The perfect coat

Due to a shipping snafu, I ended up with six meters (instead of the three I ordered) of a gorgeous teal melton wool from Blackbird Fabrics. Last fall Two falls ago I made a cape with it, and I love it, but capes aren’t the most practical and I’ve wanted another teal jacket/coat since I “outgrew” the one I wore to my bachelorette party, 17 years ago.

After making the Chilton trench last year two years ago, I always thought I might make another one without all the bells and whistles (the epaulettes, the belt loops, the cape, the flaps, etc) and a bit shorter, since I had enough fabric for that.

Figuring out what to line it with was tough. The matte satin I lined the other one with was a nightmare to sew with, and my pockets have torn at the seams a couple of times, and it frays incessantly. But satin really does make the best lining so it goes on smoothly. I wouldn’t have minded a cotton lawn, but Joann doesn’t carry cotton lawn and when I want to make something I want to make it ASAP so I didn’t have time to order any.

So. I went with the infamous rainbow stretch satin that I’ve made a dress from before. It’s so dreamy, I love it, but I wasn’t sure if it was the vibe I was going for, and I was reluctant to use another satin again.

But I’m so glad I chose it. It doesn’t fray as much as the other satin I used (maybe because of the presence of stretch?) and it’s really soft to wear on bare arms, much nicer than the other stuff. And it looks incredible.

I do wish I’d used a darker solid color inside the pockets, but I couldn’t settle on anything so I just went with the rainbow satin. It’s all good.

It all sewed up well (I cut and sewed it almost entirely in one ten hour day) and the lining came out much better than the last time, and I really paid close attention to the details (like the bits that need to be hand sewn) and so I’m really proud of it.

But the last part, closures, was the hardest. I really didn’t want to make buttonholes. I contemplated sending it out to a tailor, and if I had settled on buttons as closures, I think I would have done that in the end. But I liked the idea of toggles, so I ordered some brown leather ones from etsy and I adore the way they look. It took me a while to figure out the placement, and then some time to muster up the nerve to sew them on, but it finally got slightly cool here (to be clear, not cool enough for a wool coat) so I just went ahead and did it last night. (Thanks to my friend Jen for helping me troubleshoot the placement.)

This morning I hung it on the soccer goal outside to get some good pictures of it. The color is just so beautiful! I love everything about it, and I can’t wait to wear it for real.

I actually bought a clothes steamer but obviously didn’t use it today.

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