Hello again. I’m back on the peacoat; here with the final instalment! If you’d like to catch up, you can see the first instalment Here, and the second one Here. Or read the spoiler below…!

(Previously on… Peacoat Progress

  • I made a muslin
  • Traced a bigger size
  • Lost the instructions
  • Started making it anyway
  • Adapted the pockets
  • Sewed the fronts and backs together of the outer and the lining)

The instructions arrived the next day so I had a good chance to read through them thoroughly before continuing. There was a nagging doubt in my mind that I’d done something in the wrong order, scuppering myself for later… this proved to be true!

I forgot to mention that at the end of the last bout, I also sewed the collar together. I turned it through and attached the under collar to the main neckline, in between the notches. I’d remembered this awkward technique from all the way back on my first jacket, where you have three intersecting seams at the collar join. I’d found it pretty tricky before, so I wasn’t looking forward to it much this time. But I applied myself, and although it’s a little pookey, it’s a lot better than the first one. After checking the instructions, the Thread Theory method is much more straightforward- it just gets basted to the neck in one piece and goes on in between the main fabric and lining… I wish I’d done that.

… Although, my collar does have a nice ‘loft’ which I assume comes from it not being fully sewn together… I should have unpicked it, I suppose, but I seriously think I’d have damaged the fabric to a much higher tune than a pookey notch!

It also turned out that by completing the lining and facing as one, I’d veered so far from the instructions that it was pretty impossible to find a route back!

Let me say now that the written instruction booklet is great. Easy to follow and all really doable techniques. A brave beginner could totally achieve this. The only reason I didn’t follow it is because I was too impatient to wait for it to arrive! The only bit I wasn’t so keen on was all the slip stitching at the end. I totally get the vague allusion to bagging out… I’ve read a few posts on it and , as a technique, it is practically impossible to describe and even harder to photograph or sketch. But I’d definitely decided to bag out this coat. I also decided to make the hood, with a warm fleece lining. It’s detachable, so I figured, why not?

Now though, the sleeves had to go in.

I tried the EasestitchPlus technique again, but I think it’s really only for cotton shirts; so I sewed the basting stitches and pulled them up by hand.

The sleeves went in nicely, both main and fabric. Then came the handstitching bit for me… shoulder pads! New ground. I’d tucked some rolls of fabric into the shoulders of my Tweedy Bomber recently, but that’s my entire experience of structuring shoulders. I may be a little bit guilty of slightly over doing these ones…?

I made some fleece rolls and tacked them under the seam allowance of the sleeve cap.

Then I rooted out the shoulder pads left over from my Refashioners project and tacked them in too.

After all thathand sewing (!) I finished off sewing all the way up the fronts to the collar, and suddenly, it’s sort-of a coat!

With the coat on right side round, I lined up the cuff edges and pinned in place. Then I pulled it inside out and, keeping the alignment, switched the fabrics to right sides facing. As I said, it’s a tricky one to explain. It’s ready to sew in this picture…

I sewed it up and turned it back through to check it had worked before doing the other one. Thankfully, slow and methodical won the race. Even though he didn’t understand a word, I narrated the whole thing to MrA for his oblivious approval, which he readily gave!

I did the hem next, lined up and sewn up – I now had a totally inside out coat. I should have basted a section of the lining to make it easier to unpick it now, but I didn’t (& it wasn’t a bother really) having it all stitched and pressed helped a lot when I came to hand sew the gap closed.

(I did pull the loose threads out as I went!)

So with it turned through I just had to topstitch. I went up the front and into the notch, then did the collar separately, then back down the other side from the notch. I left my thread tails long so I could tie them off neatly instead of backstitching.

My final decision was made for me: I prepared a swatch exactly replicating all the layers at the front to test buttonholes. After the struggle of getting the buttonholes on to my last waistcoat, I wasn’t feeling optimistic. The first test was a dud. The second went down one side but only half way up the other. I’m not even going to mention the third attempt. Decision made. I planned a trip to DM Buttons.

It’s not far from me, so I ran over in a stolen moment, got there at 3.08 to realise they close at 3… if you’re planning a trip, watch out for that!

So I ran over again at the next opportunity and got myself 10 perfect buttonholes while I waited (mesmerised by the big buttonhole machines!). It’s an amazing deal, buttonholes & a show for just £5!

I bought some buttons in France at the same time I bought the fabric, but I didn’t buy enough so I got these ones from Minerva Crafts online and hand sewed them on.

And four discreet buttons under the collar for the hood..

I can’t tell you how happy I am with it. I started wearing it straight away, barely even pressed it! I just brushed at the chalk and put it straight on.

Of course, I wouldn’t be human if I wasn’t already planning the next one!

Keep warm and, Happy Sewing!

Notes to self;

  • It’s maybe a little large in the shoulders, very comfortable with multiple layers underneath though.
  • I’m considering a button on the inside as well to hold the inside front in place.
  • I’ll definitely have a back vent in the next one.
  • It’s suddenly got very cold in london, and although it’s a very warm coat, I can imagine one interlined with fleece and lined with quilted nylon wouldn’t be too much.