Made by Me!

Thursday, 23 October 2014

The Coat Toile - Butterick B6105

Due to decorating my house for the last couple of weeks I haven't done much sewing. It took much longer than I wanted to finish everything so when I finally got the chance I jumped on starting my winter coat. It's getting chilly very quickly outside and I didn't want to leave it much longer. I have a couple of winter coat patterns I want to make up but the first I am embarking upon is the easier of the two; the Butterick B6105 full length coat from Gertie's pattern collection. I wanted an easier pattern to start with as it will be my first ever coat! Slightly nervous!!

The funny thing is I looked at the cover of this pattern and immediately hated the long version, only because I thought the fabric was vile, but the wool I have ended up buying is a pink and black checked wool mohair blend which I think will look a little like the pattern packet. It wasn't intentional but maybe a subconscious decision somehow to replicate it. I just hope it looks more elegant than in the picture! I am keeping the fabric aside until I finish the coat so you will have to come back to see how it works out!

The coat has a very simple construction and the lining mimics the entire outer pattern in shape. The lining attaches to the wool around the edge of the bodice and under-collar and when on the lining is meant to be rolled down to create the upper part of the collar so you see the lining on the outside of the coat - as you can see in the picture.  I wanted my collar to be made of self fabric so I embarked on creating a toile as I realised I needed to understand how the coat was constructed before I could change anything, and most importantly I needed to check fit. I have made some of Gertie's patterns before and had to adjust the width of the shoulder so wanted to make sure it looked okay. It was also to make sure the style looked good on me as I didn't want to cut into my fabric only to find I hated it!! I spent a lot on my fabric....I hope I wont live to regret that, however, I think you come to a point with your sewing when you want to start making things a little more extravagant and essentially made to last so splashing out occasionally is okay in my book. And that's partly why I am keeping it simple this time round in the hope that easier means less likelihood of a botch job!!

The toile came out well (although admittedly I could have pressed more of it especially around the collar!). To make the construction really clear I used a creamy calico to represent the wool and a green cotton to represent the lining.  The fit generally was really good although I have taken 1 cm out of the top of the armhole and tapered it down to midway into the armhole to bring the sleeve cap in line with my actual shoulder. It was sloping down slightly before I altered it and whilst checking on my other winter coats to confirm where the sleeve cap stopped on my shoulder this seemed the correct thing to do. When I made the adjustments I felt that the coat changed shape a little to really sit properly on my frame.

The only other change that I made was to work out where the collar started and finished on the lining fabric and how much of it was seen when the coat was on. I then marked that area roughly with pins and transferred the markings on to my pattern piece making sure there would be enough wiggle room for error in terms of making sure the lining doesn't peek through when the coat is on.

It was really straightforward as the front bodice lining pattern piece could easily be cut into two at the neck line, moving the line down to a few centimetres in front of the front dart.

As you can see when I roughly sewed the toile back together again it worked! And I think you can see the improvement in the shoulder as well - the right shoulder definitely sits better than the left which has been left untouched.

I am not worried enough about the rest of the coat to check the fit as the skirt is flared and not fitted so I think it's now time to cut the coat out... that is when I finally decide what to line it with. My next post is going to be about the trials of deciding on lining and what products I have found and what I have learned. I am not finding the decision easy although I am almost there!!

Is anyone else attempting their first winter coat? If so what pattern and fabric are you using and have you splashed out on special fabric?

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