25 November, 2012

Trench coat: pattern test drive

As the saying goes, there's no time like the  present.  Killing two birds with one stone, I cut out jacket length (5255 D), though I plan to use all of the pattern details of jacket C, for a snazzy red jacket to test drive the 5525 body with the sleeve from Simplicity 4084 (another great trench coat pattern), and basted it all together.    

The body is a straight size 12, with the back neckline dropped a whole 2.5 cm (1") to compensate for my over-erect (yes that is the correct technical term!) back.  Good thing I did that - it brought the shoulder seams to where they should be:  when I forget this step, my garments show a severe backwards drift:  yuck! 

The fit is great - but I like more ease (the stuffed sausage look is So Not For Me), so I narrowed the SA's a tad at the front and back  princess seams starting at the hip bone, leaving the CB and side seams per original design. That added about 4 cm (1.5") to the hip area. 

I also intend to lower the CB vent by about 2-3 cm (~1"), as I do NOT want my butt's high water line to push it open!

The sleeve took a bit of work:  first I measured the original 5525 armscye circumference & compared it to the 4084's.  In the latter, the circumference is 15 mm smaller and the sleeve length 2.5 cm (1") shorter.  So I added 4 mm to each of the half sleeve sides, and lengthened them by a breathtaking 7.5 cm (3").  Just as well!!!!!  

 In the above pic, the sleeve hem is folded 5.5 cm (2 1/4") from the bottom, and it doesn't look too long, does it?   The lovely purple elastic, you ask?  it's there to imitate the sleeve tab/belt, which serves to cinch the sleeve and keep freezing rain and wind off my bony wrists.  

There was no way to ease this sleeve into the body.  The fabric is totally non-easable, so I made a few tiny pleats at upper back (you can see a couple of them in the pic).  However - I think what I'll do is add a little more ease at the side and front princess seams for my bust, just the upper 10-15 cm, and that'll increase the armscye a bit and make the task of sleeve easing easier ;) in the actual construction.  

So, what next?  
I need to decide on a whole lot of things:
1. do I need to interface the whole fronts, per pattern instructions?  this fabric is like iron - maybe interfacing isn't necessary?  maybe I could, like I did with my most recent jacket, just underline with silk organza and add a bit of hair canvas to the lapel bit of the underlining? 
2. do I need to worry about waterproofing all the seams?
3. for the red jacket, what sort of lining?  fancy silk (dig through the stash, Digs!), or basic black bemberg (which I already have)?  
4. what about the topstitching?  contrast or self colour? self or thick thread?
4. how about some amazing piped edges (for the red jacket only)?

So.  This was a well spent Sunday.  I think, since I really-Really-REALLY want to have a trench COAT  before the month is out rather than a JACKET, I'll now set this little red baby aside and plow straight into the tan.  :)   :)  :)

1 comment:

  1. Ah, so you DO have some decisions to make! I'm interested in your topstitching choice as now that you've mentioned it, that's one of the things I couldn't decide either. I never got around to making samples. Do you have a second machine to designate for topstitching or will you have to change thread often if you use something other than the construction thread?

    You've confirmed that the fabric cannot be eased, so at least now I know I'll want to stick with a raglan sleeve. I'll have enough to deal with without adjusting the armscye and/or sleeve cap.