The previous posts about this trench coat project:
Belt carriers, sleeve bands and the belt
I had my belt and sleeve band buckles ready, so I adjusted the belt (I include now the sleeve bands with the word ‘belts’) widths to suit the buckles. I added some extra length to the sleeve bands since the original ones were meant to be buttoned up. With the belt, I decided to use the whole width of my gabardine and cut the belt on fold. I also made the belt end pointed.
The belts and the sleeve bands needed to be interfaced. I interfaced the belts using a very lightweight woven interfacing for the belt and slightly thicker for the sleeve bands. I would have used the thicker one also for the belt but was unfortunately running out of that weight.
How did I turn the belts around after stitching such long tubes? The sleeve bands were not really an issue but the belt was about 150 cm long. Luckily I had saved the long cardboard tube that had come inside a roll of pattern tracing paper. The tube was just perfect tool for the turning:
I also printed out a handy measurement tool with my computer and poked some holes into it to mark the top stitching lines accurately:
The belt carriers were made in one long piece as the original pattern suggested, although I made them slightly narrower and adjusted the length of them to suit my belt.
With the sleeve carriers I decided to use even narrower strips and three per sleeve instead of two in the McCall’s pattern. This was because my old trench coat had three carriers at each sleeve and I liked the look. That also helped to keep the buckles from moving.
The edge stitching foot was very handy when making the carriers:
The belts needed also holes for the buckle and the metal eyelets. I struggled for a while to find the best tool for it and I finally ended up using my Prym pliers:
The pliers made really neat holes. I used some fray check for each hole before adding the eyelets. The eyelets were too bulky for the buckle hole, so I ended up making some buttonhole stitches to finish the edges of the holes.
The final felt looks gorgeous…
… as do the sleeve bands:
the lining of the trench coat
I used this Burberry-ish check for the lining, but it had a slight problem. The black check was showing through my light coloured gabardine! I was despairing for a while and then found a solution. Marimekko outlet in Herttoniemi Helsinki sold me super lightweight off-white/light beige interfacing. I made a sample and it did not really affect the look or the drape of the lining material. So, I interfaced the whole checked lining.
I tried to pattern match as well as I could with the curved seams using a ton of pins:
The facing was cut off-grain just like the original center front. As I interfaced it too with the same super lightweight interfacing I had used for the checked lining I also made sure to cut the interfacing off-grain.
On a whim I got some gray cotton piping and sewed it between the facing and the lining.
The hidden breast pocket
I envy the men that have breast pockets in their coats, so I made sure to add one to my trench. The breast pocket had to be inserted so that it didn’t coincide with any of the buttons.
I chose to make a single welt pocket and use bias cut lining fabric to make the welt. I wasn’t familiar of using bias cut welts, so I made sure to add Edge-tape interfacing to prevent the welt from stretching:
For the pocket lining I decided to use the same golden lining fabric as I was planning to use as a sleeve lining. After sewing the welt and the lining piece on the opposite side on, I dabbed a tiny amount of Fray Check on the corners of my welt pocket to stop them from fraying.
Making sure that the Fray Check was dry I cut the pocket opening and turned all the pocket parts to their right places on the inside, leaving only the welt visible. After some ironing, I sewed the ends of the welt from the wrong side and added the other piece of the pocket bag. I am really happy how this ended up looking:
I did not use the checked lining for the sleeves but opted for the slippery satin lining fabric in golden colour:
The trench coat before the lining
At this stage my coat looked like this from the inside:
Now, before inserting the lining I wanted to add piping to the front edges. Again I made sure to use teflon foot and clip the piping at the sharp turn. I think it still would have been better to hand baste the piping in place, since the piping ended up pulling the fabric slightly. However, clipping the piping and adding some heavy ironing with steam evened things out enough:
Just for a reference the back of the coat looked like this:
The hem is completely uneven and too long at the sides but that can be fixed later, since now was the time to line the coat.
Inserting the lining
Before sewing the lining on, I basted my coat hanging chain to the neckline. The chain had metal rings at each end and I made little fabric loops to thread through them and sew the chain in place.
To be honest, It took several tries and a lot of ripping to make the lining lay nicely without any extra tucks and with even piping. However finally I was happy with the result. To make the coat fronts smooth, I ended up doing something I used to do with finished knits:
I spread a thick kids’ foam puzzle on the floor and spread some towels on top of it. Then I pinned the coat edges to the puzzle mat at the same time adding lots of steam from my iron. I pulled the coat edge until it was perfectly straight and pinned it down leaving it dry and set overnight.
For a long time I have been a fan of old fashioned monogramming. Inspired by this freely available old book: Monograms and ciphers by Carlton Studio and A. A. Turbayne, I designed my own and set out to embroider it on a scrap piece of interfaced gabardine.
First I back-stitched all the way around the design. Then I added some pad stitching to the letters K.
Finally I covered the whole design with sating stitches. I cut the embroidered fabric into a rectangle and stitched it on the coat facing, just under the breast pocket. (By the way, I just realised that one of the buttons may end up just where the embroidery is! Oh, well, I can always move it, if it becomes a problem.)
It is not perfect but it works. I think I should have used a bit more pad stitching to make the letters more three-dimensional. Mostly I am happy that it lays straight since I had misplaced my embroidery hoop and wasn’t able to tighten it over the embroidery hoop.
The final piece that still was missing (besides the buttons) was the collar tab. This is part of the original McCall’s 5525 pattern that I decided to keep.
The tab is still missing a buttonhole but, before making buttonholes, I must hem the coat and make some practice buttonholes.
The next time I post an article in this series you will see the completed coat! I am super excited!
Thank you for visiting and see you soon! Happy sewing!