Or, how I got my trench on. 🙂 Be forewarned that this will be a picture heavy post.
Friday night I did the last bits of hand sewing, attaching the buttons, “fixing” the overly long lining problem, etc. On Saturday, before the snow came down in NYC metro area, I wore it out with Jack in the ‘hood. When I stopped by my sister’s apartment, my brother-in-law was floored that I had made the coat myself. I’m gonna take that as a compliment. 😉
Here’s my PatternReview review with a few additional comments:
Pattern Description: 3-2009-112 — From Burda: Material is the special feature! The metallic fibres sparkle on the casually crinkled lightweight poplin and its dark bottle-green colour matches nearly everything. This coat is uncomplicated to sew: it’s not lined and also does without the traditional sleeve tabs.
Pattern Sizing: 38-46, I made the size 40 because I wear suits all the time for my job and wanted the extra ease for bulky clothes.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes and no. I used a different fabric and it had a crisper hand and stiffer drape than the fabric used on the model in the magazine, but the silhouette was the same.
Were the instructions easy to follow? The instructions were typical Burda, a little inscrutable, but if you have sewn a coat before, they should make some sense.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I originally liked the pattern for the raglan sleeves, thinking they would be easier for me as a beginner, but with the top stitching that one does on a trench coat for style reasons, it ended up being a little more difficult. The key point to ensure you follow in the Burda instructions is to stitch the shoulder seams’ top sleeve seams as continuous seams. If you don’t, your top stitching won’t match from front to back. Also, don’t forget to clip into your curved seams, otherwise you run the risk of very puckered seams. Ask me how I know. 😉
I loved the simplicity of the pattern. It’s a classic trench look without all the “bling” like tabs, gun flaps, or epaulettes. I wasn’t looking for an overly intense experience for this project.
Fabric Used: Navy cotton with peach skin finish on one side for the outer shell. Silk charmeuse for the lining. Notions cannibalized from my Burberry trench coat (RIP 11/30/09): buttons and belt buckle.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Because I’m a glutton for punishment, I added a lining. The pattern is for an unlined coat, but I didn’t want to add french seams and I wanted a finished look on the inside. It was relatively simple to add the lining, I just used the front and back and sleeve patterns minus the space for the facings. I stitched the lining together and attached it to the facings after I almost completely constructed the coat and attached the collar.
I only used interfacing in the belt. Burda suggests interfacing the collars and facings as well as the vent. My collar is a little floppy even with the stiffer cotton fabric that I used, so I definitely recommend interfacing the collar.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I most likely will not sew this again as I don’t need another trench coat, but it was a great introduction to coat making. I definitely recommend this coat to anyone needing a classic yet simple trench coat.
Conclusion: This was a huge learning curve for me. I am a beginner sewist and have not attempted anything so complex before. There were a lot of firsts for me in this project: buttons, button holes, notched collars, eyelets for the belt, slip stitching, adding a lining, adding patch pockets, and top stitching. I’m sure I am forgetting something here, but that’s already quite a list.
One more thought in parting: This is meant to be a more casual, unlined coat, and a “quick” project because of those characteristics. However, due to the simplicity of the pattern, this coat feels a bit unstructured even with adding a lining. Possibly this is due in part to the lack of my interfacing, but I really feel the lack of structure in the collar and shoulders. It’s difficult to put into words, but it feels not as substantial as I think a coat should feel. But that may be because I am expecting more from it than I should. If I want more substance from a trench coat, then I suppose I should put the time and effort into making a more traditional one with all the bells and whistles.
And now for more pictures. 🙂
See the Burberry buttons???
Notice the Burberry belt buckle and Prym Vario eyelets.
To make the Burberry buttons more secure, I added small buttons on the interior side of the coat.
As mentioned in my previous post, the lining suddenly grew about an inch and a half the other night. Tacking it up didn’t help; it still drooped below the hem in some spots. I did a temporary fix of making the lining hem a little higher on one side, but at my next lesson I will try to resolve the problem a bit more elegantly and more permanently. See below…
Here’s what remains of my Burberry trench, just the outer shell which is stained beyond recovery, devoid of all it’s notions, and the lining which I will salvage for a future unknown project.
I am looking forward to wearing my trench to work tomorrow, assuming it’s warm enough of course. I am also looking forward to working on something other than a trench coat. 😉 Perhaps Burda 11-2009-120.