Friday, January 11, 2013

Coat construction

Once upon a time there was a sweater.  It was grey and made out of really soft wool.  The sweater went on an exciting adventure to Switzerland where it kept a fantastic missionary warm.  The sweater did not have an easy life, however, and it was subjected to the washing machine and the dryer.  This caused the sweater to shrink and become tight.  Luckily the sweater's owner hung on to the shrunken sweater and gave it to his wife.  She wore it through a horribly cold Logan winter and was kept very warm.  Stupidly, she washed it and dried it multiple times until it was too small even for her. Thankfully the life of the sweater was not over, it would find new life as a COAT.

Okay, the stupid story is over and here comes the fun stuff.

When I decided to make a coat for Mina I needed to decide what I wanted the final product to look like.  What features did I want it to have? Did I want a hood?  How about a collar?  Would it fit over her dresses for the cold walk to the church?  I had looked at numerous other coats for babies and kids so I was able to get an idea of what I wanted. The coat posts can be found HERE and HERE.

After I drew up a tiny sketch I took measurements and then I started patterning.
I used a 6 month onesie to get the shoulders and armscyes in the right place.  Mina currently wears a 3 month size so hopefully the coat will fit for a while.

After I finished the pattern I cut the pieces out of the sweater.  I realized later that I hadn't taken any pictures of that step.  I should have measured the sweater beforehand so I knew how full the skirt of the coat could have been.  It wasn't nearly as full as the pattern.  I was able to still have cute pleats in the front but the back pleats weren't as successful.

As I attached the peter pan collar I realized I didn't allow for the bulk of the collar at the neckline.  I used some of the ribbing from the sweater sleeves to fill in the gap.  I think it worked out pretty well!

This was after I attached the buttons and finished off the cuffs.  I am STILL getting used to the automatic button hole function on my BabyLock.  I wish I was better at it.  Just don't look too close at the button holes if you see the coat in real life.

I lined the coat with silk that was leftover from "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at USU back in December of  2010. I painted 30 or something yards of silk and this was my test swatch.  I steam set it with the other painted pieces and kept it.  I figured the silk lining would keep Mina a lot warmer than the crappy polyester lining that usually comes in coats. I ran out of the Midsummer silk and subbed in a swatch from Avery's Cinderella dress.
I used the ribbing from around the bottom of the sweater as an earwarmer and bow for Mina's head.  I love that little girl so much!  (And the slightly creepy looking guy hiding behind her)

I added a bow to the back because bows are cool and because I messed up the center back mini pleat twice and didn't want to fix it again.  I heard it is just fine to put a bow on something that doesn't work.  Right?

Edit: I took some pictures of Mina with my camera.  Sometimes it works pretty well, sometimes it doesn't.


Nina said...

I am seriously so jealous of your skills!! ...If only I could just think of something and make it instead of searching and searching all over town and online for the right thing in the right size.

The Art of Kim Kincaid said...

This is a coat she will treasure to be sure. Well done, mom.