By now, you should be fully familiar with Patrones #261-17, the spring duffle coat I’m making in turqouise basketweave wool…
After all, first it won the public vote, then you heard about how I bulk fused the tricky wool, then you saw all about my muslin and the resulting fit alterations, then you saw how I dealt with the tricky hood seam allowances and finally, last week you got a chance to see the bound buttonholes and the finished shell.
I’ve been concentrating on assembling the lining (and the lining pocket) all weekend, and finally finished all the handsewing at Monday night’s moorings crafty club!
The hood’s kinda silly (and definitely only going up when it’s raining!!) but it does indeed keep my glasses dry so for functionality it gets top marks.
In the comments I was asked whether I would “bag” the lining on this coat, and the answer is… kinda. I always find it difficult to get a nice folded up hem facing when I do the bag method, so this time around I pinned, basted, and handstitched the main hem and the sleeve hems so that folded part stays in place, and then I sewed the lining onto the shell facings by machine (including the hem but avoiding those tricky bottom corners) and flipped it out through a hole in the lining. So I think I got the best of both worlds here – I eliminated a good deal of handsewing, but I still got the nice hem finish I was looking for (though admittedly, looking at the photos here, it could do with a good, steamy pressing!).
In addition to the inseam pockets on the outside of the coat (which I enlarged, remember), I also added a rectangular zippered pocket on the inside of the coat, just for those things that you really don’t want to accidentally fall out! I realised on my fur coat that I use the left inner pocket much more than the one on the right, because I’m right handed and it’s easier to just reach across my body to get into the pocket than to awkwardly elbow myself in the face. So with this coat, I put the interior pocket on the left side, just inside the facing seam, and tacked its seam allowances at several points to the lining’s seam allowances to keep the pocket bag lying as flat as possible.
The only problem I had with this pattern (and I’m interested to see if Zoe and Houjke have it, too), is that the sleeve seams just did not match up to the coat’s princess seams, no matter how much I tugged and fretted. But that’s really a minor complain, and it’s also one I’m happy to just live with, all else aside!
The buttons were also a triumph, I think. I bought these horn buttons at MacCulloch & Wallis a few Saturdays ago when I was there with Johanna Lu and I made the mistake of not looking at the price until after I got home. It was quite a surprise to find they were £3.50 each, so the cost of the 5 buttons was more than the wool and the silk lining combined! But as soon as I attached the first button last night, I knew these were the perfect match for this coat, and I actually don’t regret the cost one bit after seeing the final coat.
I am utterly, utterly delighted with the final result here. The curve and fit of this coat is just beautiful, and I could easily see myself sewing this pattern again, and with a few design changes (replace the tabs with traditional buttonholes, ditch the hood for a two part collar, change the length, etc) it would look like a different coat entirely while still keeping the fantastic fit. We’ve still got a lot of chilly and drizzly evenings ahead of us here in London, and I think the colour is versatile enough to work equally well as a fall coat as it does for spring.