Friday, 17 July 2015

Waffle Caramel Coat

So why am I posting a wool coat in July, you ask?

The story started in January.  Actually in December, when I fell in love with this fabric.  Lizzy made a jacket from it.  I wanted to make a jacket from it.  And the Caramel Coat pattern called to me and insisted it would be the one.  But what followed was an endless repetition of: I am in the fabric store and my plaid swatch is NOT.  I was not happy with any lining material.  It was always the wrong colour.  I was supposed to buy some in LA, and failed.  (red? forest green? What was I thinking???!!) Then I got some blue in Berlin.  The wrong blue.  I now had six meters of jewel coloured charmeuse but still no lining.

I cut the fabric out in January, despite no lining, and it took all month. I cut a size 38 based on my measurements even though I sized down for the Dropje.  I'm afraid the moral of the plaid story is that I am not suited for the precision of cutting plaid.  I cut out one front piece, and then for about a month I couldn't figure out why I couldn't get the other front piece to plaid-match.  I mean, really.  I emailed for help (Juki was fast at replying!) Prepare for the final letdown...when you don't cut out the first piece straight, despite all the straight lines in the plaid, then the matching second piece also can't be straight.  Reeeaaallly?

Yeah man, I got it where it mattered.  This once. 

Instead of sewing everything I could without the lining, I let it languish.  Finally in Paris in April, I forced myself to finally settle for some matching Bemberg.  It is hard to return to a project that has been sitting in the corner for awhile- I think I skimped on some of the interfacing because I just wanted to get on with things.  Bringing the ideas and excitement out of the back of my mind was not so easy, they were dusty and vague, not to mention that it is a coat, and it has a coat amount of details, and I didn't mark my pattern pieces.  However, it is not a very difficult pattern to sew and the instructions are for the most part good at breaking it down into manageable pieces.

However, I found these instructions worse than for the Dropje jacket.  I ADORED the Dropje instructions.  I still like the layout in these.  However, for instance when creating a back pleat in the lining I was lost, because I haven't done this before and the one line drawing didn't make sense.  There were a few spots where the English translation was downright bad.  It was on minor things and didn't influence me much.  If you love this jacket, I still think the instructions are enough even if you haven't made something this complicated before.  I really have a hard time visualising jacket facings, and on this one I sewed it wrong twice before I got it right.  Even with EXACTLY matching the pictures.  (except, obviously, not quite.)  This felt like an intense effort.  But I think that's because I was determined to do it in three days, despite kind of forgetting it for months until now.  So, the fact that it's (almost) doable in three days does speak for something. I ended up hand sewing the lining down.  I am suspicious.  Was there a better way to do it?

Now have some photos.  Even too many.  Thank god this thing is finally done.  I vowed not to do ANYTHING for six months that required pattern matching and I have already broken my vow and the results are terrible.  So terrible.  

Yeah I matched the underside of the sleeve where no one cares.  Not, like, on the top, where you can see it.

Main beef: pocket location.  Bad.

Also my button holer on my sewing machine doesn't work.  All of a sudden all my projects need buttons and they are getting snaps instead.  I have tried, and I will try again, but for now there is no way to make a buttonhole, so I used these fake leather latches instead. I got them in Paris planning to use two of them and a few buttons, but seems like three of them work just as well.

Pattern complaint: I actually loved the kind of pseudo double welt pocket construction. So much easier than all the welt pockets I have ever done.  However, the pocket location is terrible.  Don't put it there.  Put it anywhere forward, but the pocket location marked on the pattern gives you an armpit pocket which is super inconvenient.  

Anyway very happily a friend of mine in the southern hemisphere just happens to need a jacket RIGHT NOW.  So the whole story has a happy ending.  She reports that she has already worn it and loves it! 

Here's proof in action: