It’s finished! Actually, I finished it a week ago but I only got around to having pictures taken on Saturday. Perfect weather for it too.
The pattern is Colette Albion. I made version 2 (unlined jacket) to use as a sporty Spring coat. I have a great navy blue trench but it doesn’t look right when I’m wearing jeans and Converse. I’ve been wanting something sportier that doesn’t scream “activewear!” and I could NOT find it. Seriously. I’ve been looking for over a year! So when Albion came out, I had to get it. And I dutifully waited for the sew along.
I originally wanted navy blue waxed canvas. The online store I was going to order from did not want me to have waxed canvas. They were going to charge me extra for ordering only 5 yards (they like bigger orders). I was willing to pay that. But then, the shipping was insane. Shipping plus “small order surcharge” was actually more than the cost of the fabric. Nuh-uh. I looked for waxed canvas elsewhere but couldn’t find it. So I looked for plain old canvas. I wanted plain old navy blue but then, I found organic cotton canvas prints. My first choice was navy blue dusk. But it was out of stock. And then I found Steps in Blueberry. Loved the blue and I thought the print might work for me. It’s different from what I usually choose but I like it a lot. Not too busy.
I opted to make my own bias tape out of something fun but coordinated. And here is one of the features I love the best about Hawthorne Threads. You pick a print and then, you can browse other fabrics that have one of the colors from your print. So I asked for prints with some of my blue. And ended up with this one. I was hesitant at first. I liked it but would it be too much? I would never use this print as an accent with my canvas but as bias tape? It’s actually perfect!
A trip to Joann’s later and I had thread that exactly matched the blue, metal buttons that say “Sport Wear” slightly smaller than they were supposed to be, and three zippers. Two metal ones and a plastic one because I couldn’t make up my mind.
My measurements had me making a medium but I chose a small instead. I compared finished measurements with my beloved trench coat. The small was a bit bigger than the trench. Perfect. I wanted a slightly looser fit but not oversized.
I fully expected that I would need to make some adjustments to the pattern but my muslin told me that the shoulders were just right. I decided to shorten the jacket 4 inches. And then, I realized that would be a problem with the pockets. So I shortened it 2 inches. I think I would like it a little shorter but this length is good. If I make a second version someday, I may omit the pockets, shorten the jacket, take in the waist a little, and flare out the hips a little. But this is fine. And if I do want more waist definition at some point, I’ll add the interior drawstring modification from the sew along.
I didn’t make a lot more modifications. I added a zipper, following the customization instructions in the sew along. Of the three zippers I brought home, I chose the lime green one. It’s a cool pop of color that’s completely hidden when the jacket is closed. It even goes with the bias tape! I used some matching green thread I already had to sew it on so you can’t even see my stitching.
The only place I veered off sew along is the buttons. I was going to sew snaps and have the buttons down the middle but realized that wouldn’t work with the zipper. Confession: I don’t always think things through… I couldn’t find toggles I like and besides, I didn’t want toggles. So I made these skinny canvas cords and basted them to the front before sewing on the facing. I slip stitched the two sides together to make smaller loops for the buttons.
I also chose not to make buttonholes on the sleeve tabs and I just sewed the buttons down through the tabs and sleeves. I’m not going to be buttoning and unbuttoning so why mess with buttonholes?
I’m really very happy with this coat! Things I would change? Well, I didn’t bother trying to match up the pattern at the seams. If I were to start over, I would at least try. There were also some places where binding the seams was really difficult. The 1/4″ double fold tape had a hard time going over all the bulk. I would opt for 3/8″ or even 1/2″ double fold tape in the future. And mostly, you can’t tell in the pictures, but my top stitching needs work. I redid the flat felled seams at the front yokes 4 times. And they never got perfectly straight. Never. I figured I would run out of thread before I got them straight so I gave up. But it bothers me. Practice, practice, practice. Someday, hopefully, I’ll wonder why I found it so hard to stitch straight lines.
In the meantime, I’m ready for Spring!