Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Slow and Steady

I'm sure not feeling like a hare right now, but I am making progress on the coat.

To wit, here are the back panels (4) princess-seamed together:

(Maybe someday I'll sew in a colour other than navy and you'll be able to make out the tailoring details in a photo...)

And meet the fruits of my Sunday labour, pad-stitching (aka shaping) the lapel collar via painstaking diagonal hand sewing. Those two lapels took more than 8 hours. Scarily, I still have the collar to work on.

That piece of diagonal taping at the lower edge of the chevrons is twill, cross-stitched to the underside of the fashion fabric. It demarcates the roll line of the lapel. Pad stitching is a miraculous couture method which gives body to the lapel it so that it lies flat (but with shape) against the chest, in the finished garment.

This project is truly insane. I know I've said it before, but I don't see how I'll ever buy a tailored garment again. If I can afford it, I'll feel like I've exploited someone. And, natch, the alternative is a garment priced well out of my budget. I reckon, by the time all is said and done, I will have put 100 hours into this thing.

Tonight I came home from work and put another 2 hours in. I got the coat shell (no sleeves) together - including pockets, which look great. This shot (sorry, flash still out) gives you a fuzzy idea of where I'm at.

This shit is hardcore.


  1. Blimey it is and you are hard core! Brilliant stuff xx

  2. Hard core indeed. You are really-really good. And navy is so very chic. No need to switch colours.

  3. Holy cow. That's alotta handstitchin'. You have soooo much more patience that me! It looks beautiful though and the finished product is gonna be smashing!

  4. Wow! I definitely commend your efforts to tailor your coat "old-school style". As you know, nowadays people cheat with interfacing. But there's nothing like a traditionally tailored coat. You inspire me to make one soon. It's looking good--can't wait to see more:)

  5. I think it is worth the 100 hours of your time to make such a beautiful coat. The pad stitching does indeed seem miraculous.

  6. YOU are hardcore! how in the world do you find the time?! you are tenacious and dedicated, indeed!

  7. 8 hours?!?! I am never sewing outerwear! Yours looks great so far. I love navy, I don't think it can be overdone.

  8. It certainly is, as are YOU! What constitution you have to take on projects as wonderful and detailed and labor-intensive as these.

  9. K-line: You are seriously making me reconsider going the all-handstitch way. I need this coat before winter, dude! But it looks like you're practically done! And on the positive side, this big project has made me discover your blog.

  10. It's looking great so far! I'm excited to try my hand at tailoring, pad-stitching, the whole deal! You'll have such an amazing coat when it's all finished, I hope it feels worthwhile when it's done!

  11. Thanks Kate!

    Bel: That's what I tell myself now :-)

    Heather: I do not think that's true. You are the original bra pioneer!

    Victoria: You can rack up your 100 hours in a month easy when you hand tailor a coat :-)

    fashion herald: I think I'm insane...

    Susan: Thank you for the vote of confidence. Pad stitching is like magic. Except not easy :-)

    J: I ignore everyone. Sad but true.

    Sewn: You must give it a try. I sense that you will enjoy it.

    E: I think it's more like mental defect :-) but when I'm a famous rock star designer, I'll be able to say I toiled!!

    ejvc: Oh, I hear you. It does take FOREVAH! I have to see where you're at on the Flickr site. I'm sure your coat is going to be beautiful.

    Tasia: Oh, so do I! Can you imagine if I don't like it?? :-) I will like it. I will like it. It will be beautiful. :-)