November: The Month of the Coat!

…or at least, the start of it. 🙂

Yes, it’s with great excitement (and a great chill in the air) that I can say I’ve officially started on my tailored wool winter coat project. But first, I figured I’d check in on my fall-winter sewing plan with this handy dandy list I put together on my fake typewriter:

Hey, I’m kinda thrilled with my progress, even though there’s lots to go (then again, it is a long winter). The star-in-circle symbol means I’ve gotten started. You might notice a check next to the Sewaholic Renfrew – I finished it last week! I’ll have to get around to taking photos…

“Purplue” is my new word to describe the knit fabric that looks purple in real life, but blue on camera (although I kinda like the sound of “blurple” – thoughts?).

And here are the coat pieces ready to become a muslin. As you can see, I’ve lengthened the main pieces because I decided to remove the ruffle from the design. I’m going with 7.5″ of additional length, which I’m expecting to hit just below the knees. I had to put the pattern weights on the paper extension parts because the freezer paper is used to being all curled up in its little box.

I’ve also decided to take the pleats out of the collar. I wasn’t really sold on that design detail and I wasn’t sure how bulky the wool might get there. Can’t wait to keep working on this – I definitely need a warm, knee-length winter coat!

Your thoughts please: do you recommend interlining with lambswool or the like?! I’m using Italian herringbone wool with Bemberg lining and I’ve read that this is warm enough. While New York can get chilly (oh, the wind!), I also don’t want to burn up when I’m on the subway. I get cold easily though… I’d love to hear any words of wisdom!

Okay, that’s about it for now. I hope everyone in the northeast affected by the terrible storm last week is doing as well as can be. My area didn’t get hit hard, but many others did – from week-long power outages to loss of homes and life. It’s moments like these when I think about all the wonderful people out there who came to the aid of their neighbors in a time of crisis – you folks are truly inspiring. Truly! 🙂


9 thoughts on “November: The Month of the Coat!

  1. Good to see your blog post this evening, I was wondering about you during that storm. Glad to hear you are safe,sound and sewing. I am very impressed that you are going to make a coat!

  2. Pingback: Sewaholic Renfew: In Search of Musical Notes « Sewin' in the Rain

  3. Pingback: Sewaholic Renfrew: In Search of Musical Notes « Sewin' in the Rain

  4. Hi. I just spotted your blog post about making a coat. A few years ago I made a coat for my sister, who lives up in Westchester county, and at the time commuted into the city for work. She wanted a coat that looked suitable for her job in a bank, but was also warm against the wind in winter. We picked out a nice heavy wool, and I got to work. She loved her old coat, and couldn’t find anything in the stores like it, and wanted me to make a copy. So I made a pattern from it. Then I made a muslin of it using polyester fleece. I figured the fleece was a similar thickness as the wool but cost far less, and I could check out details of the fit. The thick-ish fleece allowed me to check ease for the coat, so we could see if a suit would fit underneath it. (I was afraid that a muslin made out of cotton might not drape as well, and it would be hard to see whether it had enough ease, or if it was simply too big. Maybe I over-thought all this, but even in retrospect, I still think it had been the right thing to do.)

    To answer your question about the lining, I used a fuzzy-backed lining fabric specifically for coats, which is warmer than plain Bemberg rayon. I also interlined it with a high quality cotton flannel. I’m not sure that Bemberg alone will help block the wind, unless your wool is very thick and very tightly woven. You coat pattern is rather dressier looking than the one I made (which was a raglan style), and too many interlinings may bulk it up too much, so I’d skip the interlining. On the other hand, since you’ve already bought the lining, maybe a flannel interlining would be good to add, since it is layers that create warmth. Also, since you’re ditching the skirt (which on the one hand is a nice detail, but on the other, maybe a little frou-frou, too, I think) make sure when you make the muslin that you have walking ease.

    So, to recap, check that the muslin will fit over any bulky sweaters or suits you might wear in the winter (unless you know you’ll only wear it over dresses), and that you can do a decent stride without the lower part opening up on you with each step and letting in the wind.

    • Wow, thanks so much for your feedback, wolferiver! After posting this, I actually did pick up flannel backed satin lining, which I’m assuming is similar to what you used. I love how thin it is, not much thicker than the Bemberg rayon. And thanks for your thoughts about wearing ease (actually, thanks for all your thoughts!), I will definitely consider these as I make the coat.

  5. Pingback: A Preview for your Patience (Sleeves Too!) | Sewin' in the Rain

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