Friday, January 7, 2011

Verona Coat, version 1.1

The Verona Coat saga continues. Last night I completed the pockets with the pocket band made out of the wool used for the rest of the coat pieces. I *thought* that would be OK, even though the attractive pictures on the front of the pattern show it with contrasting pocket bands, as well as contrasting under collar. I wasn't OK with my idea. Too boring. The wool itself is sooooo understated (black and white shot wool that reads gray) that it just couldn't carry off self fabric on the pocket bands and the under collar. After I appliquéd the pockets onto the coat, I could see that I was not going to be happy with the result so I removed the pockets. I replaced the pocket bands with a textured silk piece from Gail K. It is actually a brown base with silver or gray threads and a few other more subtle threads creating a textured stripe. Because the pockets also looked a little longish to me, I didn't add the new pocket bands to the tops of the pockets. Instead, I wrapped the pocket bands around the tops of the pockets, like wide binding. After again appliquéing the pockets on, I was a happy sewer.

Last night's success led to a change in the collar this morning. I decided to make both the upper and lower collars from this gray-brown textured silk. I'm really please with the way the coat is shaping up now. I had already cut a collar from silver silk dupioni to use as the under collar, so I just used it as the interfacing. This textured silk piece is actually a bit sheer so that gave it more substance.

I tried an old Nancy Zieman trick for making the collar. First I decided that I wanted the stripes to run vertically at the front edge, just like the pocket bands do. This was going to require cutting the collar off grain, at a minimum. So instead of an upper and lower collar, I placed the opposite end of the collar on the fold, lining up the stripes and cut (in effect) a left and right collar. This requires a center back seam and the front edge ends up on the fold. It looks lovely right now. I hope that when I attach the lining and facing, I'm still happy with this technique. I think it's all in the grading and I won't know if that is OK until I attach the lining and facing.

I'm thinking that I may use some more of the brown-gray textured silk as some kind of cuff on the sleeves. I'll set the sleeves in first to see where they hit me on my wrist. Now I need to go read that article in the latest Threads - something about slow sewing. It can be very satisfying.

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