Finito!!! I’m pretty excited to have sewn this jacket. It was a fairly massive undertaking, especially because I’m not all that wonderful of a seamstress. And it took me a long time because I’ve had to rip out and redo about half the seams on it. Okay maybe just a third, but that’s still a buttload of seams. The pictures don’t show the color as well as I’d like, but it truly is Tardis blue. But here it is.
1. The outside of the jacket runs a little big, but the lining runs fairly true to size. So I’d suggest cutting a size smaller in the jacket, but your actual size in the lining. You may have to fudge some seam allowances for this, but having your lining be a bit bigger than your coat is a good problem, and the opposite of what I had.
2. Wool is the easiest fabric to sew with. No really, not even cotton-poly blends are this easy. Lining? Not so much. In any case, I highly recommend finding a good wool to make the jacket in. I used 100% wool and can’t wait to work with wool again.
3. The directions for this pattern are clear up until the lining comes into play. Then it takes someone who can translate sewing-speak to even figure out what that means.
4. The fabric for sleeves both in the wool (or whatever you choose for the outside of the coat) and the lining are calculated separately. Weird. My mom and I redid the layout of the pattern in order to accommodate this. We got 2 yards of 60″ (57″) wool, and….
This isn’t including sleeve tabs or the back yolk because I didn’t wand to do those, and it uses the stand collar because that’s the kind I wanted, as well as using the welt pockets rather than the flap pockets also because that’s what I wanted. This layout worked out great. The open spaces around some pieces are where you’ll cut a second of something, like the stand collar, the epaulet, the pocket welt, or the welt tab.
5. There will be a lot of hand-sewing with attaching the lining to the jacket itself. I mostly ignored what the directions said here, because it was confusing and my mom said I could just hand-stitch it and not have to worry about that. Time consuming, annoying, but at least it was simple and would turn out right.
6. On the smaller pieces of the pattern, like the epaulets and the welt tabs, I’d suggest doing a 3/8″ topstitch rather than 1/2″, because of size ratio stuff. You can see here a little of that.
7. The collar can be a bit tricky. Sew carefully. Everything has to line up.
8. The coat uses a lot of thread. By a lot I mean buy 2 spools.
9. For as complicated as this will seem at first, with nearly 30 pieces involved, it’s not too bad. There are a lot of places you can mess up, but as long as you sew carefully, it goes together a lot easier than expected. It will, however, take some time because of how many pieces and all the finishing involved.
10. The jacket is beautiful–a really great design. If you make it out of a nice wool, and make it well, the store-bought equivalent would cost around $200-250 (although as low s $150 or as high as about $300).
11. Even if you don’t normally use shoulder pads in things because you have great, strong shoulders naturally (thank you swimming) this pattern really does require them. The jacket won’t lay right without them. The sleeve pads you can do without.
12. If you’re using the epaulets, and want to sew them down with a button, sew that on before you do the shoulder pads. The directions won’t say anything about finishing the epaulets, and I didn’t realize this until I’d already put the lining in.
13. I chose to do a little customization to this. No deviation from the pattern, because it was complicated enough to begin with. But, I did a little TARDIS applique on a sleeve. Since this is, you know, my TARDIS jacket.
14. Having a sewing buddy always makes things better. Although, cat fur sticks to wool like hair to lipgloss.