Well, that was epic.
But yes, folks, after a year, two months, and four days from when I decided to make this coat, it finally is finished! If you want to read the back-story, you can check out these posts:
The Muslin, Part 1
The Muslin, Part 2
Cutting it out
And you can see the more recent progress in the last few posts. So, on to what matters… My opinions!
Pattern Description: Double-breasted trench-style coat with cape lined in tartan jersey, flared bottom, and short belt that emphasizes the waist.
Sizing: 38-58 (Euro/Italian Sizing). I made a 44.
Fabric Used: Bright Red wool flannel and Square Deal Silk Charmeuse in Red tones, both from Gorgeous Fabrics, of course. Both sold out, sorry.
Machines and Tools Used: Pfaff 2130 home sewing machine. All of The Pressinatrix’ favorite tools.
Needle/Notions Used: For the lining, Universal 60/8 needle. For the buttonholes, Topstitching 80/12 needle. For the coat, Universal 80/12 needle, Sew-in hair canvas interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply, shoulder pads that I’ve had in my stash for a long long time, twill tape for stabilizing the roll lines, leather from my stash for the belt, belt buckle from M&J Trim in New York, buttons from Botani in New York, large snap from Pacific Trims in New York, Japanese hand needles and Sleeve Head Tape from Susan Khalje. Thread.
Tips Used during Construction: Anything by The Pressinatrix, A Tutorial on Topstitching, Hemming the Marfy Coat, a Tutorial. Probably some others that I’ll add as I think of them.
Did it look like the photo or drawing when you got through? Yes
How were the instructions? Hahahahahahaha! You’re so funny…
Seriously, Marfy comes with no instructions. You’re advised to print out the picture to use as a guide, and you are expected to know what you are doing. It’s best to have a Good Sewing Book next to you for reference when sewing Marfy. Marfy patterns, or at least this one, are beautifully drafted, and while a bit intimidating, they go together well. Just take your time, check your sewing references when you need to and trust your abilities. And if anything goes wrong? Well, fake it til you make it.
Construction Notes: I could probably write a novel, but I’ll keep it brief.
Marfy Patterns come printed without seam allowances. I used 1-inch SAs for the major seams, and ½ inch SAs for sleeves, facings and enclosed seams.
I shortened the length by about 4 inches, to make the coat less formal. I also found that there was a drafting error I pointed out in the muslin phase: the sleeve capes are not the same length as the back cape. I’ve only seen one other version of this pattern made up, and I notice the same issue on that one, so I think it’s fair to call it a mistake. But it’s an easy mistake to fix, so I didn’t get too wrapped around the axle about it. I shortened the sleeve capes and went along my way.
There are a few things you should note if you decide to make this coat. One is that if you make the caped version (there’s also a view that leaves the capes off), you must use a lightweight wool, like the one I used. Why? Look.
At one point, there are nine, count ‘em, NINE layers
I’ve seen mille-feuilles with fewer layers. Be prepared to spend a lot of time grading and trimming.
For that same reason, I decided against sewing the epaulets into the shoulder seams. It would have been too much bulk, especially with the shoulder pads. Instead I finished the raw edges and topstitched them at the shoulders.
I put a large snap at the waistline on the inside to secure the under layer
I spent a long time last night testing out buttonholes. Originally I was going to take the coat to Jonathan in New York, but I won’t be able to get there before the end of the year. Instead, I broke out the trusty Pfaff and used the semi-automatic buttonhole feature to make corded buttonholes. I set the buttons so I can either close the coat all the way to the neck, or leave it open:
Note the roll of the cloth on the lapel. That’s on purpose…
Because when the neck is open they roll to the right side. Oh yeah!
Enough of that, let’s just cut to the chase. Here she is in all her glory, on Shelley:
With the lapels unbuttoned
With the lapels buttoned up
The Sherlock look
I love the cut of this
And, the back!
Likes/Dislikes: I LOVE this coat! It will be really really warm. I love the lines, I love the drafting (that one error in the capes aside), I love the fit. Yes, it was worth the wait!
Would you do it again? Would you recommend it? I won’t do it again. This is a statement coat and I only need one. I definitely recommend it, as long as you have the skills and patience to do it well. This is a demanding coat, and it demands attention at all phases. But if you’ve got better-than-intermediate skills, and you like a challenge that pays off, absolutely go for it!
Conclusion: Love. It! I’ll try to get pictures on me tomorrow. Now I need something easy and fast for my next project.