The great project has begun! This is what I'm calling the signature piece of the wardrobe I'm working on. It's a wool/poly/rayon blend with a multitude of colors - pretty much every color in my wardrobe palette.
Pattern - Butterick 5685, View B
(Hair Canvas and Thinsulate were also purchased from Vogue Fabrics)
Twill tape (leftover from another project)
Stash muslin, wool strips, felted wool, and thread
I have not purchased buttons or button thread yet
Rebekah's Sewing Diary - Herringbone Coat - This is the same pattern I'm using. There aren't as many details as I would like, but she sews beautifully. I have to admit I was drooling a bit reading her blog.
Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing- Butterick 5824 - She has a little more in-depth information, and some videos about the project on her channel. I'm a visual person when it comes to learning something new, so videos are very helpful. I really like her video on setting in a sleeve. I can never seem to get it right, so I'm going to try it. Even though this is a different coat, there are some techniques demonstrated I'd like to incorporate.
YouTube - Look for videos labeled tailoring techniques, set in sleeves, etc. I've found a few in addition to Gertie's that were very helpful.
My 1976 edition of the Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Sewing (the book and I were published the same year). If you don't already have one of these, I can't recommend it enough. My mom gave me her extra copy and it's a great resource. The fashions are obviously from the 70's, but the techniques are sound.
I have decided to add some tailoring techniques to this jacket, because I would like to keep it for a while. I'm probably going to spend a month or more working on it, and have invested more money than I ever have in a sewing project. All the materials I've ordered come to $122.93, still less than a good winter coat with nice tailoring details. With that being said, I will have enough of the fabric left to make a pencil skirt, and probably enough of the hair canvas to use on other projects.
I will NOT be using the pattern instructions. They are absolute crap and whoever wrote them needs to be fired. If you're interested, there are reviews here. I'm really glad I read them before I started sewing. I would have been extremely pissed being blindsided with those pattern instructions!
I have begun cutting out pieces, and have ordered hair canvas and Thinsulate. I ordered a roll of twill tape earlier in the summer to make a few aprons, and have over 90% of the roll left. It will be used to tape seams, roll lines and any other spots that might need it. I had to take a break after I cut the smaller pieces. Bending over the table makes my neck and back hurt. (Cue a furniture hack)
I am undecided on underlining the shell fabric. I have enough muslin to do it, but I will be adding a Thinsulate interlining, and hair canvas where needed, so I'm worried about adding too much bulk. With the addition of Thinsulate, the coat will likely be plenty warm!
I don't know how well you can tell from the picture, but the front and back are different. The orange threads are more apparent and primarily vertical on the "right" side. The "wrong" side has a more dull appearance and just didn't appeal to me quite as much. (Right side on bottom)
I did a little practice hand stitching, because it's not something I do often. The purple thread is very close to the main purple color in the fabric, and I will be using it for pad stitching, garment construction, and any hand sewing I have to do that may show to the right side. Like that turquoise twill tape? I have an entire roll of it, so I may as well use it, right?
On a semi-related note, I have started on de-cluttering the
spare room Room of Requirement so I can move my sewing machines in there and get all my crap out of the dining room. I bought a shelving unit, and need at least two more to get all the storage totes, fabric and CRAP out of the floor and corners of the room. I also have donated a huge pile of stuff and either re-purposed or tossed things that couldn't be donated. If you don't see me post for a couple of weeks, it's possible some creature lurking in the depths of that room devoured me.