New Coat: planning and preparation

1540_env_frontI knew that my old coat was getting elderly last year and so I made it a new years resolution to make a new coat. I already owned Simplicity 1540  and really liked the wide collar of option D (the purple one), but I was certainly not 100% sold on this pattern for my next coat, and I made no planning moves. then two things happened:



The beautiful silk for my lining.

I loved this big collar come hood, with princess seams and this beautiful blue wool coating was too gorgeous to pass up. I wanted to use a silk lining, as I really didn’t want to use poly. these two blog posts provided lots of info and I settled on silk charmeuse. I spent quite a while shopping around ‘locally’ online but I couldn’t find anything either in an affordable price bracket, or as pretty as I wanted – in my head I was dreaming of a bold pattern for the lining. Then I stumbled across this Silk Charmeuse from Hong Kong – both affordable and gorgeous.

Armhole adjustment on my muslin

Armhole adjustment on my muslin

With my materials sourced I started this as a Christmas holiday project. I spent the first week on pattern and design adjustments and preparation. for the sake of brevity, here is what I ended up with:

Design adjustments:

  • Took width off front piece for button front rather than zip
  • Marked placement for single welt pockets (cutting across rather than in seam)
  • added a separate sleeve band to the bottom of the sleeve

Fit adjustments:

  • 2″ FBA – as standard for me
  • forward thrust shoulder – as standard for me
  • broad shoulder and back – depends on the pattern, but not unheard of for me
  • broadening upper sleeve – again, depends on the pattern, but not unheard of for me

When making my adjustments I benefited from the experience of those on the PR sewalong.  I cut a size larger to give greater ease, based on everyone else’s experience – adding width to the arms also matched other peoples experience. Even then the list of fitting alterations is relatively long. Like everyone else I found there was more flare at the hips than expected from the pattern envelope, but as I liked it, I kept it.

With the fit cracked I decided to create separate lining pattern pieces with extra ease at the arm hole, a back neck facing from my wool fabric, and a back pleat. If you want a guide to this I used this guest blogpost on Tilly’s blog by Tasia. I am hoping these changes will ensure the longevity of the coat lining. Ironically the front is the only unique lining piece included in the envelope but I am not using this as I putting buttons in, so I am doing a front facing with my wool fabric.

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