Men’s tailored coat: Finito

The coat is done. Hooray. I totally procrastinated on this one, leaving it alone to gather dust for much of 2013. I wanted this project as I personally don’t wear tailored clothing, the only time I’ve sewn tailoring was for a few womenswear garments and I wanted the satisfaction of hand tailoring some menswear for a change.DSCF1938

The components of this coat:

Self drafted using Metric Pattern Cutting for Menswear by Winifred Aldrich. If I’m honest the silhouettes for the garments in the book are super 80’s/ early 90’s, which means baggy, even when following the close-fitting instructions. Don’t read subtext that this textbook isn’t useful, I still like her books! Once I created the pattern I adjusted the shaping and took it in a lot during the muslin fittings.

Grey wool herringbone, Kasha flannel backed satin for the lining in a navy/midnight colour. Horsehair canvas & batting for the innards, under-collar etc, all hand sewn in over the course of watching a couple of Bond films. All seam allowances were catch-stitched – I must be a mentalist for wanting to do that – though it has helped keep everything smooth and in place. I accidentally made the sleeve lining  slightly too long [not concentrating enough] and it peeks out from the cuff, so I will need to fix that or just put a few tacks along the inside of the sleeve to hold it loosely in place.DSCF1939_2

There were requests for a silly amount of pockets inside, which I managed to compromise down to just 2 inner breast pockets, and I made sure they would both be big enough to accommodate a Kindle reader, as he tends to rip/stretch out his RTW by stuffing them into too small pockets. Epic shoulder pads (he has sloping shoulders and we wanted to soften the line a bit) and felt for the under-collar (he wants to wear it up and pretend he’s Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes). Lets take a moment…


… Ahem, Moving on. All the pieces were interfaced with fusible, this stuff is the best! I was seriously impressed with the quality of the fabric and its sticking power. I’m pretty sure i’m never going back to the crap I’ve bought elsewhere. Check out this post for fabric & interfacing links.

Now for notes for any future man coats I make (not in the too near future, thank you very much!):

Pretty much everything that bugs me about this coat is down to my strange behaviour of not wanting to use up too much paper whilst drafting. I would avoid redrafting pieces or creating separate pieces because I didn’t want to waste paper [pick your battles Fleur, this wasn’t one of them].DSCF1941_2

Change the seam lines – mens tailoring doesn’t usually have a side seam. The usual lines are a long dart on the front torso, with the front piece wrapping round and finishing just behind the sleeve (joining what would be a high back notch on the arm scye) – known to me as a basic 3 seam taper. I went bonkers and had princess, side and centre back seams for shaping. I was asked if it was an unconscious attempt at emasculating him. We will never know. :evil:

Get everything down on the pattern pieces before getting into cutting & sewing – the pocket & button placement for example, it took more work later on to get right. Present Fleur was most displeased with past-tense Fleur for not doing this properly. Bad Fleur.

I was lazy with my inside welt pockets too, as my original intention was to create something similar to these, pretty pointy thangs:

Source: Tutto Fatto a Mano

The sleeves are a little too baggy for my liking, as this guy wears more slim-cut clothing, I would definitely re-shape the sleeves [check out Burburry London RTW menswear].

I would also recommend to future Fleur to take a step back and review the general proportions, as some little niggling voice in the back of my head keeps bugging me about the lateral proportions of this coat. Feedback from the wearer was that generally it’s a “bit 80’s”, and there’s “too much fabric around the bottom”, which translated into our language means that he prefers a cut that goes straight down from the waist than it tapering out (as it does). The collar isn’t as stiff as I’d like it to have been and he agrees it could be more “solid” but it does stick up and he likes the size of it [giggling because that totally sounds like an innuendo].

Well anyway, he’s both wearing it and happy with it. job done.


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