04 December, 2012

Trench coat: progress and details

The hardest part of making anything, especially something made up of many complicated parts, is, actually, making the decision.  And decisions.

In this case, stuff like:
 topstitching:  single pass or double?  single.  Self or contrasting?  darker than self but not in your face contrast.  Normal thread or jeans/heavy weight?  I went with extra strong, which thinner than jeans weight, but some small fiddly things like belt loops are stitched with self coloured regular weight thread - the heavier thread didn't seem appropriate on the very small stuff.

Aside from choosing to make two piece sleeves, one of the more interesting questions I had posed myself was the construction of the yoke and gun flap.  It occurred to me that it would be sort of cool if this piece could be simply free floating on the coat itself, with neckline and armscyes  being the only seams where it's attached to the coat.  To that end, I added a "mini gun flap" to the left side:

I deliberately cut the lining a little larger than the FF, to allow for potential fraying during handling. 
The order of construction was, stitch left and right front flaps to the yoke, press shoulder seams to front and topstitch them, add the epaulette carriers, and only THEN attach the lining.  This way the lining smoothly sits between the yokes and the coat itself.   The shoulder seams of the coat itself are pressed to the back which minimizes the thickness at that point.

There are no buttonholes on anything yet; I usually do those as the very last step.  That button is just sitting pretty pretending it's attached.

A word on this fabric.  (aside: is this really what Bur6erry uses in their trench coats? it seems heavier than what I saw in stores recently).  This fabric is like milled cast iron, it's that tough and strong.   It's so ......um, stiff, yeah, there, I said it - when it comes right down to the nitty gritty it's pretty much stiff as a board, and I do hope it softens in wear.  See that epaulette below? It isn't even interfaced, and doesn't it have super legs?

So, after dithering for a bit (decisions, decisions), I decided not to interface the facing.  I was afraid I'd feel I was walking wrapped in cardboard if I did.  Instead, I added a wedge of fusible hair canvas to the lapel area of the CF, pinked off at the lapel fold diagonal line. Should I tape it?  Any advice on that? (I didn't)

Things are coming along.  I'm almost at the point of cutting the facing and lining layer.

Jan 2015 update:  a few detail shots of the finished coat.

Collar tab buttonhole is non-functional, so I left it uncut.

Shoulder tab:

 Left gunflap:

 Sleeve and belt buckles, pocket, topstitching details:

Two piece lower collar, cut on the bias for a nice chevron pattern:

And, note the nice high collar stand.  Great for keeping the wind off my neck!

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