Then, a little serendipity .... On Twitter Steffani Linceum, a tutor who blogs at Stitchcoach,was looking for a few people to review her Craftsy class on sewing the adult-sized version V9040 and I jumped at the chance. I watched all sections of the class almost back-to-back, and loved it.
Not doing things by half, I decided to use the class to help me sew my daughter's coat, before reviewing it.
The class 'Inside Vogue Patterns' covers everything about sewing a winter coat.
Basting interlining to the main fabric was a first for me and the teacher shows how to do this so that it won't bulge or bubble under the main fabric. I used a lightweight wool fabric for the interlining, though barely had enough for the front bodice pieces as evident in the picture below!
I added velvet piping in the pockets (this is only in the child's pattern, so I didn't have Steffani's calm teaching to guide me for this part!)
The lining is a pink cotton, and I added 2 extra inside pockets which are not on the child's pattern, but there is a pattern piece for one of the pockets included as part of the class.
The sleeve linings are white silk, to make the coat easier to put on and because I did the same for my Minoru jacket and love it.
The back hem was noticeably longer than the front when my daughter tried on the coat, so that needed a deeper hem than indicated in the pattern.
The collar of the child's coat is beautifully designed and in 2 pieces. It is different to the adult coat, so I also missed the teacher's help with this part, though it worked fine just using the pattern instructions.
Finding buttons in a matching colour was difficult. We considered a contrasting colour, but nothing seemed right. Our local fabric store owner recommended covering buttons in velvet. It worked perfectly, more so because the pile of the fabric hides the dents I made while pressing the button parts together!
My favourite parts of the coat are the addition of fun smaller buttons on the inside of the coat to strengthen the hold of the outer buttons - suggested by the class teacher. My other favourite part is the addition of an inside pocket with pleated janemeans ribbon over the opening. In the Craftsy class, Steffani calls this a Chinese Wedding Pocket, and used folded pieces of bias binding for the edge. My daughter loved the idea of this 'secret' pocket and being able to find it easily without looking, simply by touching the ribbon. It made her feel like a secret agent!
Of everything I've sewn, I'm very proud of the work that has gone into this coat. The class, with all the tutor's hints and tips, made such a difference, more that I could have imagined. Despite sewing coats before, the guidance of a sewist with experience has helped me sew a much better quality coat. The advice on grading seams, creating a sleeve head, using interlining, allowing for 'turn of cloth' and many more topics are covered, and in a very straightforward manner by the teacher, who evidently has often used all the techniques that she is demonstrating.
There are some more details about the class on the tutor's blog, and it is also worth checking the reviews on Craftsy.
Now, if I could only be brave enough to sew the adult-sized version for myself ...... maybe for next winter!
(I received the Craftsy class for free, sewed a coat using the teaching and techniques from the class and reviewed the class based on my experience)
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