Saturday, June 21, 2008

Coat Decisions Part 1

Well, after all my pattern ideas, I have settled on one that I didn't even mention or show in the last post. I should have realized right away that since this fabric has such a busy print, it needs a very staid, classic style to balance it. When this year's Marfy catalog came out, there was a coat pattern in it that is a style I'd been looking for, and although I had no plans to make another coat anytime soon, I bought it. I knew that if I didn't, with my luck when I wanted the style I wouldn't be able to get it or find another. This is Marfy #1746.

Photo Link

I actually looked at this pattern originally when I was going through coat patterns I have, but I was so fixated on a swing-type coat that I just dismissed it, and as I said, a swing coat style with this fabric just never came together in my mind, no matter how hard I tried to make it do so. For some reason, I came back around to this pattern and looked at it again, and suddenly I could see it in this fabric, and it seemed to be just perfect.

The pattern has a Front and Side piece that are cut in one with a vertical dart from the pocket level to the armscye in lieu of a princess seam, and also a short horizontal dart off of the vertical dart. There is no side seam. The Side piece joins the Back as an armscye princess seam, so there's a lot of unbroken area for a patterned fabric. There is a CB seam. It has a 2-piece sleeve of course, and the under- and upper-collar and front facing are drafted to include the turn-of-cloth. I've found all Marfy patterns to include this, and it's awfully nice. There are no lining pieces, but that's easily remedied.

I've ordered a swatch of the gorgeous Cashmere Print I want to use from Elliott Berman Textiles, and also asked for a swatch of a plain cashmere or similar fabric in the darker color if they have it. I think it would be fun to do the facings, under collar, and bottom side of the pocket flaps in the plain color. They said they'd look, and if I can't get it, doing everything in one fabric will work very nicely too.

I checked the hem circumference of this pattern against several other patterns I have, and also against several coats I have, and although at 60" it's narrower than the other patterns I checked (the Patrones is 74") it's the same as 3 coats I have that I like very much, and which are perfectly comfortable in width. So, I'm not worried about that.

Marji suggested that I do Roberta Carr's off-grain addition to the CF on this coat since it is fairly narrow, and I'm glad she brought it up as I'm not sure I would have thought of it. It's an easy change to make, and I'm now ready to cut out the muslin and stitch it up to try on. I'm glad to do this muslin for reasons other than the obvious fitting, as I'm figuring my own yardage needs, and I came up with 3 yards by measuring the pattern pieces. The catalog recommends 2.8 meters for a smaller size than mine, so I'm hoping to be pretty close. I don't want to order more than I need to, and I certainly don't want to get too little. I cut my muslin piece at 3 yards, so I'll see if it will work. If not, I've got more muslin and either way I'll know how much to order. I may order a little extra anyway, just in case, and for print placement.

My sister had a wonderful idea about using any scraps. She suggested glove cuffs, and wouldn't that be pretty luxurious? I've decided that any gloves I make should themselves be a knit or at least non-ravel fabric that's somewhat stretchy. Even leather has some stretch. Anyway, that's all pie in the sky until the coat is done.

I know I'll need underlining for this, and I'm anxious to get the swatch and see what I think might work, and I need to find a really nice lining. I'm thinking silk, and I'll see if I have something I like or if I need to order something.

As The Vogue Sewing Book says:
"Don't skimp on the inner fabrics: interfacings, underlinings, and lining fabrics should match your fashion fabric's quality."
I want to do this well, and if I'm going to use a wonderful fabric, I want to at least try to end up with a wonderful coat. I'm certainly going to have all the help I could ask for to get it right.
One thing I've realized while planning and thinking about this is that although I've always said Yes when asked if I have more than one project going at once, I actually don't do it very often, or at least if I do, it's not more than one "major" project, so this will be an interesting experience from that angle as well. I'm not sure I'm really comfortable putting down the jacket I'm working on, for example, and beginning pattern work on this coat. I think I need a list with steps to do on it more than ever before.


Tina said...

Liana, I think this is going to be gorgeous and will love watching you sew the coat.
I am really curious about the Roberta Carr Off grain addition to the front, could you explain that further?

Beautiful fabric. I need to visit their website

Mary Beth said...

Oh-ho-ho-ho! That fabric is exquisite and the description of the Marfy pattern drafting (turn of cloth) is the best recommendation I've seen so far for a Marfy enablement. I think you've got a winner that will be so stylish on you and is well thought out. This will be a pleasure to watch :)

AnnR said...

I just love the Marfy design -nothing like a real classic to showcase that wonderful fabric.
I'd underline in jap silk or fine cotton lawn to keep that flexible cashmere feel - JHMO! And certainly a silk lining. Can't you tell how much I love this...?


Sigrid said...

Great pattern, look forward to seeing you making this. Agree with you on the one "major" project at a time.

Summerset said...

Very smart choice - a minimum of seams to disrupt the pattern. That's why I liked the Miyake - it looked like the pieces were large enough to really get the full effect of the fabric. This will be wonderful to see.

Mardel said...

Oooo! So pretty. The pattern sounds perfect for that fabric, especially as you describe the cut of the pattern. The fabric itself looks so fabulously special and dramatic, it seems like it would really shine in such a classically elegant coat! Can't wait to see.