American Beauty - Coat - Part I
For the sake of keeping this simple, I am going to do a series on the coat, another on the dress and another for the finishing touches - shoes, jewlery, etc.
I showed you the coat pattern in the last post, but I'd like to show a few details of the pattern bag. I find all sorts of little things fascinating, not just the picture on the bag or the pieces. I find even the instruction sheets to be interesting, even though they're similar in many ways to what we have today. That's another discussion for another time. This pattern has the "Gold Seal Guaranteed Perfect" on it. I've sewn quite a bit of this coat at this point, and I'd have to say there are no drafting errors yet. All the pieces match properly, and seem to be graded correctly for the size.
Tsk, tsk, tsk. Someone did not do their job one Friday night, either that or this is a deadstock pattern that was never sold and just passed along. Take note of those instructions on the flap.
This is one of those patterns that comes already cut out, but not printed. No printed piece number, notches, grainlines, nothing. There are a bunch of holes and notches, though that make up all the usual markings - grainline, match points, center fronts/backs, the darts, and the actual pattern piece number. If you look closely in the picture below, you'll see a number 4, I think that's the sleeve piece. The instruction sheet in the section that shows all the pattern pieces is pretty detailed as to what all the holes are for.
Although I liked the pattern as is, there are a few modifications that I'm going to make. First, the collar, it needs to completely roll on the back to the neck seamline and needs to be a bit larger over all. So, I traced the pattern piece onto freezer paper and added the amount I thought I might need. In the picture below, you can see the smaller old line and the new line I drew in, plus the dart. I actually taped in another section later, as I wanted it to be bit bigger. Since I'm making a muslin, I can do this - if it's too big, I'll trim it later and then take out the amount I trimmed it by. This is sort of trial and error, but I won't know until I put it on and see how it looks. I was thinking of making the yoke bigger, but the more I think about that, the more I don't think I'm going to do that. I would have to change both yoke pieces, the front, back and sleeve pieces, too. I think it's fine the way it is and the pattern did sew up nicely. The coat will be lengthened, too, but it's easy to figure out how long I want it and extend the current seam lines longer.
This is that collar/yoke piece cut out, with the neck dart sewn. Flat it doesn't look like much, but on the dress form it's better. It's much better with both sides, done, too. And even better when attached to the body!
I haven't got the cuffs attached yet. They're ready, but not done. I'm going to change those too, no curve and the seam goes underneath where the underarm seam is. The embellishment for the cuffs will work better this way. They are cut as per the pattern for this coat.
About the muslin fabric: I am using a wool, in a light coating weight that a friend gave me - she gave me two rolls. The taupe color I'm using for this (and still have some left), as it's not really my color. It looks fine on me, I'm just not crazy about it, so it's great for the muslin. Since the final version is going to be in velvet and parts of it quilted dupionni, this mimics the weight pretty well. I have a roll of dark charcoal/black that's really nice that I'm going to make up in another vintage pattern shortie coat later this fall. Maybe I'll put some thinsulate in it, I have some in the stash somewhere. I have the facings cut out for the neck, but no linings cut. I really don't intend to finish this one, unless I sell it or something. It's not my color and I would never wear it. I did sew it up nicely, so who knows? I'd need to find lining fabric anyway.
Today, we'll see about those cuffs and it's sunny here in New England so I'm hoping to do an experiment for the lining for the final coat.