Friday, June 15, 2012

The 60s style coat - part 2: the one with the confession

I had also planned to use the lining material for the under collar but then because the lining fabric is so thin and fragile and a pastel colour that a different fabric would be more suitable. The idea about using the lining was to tackle the bulk/turn of cloth issue, so I needed a thin-ish fabric. Lucky I have a stash because I found a black herringbone weave wool blend that was perfect. Hopefully I have enough to still  use that wool for its intended use (pants) otherwise I might have to see if there is more at my local fabric store.  For turn of cloth, I removed about 1.2mm from the outer edge of the collar and 6mm from the edge that adjoins the collarband. The undercollar sits under nicely now that I have stitched-in-the-ditch around the collar/collarband seam. That seemed to stop it from puffing out and showing.

Since my sewing machine would not sew buttonholes through two layers of my thick boiled wool, I decided bound buttonholes would be the way to go. I did an average job on the front using Gertie’s windowpane method but made a right mess on the back. I got freaked out again and had the “bright idea” of cutting holes straight into the fabric and not doing proper window method with the square of fabric. Umm, bad move. Not only did the fabric want to stretch out of place, it wasn’t in the right position after all so I had to make the holes even longer. I nearly cried at my stupidity but managed to make it a little more presentable when I stitched the facing to the backs of the buttonholes. I really need to practice how to do the marking for the windows on the facing or try a different method or something because this is the second time I have had the experience of them not lining up.  I am thinking of doing bound buttons on my next blouse or skirt project so I can practice this skill. I think I also need to invest in some silk organza. Does anyone is Australia know of a good source?

I also had some difficulty attaching the lining. The fabric shell seems a lot longer than the lining. I attributed this to the boiled wool having more give than the lining. I had to ease the wool into the lining at times, but it all lots extremely smooth. I managed to rip a thin hole along the seam line when I was impatient with the unpicking, but I darned that area and sewed around it. Hopefully it will not be too fragile at this point.
For the hems and sleeves, I stitched in the ditch to tack the hems down, as well as some a couple of stitches here and there to stop the wool from moving. Since it was a knit, it likes to stretch.
The coat has managed to come together despite some difficulties. I experienced more drama than any other sewing project but I will wear it and that is all that matters to me at the moment.


  1. I admire your courage - a project like this would scare me half to death!
    Not sure about the silk organza, hopefully someone else can help you out.

  2. Despite the drama it looks fantastic Marie. I am too scared to do bound buttonholes. Can't help you with silk organza in Australia, I just bought mine from the US.

  3. I got silk organza through dharma trading, it comes from the US but it didn't take long and they are very reasonable with their pricing.
    I tend to use a lot of pins to mark my bound buttonhole facings and I use a single long piece for all of them and trace around the buttonholes first as well, I'll stick a couple pics up of how I do it if it would help?

  4. I think the jacket looks great! I am trying to muster the courage to sew a 60s swing coat, but that may have to wait until next year as we are half way through winter already.

    For the Silk Organza, I order mine from Dharma Trading I'm in NZ, but the shipping costs from the US are reasonable and it works out much cheaper than buying it here.


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