One of my favourite things about moving to Canada has been the chance to celebrate 4 distinct seasons (NZ can have these all in one day)… which means 4 actual seasons of clothing, and most importantly coats!
I’ve been mulling a autumn/fall parka for quite some time, trying to design the perfect parka – mostly because the previous jacket I made is still going strong 9 years later – so I was worried if it’s not perfect I’d be stuck with a dud.
On this pursuit of perfection I’ve been collecting inspiration for a while on Pinterest/RTW/and taking stalker pics of cool styles on the street. (Do any other sewists do this? I seem to find myself staring a little too long at a cool detail on someone’s jacket/bag. Often the memory won’t be enough so I’ll take a sneaky pic on the go…creep)
To combat the analysis paralysis, as I always work best with a deadline (apparently the thought of being cold in fall was not enough…) I committed to completing this jacket as part of Slow Fashion October… as you can see given it’s now March that panned out swell. However of the 5 months this has taken only roughly 10% was actual sewing! the rest was all them scribbles you see below!
The main fabric is a Rag and Bone stretch twill I bought at Mood when on holiday last year (wow after so many years dreaming and lusting through project runway it fully lived up to expectations!). Taking a squiz at their site it seems most similar to this.
I lined the body with a kinda flannel from Fabricland I had in my stash – not fully fuzzy and doesn’t seem to pill. Things did go wonky with this when I interfaced and sewed it to the zip, it seemed to pucker and stretch all over the show. After the 4th unpicking I gave up and left it – not sure if anyone has clues as to why it might have done that?!
For the sleeves I used some Kasha lining left over from the Horse Coat. I tend to wear the same dresses all year round with the addition of thick tights and slips. However, as these are often short sleeved this usually means my arms are chilly when the rest is not – so far the kasha has helped :). Also it’s slippyness makes for much easier putting on.
I am super stoked with the hardware all from the Leather and Sewing Supply Depot in Toronto. Had some hilarious times with the eyelets and domes/snaps. The first kit had the wrong sized tool, and it took about an hour of swearing until I realised, for once it was not actually user error!
- Added lining and drawstring to hood, and sewed on the outside of the collar – I really like hoods on coats and couldn’t see a time I’d ever stash it away in the collar.
- Added FBA using this super handy tutorial.
- Added 8 inches to body length – I mostly wear skirts/dresses and don’t like them poking out the bottom, also it’s nice to have the leg protection when sitting on the sometimes suspiciously stained TTC (public transit in Toronto).
- Added facings to the lining and extended the collar to match.
- Replaced waist elastic with drawstring and added casing for the drawstring to the jacket outer.
- Extended the sleeves instead of the cuff.
- Added welt pockets with a flap – and now I finally have pockets that fit my giant phone!
- Added a dome placket – also as I always wear scarves with jackets, to avoid snagging in the zip I changed the zipper band construction to follow the cascade sewalong.
- Started the zip at the neckline (again with scarves I never do zips up any higher).
- Added an inch to the jacket front and reduced size of zipper band to match.
- Bagged out the lining instead of suggested method – personally just really love a bagged out jacket.
Moments of insanity
- This was the project on which I discovered my blind hem foot, and the joy it brings to edge stitching, oh my! However, when carried away on the prowess of newly awesome skills I managed to catch a big chunk of the hood into the seam… (cue humble pie unpicking!)
- Note to all when adding a placket think about the placement of the flap that will cross over – as the zip is centered – when I initially sewed it all up the flap looked so very wonky closed – thankfully nipping a bit off the seam of the covering flap and corresponding front body piece evened things out.
- Really like this pattern – especially the gathers at the shoulders and the Raglan sleeve – it was the perfect starting point to build on.
- If I had a do over I would add interfacing to the collar it’s a touch floppy, pretty sure not having the zip as the pattern recommends is part of the cause. I would also reduce the height a touch (personal preference).
- I initially thought the hood would be massive but after wearing it for a few walks in blustery winds and rain it is amazing! especially with the drawstring, and it fits a woollen beanie/toque under it no sweat.
- Whilst loving the feel and look of the material, I’m not totally convinced on its durability – it seems to snag and pull pretty easily, when manhandling it under the walking foot I managed to snag it on the feed dogs!… hopefully will be fine in wearing.
- Also after a few wears in the rain I’m going to go ahead and treat it with some waterproofer, it’s currently a touch too absorbent in the the rain.
- All summed up though I love this coat!!! and am so very stoked its FINALLY DONE so I can actually get some wear before summer graces us with her presence.
Thanks Mum for the awesome woollen hat in the last pic and Erin for the sweet Pics!