I have finished the second, and final Lady Grey coat. It has taken me all of January, because I did a lot of hand tailoring. This was probably unwise, seeing that cotton velvet is not particularly amenable to tailoring techniques, but I had fun trying. Putting it off until January also allows me to submit it to
Gigi's JAM (jacket a month) challenge at Stitchers' Guild. Procrastination can be a good thing.
See this thread for the pros and cons of hand tailoring cotton velvet.
See these bad, blurry photos.
These are all you are getting. It is far too hot to put on a coat like this at the moment. Only the very windy day allowed these photographs to be taken early this morning (note, I do not plan to wear this coat over a sundress in normal circumstances - the shoes however, I think are perfect with the coat).
I like this coat more than my linen version. I took a lot more trouble with it. There are still some very annoying issues, but I am not beating myself up about them. I have not sewn with this fabric before, nor have I hand tailored a coat before.
I particularly liked using Kenneth King's Cool Couture book in the making of this coat. The aspects I have not yet posted about include:
1.the internal, ribbon welt pocket
(the placement of this allows items in the pocket to sit just above the waist, not over the bust, but meant I had to sew the internal buttons on through only the inside of the pocket, sort of fiddly)
2: The no-pad shoulder pads, made from layers of hair canvas.
This may have been my favourite part of making the coat. They curve so nicely all by themselves!
3. The hem interfaced with a bias strip of wool melton.
I was quite pleased with how I gently gathered the hem using the melton bias,until I saw how puffy the hem was. I assume Kenneth King is talking about this effect when he describes "thickness" and "soft fold". I am not sure if I like it, or maybe I have just stuffed it up - quite likely really.
4. The use of bias cut wool to gather the sleeve head - extra wide in Kenneth King's variation to help pad out the top of the sleeve.
Other things I really enjoy are the sand washed silk lining, the hand dyed cotton lace trim for the lining (cherries and a tea bag in boiling water, I felt most clever), and the secret embroidery on the inside.
The butterfly is reinforcing the back pleat, and the flower is disguising the part where I cleverly clipped a hole in the fabric instead of the seam.
If I wear this coat, it will be a bonus.
I have finished with Lady Grey now. The pattern is lightly used (I traced it and folded it back up with the original folds as best I could).
As it is rather a pricey pattern, I hate to see it just sitting around. It has already come across the Pacific by airmail, so if anyone in Australia or New Zealand could use it, I would be very happy to pass it on. If you would like it leave me a comment and an email or blog contact so that I can collect your address.
Edited to fix links