The Great Coat Sew Along
I found a little time this week to work on fitting my coat and so I present to you the photos from the second fitting session:
For this round of fitting, I concentrated mainly on lengths and proportions. First, I put the waist in the proper place. I am short-waisted, and although I liked the length, the waist was not in the right place. It would have been very easy just to over look this small thing and leave it.alone as the coat is not tight fitting and very many people probably would not notice such a thing. It does matter, and although you might not be able to see the difference from the pictures, I can feel the difference wearing the garment. I raised the waist 1 1/2", so I let out the hem so that the coat would be the same length as before. When I acutally cut out the coat, I will fold that amount out of the pattern piece and add that amount to the bottom.
Second, I worked on the sleeves. Obviously, they were too long. I left one of the sleeves the way it originally was drafted and made the alterations on the second sleeve. To determine proper fit through the shoulders, both sleeves need to be in the coat, so I didn't see any reason to remove the one sleeve I already had in. As you can see from the photos, it looks like I shortened the sleeve in two places, rather than one. In reality, I shortened it by 2" in three places. Let me explain.
If I would have shortened it all at the top or lower portion, the cuff is so wide that it would have come half way up my forearm. I don't think this was the intended design. What I did was to first make the cuff portion shorter by 1/2" - this also helps to get the cuff into a better proportion for my overall size. I then shortened the sleeve by 3/4" above and below the elbow. This was easy, because there are two lines on the pattern for lengthening/shortening on each sleeve piece. The first one is above the number "10" and the second one is about 1" below the point of the grainline arrow tip.
Lastly, I worked on getting the collar and lapel proportions better for my size. I started by marking lines on the muslin to indicate how much I was removing. I am only removing fabric from the edges, tapering back to the original lines at the seam lines.
I ended up taking out a little more on the collar than on the lapel as you can see from below. Overall, I'm not removing much, but sometimes just a little bit makes a big difference! The key is to take a little at a time until you're satisfied with the proportions. I realize it is hard to see as there is not much contrast in the photos above, but the left side of the photo (my right) has the original sleeve and collar, the right side of the photo (my left) has the smaller sleeve and collar.
I have one more fitting session to do, as I need to deal with the wrinkled back shoulder area. I've seen those wrinkles before in other garments, so I will work on them next week!
Parting Shot: Studio Helper. Now that she's old enough (and that I'm making an entire new mix and match school wardrobe this summer) my daughter gets to help out by cutting all the patterns out of the tissue paper. This saves me a considerable amount of time, and also teaches her a little bit about patterns and pattern pieces.