Last year Butterick’s Fall/Winter collection included B6385 and I bought it straight away. It is a straightforward and elegant long coat that has three collar variations, pocket flaps (something new for me) and some lovely top stitching detail.
Garments like this are essential, in my book, when they have clean lines and will be considered stylish now and twenty years from now.
As stated, I bought the pattern last year and gathered my materials very quickly, deciding to use a wool and poly blend that I bought more for the colour and with less consideration to the drape and quality of the fabric. And then determining that unique and funky can be achieved “on the cheap”, I purchased some inexpensive blouse fabric to use as the lining. This can work, right?
Neither material behaved well, and is anyone surprised. The crisp, sharp lines that were expected from this pattern could not be achieved no matter how much steam, pressing and brute force I applied. However, I persevered and did complete it, albeit with a rather mediocre result.
And the inexpensive lining? Pick, pick, pick. That was the sound of my needle trying to go through the weave. Every needle tried, even microtex needles were struggling, picking and dragging. Not such a good deal, when it takes twice as long and your family runs for cover as grace and decorum begin to unravel.
In recounting my sad tale of poor judgement among some sympathetic sewing peers, one very patient and clever lady suggested that a trip to the drycleaner for a professional press might do the trick and I think she is on to something. More to come on that…
Now here I am a year later with some lessons learned and ready for round two. Knowing that I may still wear my first attempt on occasion, I purchased some lovely chocolate brown 100% wool coating. The lining choice is more traditional with a Bemberg in a shade I’m calling ‘oyster’. A classic pairing that truly did not cost much more and thus far, has sewn, pressed and assembled beautifully.
A bonus of a repeat performance – the pattern is already traced and cut. My two least favourite activities.
I have never sewn a coat with a pocket flap before. Any coat or jacket I have made in the past has simply had a side slash pocket and I am quite happy with this result as it provides a better finish and some coverage so that the interior pocket is unseen. The step by step direction Butterick provides are very clear, and suitable in this case, for even a novice to complete with a respectable end result.
I am about three quarters of the way through now with the outer shell and lining both assembled.
In the coming days, I will be trying a few sizes of shoulder pads and sleeve heads to see which gives the best lift in the shoulder. Then all that will be left to do is to insert the lining in the shell and finish the cuffs and hem.
In parallel, a bit of shopping for some new brown gloves and a hat will be in order as well.
I will post the next steps and final product as soon as it is completed.
Bye for now,