I’m so original with my titles! This coat is the first proper coat I’ve made and was a labour of love, but I’m really happy with the finished item. I have so many photos, this could be picture heavy…
So if you haven’t realised and you haven’t been following my Instagram feed with lots of photos, this is the Pauline Alice Quart Coat, a pattern I purchased as soon as it was released I loved it that much. It’s just taken a wee while to make it up. The coat has princess seams, pleats at the bottom of the side panels and a zipper fastening for the sleeves. So much to take your interest.
I finally found some fabric I was happy with to make this coat around 18 months ago. At the same time I got the pattern pieces ready and put together a muslin. That was where it ended up going in the too hard bracket and sat in the naughty corner for about 12 months!. The front armscye seemed so big, it was sticking out and really looked odd. So much excess fabric.
I finally started in earnest to fix it back in March this year. I took in the armscye and then had to make alterations to the princess seam. I ended up having to do a lazy FBA – I just extended the bust seam rather than use a slash and spread method.
After about three iterations of the front bodice and armscye, I finally felt happy to cut into my precious linen (after deciding which way round I wanted the fabric). I’d also finally bought some lining by this time too!
You’d have thought that once I’d got the fit sorted, all would be plain sailing. Nope! I think I must have unpicked and re-sewn nearly every seam on this coat. It took forever! So much unpicking! Even though I’d made so many muslins I still ended up making changes to the fit.
The pleats all say to face to the back in the instructions, this is fine until it gets to the lining. The instructions say to face the back, just like the shell, but this is not going to work if you’re going to attach the pleats to the shell. They need to be opposite. More unpicking. Plus also the pleats for the lining were too long, perhaps I didn’t cut the lining version shorter. Even so, they look longer on the Pauline Alice site than on my version.
The pattern also says to bag as little as possible, namely the fronts and including the neck, hand stitching the pleats and back. I decided to bag more having checked out Sewmanju‘s blog (who did the same), ie including the pleats and some of the back, leaving just a small amount to catch-stitch. The sleeve linings are catch-stitched to the sleeves.
This coat has both shoulder pads and sleeve heads. The latter stops the top of the sleeve collapsing below the shoulder pad. Sleeve heads were a new thing for me, so thankfully on Uncle Google and in a book in my own sewing library I found suggestions to make these using thick felt.
I also had to shorten the sleeves, so adding the zip to the sleeves I had to adjust this too. I ended up misunderstanding how to add the lining bit for this and ended up unpicking – again! However, you can’t see that, the zip placement looks perfect with no problems!
Fabric: Shell – linen from The Fabric Store, Dec 2015?; Lining – polyester from The Fabric Warehouse, Mar 2017
Notions: Thread (lots), interfacing, felt wadding, shoulder pads, antique brass zips (from The Fabric Warehouse), antique brass buttons (from Made Marion Craft), brown ribbon for a coat hook.
Pattern: Pauline Alice Quart Coat, size 44
Changes made: cheats FBA, took in the front armscye, shortened the sleeves.
Another one/recommendations: Phew! Well after that, I love this coat and would recommend it as a coat pattern which stands out from the crowd, it has some great features such as the pleats, etc, I’m just not sure if I’m up to making another! Well not yet anyway but I do want to make another coat… My linen was possibly easier in some ways to make this, it pressed well well and it also meant seams were not too thick. I think using a wool it would be quite a different experience. My coat seems to have ended up bigger than my muslin making it look big, but hey, there’s room for layers underneath!
It was cold when Mel took these and I was glad for my coat and layers. She had a sleeveless dress needing photos!