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Sewing is therapy for me. I hoard fabric, patterns, notions, and spend more time shopping for fabric than I care to admit...

Saturday, January 9, 2016

A New Coat in a Designer Wool--Awesome!

Every winter I make at least one coat for myself and this year was no exception.  Living in South Dakota where winter can and has truly lasted until May, you wear your coat a lot and it is so nice to have some choices in your closet.

I found this beautiful designer wool at Fabric Mart and hoped I could use it for January's blog.  I was even more thrilled when it arrived as the photo simply doesn't do it justice.  It is soft, heavy, and very warm, perfect for a northern plain's winter!

I wanted a coat unlike one I currently have in my closet and one that was a little dressier than my others.  For the pattern, I choose the Stella Coat by StyleArc.  Can you blame me?  Look at those design lines!  They are beautiful!

                        Transeasonal Coat - one pattern for two seasons

This is a pattern for experienced sewers only and why it isn't terribly difficult, it does require some tailoring techniques to make it look good, otherwise with the cross over effect and the belt, it could easily become a bathrobe.  ;(  Not good!



Sewing with wool is absolutely a pleasure. I prepared my wool by throwing it in the dryer with a wet towel, not just once but twice before cutting out.  It worked beautifully.


I love the stand collar, it is interfaced on both sides to give it that structure.  With the 1/4" seam allowances at the edges, hardly an trimming of the seams was necessary.


I am very proud of how the sleeves/shoulders lay.  I typically make a 1/4" adjustment at the shoulders for my sloping in that area.  I decided not to and knew I'd add shoulder pads.  This time I used 1/2" and also I made my own sleeve heads.  Anyone remember inserting those?  I cut one inch strips of batting a sewed that to the sleeve head with a simple whipstitch.  


Other reviewers that have made this coat have left off the center back seam, but I choose not too because of the shaping in that area the seam allows.  I don't think it detracts from the overall look of the coat.



Can you tell how much I love the pockets on this coat?  The placement is perfect and they are nice and roomy.  So they wouldn't float around, I attached a piece of seam binding from the 'corner' of the pocket and attached it to the front seam allowance.  


I can't believe how cold it was when we were taking these pictures!  The coat is fully lined and has completely separate pattern pieces for the lining which give an amazing structure.  



When I sew with wool, I first sew the seam with a straight stitch and then press the seam to embed the stitches.  After that, I open the seam and iron it so I get a nice open seam.  




To press the seams open, I like using these wooden tailor boards.  This one has a nice point on it that I used in the collar areas to get a nice, crisp point.  


 After pressing the seams open, I finished the edges with my serger.  Wool ravels rather easily and I want this coat to last for years!  


After serging, I fold wrong sides together and press again.  Look at that beautiful edge!  




For the back yoke, I cut that piece on the crossgrain, just to give it a bit of a difference.  It isn't anything that jumps out at you but is subtle.  

The inside of my coat is just as beautiful as the outside, I am so proud of it!  


I love my coat.  If you've never sewing with wool before, give yourself a treat and sew up a new coat!  It is gratifying, will last forever, and is a true statement piece you'll enjoy reaching for again and again!  

Thanks for reading!
Sue    


25 comments:

  1. Beautiful! One question: Is the coat interlined to help block the wind?

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    1. Thanks so much, no it is not interlined

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  2. You did an excellent job and should be proud. It really is a nice looking coat.

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    1. Thanks Beverly! This pattern is a keeper!

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  3. What a gorgeous coat! I really like that pattern too. With the collar stand, it seems like a pretty scarf would be nicely showcased on extremely cold or windy days, just like your necklaces.

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    1. Thanks MushyWear and yes, i have been wearing a scarf with it because of our brutal cold of late!

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  4. Great job! The fabric is really a stand-out.

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    1. Thanks Heather! The fabric is so much nicer than I thought it would be with this one!

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  6. You have achieved an excellent finish on this coat Sue and you should be very proud of your work. I love the fabric too.

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    1. Thank you Jean! I am proud of it, if I do say so myself!

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  7. your coat is beautiful inside and out. job well done

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  8. This coat is gorgeous!! Love your fabric choice and it looks so professional!

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  9. Great coat! I have been eyeing this pattern for a while.

    Quick question ... could you clarify what exactly you did to prepare the wool fabric?

    Thanks!

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    1. Hi Jane--thank you and on the preping the wool--so very simple! All I do is unfold the fabric and put it in the dryer. It is dry and unwashed. Then I put a wet towel from the washer into the dryer and run until the towel is dry. I usually do this twice. I hope this helps!

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  10. This is divine, Sue. I am hesitating over the pattern because I am currently a size bigger on my bottom half.

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    1. Hi Kushami, I think this pattern will work for you. It isn't very fitted in the lower half and I believe you could grade it out there with good results.

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  11. Really nice! I especially love the fabric and I agree that wool is terrific to work with.
    Great job.

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  12. Lovely coat. I like your fabric and I agree that wool is lovely to work with
    Well done.

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  13. Beautiful work! Your coat looks impeccable, and thank you for sharing sewing tips.

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    1. Thank you for commenting Maya Sew in Zen! :)

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