Planning and toile-ing this coat has been a very interesting experience, and my most unique sewing project to date. I’m most definitely a dive-in type of sewist, and usually finish a project in one or two sittings. But with this one it’s been draped over my mannequin for weeks, the pattern pieces reworked and reworked, seams ripped and re-drafted. There are a lot of fit adjustments and new skills to pick up to get this right – and I really want to get it right. Plus it’s getting increasingly urgent as the temperature’s really starting to drop and I’m determined to not buy a coat.
This is where I’m at now: toile number 2, made with my cheap Rolls & Rems ponte knit. The first toile wound up huge, with masses of loose fabric everywhere despite cutting the smallest size to allow for ease. I know the pattern is supposed to be roomy, but it drowned me! I ripped it apart and chopped away at the pattern pieces to remove the excess fabric. I took nearly all of the gathering out of the fronts, slimmed the sleeves and took a good few inches off the hem. Feeling much better now. (Ignore the woeful first attempt at welt pockets – definitely need more practice at those.)
The collar construction is confusing me a whole lot: I think I got correctly to this point, but the next direction says: ‘Pin back attachment seams together. In back, turn facing up again and stitch seam allowances together, close to collar attachment seams’. WHAT? Which are those seams?! This is where diagrams would be real useful, Burda. Can anyone help?
The next step is the dry run at adding lining, which I am dreading. The Burda instructions are again completely impenetrable and I simply can’t envision how it’ll all stitch together without diagrams or photos of the finished inside to refer to.
The ponte knit I’m toile-ing with probably isn’t helping matters: it’s heavy and stretchy, causing unwanted weight and drag, so I have to start considering how my final fabric will behave. The pattern actually recommends gabardine, but I’d really prefer to use a wool of some sort. I’m going to New York in a couple of weeks, so will definitely be hitting the famous Mood to try and find something perfect. (Can anyone recommend other NYC fabric shop must-visits?)