The trench in all its glory…

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.  🙂

side view

back view

flashing the lining

See the Burberry buttons???

close up

Notice the Burberry belt buckle and Prym Vario eyelets.

belt with buckle and eyelets

To make the Burberry buttons more secure, I added small buttons on the interior side of the coat.

inside buttons

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…

tmeporary fix

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.

the sad remains of my Burberry Trench

salvaged Burberry lining

 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.

Happy sewing!


19 responses to “The trench in all its glory…

  1. Woohoo, it looks great! And that’s quite a list of firsts conquered in one project. I’m looking forward to meeting the trench in person one of these days.

    And RIP to the Burberry. You definitely scavenged the best of what was left.

  2. Your trench looks fantastic! The fit is great, and the lining great fun! I’m particularly jealous of your perfect top-stitching! Do you have a trick to getting it that nice and straight and even?

  3. Great coat! I’m in awe of anyone with the stamina to make a coat… Are you sure you’re a beginner? Not anymore, I’d say!

  4. I can’t believe a beginner made a coat like this. It looks fabulous and I love the lining. I’d love to hear how you attached the lining as that is a total mystery to me.

  5. Awesome coat and totally love the lining. You did a superb job!

  6. Great job. The lining absolutely rocks!

  7. Absolutely wonderful coat. And you have to change the name of your blog ;), you’re not a beginner any more. This project certainly proves that. Congratulations on finishing such a project.

  8. I love, love, love the lining! Not to say that you did not do a fantastic job on the coat but I’m a sucker for colors and prints.

    E, you should be very proud of yourself that you finished this project with such a wonderful result!

  9. NOT a beginner any more! Congratulations on a superb job.

  10. I love it.

    Definitely does NOT scream “homemade” – or worse, “novice sewist”. At all.

    Which is by FAR I think the best compliment anyone can give a newbie sewer:

    It looks like you bought it at Macy’s, girl! 🙂

  11. Incredible! You did a superb job! I am so proud of you! Is Jack giving Katie a kiss in the one picture?

    Love, Mom

  12. hoooray! it looks *fabulous* and swanky and gorgeous!! 🙂

  13. Your trench looks wonderfull. Love that color blue and the lining that makes it pop. You will get many years of wear from it.

  14. You did a wonderful job on your trench coat. It is really lovely. And you say you are a beginning sewest? Not anymore!

  15. Fantastic job on the Trench coat. Saw your review at PR and glad you linked to your blog. What a lovely shade of blue and great lining.

  16. Wow! This is just so impressive. I never would have tackled this as a beginner. Too scared! But you did great. Give yourself a big hand.

  17. Wow, that looks GREAT!!

  18. Fabulous trench coat – very professional!

  19. wow, your coat looks just fantastic! I sure would hang onto that burberry lining, too- it is such special fabric. beautiful work!

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