Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Butterick 9955: Little Winter Coat Finished

Allow me to show off a little- I love this coat!

After my first post about it here, I managed to get my main machine to an acceptable standard of working. I've put the speed issues down to the motor, which has likely never been properly cleaned in its near fifty years of service. It's quite heavily carbonised on the wire coils and goodness knows how much old oil there might be in there. A good repeated dousing with an electrical contact cleaner spray seems to have freed things up enough that I'm happy to use it, though I still struggle to get it to run at a constant slow speed when necessary. Dear boyfriend has offered to overhaul the motor for me when I decide I can live without the machine for a few days.

Back to the point, it means I was able to get everything done more quickly, and completed the coat in another 3 days of sewing.

First up were the bound buttonholes. I used a black cotton for the binding to minimise bulk as this fabric is very thick. For the openings in the facing, I used the recent Colette tutorial from their Anise coat sewalong running currently. This uses another fabric patch, as you do for the front of the buttonhole, pulled through to make a finished window in the fabric. It's one of those pure simple genius ideas that seems so obvious, but that I never would have thought of myself! Usually the back of bound buttonholes can look a little messy, but these are beautifully clean.

I managed to do the buttonholes and all the major seams in one afternoon sitting, then it was a case of hemming the two layers, and putting them together. I finished the edge of the outer fabric with bias tape and slip-stitched it down, using a gathering thread and lots of steam to ease out the fullness. The lining hem was then catch-stitched onto the hem of the outer, between the layers.

I added a velvet collar to keep the wool away from her face and break up the tartan a little. I made the detachable hood too, which buttons on below the collar, though I have yet to add the buttons- the last little job to do!

And of course, there's that crazy lining choice of hers:

With it's wide swing shape and extra sleeve length from the turn-back cuffs, I think this could easily fit for a few years as a shorter coat too.

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