Winter Coat Miniseries Part 4: the Finished Article

Getting around to the final post in this series should be no indication that my love for this project has cooled off.  Quite the opposite is true! Winters in Southern California are famously mild but I've taken every opportunity possible to bundle up in this beauty ever since the day it was completed.  In case you missed them you can find posts about my planning process, fitting, and construction in parts 1-3 of this series.  Now on to the review!

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Pattern and Fabric: Lisette for Butterick B6385 in 'brown' Riley Blake Melton wool from fabric.com.  Underlining is cotton flannel and lining is bamberg rayon, both from JoAnn.

Size:  Size 10 from top to the waist, size 14 at the hip with broad back and full bicep adjustments made. I also shortened the coat slightly at the waistline.

Fit:  As usual with commercial patterns it is safest to use the finished garment measurements as a starting point.  This pattern didn't have as much ease as many do, but it was still more generous than I prefer. For reference the Butterick size chart put me between a 12-14 at the bust and a 14-16 at the hip.

Changes:  I made view C as written with the exception of shortening the hem about 4 inches.  I think my buttonholes ended up on the opposite side than instructed, but I did this intentionally in order for the tidier side of the collar to show when closed.

Verdict: After all the planning, deliberation and fitting obsession the actual sewing of this coat was sort of a breeze.  Working with wool is a dream and the pattern construction is simple and straightforward.  I especially laud this pattern for a perfectly drafted sleeve in which both set perfectly on the first try. I think the shoulder pads called for add beautifully to the tailored look and proportions. My only regret is that I didn’t learn to hand sew or brave welt buttonholes. The buttons I selected were too big for my machine’s buttonholer so I had to do them as manual 4-part. The result is alright, but not to my current standard. I also should have skipped the tear away stabilizer because little pieces of it are still stuck between the threads.

I learnt so much through this process. I realize how much I value quality fabric and professional finishes and that no matter how much I combat my impatient nature, I can always stand to slow down a bit more and really take my time. Most of all I feel impassioned to spread the message for anyone who’s holding them self back from starting an ambitious project to just go for it. Not many things are as hard as we can build them up to be in our heads and we are capable of so much more than we give ourselves credit for. I hope you liked following along with this project as much as I enjoyed making it. If there’s a question I can answer for you, please leave me a comment or shoot me an email through the ‘get in touch’ form. I’d love to hear about your project and give you a boost of encouragement. I’ll leave you with way too many gratuitous photos of my finished coat.

xo April

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