cut of the jacket fit my body fine and I made no alterations. I quite like the eccentuated hour glass figure that it adds. I discovered with this pattern that I feel fabulous in a coat with a bit more ease, it feels so nice and cozy.
Obviously, you can tell from the photos that I feel great in this jacket. So moral of my sewing story is, although I should always strive for perfection, sometimes if you just go with the flow you end up with a pretty kick ass garment. And there is always next time…
I haven’t gotten to wear these yet, but they are Jason Fluevogs that I have wanted for a very, very, long time and that I found at a deep, deep sale on Height Street. I am sure they will feel like a dream. I shall report back after some serious testing in the name of science and a night out dancing.