V1419 Sewalong Designer Coat: Finished!

detail of V1419 Ralph Rucci coat, made by Meg Carter at the McCall Pattern Company. #v1419sewalong

Hey, sewalongers, it’s the big reveal time! My co-host Lauren and I are finished with our coats and are ready to show them off. (But don’t worry if you’re still working on your muslin: This is a go-at-your-own pace sewalong. We’ll leave all our posts up and you can still access the V1419 Flickr group.)

So… here’s my Ralph Rucci for Vogue Patterns V1419 coat, which I actually turned into a jacket:
V1419 coat made by Meg Carter for the McCall Pattern Company. #v1419sewalong

Notes:

  • The flared shape that makes this coat so distinct was just not working for me. So, with the help of Tatyana, our head dressmaker here, I narrowed the back lower seams to reduce some of the flare. I also narrowed the sleeves.
  • I originally sewed this as a coat, but the length was too much on me and I felt I’d wear it more as a long jacket. My goal is to pair it with slim pants and heels, maybe jeans.
  • The fabric is a metallic brocade from Carolina Herrera that I ordered from MoodFabrics.com. It’s blue and silver on one side and then metallic dark brown on the other. It has a very stiff drape, which accentuated Rucci’s bell shapes way more than I think even he intended.
  • Yes, I was a weenie and I skipped the elaborate buttonholes. My reasoning was that this fabric already had enough drama to it and didn’t need another element to distract from it. But really, I was at that point of MUST-GET-THIS-FINISHED or I’ll die. You know what I mean.

V1419 finished jacket back. Made by Meg Carter for the McCall Pattern Company. #v1419sewalong

  • I omitted the belt because it really bisected me and made me look wider. Now looking at the back here in this photo I kind of wish I hadn’t, because it looks so…naked? Weird? I think it might look better on me than it does on the dressform, just because I don’t wear this jacket buttoned up. So it will hang a little more loosely.

V1419 finished jacket interior view. Made by Meg Carter for the McCall Pattern Company. #v1419sewalong

  • This is my favorite part of this coat, that it’s double-sided and in a contrasting color. All my bias bindings were done in navy wool suiting that was from our stash.

Bottom line: I really like this jacket/coat! It’s quite dramatic and a change of pace from what I usually wear, but sometimes you need to kick things up a notch. Agreed?

And the pattern is actually not so very hard to sew. Committing to making a muslin first is the most beneficial thing you can do, because you need to get the fit down. Nothing is particularly challenging sewing-wise, just maybe a little time-consuming. So no need to feel intimidated by this pattern.

Are you finished with your coat? If so, we want to see it!

For those just starting to sew this pattern, here are all the #V1419 resources, which we’ll keep up:

  • This blog and Lauren’s blog, for step-by-step instructions and advice
  • This Pinterest board, for detail shots of the actual designer coat
  • This Flickr group, for photos from sewalong participants
  • This tagboard, to see all the photos and posts tagged with #V1419sewalong

    How utterly perfect is Lauren's coat?! Visit her blog to see more photos of her modeling it. I think this pattern works best in a solid fabric, so you can see the unique seaming.
    How utterly perfect is Lauren’s coat?! Visit her blog to see more photos of her modeling it. I think this pattern works best in a solid fabric, so you can see the unique seaming.

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in our very first sewalong. We really enjoyed being a part of this group with you, and we look forward to possibly hosting another sewalong in 2015. Stay tuned!

V1419 Sewalong: Steps 51-63 Welt Pockets

V1419 Vogue Patterns coat sewalong. Welt pocket detail. This week it’s all about welt pockets in our #V1419sewalong. If you’ve never sewn a welt pocket before you’re probably cringing about slashing into the coat you’re already put so much work into. Do not panic. You can do this! Just follow these three guidelines: 1. Practice first: Make your first welt pocket in muslin. You don’t have to do all the steps, just 51-56 on the instruction sheet. You can make your tests in a smaller size if you want. Once you have a perfect test muslin, then try it in a small scrap of your garment fabric or a fabric that’s similar to your garment fabric. 2. No eyeballing: Your stitch lines need to be perfectly parallel and the same distance in length. Keep your ruler handy for this stage. I love using my clear quilt rulers here. 3. Take your time: This is not the point to hurry things along because you’re already over this coat. I spent most of my Sunday working on the welt pockets and I haven’t even reached step 58! A well-sewn welt pocket is a thing of beauty and you’re going to be so proud of your efforts. In this post I’ll talk about how to make the welt pockets by following our instructions. My co-host Lauren wrote extensively about her experience with the V1419 welt pockets. Before you dive in, take a look at both our posts and go through your sewing books for more tips on welt pockets. I always rely on my old copy of this Singer Tailoring book for its clear photos; if you have favorite welt pocket online tutorials or videos please mention them in the comments for others to see. Steps 51-53, my notes: Proceed as we instruct you to. I pressed my seams open first before I turned the welt. After I turned and pressed, I machine-basted along the seam line. Then I trimmed the seam to 1/4″.

