The weather here in San Francisco, at least in my little micro climate, has been very fall like: foggy, overcast, chilly, and drizzly. I decided I was ready to make a raincoat! This pattern, Vogue 8934, is Marcy Tilton's new coat pattern which came out a couple weeks ago.
This pattern has a fairly simple silhouette with some nice features. It has a nice stand-up collar and 8 pleats at the hem to pull in the fullness. Another appreciated feature is that the pattern includes an optional lining - I didn't use it on this raincoat, but I could see using it on a wool version.
I had an unusual, double sided, pleated fabric that I wanted to use. It is matte black on one side - the black really absorbs light. The other side is a glittery pewter color. I decided to use the pewter on the outside.
I chose a size small, because the finished measurement for the bust is 44" and my bust is 41". I didn't want to add width, so I did a vertical-only FBA, intending to sew a dart in the side seam. The pattern tissue came to my knee, so I added 6" in length.
Because the fabric is highly pleated, I treated it as a knit and stabilized the shoulder seams and neckline with twill tape. I finished the inside seams by hand, as I didn't want to top-stitch this very sproingy fabric.
I also didn't want to sew buttonholes in this fabric, so I used 4 size 24 snaps from SnapSource in Antique Silver. I also decided not to use the inseam or patch pockets - I wanted to interrupt the columnar design as little as possible - so I put one of my 3D bellows pockets on the inside; it's made from a lining-type fabric with embroidery along one selvedge. I used this same fabric on the hem and the sleeves.
I intentionally left the sleeves long so I could fold them back and show the reverse side of the fabric. I also sewed the inside collar and the inside front bands so that the black side would be visible when the front is worn open.
I didn't want to use fusible interfacing on this fabric, and the only sew-in interfacing I had on hand was too stiff, so I interfaced the collar and front bands with black silk organza.
I changed the order of construction around so that I could finish the side seams up last. I sewed the underarm seam and about one foot of the side seam (at the hem) early on, so that I could hem both, but I saved the rest of the side seams. I did this because I like to place the darts at the very end. At this point I noticed that I could ease the dart fullness in with this stretchy fabric, so I avoided having any darts. This is typically how I treat an FBA in a knit.
I didn't follow the instructions for hemming the sleeves. Instead I used the same technique used on the hem. This involves attaching a bias strip and turning to the inside. This gives a neat finish and lets more of the black side of the fabric show when I fold up the sleeves.
The coat is a little longer than I intended. I added extra length that I wanted, but the pleated fabric relaxed a bit and it ended up a bit longer. I don't mind this at all. Also, I narrowed the shoulders by 1-1/2", which is typical for me in a Vogue pattern. I checked the shoulders several times before attaching the sleeves and I stabilized the shoulder seams with twill tape. However, once I got the sleeves on and had hand finished the seam allowance, I realized that the fabric had relaxed a bit, despite the twill tape. The shoulders are a bit wider than I intended, but not so much so that I wanted to rip things apart to fix it.
I loooove this pattern! It's simple, but the collar is perfect. I am not long-necked, but it's just the right height and it doesn't choke you at all. It slightly bows out in a pleasing way in the pleated fabric, but it is designed to stand up straight. I also love the darts at the hem. I finished the coat a couple days ago and have worn it every day since then. I feel so chic and elegant wearing it.
Pam Erny, owner and sole employee of Fashion Sewing Supply had a very scary health crisis last week and ended up in hospital. She is now home and recovering. You may know that she sells some of the *best* quality interfacings around. She now has some expensive health bills to pay, so please consider replenishing your stash and ordering some of her interfacings. (I am not kidding, they are superior.) She may be a bit slower than usual in filling her orders, but this will help out a tremendously worthy small business and one of the nicest people around.
I hope you have a great weekend!