Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Cashmere Coat Done!




This baby is put to bed! Over all I am pleased with the results. So here are some pics and comments. I used Simplicity 2812.
This pattern has great princess seams, the better for fit adjustments, several collar options, and a raised defined waistline, one of my better looks. I chose to do the view with the stand up collar and shorter length. I used a size 6 pattern. I "petited" it by folding out a good inch on the upper chest, back, and sleeve cap. I do this with all my patterns right out of the envelope. I did a full bust adjustment and also widened the waist and hips a tad. Upon flat pattern measuring the upper sleeve and comparing to my upper arm, I realized there was NO ease. I proceeded to widen the upper arm to accommodate mine. I have to tell you though, I am not a big person with big fleshy arms. So I didn't quite get this but the numbers didn't lie. This brings me to one of the things I don't like about this pattern and that is the sleeves. They are puffy. So I am thinking the top of the sleeve is over fitted and the bottom just too puffy. If you look at the full length coats on the pattern envelope you will see they are definitely puffy, something that I did not pick up on till my coat was cut and sewn. When I did my muslin I just did the bodice and upper hip. Shame on me. If I ever re do this pattern I will search out a two piece sleeve to use instead of the puffy version. To deal with the width I darted the lower sleeve and prickstitched it. The pattern offers a similar option as well as a tab option. I will say that the big sleeve is very comfortable, especially with a sweater underneath, the way I wore it shopping the other day.


One thing I do really like about the pattern is the collar. It is a wide stand away mandarin collar. Is there another name for this? It is easy to sneak a scarf in there, something very necessary in our climate and the way the collar stands away is very flattering to the neck and face. So that I like.
Another like is the lining. It is a silk crepe de chine. I was back and forth over whether to add a back neck facing or not. Then one night I stumbled on to Ann Rowley's pearls of wisdom from Stitcher's guild. In answer to the same question, she said that back neck facings were rarely seen in couture and the lining was always brought up to the neckline. Talk about a lucky lurk!.

Another thing I did not like about this pattern that did not become evident until construction was completed were the pocket flaps. They set way too low for my short body. I faced the hem to add additional length below the flaps and I think this saved the day. If I did this pattern again I would set the pockets and flaps much higher. Its a "short" thing. I know you petites understand.

My details included hand picking all the princess seams and flap and collar edges for additional definition. This detail really went quickly and I would not hesitate to do it again. If you try this do some samples first, trying different threads. Measure out your stitches for accuracy. The coat also has bound buttonholes which I hadn't done in a few years. I did LOTS of samples before I started on the actual coat and am glad I did. I actually put one of my samples in backwards and perish what that would have looked like on the coat! Irretrievable!

The buttons are JHB and I love them. Let's face it. The coat is pretty plain. The buttons jazzed it up just enough.

All in all, I am very happy with my new winter coat. It feels just scrumptious with its lighter than air cashmere shell, heavy flannel interlining, and silk crepe de chine lining. The other day we had a high of 12º and I tooled about town in my new coat and hat. I was warm as a brown marshmallow on a summer's night. This coat is really quite light to carry.

A few words about the cashmere. This stuff is yummy. HOWEVER, and it is a big however, it has a wicked nap. You need to baste your brains out here. It just moves everywhere, worse than velvet. The other caveat is the ironing. I used a medium/low setting and my own moisture put on with a dauber for the most part. In the beginning, while making samples, I figured out the ironing challenges. Thank goodness that lesson was learned before I ruined the coat. I did scorch a sample for failure to use a press cloth. Remember this stuff is hair from a goat, not fur. So it scorches. If this happens, take an emery board and just rub the scorch off. I did this on the sample and you never would have know it had burned. So always a press cloth, gentle touch, and moisture in those seams. All the tools came in handy for this, my pressing mitt, seam roll, ham, etc.

I will be away holiday visiting down on the Cape and the North Shore for the next week. When I get back it will be full tilt on the fur vest. At this point the pattern is all drawn out on the backing and I have started the tedious step of cutting it out, using little nips with the points of the scissors. Every time I go downstairs I do a few more inches. I hope to make another hat to go with it. Till next week..........Bunny

24 comments:

  1. Bunny this truly is perfection. There is nothing plain about it. I am in awe. Stunning, really.

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  2. You coat does not look plain to me! Absolutely gorgeous!! Beautiful workmanship. And the lining is perfect.

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  3. I love your coat! It's perfect- and must feel exquisite to touch. Congratulations on a remarkable job!

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  4. Your coat is absolutely beautiful. Thank you for all of your tips for working on cashmere, petite-izing a pattern, and this particular coat pattern. I was wondering -- did you attach your flannel interlining to the lining or to the coat itself?