V1419 Vogue Patterns coat sewalong. Welt pocket muslin detail.
Press your welt seams open before turning it.

Step 54, my notes: We give you guidelines where to place your welts on the front piece #2 tissue. Pin your welts in place on your coat first and make sure you like the placement. Re-adjust as necessary and mark your placement area. Baste welts in place (they should be downward, as they’ll be flipped up after everything is stitched). Make sure your welts are in exactly the same place on both front pieces—your front pieces should be mirror images of each other. Note: Just to clarify, there is no need to stitch any lines on your coat at this step or before it.

V1419 Vogue Patterns coat sewalong. Welt pocket muslin detail.
Baste your welts in place on the coat fronts. Ignore my markings on this test muslin; they are not necessary at this stage.

Step 55, my notes: Here’s where you need to mark your lines. Transfer the markings on the pocket piece #11 tissue to your fabric pocket piece. Check that your welt will fit snugly in this rectangle area; if not, adjust the lines as necessary. Mine fit perfectly. I recommend machine-stitching on your lines to reinforce the area. Next, place the pocket on top of the welt, matching the welt seam line with the lower stitching line on the pocket. Hand-baste carefully in place using a thread that removes easily. Now stitch along the lines (which looks like a long thin rectangle), making sure that only the bottom row of stitching catches the welt. Slash carefully in the middle between the two lines, clipping diagonally to the corners. Do your slashing one layer at a time—first the pocket layer, then flip over and slash from the reverse side of your coat.

V1419 Vogue Patterns coat sewalong. Welt pocket muslin detail.
This photo shows the pocket stitched on top of the welt. I didn’t stitch the ends of the rectangle but go ahead and do this. Then I slashed the center and clipped to the corners.

Step 56, my notes: Follow our instructions here. I turned, and pressed and pressed and pressed to get nice neat corners. I also pounded the corners with a rubber mallet to flatten them as much as possible. Then I slipstitched the welt ends in place and basted the pocket opening closed. Note: on the designer coat the pocket openings are machine-stitched closed.

V1419 Vogue Patterns coat sewalong. Welt pocket muslin detail.
Here’s what the inside of the pocket should look like before you add the other pocket section (step 57).
V1419 Vogue Patterns coat sewalong. Welt pocket muslin detail.
The welt from the right side in my test muslin. My real one came out much better (yay!) but it was too late to get good photos of it for you. You can look at the designer coat welt pocket (first photo in this post) to get a better look at a finished welt pocket.

Steps 57-63, my notes: This is where I was last night at 9 pm, when I put my sewing aside to watch that edge-of-your-seat episode of Homeland. But this part of the pocket is all about adding the binding to it, and by now we’re all experts in adding binding, right? Just follow the directions here and you’ll be fine.

V1419 Vogue Patterns coat sewalong. Welt pocket detail.
Pulling back the welt on the designer coat so you can see what it looks like.
V1419 Vogue Patterns coat sewalong. Welt pocket detail.
The bound pocket on the designer coat. Steps 58-61.
IMG_4535
Detail of the designer coat showing catch-stitches used to keep the pocket neatly in place. Step 62.

Next week Lauren will blog about the remaining steps in the sewalong. I know some of you have already finished your coats…how does everyone else stand? Remember, no pressure because this is a go-at-your-own pace sewalong. And don’t forget to visit our Flickr group!

IMG_4540
Meet two important members of the V1419 team here at the McCall Pattern Company: Robin, left, did all the illustrations in the guide sheet, and Elizabeth wrote all the instructions. No easy task as I’m sure you can now appreciate!

