Now, as far as I'm concerned, no one does the extremes of Is it Ugly or is it Fabulous quite like Koos. Case in point:
|I know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder & all that...|
but seriously? He's done worse (imho, of course), but this is the only one
that's still currently available.
Back to The Coat...
Choosing fabrics was step one. Challenging? Oh yeah.... Fun? You betcha! I started by shopping my stash, & filled the missing pieces in from here & there, laying them out, moving them around....
And eventually ended up with this:
Which evolved into this:
|(The fabric bit sticking out on the right is the sleeve)|
Once I had the bias trim laid out on it, I was loving the combination!
The pattern instructions, by the way, are very clearly laid out. I've heard that Vogue gave instructions that are totally different (and more complicated) than Koos teaches it, but I've had no problems (so far) following anything.
Well, except for the bias strip pattern piece & instructions. I should have been able to tell at a glance that those were written by someone from Pluto...or someplace...but I wasted time trying to decipher them anyway, before I just did it my way. I've posted this method before, but I'll show my super easy way of cutting a bias strip here:
Once you have your bias tube sewn up, you simply insert a small self-healing mat inside the tube. This way, you can lay a clear ruler on the edge of your tube, & cut accurate edges (to the width of your choice), using a rotary cutter. After you cut a section, simply slide next section of the tube to the top of the mat, replace your ruler, and cut another section. Accurate widths for the full length of the strip, without having to mess with scissors! (I promise I'll do a full tutorial on this.....one of these days..... but there are already a lot of tutorials on cutting the fabric & sewing up the tube. I've just never seen this method of inserting a mat inside the tube for cutting before)
Anyway, back to The Coat....
The instructions call for sewing the fabric pieces together WRONG SIDES TOGETHER. After trimming your seams, you then lay your bias strips on top of the seams & top stitch each edge of the strips:
|I thought this was kinda cool...no worries about getting off kilter |
with your SA's on the other side of the fabric,
and everything looks finished, even on the unseen part!
|This shows the reverse side.|
After sewing the two sides together along the outer edge (RS together), you turn it through the neck/armhole opening, and baste the opening's raw edges together. Here's where I'm at now:
The next step is All. That. Topstitching! My only concern is how to get the topstitching done w/o puckering happening.... I'm practicing on scraps, but I still don't feel totally confident that I can keep both sides nice & smooth on the full lengths of All. Those. Lines.
Any tips or hints will be gratefully received!
Oh, yes, I promised to reveal A Secret! Here it is. See how simple the main body of the coat is, w/o all of the pieces? This fabric was actually "Muslin" #2. I did up the first one (out of an old tablecloth) in a Med = too big. So I decided to cut a wearable Small from fleece (I loves me my fleece, as many of my readers probably already know), and finalize my sleeve adjustments (they needed to be shortened) & check the overall fit before cutting into "The Good Stuff".
You say you don't want to fiddle with all those pattern pieces, or don't like the fabric matching game? But you like the lines of the coat? Well, here's The Secret. Once you've connected your pattern pieces together, you can cut this out in a thick, double-sided fabric, stitch it up, finish your seams, & you can actually have a wonderful coat in a couple of hours! Add pockets if you want, or line it, or make it reversible with another solid piece, and it's still an easy project!
Here's my fleece coat....this one is totally unfinished; I do plan on having some embellishing fun with it, & lining it with something else, but this can give you an idea of the possibilities:
My goal is to have the coat done by the end of the month (just a few short days away eek!), but hopefully I'll have most of the day tomorrow to work on it.
Wish me luck with the topstitching!