Monday, January 6, 2014

Trench Coat Musings

Finally finished my trench coat muslin (muslin #3 to be exact). Oh boy, that was interesting and complicated for no reason. Although I am better at figuring it out what alterations need to be made, it's still taking me one muslin too many to figure them out. Since I've never used a Silhouettes pattern before, I wanted my first muslin to be a straight size with no alterations. Sometimes I get ahead of myself and make unnecessary changes. I didn't want to over-complicate things. That happened regardless.

First, it was the french dart. Never sewn french darts. Had no clue what to do. The pattern instructions leave a bit to be desired as far as french darts go. Thankfully, I found a tutorial that cleared things up. Once I got the dart fixed, I realized that the waist was too high. I tried to lower it from just above the waist line (like regular patterns) and realized that lowering a french dart is from the devil. I hadn't noticed the lengthen/shorten line above the french dart. There's an hour of my life I will never get back. Next, the sleeves gave me grief. The notches on the sleeve pattern were off. It wasn't until I had modified the front shield piece that I noticed the notch was in a different place...a place that would've actually made the the sleeve line up correctly. Lastly, I had to make an all-new adjustment: forward shoulder. I have a slightly rounded back (from bad posture and spending almost 9 years hunched over a desk looking at fingerprints) which also rides shotgun with forward thrusting shoulders. With other patterns, I just take a wedge out the back neckline and go on with life. But with this trench pattern, my shoulder was poking forward and the shoulder seam kept sliding back. It could not be ignored. It was an easy fix (bless you Fit for Real People and Singer's Perfect Fit). All is well.

Now that the muslin is to my satisfaction, I can get down to the business of making the coat. Well, I do have to practice making welt pockets, but that won't take too long. My coat fabric is the perfect shade of creamy light tan. All I need is lining. I had bought some lining but it did not work out. I was disappointed but was able to get a refund. So, now I need to search again. This time though, I'm going to buy myself some Liberty. And I need to do it fast because I feel myself starting to cheap out. Technically, I only need a yard and a half for the lining as I plan on using a more slippery lining fabric for the sleeves. I would prefer to have an extra 1/2 yard in case I screw something up.

Deciding on a particular print is difficult. As a lover of all things floral, I am overwhelmed by the selection. I've narrowed my choices but of course each of my choices come in different colorways. I can't decide. I want all of them.

From left to right: Claire-Aude / Delilah Cavendish / Gleeson / Margaret Annie

This is my inspiration trench coat: the Burberry Trench.

Burberry Cotton Gabardine Trench Coat

I love that the Silhouettes Patterns Barbara's Trench has almost all of these little details and I don't have to fuss with drafting them myself.

Tomorrow, there will be welt pockets practice. Wish me luck.


  1. That's a great looking pattern. I had to laugh at your post but only because I recognise these problems myself! Looking forward to seeing the final product, happy sewing.

  2. I vote for Margaret Annie! That will make a cheerful lining!

  3. It looks like everything is coming together...I love all of the floral prints, and can't see how you are going to choose one.


Thanks for commenting with thoughtfulness and maturity.

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