It’s done! At last! My sinister green coat is complete!
Last year when I started taking sewing seriously I made a coat. It is okay, not great, but has got me through a winter and a half, and is still in reasonably good condition. After I made it I learned about tailoring techniques I should have used, and in the process changed my mind about the fabric I used. Don’t get me wrong, I am proud of what I did considering it was my first serious long-haul sewing project, but it was sad to learn how much better I could have done. Simplicity 4670 was meant to redeem myself with this winter.
I purchased it a couple of months after completing the previous coat, along with green mohair/wool coating and cotton/silk underlining. It’s all been sitting, waiting for me to start. It took an unprecedented loss to kick me into starting it. In fact, it’s kicked me into a lot of other life stuff that would have fallen by the wayside. In no way am I glad, but it’s nice to have a glimmer of a silver lining sometimes. I have my reasons, but from now on, everything I work on with my hands is done slowly, carefully and to the best of my ability. I owe someone. No more sloppy, slapdash work in sewing, or anything other working or crafting that I do. No more wasting my time, only to lament that things aren’t done right. Throughout construction I’ve been uncharacteristically fastidious. Luckily, the muslin fit very well straight off, the only amendments I wanted to make were to do with the length and sleeve hem length. It’s a big box of a coat, but that’s exactly what I wanted.
Having said that, there are a few things amiss with this coat, and by ‘things amiss’ I mean glaring mistakes that I really should have picked up on. Ah well, you live and learn. I’m very pleased with other aspects that did turn out well.
Simplicity 4670 is from 1960 something and drew me in with it’s big boxy shape, lack of collar and rounded neck/front: “Collarless coat has 3/4 kimono sleeves with gussets at underarms, concealed pockets, double breasted effect and is lined”. Most of my coats are pretty colourful and gaudy, so I chose this dark green mohair to have at least one sombre, wearable coat. It’s a bit of a pain trying to match my outfit to my coat, so this is a considered effort to look smarter all round. More options.
The lining is a black (polyester?) brocade I got from Goldhawk Road. It’s really nice and thick and reminded me of luxurious fur coats of yesteryear that have fancy brocade linings. I also made some piping for an extra fancy finish. Upon reflection, the brocade may not have been the best choice for this coat as there’s a lot of texture going on. I still love it though.
A lot of hand sewing went into this; all the seam allowances are catch stitched, the lining is slip stitched in, the hems were all handfinished, bound buttonholes… I’m sure there’s more.
In the end I decided to put in shoulder pads. I omitted these in my last coat, and have since learned that shoulder pads are very important for a coat or jacket to hang properly. Otherwise the fabric can fall awkwardly over the indent between your collarbone and armpit. Have you seen raglan shoulder pads?
They are very odd. These ones had a little tab on the top for attaching to the kimono/raglan sleeve seam. Ingenious. I love stuff like this. For a while I toyed with the idea of making some shoulder pads, and the more I searched the less I found. I know how to make simple triangular shoulder pads but these special shaped ones are relatively difficult to find information about.
But back to my coat. The buttons are vintage and were my nana’s. Faux tortoiseshell. I inherited her mammoth button collection years ago, and I have been holding onto these for a while, waiting for the right project. They feel really good to stick your thumb into. Looking back, I would never have thought I’d be using them on a coat that I had made.
It feels good to have such a mammoth task complete and looking like I first envisioned it in my head. It was finished a couple of weeks ago but you know, Christmas and such. I’ve worn it lots since.
Thanks for looking!