More Coat Talk

Wow! All of the comments to yesterday’s post were really, really interesting to read. (So much that I didn’t get a proper post up for today! So I thought I’d continue the coat talk.) Many of you are hesistant to sew coats. Either for fear of getting it wrong, making something you aren’t absolutely in love with, or spending all fall sewing the same project, getting nothing else done. Or the monumental cost is what scares you!

The good news: now I have a million ideas for future blog posts!

I have ideas and answers for plenty of your questions and concerns – how to choose fabric, choosing a pattern, making pattern adjustments, how to make your coat warmer. I’ll take lots of photos when I make my coat, and write up little tutorials on interesting or new techniques.

The one I’m sort of stumped on is how to sew through bulky fabrics. Does anyone have suggestions?

My machine has never had a problem getting through thick fabrics – it does need a little encouragement over layers of denim but coatings are usually fine! I’d love to hear your thoughts on solving this one!

I plan to make at least one coat this fall, one that’s a real Fall-style long coat made of wool using traditional tailoring techniques. This is the one I’ll make out of the Christmas-present wool coating. So much to show you! I did a little tailoring  on my cape last winter, just a little bit of hair canvas padstitching on the collar, and I’m excited to do more. I have a romantic notion of sitting in a comfortable chair, hand-sewing needle in hand, making loving pad-stitches in a beautiful coat. Doesn’t that sound peaceful? Maybe I can get you all interested in the idea of hand-tailoring.

Here’s what padstitching looks like – pardon the not-so-great photo! I lightened it up to make the stitches appear and it got really grainy. It’s useful because it shapes your collar, giving it that nice roll at the top edge.

Here’s how nice the collar looks, when it’s all put together:

If my vision of relaxing hand-tailoring doesn’t inspire you, I have more plans! I’m also making another outerwear piece that’s not a long Fall-style coat, that’s not tailored and is actually much easier to sew than it looks. It’s kind of the opposite of the first coat project. No hair-canvas or padstitching at all, hardly any interfacing as well!

Stay tuned for more on the subject of coats, jackets, and outerwear. This is going to be a warm and cosy Fall around here!

Let’s end on this quote on coat-making from Regina in yesterday’s comments – I liked the enthusiasm!

I made my first coat last year from a Project Runway inspired pattern. I was very intimidated to say the least when I first started, but taking it step by step it came out beautifully!! It’s one of the nicest pieces I’ve ever made! I will NEVER let anything intimidate like that ever again…this only limits my creativity and ability to try new things. Believe in yourself and go for it!!

Have an awesome weekend, everyone!

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13 Responses to More Coat Talk

  1. Karin September 9, 2011 at 7:52 am #

    I love this line of up coming posts! I do hope people have some good tips on bulky fabrics. The jackets I have made have always turned out better and more wearable than the dresses I have attempted! Go figure?

  2. petitejosette September 9, 2011 at 8:33 am #

    I have both a cape project and a coat project on my list for winter – the coat has been on it for years and I never found the courage to start it. I would love to follow your process at making your own coat, I,m sure I’ll get tons of very useful tips for my own.

  3. karen September 9, 2011 at 8:54 am #

    This all sounds very exciting, Tasia! I like hand stitching!

  4. Holly September 9, 2011 at 11:32 am #

    Because of you I hand sewed the bottom and sleeve hems on my last dress and loved the result (a little hard on the hands though) so I’m looking forward to finding out how to hand tailor my coat and cape patterns. I even went back to fabricland and got the more difficult pattern I was eyeing for next years coat project when I’ll feel more comfortable after doing this years. Let’s just hope my machine can handle it all!

  5. Sewingdina September 9, 2011 at 1:12 pm #

    I’m so looking forward to your posts on this. Thanks for the encouragement!

  6. Caroline September 9, 2011 at 2:02 pm #

    I too am looking forward to your posts on this subject. I have wanted to do more tailoring but don’t know much at all, so am gleaning bits here and there. Hopefully I’ll be brave enough to plunge in soon!

  7. Caroline September 9, 2011 at 6:13 pm #

    0.9+amp motor on your sewing machine, a big fresh needle, and ultimately, a walking foot (attachment)! No problem. Now you have me inspired to make myself a winter coat. I’ve been saving this really crazy, tacky, asymmetrical 90s Burda pattern, well, since the 90s! Maybe it’s just time.

  8. Eileen September 9, 2011 at 6:44 pm #

    I’m a recently new follower and I was wondering, since you were talking about your machine handling layers for coats and denim, what brand/models of sewing machines do you use.

    • Tasia September 12, 2011 at 3:55 pm #

      @Eileen: Hi Eileen! My machine is a Pfaff 2042 – it’s about eight years old or so, I got it as a gift when I graduated from college in 2003. It’s not a heavy-duty machine, just a regular, modern sewing machine. I think a lot of the trouble comes from not using the right needle, or sewing too quickly. Hope this helps!

  9. Amy September 10, 2011 at 9:23 am #

    I can’t wait! A coat is one of the very first things I tried sewing, thanks to a gift from my mother-in-law, so I didn’t realize they were supposed to be scary. Mine was a Very Easy Vogue pattern, so it didn’t have any real frills. I then made a coat during Sherry’s (of Pattern Scissors Cloth) Ready-To-Wear Tailoring Sew-Along, and I learned so much. I can’t wait to see what lessons you have up your sleeve!

  10. Samantha September 11, 2011 at 6:20 pm #

    I’m excited to read more. I started a coat for my daughter last year and will finish it up this year. I’ll need to start one for myself that will fit a baby belly. I’m considering just going for some kind of cape business so I can wear it afterwards. It’s hard to find info on fitting pregnancy.

  11. Alicia September 13, 2011 at 11:17 am #

    I hate to say it, but a heavy machine is best! Buy an older machine (a Bernina if you can) and pay to have it cleaned and refurbished. In the long run it will save you many frustrations. Also, I ALWAYS start a new project with a fresh needle of the appropriate fabric type.

  12. Hapa September 14, 2011 at 6:55 am #

    Oh, I’d love to join in on a coat sewing adventure! I too have had my coat fabric ready for 5 years now, gathering up the courage and also the time to do it. since I’m in desperate need of a winter coat anyway, it’s the perfect time to get my hands on it and just do it.