FINALLY, the Tilton Raincoat (Vogue 8934)

This is a project that started, in some sense, when the pattern was released in 2013, and I still lived in DC.  I bought the pattern and the fabric right away.  Then I hedged on lining, which I finally bought a year ago.  At that time I sewed right up to step 26 of 35, and put it away.  Then every excuse in the book couldn’t get me to start again.  Then when I did a month ago, I procrastinated.  Hurricanes, work, the fact that it doesn’t rain here in the fall, etc. What was it really?  I hate making machine buttonholes.

I made the plain coat, version B, in a size small.  I would normally wear a size 12 (medium) but this felt big when tissue-fitting, and I’m not likely to wear heavy layers with it.  Here in Florida, it’s a winter coat more that a light raincoat.

After I took these pictures, I realized I did a terrible job pressing those darts.  Must fix.

The Fabric:  A long sold out nylon supplex, that I purchased from Marcy Tilton’s on line store. This a tightly woven synthetic, that should repel water. It is one she recommended for the coat.  I like the color, but the fabric was challenging – a hard fabric, difficult to hand sew (i.e., hems), difficult to press.  The lining was also Marcy Tilton, also sold out, a black Valentino synthetic.  It was fine for the project.

What I changed:  I cut the collar facing out of the fashion fabric.  With the wide open collar, the lining would show.  Since my lining was nothing special, I switched it out.  I wish I had done so for front facing as well. I lightly interfaced with tricot the right fly, even though the instructions didn’t call for it – I needed to do this for stable button holes.

I made a cutting error (more below) on the shoulder seam, so I edge-stitched the shoulder seams to strengthen the very narrow seam I ended up with. I also knew within one inch of ditch-stitching the collar and band seams that it wasn’t going to work with the nylon supplex.  So, I edged-stitched here as well.  Both small changes, but they did add a little something to an otherwise very plain jacket.

Construction & Instructions:  Generally speaking the directions were fine, with one major exception. I read the instructions for the right fly, buttonholes and facing (steps 26-30) at least five times.  The illustrations don’t match the text well, especially in step 29 (which seams to be in error).  I thought I had puzzled it out, but in the end, I did it wrong.  The jacket looks fine in the end, but it’s not quite what they ask you to do.

You should take extra caution when cutting out the coat.  View A and B naturally use the same pieces.  The challenge is that View A’s placement lines for the patches are very close to seam lines, especially at the shoulder.  I must have been tired because I cut along the wrong set of lines.  I’m not a big fan of multi-size patterns when the markings are very close together anyway, but this was annoying.

What I learned: Well, I can do button holes, but they still look ugly. Is it me or my machine?  I really think it’s the machine. It’s very basic.  I think I’m going to practice hand-worked buttonholes for the future.

Overall, the jacket is fine, but I don’t see it being one of my favorites. Well, off to sew the Rucci jacket, which will be a far more interesting project in an amazing wool gab.


Trying to get back in the groove…

Tough but exciting last few days.  Totally swamped with work.  And spring is finally here, so I feel the call to work in the yard.  Dogwoods, bulbs, ferns, bleeding hearts… everything is coming to life.

Anyway, I’m trying to get back the project I was working on when I had to stop.  Ann, from Gorgeous Fabrics, challenged her blog readers to cut into a fabric that stymied them.

So, I cut out Vogue 8884, view C. The shell is a gunmetal grey coated cotton I picked up years ago from Marcy Tilton.  This fabric is a challenge – pin holes show, no mistakes, difficult to ease, careful with the basting please!  I did decide that I would not do all the top stitching – just edge stitching.   Fewer errors, better chance I get it right.  It’s also more sophisticated.  Still, I’m using the edge stitching foot, when a teflon foot might be better.  It seems it “sticks’ from time to time leading to very short stitches instead of long when top stitching.  I’m doing it in a matching silk thread, so it doesn’t show too much.

Other things going into the coat:  I using a very lightweight fusible interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply (except the belt – I went heavier there), and a black silk twill for the lining.  The lining, shoulder pads and buttons all come from Gorgeous Fabrics.  The belt buckle is from Cleaners Supply.

Anyway, this is where I was when I had to stop:


Had some trouble turning the loops/belt carriers.  Finally just cut them over, pressed them with edges folded to foldline and edge stitched both sides.  So, next up, attach the carriers to the body and sleeves, finish and insert the sleeves.  Then to bag a lining.