(Side note: I did get just an email from the designer whose pattern I tested back in November with the final version of the pattern, among other things, but I'll be blogging about that later.)
In any case, here it is...the coat project that wouldn't end:
Simplicity 1254, the Leanne Marshall coat!
|Simplicity 1254 - Leanne Marshall coat|
Yes, my face looks extra pasty/blue. Apparently, my husband's DSLR didn't know what to do with so much blue from the coat, and it overcompensated with whatever autocorrection it applies. We tried fixing it in a photo editor, but weren't able to do so in a way that made us both happy. Yes, that means that we pulled out the "real" camera for a "real" photoshoot for this one. Want proof? Here's the obligatory back-against-a-fence/wall-and-looking-to-the-side pic that is required in sewing blog photoshoots:
|Against the fence|
Pattern Drafting Notes/"Does it look like the envelope?"I found the pattern to be well-drafted in that everything lined up as expected; however, you can see from the photos that the coat on me has more flare at the hip area than indicated in the line drawing and envelope photos. I actually took the hips in a small amount on this final version, so without that adjustment, the coat would flare more. This doesn't really bother me, but I wanted to note it in case you're looking for a sleek, slim-fitting coat.
|Simplicity 1254 envelope|
Additionally, the oversized collar turns out to make a not-terribly-functional hood:
|Yes, the hood is this large|
Fabric and Notions Used
- Coat shell: Wool flannel from Fashionista Fabrics (sadly now-closed). Melody from Fashionista even thought there was likely a bit of cashmere blended in here, too. As to be expected with this fabric type, this stuff sewed/pressed like a dream (my bulky hem, aside). I've had this fabric in my stash for probably ~5 years, and until now, I'd never felt that my skills or that a pattern was worthy of it, so it was a big deal for me to cut into this and make something out of it.
- Lining: Poly charmeuse (this design sold out) from Gorgeous Fabrics.
- Interlining: Flannel-backed Tricot interlining from Gorgeous Fabrics.
- Zipper: YKK two-way separating zipper from ZipperStop.
- Interfacing: This stuff from Fashion Sewing Supply.
Pattern Sizing and AlterationsThis pattern is drafted with less ease than you'd typically find in a coat pattern. As drafted, it has 3" of ease at the bust, instead of the usual 5 1/2" (per Fit for Real People). If you plan to make this and are not already at the top of the size range, you might want to size up for this pattern. I did make a muslin, and below are the pattern alterations that I used for the final coat. Note that I am 5'2" tall and typically shorten tops/blouses/sleeves by about 2" in most patterns.
- 1" broad back adjustment
- 2.5" princess seamed FBA (Fit for Real People method)
- 1.5" Full bicep adjustment (Fit for Real People method)
- Shortened sleeve length 1/2"
- Shortened coat 2" at lengthen-shorten line
- Interlined the coat by underlining the lining pieces with interlining
- Trimmed undercollar piece by 1/8" to help the roll line
- Used a magnetic purse snap as the collar closure
Some sewists on Pattern Review chose not to interface the upper collar piece (as directed in the instructions) because they were afraid that it would affect the drape of their fabric/collars. I did interface mine. Looking at my collar, I think that the interfacing does help give the collar the shape on the envelope and does help keep the collar from flipping up.
Here's a view of the coat from the back:
|Simplicity 1254 - back|
|Simplicity 1254 - worn open|
Pattern InstructionsYeah, so the instructions for this coat aren't great. This coat is rated as "Easy" by Simplicity, and I'm guessing that's only because the coat lacks things like bound buttonholes, welt pockets, and lapels.
This was my first real coat, and if I were to ever make it again, I'd probably find the construction pretty easy, but making a muslin didn't save me from a lot of confusion on some steps. As one of the reviews on Pattern Review noted, some steps in the instruction are super-detailed, whereas others gloss right over important details. For example, understitching the collar seam gets an entire step to itself, but assembling the entire lining and starting to bag the lining is also written as a single step. A number of us on Pattern Review found both the zipper and bagging-the-lining instructions to be pretty confusing.
To finish bagging my lining, I ended up using this tutorial from Grainline Studios, which I found very helpful and less confusing than the Simplicity instructions:
Sewing Tutorial: How to Bag a Jacket Lining
What's great, though, is now that I know how to bag a lining, I'll always know how to apply this to future projects. I hate hand-stitching, so even if it wasn't without stress, I'm very glad to have learned this technique (finally).
Here's my flashing-the-lining shot:
|Simplicity 1254 - lining|