HOURGLASS DOUBLE FACED COAT
My most recent addition to my handmade coat collection is this double-faced piece that plays with exaggerated shapes.
It’s a “fancier” coat because of its shape: the dropped shoulder, tulip-like sleeves that are slim at the bicep area, wide at just above the wrist, and mimic the shape of the body. Sleeves are cut at the bracelet length, darts at the front and back mimic corseting, the hip shape is exaggerated, and the hem has a high-low shape front to back.
Here you can see the shape that was presented on the Jil Sander runway, and my interpretation of its shape in a technical sketch.
I always prefer to start with a technical sketch, where I work out the details of style lines and darts before I start draping it in muslin.
Muslin is not always the best presentation of how the garment will look like finished, but it’s a very good start. If you’ve watched a Halston story on Netflix series, you may remember the fact that Halson always draped in “real” fabrics: very costly practice, but fantastic if you can afford it.
What you can make out in a muslin shape, is that it still incorporates a lot of ease, but you can make out shapes around the waist, the extra volume around the hips and bottom of the sleeve, and a generous lapel and collar.
The pattern pieces on the right show these shapes when flat, and you can see how much roundness is incorporated in almost every detail.
I was contemplating doing a hidden placket just like in the original version, but in the end, decided against it.
I’ve done a very detailed post on how I work with double-faced fabrics already, so here I’m just showing some details that I’ve done in addition to the method discussed.
This material was not as dense as my previous camel and brown coats, so I decided to fuse one side of the edge seams with a very light weight fusible before all stitching.
For whatever reason, I tend to start with smaller details first. Sometimes it’s about getting your hand stitching more uniform, other times it’s to see some parts finished to get a better idea about what the finished garment is going to look like.
For the inseam pocket, I didn’t want too much bulk, so it’s only one layer of fabric that’s binded around the pocket’s edge and hand-stitched to the body with the same binding.
The most exciting part of making clothing is seeing it taking shape.
The makings for the Center Front and roll line of the lapel stay until the end, so it’s easier to fit and I can see if I hit the mark with the pattern.
Here are full front and back views of the coat on a form, but it’s still missing some loops and a belt.
I do want to mention that a belt that was 2″ in width and about 80″ long, took a very long time to put together, so I’m using it for the other jacket and coat I made from the same fabric as well.
This coat also looks good with a thin leather belt as shown on a runway, so I now have two options for this coat’s closure.
You can see how different this coat looks on a body vs on a form. I guess that’s due to the fact that I have arms and hips to fill it in.
For this prioject, I tried to be diligent in writing the hours downs, and I think I did a pretty good job tracking it, except when it came to the belt.
It’s not a big surprise that double-faced projects take a long time to execute, and I found a few things to play a big role in determining how time-involved a piece can get. First, it’s about the type of fabric you’ll be using: if it splits easily, you’ll be saving a lot of time from the get-go. Second, how many pattern pieces/style lines will you be attaching together: more lines, more work. Third, how long are the edge seams, and it includes belt as well.
Below is a breakdown of the total hours it took me:
cutting and marking: 2.5 hrs
preparing seams for separations: 1 hr
splitting seams: 8 hrs
sewing and hand sewing: 26.5 hrs
Belt & Loops:
splitting seams: 1.5 hrs
Finishing belt’s edges: 8-9 hrs (I’ve been working on this belt while traveling: on a plane and whenever I had time in the evenings after work, so tracking became more difficult)
There is also time unaccounted for attaching loops on a body of a coat, which took a minimum of 1 hour or a little longer.
Therefore, total hours of labor came to a minimum of 49 hours.
Does it sound long or manageable? Or is it the “good things take time to make” kind of situation?