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Coat Sew-Along: Week 1

Welcome to our January coat sew-along! This past week we started on our coats, focusing on choosing our patterns and fabrics, deciding on any modifications, and cutting out the plethora of pattern pieces. We found that most of these coats have lots of pieces! Here's how week one went for our panel of sewists.

Amber's Cascade Duffle Coat: Week 1

I chose to stitch up the Cascade Duffle Coat (View B) by Grainline Studios. I couldn't resist the cozy hood and the toggle closure, coupled with a super functional hidden zipper closure. We have a lot of really great Pendleton Wools in the shop right now - plaids, solids and jacquards - which made choosing a coat fabric all the more difficult. I ended up going super classic with this Camel Melton Wool from Pendleton (available in store), my choice inspired by perusing the Cascade Coat Inspiration pinboard that Jen put together. Thanks Jen! For my lining fabric, I wanted something a little silky. This stormy Liberty Melting Elements print caught my eye, and of course there should be storm clouds inside my winter coat!

During our first sewing sesh, Sara brought along a Cascade Duffle Coat that she recently made. It was great to see the coat in person right before I got started on mine. I'm glad I tried it on, because I realized it ran a bit short in the arms for me. Based on the fit of Sara's, I decided to add 1-1/2 more inches in length to my sleeves. There are 4 pattern pieces to add the length to here, as the sleeves are two pieces each, and the sleeve lining is also two pieces. Since I trace my pieces onto Swedish tracing paper, my method for adding length to a piece is as follows: (1)Trace the top half of the piece to the lengthen/shorten line, making sure to also trace the lengthen/shorten line and the grainline marking. (2) Sliding the swedish tracing paper over the pattern underneath, add 1-1/2" between the lengthen line on traced pattern and the lengthen line on the original pattern below. A clear ruler is helpful. Also keep the grainline marking on both the original and the traced pattern piece lined up. (3) Trace the lower half of the pattern piece and ease the lines together in the area between the lengthen/shorten lines. A French curve can be helpful here.

Another modification I'd like to do is to make my pockets a little more "hand-in-pockets" friendly. I'm thinking of altering the pocket shape slightly, similar to this pocket modification that Shannon from Adventures of a Young Seamstress stitched on her Cascade Duffel Coat. 

The pattern has a minor mistake in two of the pattern pieces which Jen talks about here. If you are working on this coat already, just know that your pieces 28 and 29 might be a tad bit too long and you may have to trim them down, or you can print out the PDF of updated pieces like I did. I'm looking forward to getting stitching this week!


Jaime's Clare Coat: Week 1


I have had outerwear on my "to-sew" list for a while now so I am so excited to finally be taking on the this challenge! I chose to sew the Clare Coat which is a new pattern from Closet Case files. I'm sewing View B which has a large cowl and button closure. I love a good cowl so I'm pretty excited about this. It can be cold in Colorado so I chose a heavy weight woven Pendleton wool for my coat. I love the thick feel of the wool and I've been obsessed with this army green color this winter so I think it will be perfect. For the lining I'm using the brand new Cotton and Steel solid lawn in Black Cat - super basic and lightweight. I'm going to close the coat with snaps and I will probably sew buttons on the outside for decoration only, but haven't decided on those yet.

I'm sewing the size 4 for this which is accurate for my bust. The coat is a-line shape so I'm not worried about the hip measurement and am confident it will fit. The only modification I've made so far is that I removed the bust darts with a small bust adjustment. Taking bust darts out completely has been my mode of operation for the last 6 months of sewing and its working great. I traced my pattern onto Swedish tracing paper which is how I trace and all my garments. There are so many pieces in this pattern!! It took about 5 yards of the tracing paper to fit them all!

This coat is fully lined and there are separate pieces for the lining and outside of the coat as well as for the interfacing. The coat calls for fusible weft interfacing which I've never used so I'm excited to try out something new. The Swedish tracing paper makes it easy to transfer the plaid pattern onto each piece so I can make sure to line up my plaid - I used the Seamwork tutorial for this. This wool is very thick and is cut (as usual) doubled. I found it easiest to cut my pieces out using a rotary cutter instead of scissors which worked great. So far I've cut everything out and fused my interfacing on so next week I get to start stitching!


Sara's Landgate Jacket: Week 1


I'm making the Landgate jacket. Sometime last year I sat down and made a list of wardrobe gaps and at the top of the list was a warm winter coat and a water resistant coat or jacket. I realized after I committed to this sew-a-long that it could also fill the water resistant coat gap!

So, with a water resistant coat in mind, I decided to go with an olive green waxed canvas. I've been admiring a few Landgates that I've seen in waxed canvas on the internet, and I've wanted to try to work with waxed canvas for a while now. Sounds like the perfect time! I decided that since I'm using olive green canvas that I want to use a brass zipper, black cording, gold top stitching thread, and black pocket lining.

I traced all of my pattern pieces onto Swedish tracing paper and was about to begin cutting my fabric when one of the other sew-alongers asked me if I had 12 pieces. We discovered that pattern piece #11 was missing from our tissue. It's not missing from every pattern, but if yours is missing then you can email the people at Merchant & Mills and they can send you a PDF of the missing piece.

After converting the metric measurements, I discovered that I can make an XS. This pattern is unisex, so double check the conversions and finished garment sizes!

I was kind of worried about using chalk on the waxed canvas and there are a lot of marks that you need to transfer onto your fabric. I discovered that a tracing wheel leaves visible marks on the fabric that stay visible! I did test some chalk, but it didn't want to come out of the fabric. So, tracing wheel it is! I also decided that I'm going to make both the front patch pockets AND the side seam pockets. The front ones aren't good for putting your hands in but will be handy for storing stuff in, and the side seam pockets will keep my hands warm and dry. I'm super excited about this coat and I can't wait to start sewing! I'm curious to see how the waxed canvas handles and holds up as well!

Don't forget you can join us on Fridays this month at the shop as we sew our coats and jackets! Be sure to share your progress on Instagram with #fancysewalong. All the sew along details, including how to enter to win a prize, are here.

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