Hello again ladies and gents! Hope you’re all enjoying #sewphotohop and fingers crossed you’ve been following my posts throughout September. I’m currently struggling to find time to sew for myself, which is killing me. I have a free afternoon on Sunday and some yummy fabric from So Sew English, so wish me luck!! How about starting the evening with a project review?
Meet my Luzerne trench coat. Do you ever really truly hate a project but keep going?? This is rare for me. I normally stuff UFOs out of sight but I think because I didn’t want to get this jacket too rumpled (hahah this sentence will be extra ironic as you read on) it always stayed in my eye line. I’ve been dipping into it every few months to get it finished. Given that I started this make in May, LAST YEAR, I’m amazed it’s finally done.
So why do I hate it? Let’s get started. The fit of this jacket was really hard to work out for my lifestyle. The amount of ease needed for wearing the trench with a jumper leaves it baggy without one underneath… and I like cardigans which create a hollow at the centre front and lumpy areas at the bust. Having the bust look especially rumpled really grates because I love a great fit in my torso. This is my own fault for trying to sew a relaxed coat when I’m not that kind of dresser. I like fitted clothes so what made me think I’d like a loose fit mac?!
The shape of the collar is also infuriating. It has this weird step that looks out of place to my eye. Its not a stand collar and it’s not a notch collar! What are you!?! Again this is my own issue, you may love this touch. Maybe you never even noticed… it looks so nice on other people’s versions.
Don’t get me wrong… There are a lot of great details. Those lovely pocket edges, the button tabs, curved back yoke, and well fitting sleeves but why oh why didn’t I ignore the pattern and make a longer tie belt!?
I know it’s a nice make but all I see is the creases and fit issues. I’m going to try and wear it more this Autumn with extra layers underneath to see if we can get on.
I used a lovely magenta organic twill from Fabworks which comes in a lot of colours. It’s the perfect weight but has a little bit of stretch which didn’t help my ease issues. And I made metres and metres of bias binding from a scrap piece of Wiltshire Liberty tana lawn. Binding everything takes a loooong time but creates a fun inside.
The pdf pattern arrives in multiple sizes and with separate English instructions – it in fact goes up to a phenomenal plus size range in PDF so bravo to the team. They’re fairly detailed but you may need extra help if you’ve never tried bound buttonholes or sewn a collar before. I made a size 38 without a toile because that is my size in D&D patterns but would definitely size down in future. If you can, buy the paper pattern for this one as it’s a LOT of pages to stick together.
Okay I’ve waffled on enough. For other gorgeous versions from the sewing community check out Sleepless into Bavaria who has made not one but TWO spotty macs, Allie J who clearly got her sizing just right and Stay Junique in her sassy red version.
Today I have a lot of topstitching to show you. Some good… some bad.
I’ve been holding off posting this dress because I’m really unhappy with the quality of the pictures. I think the focus isn’t working properly and the white balance seems off. If anyone has any good suggestions for replacements please let me know in the comments.
But first some key details! This is my Minerva Blogger Network make for July. I originally planned a denim Kwik Sew 3830 but this denim was a bit too heavyweight for that. So I thought how about a Jolie Marie Louise Léa dress or a Deer and Doe Belladone? Belladone won out as you can see.
The denim is a black blue visible weave 7.5 oz denim. It would be good for structured dresses, mini skirts, and jackets. I wouldn’t recommend it for trousers as its pretty crisp – but Katie seems to have nailed it so I could be wrong. There is only a teeny amount of stretch. It has a undefinable smell to it too. I can’t quite compare it to anything other than to say it smells really denimy – yes I have lost my mind from sniffing too much denim.
The Belladone seemed like a good match because the cool open back feature needs stability. Plus I played with topstitching on my original belladone and had a hoot.
I used a denim needle and blue polyester thread throughout the main construction. My topstitch was done with gutermann topstitch weight thread in an orangey code #362. I took my stitch length up to 4mm and most of the time used my stitch in the ditch foot as a substitute topstitching foot.
So if you’re not familiar with this dress its selling point is a diamond cutout back but it also has yoked pockets, and flattering A-line skirt and I easily converted this to a v neck at the front. I used bias for the arm and neck holes but there is a facing for the hem which you can see let me have a nice deep topstitched hemline. It does make the skirt hem a little undesirably stiff though.
A word of warning for fans of tights: It doesn’t have any provision for lining. It doesn’t even face the waistband. I used the denim for a waistband facing but this was very thick so I do regret it.
Ahhh the neckline and armholes topstitching. They came out so dodgy! This was because without my special foot I had to rely on following a chalk line and that wasn’t working for me. This is the best of three attempts.
I’m still really happy with dress because it looks pretty smart, the skirt looks great and it reminds me of a Michelle Williams dress I have had pinned on Pinterest for a very long time. Triple win!!