It was recently my boyfriend's birthday and I decided it was an apt time to take my sewing skills to the next level and make him... a coat!
Internally I was screaming (and still am!) at the prospect but my attitude to sewing now is more 'just do it'. If I didn't, I would never progress past the elasticated square skirt.
Seeing as I couldn't really make the coat for his birthday (we live together, and my sewing space is in the office where he works), as a surprise I decided to buy the pattern and wrap that up for him to open instead. I figured we could choose all the fabrics etc together and it would feel like a joint project.
The pattern I went for was the Albion jacket which is part of the Walden range by Colette. Having used Colette patterns previously, I know they have a wealth of information included inside as well as online sewalongs so I felt it was a good one to go for in case I got stuck!
The boyfriend was ever so excited when he unwrapped the pattern. He went straight online to look into fabrics. In fact I have never seen him so excited about fabric!
We have decided to make version 2, which is more of a jacket than a coat. My boyfriend and I are both vegan and so do not wear wool and trying to source non-woolen coat fabric seemed to be more of a mission (however, I have since found some options - more about that in a later post!)
For the fabric, we're thinking about a nice navy twill or a waxed cotton. We were looking at maroon and even bottle green colours but we figured navy would go with more of his wardrobe!
We have also decided to line the jacket (the pattern instructions call for finishing seams with bias binding). I have seen others online who have managed to do this so I thought I would go for the challenge! We have seen some lovely plaid flannel lining fabrics from Raystitch which will go nicely with the navy.
For the sleeve lining, I have seen some bamboo silk which has excited me greatly! If you haven't felt bamboo fabric before order a swatch now - it is super soft. Bamboo has great properties too, such as being anti-bacterial, adding warmth but also being breathable so it's perfect for Winter AND Summer.
I'm going to take my time with this one seeing as it's a) for someone else and b) could be a bit more challenging.
A couple of weekends ago I bought some thick calico and made toile part 1:
I more or less made up the toile how it's meant to be (except the lining/bias binding) and I flat felled the seams so I could have a go at practising all those skills before I drop into the deep end. Surprisingly it was quite easy to make up. The only bit I struggled with was setting in the sleeve - something I have done before so I'm not sure why it gave me such a headache.
Sewing the hood pieces together was slightly tricky too - you're sewing a straight piece to a curved piece but if you go slowly you'll get there!
So let's talk fit. I traced out the size L as the boyfriend's measurements were in the middle of that range. However, when he tried it on it was rather big. I think a little too big. When I looked into the finished garment measurements there is 10" of ease in there. He could wear a whole load of jumpers and still fit into this bad boy!
I was considering just re-doing the side seams smaller but looking into how much I would have to chop off I think I might make toile part 2 and sew up the medium and see if that works out better. (Can you tell I'm maybe slightly nervous to cut into nice fabric with this one?!)
So I'm off to buy more calico and I'll report back!
What is your biggest sewing challenge?