Hooray! My trench coat is finally finished! This has been a long journey that I started already in April, when I wrote about my coat plans. At that point I hadn’t found my pattern, yet and hadn’t met my wonderful, wonderful sewing teacher Michelle, who helped me tremendously along the way.
Then I managed to find the McCall’s 5525 coat sewing pattern on Ebay and started drafting a coat. I used the pattern only as a starting point since I had a clear image on my mind of the coat I wanted: a fitted coat, with a flared hem and leather piping.
During this long project, I have learned a ton of things: How to draft a coat pattern of my dreams using a commercial pattern as a base, how to use sewn-in interfacings, how to make a beautiful collar, how to draft and fit a sleeve, how to use tailoring finishes in hems and buttonholes, and much more. Above all else, I learned to rip out the things that didn’t work and to try again and again to get a good result. Sometimes I only figured out my errors as I was writing my blog posts and had to stop and rip out the things I was writing about.
All the time, though, I was having fun. A long time ago I decided not to make things if I wasn’t enjoying my work. So every time I felt frustrated I hanged my coat onto my dressform and left it there until I felt better. Luckily I started in spring so I had plenty of time before I actually needed a coat!
To be honest, the coat is still missing three buttonholes, one from the gun flap, one from the collar tab and the last (more optional) from the inside where I would prefer to have two buttons and buttonholes instead of just one. However, I run out of buttonhole twist and just started wearing the coat. I will do the buttonholes when I get the silk but right now I already feel like the work is done.
The finished trench coat
Yesterday, we went for a walk in the Seurasaari open-air museum in Helsinki. The weather was sunny but the wind was really chilly.
So, this is how the coat looks like when buttoned up. The fit is perfect. All the time up until the sleeves were fastened I was worried about the coat being too big. That was because I needed to leave a lot of ease and with unlined materials the whole thing looked like a tent. Not anymore! I can easily move and swing my hands and feel no resistance from the coat.
The belt makes my waist look smaller and the flared hem adds some curves to my figure. The length keeps even my legs warm. I was pretty sure that I was going to shorten the coat, but the longest length in the McCall’s view E ended up to be the one that I ended up using. However the silhouette of the coat is very different after I took in a lot of ease and added some flare to the hem. Furthermore, I reshaped the flaps and redesigned the pockets completely. Now they are big enough to hold a litter of puppies if it came to it!
The sleeves were redrafted. I wanted a two-part sleeve and I had another coat pattern with a sleeve that had approximately the same width. I made a toile using a combination pattern from those two sleeve patterns and after a few small modifications got sleeves that are not only comfortable but also sleek.
All that internal structure makes the coat behave nicely when worn open. Instead of looking baggy it still sits well.
In the picture below, the checked lining is visible. You can also finally see the little white buttons that support the big black ones on the inside. Oh, and I made the skirt, too. That was a while ago after I fell in love with this Alexander McQueen skirt style on Pinterest.
Here is another picture from the side. The pocket flap tends to slip inside a pocket when I put something in my pocket. That used to happen in my previous trench coat too, from which I took my inspiration for these pockets…
So, finally I am super happy and can do nothing but twirl in my coat for the amusement of passing spanish tourists.
I think my face tells best how I feel after all this work is successfully finished! I don’t regret anything I did. Yes, there are still mistakes and imperfections but listing them wouldn’t do any good. After a while I probably can’t even remember those things I might have wanted to improve on.
So, here we are at the end. I hope that these posts about my trench coat project were useful to you. In any case, I thank you for visiting my blog and hope to see you here again. Happy sewing!