Tuesday, February 17, 2015


Louise Cutting named this pattern A New Dimension, AND. For me, it is a finally-finished long-term project. I chose View B for its simple lines allowing me to use the Mary Ray quilting technique.

There are 4 main pieces - center fronts, center back, side front, side back - as the sleeves are cut-on. I guess there are five pieces if you count the collar. I did not use any facings because of the quilting technique. And I omitted the pockets. I kind-of wish I had kept the pockets.

I think of Mary Ray's quilted clothing technique as an approach to single-layer tailoring. I've used it on a single layer of wool for a light weight jacket, as well as for quilted garments like this.

This fabric is a fairly beefy wool from Sawyer Brook fabrics. This may be the heaviest fabric I've ever handled. It was lovely to cut, press and sew. It is hard to beat a quality wool for a smooth sewing experience.

First I rough-cut each pattern piece in the wool, cotton flannel, and Bemberg ambiance. The exceptions are the front pieces and the collar. For those I used a pretty brown silk shantung in place of the Bemberg lining fabric, because they show more. 

Then I quilted the three layers together in vertical lines about an inch apart using my trusty walking foot. Next I steam-pressed each piece into submission. The extensive quilting distorted the larger pieces with the cut-on sleeves quite a bit, so I was glad I left some margin for re-cutting each piece.

Initially I thought I would go with Hong Kong seam finishes but then I decided that I did not want any of this rough (but beautiful) wool anywhere near my skin. So I did something quite cludge-y.

I sewed bias strips of the lining fabric to one side of each seam. Then I pressed the seam allowance open and flat. Finally I folded the bias strips back over the exposed seams (inside the jacket) and slip-stitched the bias strip over the seam, completely covering each seam. This caused the machine stitched side to pop up a bit, so I went back and slip-stitched that down too.

Sometimes I go down a rabbit hole with a project. If I had planned everything, I probably would have abandoned the project and made another tee shirt. Or maybe a quilt.

I soldiered on, oblivious to the number of hours going into this jacket. Finally I finished all the edges (sleeve hems, jacket hem, front edges, collar edge) with a bias strip of the silk shantung. That was quite a pleasure after those crazy covered interior seams.

This is why I could never make a living sewing for others. I would starve to death. I do admire those who can parlay sewing into a career.

I am happy with this coat. Almost.

Now I'm wondering if the buttons are spaced badly. Because I used covered snaps, instead of button holes, I do have the option of moving them around. Someday. What do you think? Move the buttons closer together? Buy more buttons?

Actually I'm ready to wear this now. It was 25 degrees Fahrenheit today, so just in time. And I bought these leather gloves more than a year ago while on vacation in Italy. They really needed a proper jacket.


  1. It's beautiful! All the work--I'm so happy you didn't give up. From here, all the time spent was well worth it. A lovely companion for the leather gloves!

  2. Oh, this is too wonderful for words. One of the downsides of desert living is no need for these kinds of garments. I can't say about the buttons when it is on the dressform. What do they look like when you wear the coat? It looks as though the middle button is a teeny but low. Stay warm!

  3. What a beautiful coat. I love your 'thinking outside the box'. What an inspiration.

  4. Love the coat-your efforts and handwork shine in the finished garment.

  5. I admire your perseverance! You will definitely enjoy this beautiful, and warm coat for years to come!

  6. Wonderful and I'm sure the gloves are a fabulous match!

  7. Thanks, Martha, for the info on Mary Ray's Craftsy class. It's on my wish list. I think the coat is terrific. I have the pattern, but have not been inspired to make View B until now. And yes, I would move the buttons closer together toward the top. Anne

  8. Lovely and well done. So classic and stylish

  9. What a wonderful post and result, Martha. So much great information and really inspiring!

  10. Your years of sewing experience, persistence, and creativity have come together to make this lovely coat. It would be the one I reach for day after day. I hope you enjoy wearing it for many years. Buttons? Love them, would prefer to see them moved up and also closer together.

  11. That is an epically awesome coat! You should feel soooo proud! xx