Sunday, October 5, 2014

Creeping towards reality

Ah the muslining process.  We learn so much.

In this case:
  • I prefer the stand up collar.  I also tested the asymmetrical floppy one.  Nah.
  • The shoulders are a tiny bit too pointy.
  • The bust shaping is a tiny bit too high.
  • I have crappy posture.  Nevertheless, the coat is shifting slightly to the back.  This is probably not a fitting problem but because my muslin isn't sliding nicely over the bulky fleece jacket I have on under it.  
  • The sleeves are too long. I'll shorten by about 1.5cm, less than my usual.  This is to be a winter coat after all.  
  • I really do have a narrow back.  It needs taking in. I cut a size 10; maybe if I reduce the upper back pieces to size 8 or even 6, it will be about right.  
  • I could use more shape at the waist.  Why  not?
  • I like the raglan lines and shaping of this coat. 
What else did I discover about the pattern?  Well, sewing the CF to the side front was a bit of an adventure because I wasn't paying attention for two reasons.  The first is that there is a mistake on the pattern - the notches on the pieces that are just below the pocket placement circle are mis-printed. And, the length of the CF pieces is shorter than the side front pieces by 22mm (7/8"), the difference between the hem on the side front pieces and the seam allowance at the lower edge of the CF.  

If you mindlessly assemble according to the notches, the bottom cut edges will be close to matching (but not quite). If you proceed, as I did, on the theory that you probably made a cutting and/or notch alignment mistake, and the bottom edges are supposed to match, you will end up with extra fabric in the side front at the waist area. This is clearly wrong, and you may assume (as I did initially) that the excess is supposed to be at the bust and that the notches there are mis-printed.  This excess length can be eased in at the bust, but doing so will throw off the grain and the length of your coat.  

The instructions do illustrate this small length difference, and there is a small circle to match at the lower edge, but I wasn't paying enough attention. Note to self: check pattern before sewing, the next time. Because I am uncertain of the finished length I want (and because I mindlessly tend to simply match up the pieces at the lower edge in sewing), I will add the extra length to the CF pieces so they are all the same.  

I discovered that my extensive stash has all the ingredients for the coat.  I'll reserve on a final button decision until after I can try out the (black) buttons I own against the navy fabric.  

I have decided to line it with some printed polyester crepe rather than "proper" lining fabric.  I think it is substantial enough.  I'll underline with some micro-fleece, and put something windproof in the back.  The melton will be more than warm enough, especially since there will be four (4) layers of it where the double breasted fronts overlap!

As for length, the longest view on the pattern is 104cm (size 8, 10).  That's 41" for the metrically challenged.  I want to add 15cm (6").  And I may end up facing the hem.  We'll see.  


  1. I love your bit of reality; fun and informative. There was a time when sewing for me was to simply choose pattern, cut and sew. Now it's analyze the fabric, shrink the fabric, make the muslin, make the adjustments, cross your fingers that you've put the right fabric to the right pattern, and then sew baby sew. The more I learn, the more I learn. From the looks of your muslin, you have a stylish coat going on.

  2. It looks wonderful, I can already see what it will look like! Just wonderful.
    Taking in at the waist sounds good. Making the upper back narrower sounds like a good plan too. I'm not sure that I would shorten the sleeves by as much as 1.5cm, they do tend to ride up when you wear a coat for a while - I'd be tempted to leave as is and then shorten later if needed (you know the 'fold in, press the life out of the new edge and attach to lining' kind of shortening).
    This style is so beautiful on you, I wish I had the same ability to pick suitable clothing styles. I want to get much better at this.
    Looking forward to seeing your next progress report!

  3. The pre-sewing planning and thinking you are pouring into this jacket will pay of in the end ... I also give 'ticks' to all Gisella above said, but also def's go the extra cm in the length as well ... keep posting how you are going along with this coat ... J

  4. Et c'est quoi exactement du Melton ? bon J'ai hâte de voir le manteau en progression. Si je comprends bien tu restes avec ce patron malgré les petites ajustements qu'il nécessite.

  5. Getting there. A lot of work, but no doubt you will wear this coat for many years.

  6. Getting the fit right will pay off in the long run. I think you also should consider removing some excess fabric from the back. The shoulder blades are a bit 'puffy'. Good luck!

  7. It sounds like you've got your fitting problems down and know what to do to make it all work.

  8. It is looking good so far - I'm liking the shape the stand-up collars is great.

  9. The vertical back drag lines point to an area just below the back neck. If you make a horizontal slash and allow it to open and patch a strip of gingham in there you will see what needs to be added to the paper pattern.Most of my clients need this alteration and patterns never give us that extra fabric. It will also allow your back waist area to drop a little as it looks higher than your natural waist in the photo. Narrowing the back a little with the princess lines will help but be sure to ask a friend to see if the extra ease is needed when you reach forward. The seams in the raglan sleeves can be let out to eliminate the drag lines at the shoulder tips/sleeve cap. If you are going to use shoulder pads it will certainly need some extra ease. Great looking muslin for a great looking the sleeves!

  10. You are living proof of how valuable a muslin is as a fitting tool. Now that you know what alterations you need to make, you are on your way to making a fabulous coat!

  11. You've found a whole lot of things you can adjust before you cut into your valuable fabric. This is still a great coat choice and the final version will be just as great.