V1419 Sewalong: Steps 4-22

Vogue Patterns V1419 Ralph Rucci coat sewalong

Before I start talking about making this coat, can I just give a shout-out to my co-host Lauren? I’ve been away from work recently due to a death in the family and she has been juggling the sewalong duties for the both of us. Thank you, Lauren!

Ok, let’s talk about getting through steps 4-22. The good news is that there’s nothing terribly hard to do here. Setting-in sleeves is more difficult for most sewers, so if you’ve already mastered that technique you should have no problem with this coat. Here are my tips for this part of the construction:

  • Attaching the binding to the seams is the main action you’re taking in these steps. Except for steps 6 and 7, you’re sewing it folded as shown in step 3, with the raw edges of the binding matched with the raw edges of the seams.
  • When you attach the binding to the gusset, however, you open it out, then turn and press 1/4″ on the long end. Stitch binding to the seam, then turn binding so the seam is encased; slipstitch pressed edge over seam. You can see part of my bound gusset seam in the photo above, and there’s another photo below of the designer coat gusset.
  • The rest of the time for this part of construction you sew on the binding like this:
  1. Pin or baste seam.
  2. Match raw edges of binding to raw edges of seam.
  3. Stitch seam.
  4. I like to press the seam open first, then press the binding and seam flat.
  5. Next, trim very close to the seam, like around 1/8″ or closer. Your bindings are going to be narrow. On the designer coat the stitched bindings are just a hair over 1/4″ wide.
  6. Now press seam and bias in direction we tell you to. Baste if necessary to keep layers flat.
  7. Topstitch from the right side of your coat, catching all layers as you stitch.

Lauren chose to baste her binding in place first before topstitching from the right side of her coat. This is a really smart thing to do. Me, I threw caution to the wind and just topstitched from the right side, hoping I was catching all layers. Most of the time I did, and this is what my binding looks like on the interior of my coat:

IMG_4317
But there are points, mostly at the beginning and ends of seams, where the binding doesn’t look as neat and uniform as this or I failed to catch all layers. To which I say, it is what it is! It looks very nice from the outside and that’s what matters most to me.

Readers, don’t beat yourself up over the little things, like whether or not your binding is uniformly stitched. Do the best you can and keep going. I took a look at the inside of the actual designer coat and there are imperfections  in the binding stitching. But that’s how you know this coat was constructed by a couture sewer and not mass-produced. V1419 Vogue Patterns coat sewalong
Couture designers, they’re just like us! Their sewing machines have thread hissy fits just like ours do! (photo above of the interior of the designer coat)

V1419 Vogue Patterns coat sewalong

Here’s a photo of the gusset area of the designer coat. See how the gusset binding isn’t stitched down, where it is everywhere else? (I’m keeping this coat in my office for the duration of the sewalong; let me know if there are parts of the coat you want me to photograph and I’ll post the pics on Flickr.)

Another important tip: Don’t ignore it when we tell you to staystitch. Do this. It will help you ease your fabric in some spots, like when you’re stitching the gusset to the sleeve. And clip your seams too! All this helps with helping a shorter section match up with a longer section. Below, you can see how I use lots of pins to ease-in an area, in this case part of the gusset.

V1419 Vogue Patterns coat sewalong

In case you were wondering, my fabric is a double-faced metallic brocade from Carolina Herrera that I bought online from MoodFabrics.com. It is very stiff and it bells out just like the designer coat…which is a style I’m not entirely sure I like on me. Still a way to go constructing this coat before I can make any final judgments, though.

I’ve been paying very close attention to our instructions for this pattern, and I think we did a good job for a pattern with a lot of steps. If you read and follow them you’ll be ok. What I do wish for are some illustration close-ups, like around steps #6, #18 and #20. I’ll be sharing my construction experience with my co-workers who work in the writing and illustration areas, and if you have any comments regarding this part of the process please let me know in the comments for this post.

V1419 sewalong: belt

A few people have asked questions about the belt, so above are photos of the belt on the designer coat. Hope this helps.

Next week Lauren will talk about steps 23-50, so bop over to her blog for that part. And don’t forget we’ve got an active Flickr group going. It’s very easy to join it and participate, so hope to see you there too.

Ok, where do you stand in your coat-making? Tell me in the comments!