Getting Started on Burda 8292, My Red Wool Coat

Another tailored coat! This time I’m using Burda 8292. The first one was McCall 5717 (is it McCall or McCall’s when you write the pattern name – that always confuses me). Two years later I still love wearing it.

I mentioned this project back in the fall, but I’ve only just put all my fabric and supplies together. It took me forever to settle on fabric and then a good deal forever more to figure out the lining. Decisions! Commitment!

Here’s what I’ve brewed up:

photo 6

Black and red are two impossible colors to photograph!

Materials
I had my heart set on a red coat, and finally settled on this red wool from Mood. It magically popped up one day (just a week earlier I thought I had unsuccessfully examined and reexamined their wool section for just the right fabric!). They only had a little over three yards left on the bolt, so I walked away with all of it.

I got a good deal on that red lining from Paron on 39th Street. As I mentioned, the lining was holding up the entire project because I just couldn’t figure out what would best complement the wool. A solid? A pattern? One of the ladies at Paron helped me narrow my choice down to a few before I settled on this one. I know, I’m boring when it comes to linings. 😀

Also pictured are (huge) shoulder pads, sleeve heads, cotton for the back stay, and hair canvas from Steinlauf & Stoller on 39th Street. I asked people in Mood and Daytona Trimmings if they had hair canvas (S&S was closed that day) and three people didn’t know what I was talking about. They were like, “horsehair braid?” I’ve since been told that Mood does have hair canvas, but, uh, I’m scared to ask now. 😉

I’m pleased to say all the materials except the lambswool were sourced right here in New York City! Actually, if I had known that Steinlauf & Stoller sold lambswool, I would have bought it there. Instead I ordered it from an online source: Bergen Tailor Supply in New Jersey. It came quickly, though admittedly it didn’t have far to travel.

inspiration-pattern

Pattern & Inspiration
In the fall I mentioned my inspiration for this coat was the one Betty wore in the Mad Men episode where she tries to track down another character in the East Village. View A of Burda 8292 seemed like a good match (I found it on Simplicity’s website).

I’ve heard scary things about Burda, as in their instructions stink x 1,000. The instructions for this pattern do seem kind of bare, but I’ll be using my old trusty Tailoring book so it should be good.

Muslin & Size
Last week I made a quick muslin using a straight size 10. It feels weird to say, but I was happy with the fit and have decided not to make any alterations. This pattern provides you with LOTS of measurements on the pattern sheet, by the way.

photo 7

Prepping the Pattern Pieces
Following the recommendations in Tailoring, I did adjust some of the pattern pieces. The undercollar (above) was cut in two pieces and on the bias. A 5/8″ seam allowance was added where the fold line would have been. I cut these pieces on one layer of fabric to make sure that the basketweave pattern of my wool was cut in the same direction (when I first cut them on two layers the direction of the basketweave looked off!).

The center back piece was also cut in two pieces with a 1″ seam allowance added in. The shoulder seams and side seams were given 1″ seam allowances as well.

Tailoring Steps
After cutting out and serging all the edges of my coat pieces last week, I started the undercollar and attaching the hair canvas to the coat front this past weekend. (I decided to serge everything because the wool definitely had “unravel potential” with that weave pattern. This was done as carefully as possible so as not to stretch the fabric!)

Before I began, I made a checklist of the major steps (in order) that I’ll be undertaking. This list is provided in Tailoring, but I picked out the ones that applied to my particular project. I find it really helpful – and less intimidating – to see it like this:

  • Shape undercollar
  • Apply hair canvas, shaping and constructing coat front
  • Attach back stay
  • Shape shoulder seams
  • Stitch side seams and side panel seams
  • Attach set-in sleeves
  • Insert shoulder pads
  • Tailor hems
  • Insert lining and interlining
  • Add buttonholes
  • Sew on buttons

I did a test run with a bound buttonhole yesterday and even though I loved the look I think I’m going to go with a standard buttonhole. The weave of the fabric makes me worried that it’ll unravel too easily on the sides of the buttonhole (where the little triangles are formed after you snip into the buttonhole). I imagine a more skilled seamstress would have no problem with it, but I’d rather not have that heartache OR heartbreak! Instead I might try going to Jonathan Embroidery in the Garment District. Peter from Male Pattern Boldness has been there often, and I know a couple of other people who have gone too.

Okay, so I’m off to get a little more work done on my first sewing project of 2015!

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