October 3, 2012

New Project: Winter Coat for My Man

In addition to a few other projects for myself, my mister has been pleading for a new coat so I've decided to break down and make him one. Actually he's been pleading for two new coats - a winter coat and a trench - but one thing at a time, right? I rarely sew for Shawn (Mr. S) and its kind of sad really. I need to be better about incorporating his needs into my sartorial sewing world. We wouldn't be able to afford the type of coat I'll make, and really I love the prospect of delving into a bit of menswear. I thought it would be fun to take a journey together with you, especially as I'm working on the toggle coat version from the japanese pattern book. If you haven't seen it, and don't know what a japanese pattern book is, I suggest having a gander in this Etsy shop (I always buy japanese books from her and she's so nice and her CS is excellent!). Japanese pattern books contain several different patterns in one book (all the instructions are usually in japanese) and this one in particular has some really beautiful men's outerwear. I actually have a few different japanese pattern books, but this is the first time I've actually used one.

Duane from Mainely Dad has been a great resource as I've been working through the beginning stages of this project. Duane has made all of the coats from this japanese book - here's his toggle version! And they are all insanely beautiful! I can actually credit Duane with giving my mister the idea that I could actually sew up a coat for him too (thanks Duane - no sarcasm here, truly). I actually did start tracing off a trench coat earlier this year for my man, but that abruptly ended when, I found that in addition to tracing off the damn lovely pattern, I had to add seam allowances too! You guys & gals, I can be hardcore, but that's really asking way to much of me. This is what sparked the idea and need for Double Tracing Wheels, different pattern papers and sheets of tracing paper. If you ever do anything like this, all I can say is, you really need to get yourself hooked up here because those tracing wheels and sheets of tracing paper are nothing less than magical! They shaved hours (I would say about 4 hours, seriously) off the tracing process alone.

So if you were wondering, to trace off the pattern, I put down some dotted pattern paper first (I could have used the medical exam paper too, no biggie, whatevs) then I put the tracing paper sheet - blue - face down on top of that and put the pattern sheet on top of that. Put down a couple of pattern weights here and there and then used that handy dandy tracing wheel, to not only trace the pattern, but add the seam allowance in one whack. I added a 1/2" seam allowance - by the way, these tracing wheels do not do 1/8" increments, which is really neither here nor there, but you know. For the hem allowances I added either a 1 1/2" - sleeve - or 2" - body - hem allowance to the bottoms.

The perfect fabric came into my possession at the American Sewing Expo too. It's that Double Cloth Wool Coating from Wool House. When I presented it to my mister, and draped it over him to get a sense of how the color would work for him, he claimed that he wanted a cape instead of a coat. He told me to just serge the edges and put some sort of closure around the neck. By the way, he's so full of shit that his eyes are brown (truly they are). I'm planning to add/draft a lining for the coat, in addition to adding a zipper placket down the front. I'll show you both when I get to that point. The lining for the body is going to be a black rayon satin and the lining for the sleeve and hood will be grey silk charmeuse that I'm thinking I'll quilt to lambswool for added warmth. The coating is actually pretty heavy, so I don't know that I need to lambswool the whole thing, plus Mr. S keeps his thermostat pretty high temped as it is.

So there ya go. I'm actually sewing for another human being besides myself. See? I can be generous.... Ever sewn for your man, woman or significant other? Tell me, any pointers? Any tizzy fitting fits I should be aware of? If nothing else, you at least have to tell me that my plans for the coat are pretty amazing, right? I mean, silk charmeuse in the sleeve - I must really be in love! All I can say is, it'd better be cold this winter!

Baby, it's gonna be cold outside,
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