This coat is a fairly simple design and is perfect for showcasing a special fabric. It has no lining or facings or closures. I elected to finish it with a binding and I added some closures.
I had a very special fabric in mind for this coat.
A year ago, I bought an Italian wool sweater knit from Emma One Sock. It's a lofty, fairly stable, sweater knit, though the cut edge does curl a bit. I bought a little over one yard, which was all Linda had left - I planned to mix this fabric with another. Margy had also bought a couple yards of this fabric. Then Margy went through a bout of wool/lanolin allergy and she gifted her fabric to me.
(By the way, I see that Marcy currently has some of this fabulous fabric for sale on her site.)
When I saw this Burda coat, I knew I wanted to use the wool sweater knit. I purchased the pattern and printed it out. I decided to use a size 40, based on my upper bust. I did do a vertical-only FBA, though I avoided sewing the dart and eased the extra fabric at the side seam at bust level. I made no other pattern alterations for fit.
I did make some very stupid mistakes when making this coat. People don't seem to believe I make stupid sewing mistakes, but I am quite capable! My first mistake happened when cutting. This fabric has an amazing selvedge, which is different on each edge. I decided to put the selvedge at the hem, reminding myself that the back and the fronts needed to be positioned along the same selvedge.
I first cut out the back. There is supposed to be a center back seam, but I didn't want to interrupt the fabric, so I placed the CB on the fold line. As soon as I finished cutting the back, as soon as I took that last snip, freeing the piece from the yardage, I realized my first blunder.
I forgot to add a seam allowance.
I was quite proud of my reaction. I didn't reach for food, alcohol, or anything else. I started thinking of how I might fix this. I then (calmly) called Margy. I said to Margy, notice how calm I am? I then told her what I had done and some of the ideas I was forming to work around this blunder. Margy proposed that I just add twice the seam allowance to the front (for example, to cut the front out with 1" seams, instead of half inch). I knew that would work well, as I really only had to worry about the shoulder and side seams - the neckline and front was to be finished with a binding. And I always have to cut fabric from the armscye anyway, thanks to my narrow shoulders.
First problem averted.
I then proceeded to cut out the fronts.
As soon as the fronts were cut out, I realized my second blunder. I had put the fronts on the OTHER selvedge edge, which definitely looks different, so the fronts and the back would not match up at the hem.
Once again, I was calm. I went to bed and decided I'd worry about it in the morning.
In the morning, I decided that I didn't want the selvedge on the hem anyway. The selvedge, while beautiful, is light-colored and I didn't want a lighter color at the hem. So, I cut the selvedges off the front and back. I decided that I wanted a slightly shorter coat, anyway. I hemmed the coat by turning up the raw edge.
Second problem averted.
I had a third blunder. And, you know what? I can't even remember what it was. So it couldn't have been so bad. ;)
Wait! I do remember! My third blunder was that I placed the pockets too low. I thought I had carefully marked where to put them, but they ended up too low. Not much I can do about that except pretend it was on purpose. :)
The pattern is designed with in-seam pockets. I am not a fan of in-seam pockets, so I sewed curved welt pockets. I used wool crepe for the welts and the pocket bags are made from scraps of black ponte.
I decided to bind the front and neck edge with a speckled, floppy sweater knit that was left over from a Sandra Betzina sweater I made years ago. But before binding, I wanted to stabilize the edge of the sweater. I sewed a 1/4" twill tape to the front and neckline edge, by hand.
The binding fabric sheds like crazy when cut. I cut the strips at 2-1/2" and folded the strips, wrong sides together, matching the raw edges. I sewed the raw edges of the binding to the front edge with a 1/4" seam allowance, wrapped it to the back, and hand stitched in place. (Because the knit was so floppy, I first hand basted the binding to the coat before stitching on the machine.)
The coat is designed with no closures, but I used jumbo snaps at each front corner and a leather toggle just below the bust. I purchased the closure at Britex and used my hole punch to create the holes. I then sewed it on using black perl cotton. The coat is more functional in our foggy SF climate if I can close it.
Finally, I took half a yard of faux Persian lamb, also purchased from Emma One Sock many moons ago (for another project), and sewed up a Koos style infinity scarf (sans twist).
There are lots of ways to wear this coat, thanks to the optional scarf and the optional closures. I have already worn it for three days straight. This may be one of my favorite makes ever! (It's like wearing a snuggly blanket.)