Red Russian Doll Coat, Now Looking Like A Coat

Wow this project is kicking my buns … but in a good way!

With the help of many books, not least of all Vogue Sewing, I’ve been trying some tailoring techniques, some with more success than others, and already I can see the things I want to do or do better on the next jacket or coat.

When this is all about done, I’ll turn it inside out and take a photo, before I put the lining in, because there’s just all sorts of interesting things going on inside.

Anyway, here’s the progress:

Facings have been stitched and are pinned back in place, before I put the lining in to secure them. Red belt is just there to mock up.
The back gathers in nicely. The collar looks best standing up. I need to understitch it just a bit more to get it to lay down nicely when folded over

Some random notes:

  • The fur guard on the hem is about 10 pieces stitched together, edge-to-edge. Though it’s faux fur, I’m using the same techniques you would for real fur hides, and it seems to be working.
  • The collar is a bit sprung – I stitched the fur directly to the undercollar and stretched it a bit to get the corners to curve down towards the body.
  • The fur guard and collar are stitched to the coat completely, but I wouldn’t do it this way again. Vogue Sewing recommends making these pieces separate and just tacking them on, so they can be easily removed later for cleaning. It would also make it *a lot* easier to construct, especially in getting things to lay smoothly. The cuffs I will be doing the “correct” way.
  • The sleeve heads are eased in, and make use of shoulder pads and fleece strips to help support the lines. They’re not perfect, but they’re the cleanest set-in sleeves I’ve done so far. The sleeve caps were considerably larger than the armscye – next time I’ll adjust that so they set in more smoothly.

I still have a lot of work to do. I’m debating about adding a warmth layer – I do want to wear this jacket just as a jacket, not as a costume, this winter, and it’s really very thin right now.

Here’s what the jacket looks like when not belted – it’s a huge tent!

Bah, my mind is all over the place, so I’ll leave you there, and get back to work!


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