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  5. Beautiful coat - love all the extra details and the lining is gorgeous!

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  6. Absolutely beautiful coat. Thanks for all the detailed pictures and you experiences with this pattern.

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  7. Thanks, peers! As always your comments are greatly appreciated and entice me to do more!

    Daisy, I washed the flannel two or three times first. It actually was a pretty heavy flannel. I then spot glued it with Sobo within the seam line to the cashmere as an underlining. Later when the construction was done, before catchstitching all the seams, I cut the flannel seam allowances away. Ironing on the seamline heated up the glue and the fabric lifted up easily. It left no big spots or blobs. I use very tiny dots to do this. Its fast. You can do this while the fabric is flat on the table. It doesn't get stressed and pulled off grain from going thru the machine, that way. I learned this from a really accomplished dressmaker in NH, Dianne Hoik.

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  8. Fabulous job, Bunny! I want to see photos of you and the hat with this coat. Excellent tips here too. Good to know about no back facings in couture.

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  9. Beautiful coat! What interfacing did you use for this?

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  10. What a truly gorgeous coat! Wow - I think you are brave to work with cashmere! And the lining is perfect! :)

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  11. Bunny .- The coat is divine. I carefully read all your explanations and I agree with you in points for and against. I also have a predilection for the sleeve of two pieces, but there is a system so that the sleeve of a piece curve is slightly ahead, we must let the seam back of the sleeves a bit longer than the front, collect the surplus and ironing . In this way is a bit more slack in the elbow and bends forward. With regard to the processing of cashmere and wool, I always wet the floor cloth with a cloth and dry out with the plate (in Spanish called "plaque"). It is a good system, which removes dressing and avoids bright future.

    Ultimately, the coat looks great, really. I love the color and surprise as the colorful interior. Congratulations and that you enjoy.

    Greetings and see you soon, Paco



    Bunny.- el abrigo es divino. Estoy leyendo atentamente todas sus explicaciones y coincido con usted en los puntos a favor y en contra. Yo también tengo predilección por la manga de dos piezas, pero hay un sistema para que la manga de una pieza se curve ligeramente hacia delante: hay que dejar la costura posterior de la manga un poco más larga que la delantera, recoger el sobrante y planchar. De esta forma queda un poco más floja en el codo y se dobla hacia delante. Con respecto al tratamiento del cachemir y otras lanas, yo siempre suelo mojar la tela con un paño y secar progresivamente con la plancha (en español se llama "plaquear"). Es un buen sistema, que quita el apresto y evita brillos posteriores.

    En definitiva, el abrigo se vé estupendo, de verdad. Me encanta el color y la sorpresa tan colorista del interior. Felicidades y que usted lo disfrute.

    Saludos y hasta pronto, Paco

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  12. The coat is absolutely divine! As a short-waisted petite, I understand all the issues with adjusting a pattern to accomodate that body shape. It's not just about making things smaller, it is adjusting collar heights, pocket placements, etc., too.

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  13. Bunny your coat turned out beautifully! I'm just finishing up my cashmere coat, so I hear ya on the issues with cashmere.

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  14. That coat is beautiful. I have just purchased the pattern, so am thankful for the tips.

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  15. Gracias, Paco, por su tutorial con las mangas. Es muy muy agradecido. Estoy siempre aprendiendo y siempre abierta a aprender mas. Eso es lo que me encanto del coser y del blogosfera. Que comunidad buena!

    Thanks again everyone for the lovely comments. Always appreciated.

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  16. That is just gorgeous!!! If I may ask, where did you find the cashmere. Not that I would ever need it in hot city, but one can dream. I'm also surprised it would keep you so toasty in 12 degree weather - I'm originaly from WI, so I know cold, and I'm thinking I would want a l o n g coat in such weather.

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  18. Try again! I bought this piece many years ago at a Joanns, believe it or not. Long ago they actually carried high end fabrics in this particular store and I bought many silks and woolens there. There was a great selection. I don't think I could find a piece of 100% wool in our local Joanns today if I tried. Today if I want cashmere and silks, I go to Fabric Fix in Manchester, NH. There are some excellent on line resources out there if you are interested.

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  19. What a beautiful cashmere jacket! It calls to mind those outfits during the 60’s, when clothing pieces like this were all the rage. I do remember Jackie O wore this kind of jacket. And until today, it looks timeless and chic. It never goes out of style.

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  20. I am impressed from your blog. We have an extensive range of cashmere garments including the ever popular cashmere dress like coat, robe and scarf. There are many shops that sell cashmere garments.
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