Hello my friends! I thought I’d share with you some early thoughts for probably the biggest project I’m planning this year. I’m going to sew Simplicity 1928, a swing coat pattern from 1956. The best part about this pattern? A HOOD! Hoods are a huge winner on coats and jackets in my book. I’ll be doing view 1.
I was looking for a swing coat pattern earlier this winter and then stumbled on this one for a good price, and I couldn’t resist the hood! The pattern is fully lined, with self-fabric used to line the hood. I feel a little iffy about the inner construction as written: there’s no back neck facing, so I feel like the lining could roll out to the hood, and there are no front facings, either, which I find odd. The vintage coats I own have both. But maybe that’s part of why this was marked “simple to make” at the bottom of the envelope…?
I’ll definitely draft both a back neck facing and front facings. I’m also going to add more than one button down the front. I just now caught that version 2 has 3 buttons, though I might want to space them a tad wider apart so they’re more useful.
Here’s where I did something a little wacky: I ordered coating fabric without first getting a swatch. I was looking around for a nice black or mostly black coating fabric, and happened across what looked to be a very perfect looking fabric at Mood Fabrics. I was going to order a swatch, but they had low stock. I called up to chat with them, and they had 13 yards only in stock and it was on closeout. And I needed 4 yards. (Technically probably a little less since the widest fabric in the pattern calls for 3 3/8 yards, and this fabric is a little wider, but the extra buffer is good.)
So I sucked in my breath, crossed my fingers, and bought this coating fabric, sight unseen.
Because really. Isn’t it gorgeous looking?! Does that not look like the amazing makings of a swing coat?! I’m giddy just thinking about it.
It’s a heavy wool coating with white rayon threads through it. I’m already second-guessing that I didn’t pick up an extra yard. But I do plan to do a muslin, and the cutting layout was with or without nap (I’m not sure if the fabric has nap), and I’ll probably make it slightly shorter because I always need to chop a few inches off, and assuming I don’t make any asinine errors… even with having to add facings, I should be okay with 4 yards.
I plan to line the coat and probably interline it, too. I want this to be warm, because one thing I find is that most wool coats just don’t cut it when we start reaching the period of winter when even the weather forecasters call it “brutally cold”. Gah, anything to keep me out of my down puffy coats… but I digress.
So what’s good for lining for warmth? I think I need to investigate silks. I know silk charmeuse is sometimes used as a lining. Anything else you’d recommend? I’ve worked with bemberg rayon lining, so how much worse can silk be? (I probably don’t want to ask this question. Sullivans stabilizer spray to the rescue!)
And then there’s underlining, or interlining. From what I understand, in the context of jackets and coats, interlining is really just underlining for warmth, not specifically to change the hand or opacity of a fabric. I already know that the common option of cotton flannel is out. I want warm, like dead of winter warm. I’ve read that you can use silk organza as an underlining, but I’ll have to wait and see what the coating fabric is like since it feels like that might be too crisp. Though this Threads article on underlining points out that if you have a shape that hangs loose-fitting and full (like my pattern does), you might want to interline your lining instead of the fashion fabric. Would it be odd to effectively underline a silk charmeuse lining with silk organza? Well I’m not sure silk organza would add that much extra warmth, anyway.
So in the ‘much warmer’ department, I did consider interlining with actual Thinsulate fabric, though it’s out of stock in several places—given the season, that doesn’t surprise me, and I’m having a hard time figuring out weights anyway. So this might not really be an option. But the same Threads article also mentions lambswool interlining, and that sounds promising (and more vintage, though I’m not a stickler about that). Via this post on lambswool interlining, I see that Bergen Tailor Supply sells it and it sounds good. Not much of a description, but presumably would be suitable for my coat.
Of course, all of this is somewhat dependent on what the coating fabric is actually like in person, and how heavy it is! Because I think it’s pretty heavy. The good news is that I’m not doing a bulky collar, and I’m probably lining the hood with something other than self-fabric (but what??), so even if it’s pretty hefty things shouldn’t get too bulky. Except possibly the inseam side pockets, since I’d like to interline them too (I mean if I’m going for warm, let’s go for warm). We’ll see how that all plays out.
This is not the first time I’ve ventured into tailoring, but it’s only the second. So I’m excited but slightly nervous. Almost two years ago at this point I took on my first tailoring project, sewing my Sew for Victory jacket, and documenting the entire process. While I remember some really nerve-wracking bits, I also remember geeking out on a lot of the small details. I enjoyed slowing down, all the hand basting and finger pressing of seams, and things like that. I may do some documenting along the way with this coat. It’ll probably bore some of you to tears, but hopefully others will find it interesting!
My tailoring books are out, the research has started, and I’ve already taken several notes. I’m excited and ready. Now, fingers crossed for me on that coat fabric, okay! 😉