Monday, June 9, 2014

Wool Winter Coat: Gathering Materials

I've decided to embark on making a winter coat! Since it is the middle of summer, I figure there is a remote chance I'll finish in time for the cold weather ;). I was thinking about relining my current winter coat- again!- but then I noticed how threadbare it is getting. All of the fluffy wooly parts are rubbing off of the edges of the sleeves. And it isn't a fantastic coat to begin with, just your basic RTW wool coat, bought at a spring sale 6 years ago. Time for a new coat! And I think my skills are up for it... or at least I hope so!

I've already ordered my fabric! I got swatches from Emmaonesock, Gorgeous Fabric, and Mood. The wool/angora double face from Emmaonesock was luscious, but my husband started telling me about how they pluck the fur out of live bunnies! In any case, at $48 per yard, it would be quite an investment. A close second was a great basketweave textured coating from Gorgeous fabrics-- I just love neutrals with great texture!

Mood had such an array of great choices. I just loved this purple heather, it is very soft and a really beautiful shade of grayish-purple.

But the winner is... a charcoal black cashmere/wool blend from Donna Karan, 53% CASHMERE, 35% WOOL, 12% NYLON-- over 50% cashmere! It is beautifully soft, and I love that it isn't quite black or gray. And it is only $30 a yard... I know, not cheap at all, but considering cashmere is usually $50 a yard an up, it seems like a good deal.

I've also ordered a bunch of supporting materials. I can't decide on what to underline with. I have a bunch of horsehair canvas, and I just ordered silk organza and my favorite fusible for jacket making: Pro-weft Supreme Medium. I know a lot of people are against fusibles, especially in a coat, but I think I'm going to have to do a little side-by-side comparison to see what will work best with my fabric! I ordered both of these from Fashion Sewing Supply. It isn't cheap, but my experience with interfacing is that you get what you pay for. At least it is on sale right now!

For warmth, I have two options. I ordered cotton flannel from Emmaonesock, which was a total deal-- she has flaws on sale for $6 a yard! Since it will be interlining, it doesn't matter at all if there are spots on it. I also ordered lambswool/rayon from Bergen Tailor Supply. I'm just not sure what I'll need in terms of warmth. It does get pretty cold here in Western New York. I have a down jacket for the coldest days, so I'd like this coat to be pretty warm for late fall/early winter.

lambswool interlining

For the lining, I'm going to try silk charmeuse again. I haven't had such good luck with it in winter coats, but I'm going to try to learn from past experience. I plan to use a heavier weight charmeuse and reinforce the seam lines and heavy wear areas with fusible interfacing. In addition to all of that, I'll sew the interlining into the lining, so that will hopefully also help take some of the stress off of the lining. I 2 yards of gorgeous, heavy silk charmeuse in my stash, so if 2 yards is enough I think I'm set.

The other big thing is buttons! I can't decide on that at all. Classic black, handmade artisan, metal? Any ideas?

And then there is the problem of a pattern! But that may merit its own post...

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