Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Coat Making: Resources

I have no idea how many work-hours I have in my completed Albion, but it's probably equal to the amount of research-hours I invested. SO MANY LINKS. And also books. So how's about we put them all in one place to reference later?

First of all, the modifications I made were inspired by my own winter coat (you can see photos here). I studied this coat as much as possible without tearing it apart, and used my best judgement to plan order of construction, etc. (many nights falling asleep going over construction in my head). I also practiced the collar during my muslin stage.


Tailoring: The Classic Guide to Sewing the Perfect Jacket--VERY informative, and will teach you all you need to know about tailoring a more traditional coat or suit jacket. Also goes in depth about supplies like interfacing and linings. Plenty of info that transfers into coat-making.


How to Preshrink Wool at Home--This is the method I used. You need to preshrink wool somehow, otherwise when you press/steam your seams will shrink!
Another Preshrinking Discussion
All About Linings--Also be sure to preshrink your linings!

How to Sew a Welt Pocket--I used this tutorial to insert my welt pocket and it worked perfectly. I drafted my own pattern pieces based on the size of my husband's cell phone.
How to Bag a Jacket Lining
How to Bag a Lining without a Weird Pleat
It should be noted that the Albion pattern does not have you bag the lining, but I decided to try it this way. I ended up doing the sleeve hems differently so honestly I didn't use anybody's directions!

All my testing for automatic buttonholes was disastrous. I quickly realized that I would need to sew the buttonholes (all five of them) by hand. Le sigh!
How to Sew a Buttonhole by Hand--Fantastic tutorial.
How to Sew a Buttonhole with a Zig-Zag Stitch
(video) How to Sew a Buttonhole Stitch--This helped me the most with the actual stitch.

This is my final post on the Albion, which has been haunting me for months now. It was the most expensive, ambitious, taxing sewing project I've ever undertaken. When it was done I refused to take it back into my sewing room for even minor tweaks or pressing, because I was so over it. I'm proud that I made a coat. I'm proud that I made complicated pattern modifications and it didn't end in disaster. But is it my favorite thing? No. Is it my husband's go-to every day coat? No. Do I sometimes wish I could burn it into a pile of ash? Yes.

But I hope that I won't always feel that way. I had very high expectations for myself, probably unfairly so, and I need to learn to take it easy on me. I kind of feel the way I felt after I made my first pair of trousers. Like I learned a whole hell of a lot, but like it was work when sewing is usually fun.

In the end, it's always an accomplishment when something leaves the sewing room for the closet. And maybe that's all that matters.


  1. these last two posts on the coat are interesting and great resources, thanks!

    1. Good! I felt like I was exhausting myself with details, so I might as well put them out there in case they help someone else!


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