a twenties coat

sewing saturday! 1920s coat

Well, I finished my 1920s pattern coat this week! View part one of the project here.

This coat ended up being more complicated than I expected, in large part due to the era of the pattern. Oftentimes the instructions suggested methods of sewing that (for me) needed to be translated and simplified into modern sewing methods. I found myself reading and re-reading the instructions, then Googling alternative ways to accomplish the task the instructions suggested. Because of this, you'll see a lot of links to online tutorials I used in this post.

This is the oldest sewing pattern that I've ever sewn with (I've used 1930s and 40s patterns before but never pre-30s) and needless to say, next time I'm starting with something simpler.. like an easy dress with four pattern pieces. But all the work paid off and I have a finished coat I love, so that has to count for something.

Another word of advice.. I used non fusible interfacing to line the lapel and collar of the jacket, and I regret that now. It worked really well in the structured skirt of the brocade holiday dress I sewed last month, but this coat doesn't have that same structured fit. I consider it more loose, fluid, and therefore I should have used something less stiff (and more tear-proof) that could move easier with the coat (like muslin or lighter canvas). A word just in case you guys find yourselves sewing a loose-fitting coat like this!

Beginning where I left off in part one, I pieced together the lining of the jacket. My friend Lauren suggested that I line the sleeves with something lightweight and slippery rather than bulky velvet, so I took her advice and used some black silk I had in my sewing room - so the body of the lining is velvet and the sleeves are silk.

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I hemmed the wool outer shell with an inch and a half seam at the bottom, then pieced together the jacket lapel in velvet, sewing it right sides together to the front and neck edges of the wool shell.

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Once the velvet lapel was sewn on, I pressed it inside and topstitched around the edges. I attached the lining to the jacket by sewing the edges of the lining to the lapel inside edges (right sides together), then hand-stitching at the side seams in place to keep it together. While the method described in my sewing instructions was a bit different, I always go back to this well-illustrated article on lining a jacket for help.

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Next, sleeve cuffs. I used a scrap bit of muslin for extra interfacing at the cuffs and followed this handy tutorial on attaching cuffs to a jacket, making sure to follow each direction carefully - including basting the cuff layers in place, which helped a lot when it came time to add the cuff to the sleeve.

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With everything pieced together, I then had to add a button and buttonhole to the front. I covered my button in matching black velvet, then hand-stitched a buttonhole using blanket stitches and embroidery floss. Here's a handy explanation for stitching buttonholes by hand.

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Done!

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I decided against the front pockets - instead I'm going to add invisible side pockets (plus a button at the neck for a funnel neck enclosure) at a later date. Right now, I'm just happy to be finished.

Happily I have several more sewing projects lined up, coming as soon as this weekend.. a couple more wintery projects then I'm moving onto spring, because Neil and I have a trip to Florida planned for early March and I need to sew up some outfits for the occasion!

Tonight, seeing Argo with friends and eating at our favorite pizza place. Happy Thursday!