Community · Sewing

Ready-To-Wear Tailoring Sew-Along: Taking Shape

This April and May I’m sewing along with Sherry at Pattern~Scissors~Cloth. A bunch of other talented seamsters and I are all making coats following the construction methods used in ready-to-wear tailoring. Mine is a Burberry-inspired trench coat, and here’s a reflection on my efforts to sew well.

The trench coat - together but not finished.

This weekend I did my best to catch up on the Ready-To-Wear Tailoring Sew-Along. I’m happy to say that the trench coat is all together – including the lining, but minus the hem, the buttons, and the button holes.

First, I finished making the belt. I ironed it in half, wrong sides together, tucked in 3/8″ of the raw edges, and topstitched 1/4″ from the folded edge of the raw sides, enclosing them. It wasn’t until I was done that I realized I had no idea how to finish the ends. If I were to do it over, I’d sew it closed inside out and then turn it. For now, I’ve just done my best to make nice ends.

Then, I sewed together the coat following the instructions from the pattern. I read over Sherry’s posts to ensure I didn’t miss any of her valuable advice, but for the most part I found what I needed in the vintage guide. I did follow her instructions for the sleeve head very carefully, as that was a lesson not found in my pattern instructions.

I didn’t want to sew up the hem just yet because there are a few nagging issues I need to fix. The left sleeve bothers me a bit. It doesn’t sit quite as nicely as the right, and I think it’s because I didn’t get the frontmost pleat at the top quite right. More importantly, the back neck facing is off. It’s too large. When I went back to my pattern pieces, I realized that I’d marked the fold line wrong. I’m trying to get up the courage to pull everything apart to stitch in the correct sized facing. Wish me luck!

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4 thoughts on “Ready-To-Wear Tailoring Sew-Along: Taking Shape

  1. Yay! It’s really looking great. I worked quite a bit on mine this weekend as well and am down to the putting the lining in. I almost screwed up the facing piece as well and then went back and double-checked. What kind of fabric did you use? I think a trench may be in my future!

    1. Thanks! I used a nice wool gabardine for the outside and a Burberry rainwear I had left over from a wedding project for the lining. I am very happy with how it’s all coming together. I can’t wait to get to the buttons! I also can’t wait to see your white jacket. You’ll have to post your progress soon.

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