Drum roll please ….

the Trench is finished Facebook smileys

It first started here, then the toile and pattern changes and lastly how it looked when you last saw it,

and now!

This has been one of the most challenging projects I have undertaken ever, but so worth it.

The rain coat fabric had its own requirements, but once I worked up the courage it was very easy to work with.

  •  I used fusible interfacing, Sheerweft TM for the facings and this fused very well using my Singer Magic Press, 
  • I used a Sharps needle,and increased the stitch length for my top stitching to 3.5 (previously using 3)
  • The fabric ravels quite a bit, so I over-locked/serged all the seams.

When you last saw the trench I had basted in the lining.  When I sat down again to work on the trench I realised I should have sat down a lot sooner and sorted out my to do list in a logical construction order as I hadn’t,

  • added the hanging strap,
  • installed the eyelets on the storm flaps,
  • made or sewn on the belt loops,
  • made and sewn on the double d-ring closure at the neck edge
this meant I had to do a lot of “going back”!

Now for a lot of  detailed photos:

Pocket bags secured to seams

This is a great tip from my sewing buddy Dilliander which she has posted on Pattern Review.

Batting used for sleeve cap

Bagged the sleeves using this great tutorial from Grainline Studio

Caught the lining on the sleeve seams to stop the sleeves moving forward

French Tacks from Couture Sewing Techniques at the shoulder and underarm seams

Pockets made for hem weights

Interfacing fused at hem, weights in place and hems finished

French seams used for the lining

Double D rings for neck closure, storm flaps have eyelets with washers installed using a Prym Kit
I purchased from the UK.

A closer look at the zippered pocket on left sleeve

Belts and buckles.

Lining with piping and hanging strap

Concealed buttons

oops, I missed a belt loop!

and last of all

can we go play now!

Even with the challenges and time this has taken I am thrilled with my Trench and look to forward to getting a lot of wear from it.

Stash Out:  19.25m
Stash In:  3.3

All packed up …

and heading off to our sewing weekend.

This was last Saturday morning and after hubby had loaded the car for me I drove to the Mercure Hotel at Parramatta to meet up with 14 of my real life sewing buddies to sew and chat all weekend!

Here we are all busy and if you look closely you can see my trench coat hanging on the window sill at the back of the room.

At this stage the trench still had 18 steps to do in no particular order and those with a line through them were completed during the weekend.

finish pockets
– secure pockets to seams
– install grommets on storm flaps both front and back
attach back facing
work out how to put zip in curved collar

– if work out then finish hood and install
make collar and attach the Burda way
– make carriers for belt and sleeve carriers
set in sleeves
– add batting to sleeve cap
– attach carriers
baste piping around facings
– press hems in place
– attach lining – already made – basted in as I wanted to see how it looked 🙂
– handstitch/sew hems
– sew on buttons
– make belt for coat
– make straps for sleeves 
I spent Saturday morning making various collar prototypes trying to work out how to  put the chunky metal zipper into the curved collar for the hood.  No matter how much pressing and shaping of the zipper tape I did, I couldn’t get it to fit the curve of the collar so that idea has been scrapped, so my trench doesn’t have a hood, but I can live with that.
The remainder of the weekend was spent completing the other steps and here is how the trench looks at present:

There are still quite a few steps to do on the trench and they are going to take some time.  

Thank you ladies for a wonderful weekend of laughter, shared experiences and knowledge, it was a lot of fun!!

Not much other sewing has been going on besides the pants muslins but I have decided to join the Pyjama Party over at Did you make that? as I am in need of some new winter PJ’s as well as a lighter pair for when we head to the snow as our accommodation is centrally heated and I definitely don’t need my flannel PJ’s then.

Is anyone else sewing along?

Trench progress

I’m happy to report that since my last post I have managed to achieve all that was on my list:

  • Trace the pattern from the magazine.
  • Make a toile to ensure all is right.
  • Decide if I want it to be double breasted as my RTW isn’t?
  • Decide on what zips I want to use and place my order with Zipperstop.
  • Gather my bedtime reading from a number of Threads magazines to figure what else I need to do.
During my bedtime reading I read Threads Issue # 19, page 30 where David Page Coffin talks about “Stalking the Perfect Raincoat” and this made me realise that I wanted a hidden-button fly front as my closure as this is what is on my RTW Trench and I really like the clean lines.

So the I traced off the pattern and then found quite a few places that showed me how to do a concealed button front for a shirt, so using my RTW Trench as a guide I made the folds 5cm each.  At the same time I also drafted the back storm panel.

Then it was time to cut out the Trench in calico to make sure it fitted and also to see if could understand the lovely Burda instructions.

A couple of notes I did make during construction were:
  • Is there a better way to do the pockets?  You sew the seam first and then fiddle with the pocket bags.
  • Is there a better way to do the collar?
  • Looks like the sleeve head has too much fullness in it for this type of fabric.

and this is how it looks so far.

I’ve decided that I don’t like the gap between the centre front and the collar and I’m also not so sure about the collar extension or how it sits when the Trench is open?

Last weekend my sewing buddies and I got to spend some more quality time with Angie Zimmerman getting our patterns fitted and this is what we have decided to do with the Trench:

  • I can put the pockets in first (before I sew the seam), but I need to ensure that they line up perfectly when I sew the side seams.
  • Well the way Burda does the collar is the tailored way, you live and learn.  Angie did give me some more information for a better finish than the brief Burda instructions do.
  • Angie did think that I got the sleeves in very well in the calico version and suggested I leave them as they are but looking at the large tuck on the sleeve in the first picture above I’m not so sure.

The toile is missing the little bits that are part of a Trench but they will be included.

I’m still reading magazines/books and watching DVD’s however it now looks like I’m ready to cut out my fabric, but first I need to make the lining pattern as I didn’t want to do this until I had checked the fit.

Trench coat sewing

This is something Maria, Renata and I have been chatting about for some time now so Maria  has set up a sew-along on her blog here.

I have a RTW trench that I purchased in Melbourne back in 1985 which has seen better days and I really like the style and want to copy some of its details for my new trench.

Looking through my Burda Style magazines there are a lot of trench coat  patterns but the one that is closest to the RTW is this one from November 2008 – No. 123 which they have made up in wool.

and then I have the January 1975 Burda Magazine that I won which has another great trench coat pattern and this will come in handy as well for the details.

Back in February 2010 I purchased this wonderful dark brown Designer Raincoat Fabric from Gorgeous Fabrics and have been waiting for the time when I felt confident to use it,

and then of course the lovely lining material that I received with the 1975 Burda Magazine works perfectly with this fabric.

My plan for moving forward is to:

  • Trace the pattern from the magazine.
  • Make a toile to ensure all is right.
  • Decide if I want it to be double breasted as my RTW isn’t? 
  • Decide on what zips I want to use and place my order with Zipperstop.
  • Gather my bedtime reading from a number of Threads magazines to figure what else I need to do.

    So is anyone else going to join the sew-along?