Or is it five years? It's been so long I can't even remember. As the weather has turned colder my thoughts have gone to Autumn and Winter wear, and I determined to finally finish up this long-abandoned project.
When this fabric came into the shop I fell in love with it instantly and knew I wanted a coat made from it, preferably full length. I had a very precise idea in mind of what I wanted: princess seams, full skirt, with a velvet shawl collar and wide band at the hem. At the time I struggled to find a pattern that was what I wanted and in my price range (being a poor student then), so I used Simplicity 2818 as a base. It had the basic style lines that I wanted, so I made the sleeves full length rather than the flounced cuffs, extended the fronts to allow for button closure, and drafted a godet piece for extra flare at the hem. I got up to the point of cutting the lining out and just couldn't face it, and somehow the project got abandoned for years. I really despise cutting linings, heh. Slippery evil fabric.
Upon opening the box I was also faced with a mass of crumpled pattern tissue, along with something that had double-sided sticky tape on it that had turned into a hideous sticky mass. I had to iron it under greaseproof paper to melt the glue apart!
The last week has been spent figuring out what to do next, then taking a few steps backwards in the construction. First up, I ripped the collar apart to redo the interfacing. In a way I'm really glad this has languished for so long, as it means I can now make a better job of it than I would have four years ago and employ some newly learned techniques for a better finish. Like pad stitching, for example!
Next, I added welt pockets, another first. I used cotton twill for the pocket linings, and followed the instructions in my copy of The Reader's Digest Step-By-Step Sewing and Knitting. I picked up this book from a charity shop for a pound- bargain! One of the welts ended up slightly wonky, but for my first attempt I'm very pleased with the result.
Last night I finally cut out the dreaded lining. I'm very very glad of my scissors on all those long edges. Micro-serrated blades make cutting the slippery fabric so much easier. The lining is a deep purple/black shot taffeta, that is remarkably difficult to photograph.
I now only have to do the bound buttonholes, sew in the lining and hem it. I can't wait to get this thing finished, and not just for the extra cupboard space!
The coat as it stands now. Pardon the rubbish photo: