Pattern Details - This was an American pattern, 9346, I purchased it from a US seller on Etsy. The envelope it came in has a wonderful illustration and is branded 'The Workbasket Pattern Service, New York'. There is no date or further details anywhere but I guess it it from the early 1960's. The pattern pieces are printed clearly and well labelled. It was the coat that caught my eye, the separates that come with it are pretty plain.
What attracted you to sew this pattern?
I was really drawn to the collar and simple lines, and the fact that it only had one buttonhole! If I messed it up, I could just cut another collar piece! I seemed like a safe introduction to coat making, an intermediate challenge that could help me develop skills to make a winter coat. It's a simple style but I knew that the fabric could really make it something special.
Fabric and Notions Used
I had a birthday voucher for Ditto and when Gill posted this heavy linen on Instagram, my voucher was spent. I love the cross hatch design in charcoal. It's very thick and weighty, the package weighed a ton when it arrived!! I wanted a contrast lining as I can't live without a bit of colour. I did buy a nice poly lining in bright coral but I just couldn't bring myself to line the linen with something that might compromise it. So I splashed on some paler pink cupro from Plush Addict. It was expensive but so luscious! I'm really glad I went for it in the end. I lined the front and part of the back with very lightweight stretch iron on interfacing and used silk organza strips to stabilise seams.
Sewing it Up
After making a toile, I added side seam pockets with a grown on facing and narrowed the shoulders very slightly. I also flared the sleeves a little and added a sleeve facing so I can turn up the cuff. I cut it half way between the two lengths on the pattern, as long as my 2m of fabric would allow but also my preferred length as I am only 5ft 2". Both fabrics were a nightmare to cut. The linen was very bouncy and mobile and I had to be very careful. The cupro slipped all over the place but both fabrics were fine once I got to sewing. I pinned and tacked a lot. The thing that took me longest was the hem, trying to make sure it was level and then getting the length right for bagging. It took me hours and it's rather wonky but evenly so on each side, so I can live with it! I think my redrawn hemline was too curved.
The pattern itself is easy but in typical vintage fashion, the instructions to insert the lining involved lots of hand sewing. After lots of research and advice seeking, I decided to bag the body of the coat and then hand stitch the sleeve linings separately for a more controlled finish. It worked really well. I also made my first bound buttonhole, which was a great success, despite the bulkiness of the fabric. I finished the buttonhole and collar with more hand stitching and added an etched mother of pearl button for the fastening. I love the collar, it just needs something to hold the inside piece in position as it slips out of place when I am not standing still in model poses!
I LOVE it! Since I made it, I can't stop putting it on, it feels very luxurious and this is all down to fabric choice I think. The linen feels weighty and expensive and the lining is super soft and luxurious - it feels like a couture garment, which is what I was after, though it's not too dressy so I will actually wear this a lot! I probably won't make this again but it has inspired me to tackle some of the other gorgeous vintage coat patterns in my collection. Thank you for asking me to take part, it was a challenge but I'm so glad I went for it!
Thanks Grace! What a gorgeous jacket - well worth the time spent cutting such difficult fabrics and getting the hem right. This is a classic coat to be worn for years to come.