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Raincoat muslin and sewing plans

I bought this really nice chocolate waterproof silk back in February with the idea of turning it into a summer rain coat. I think it's a twill, here's a bad picture with some buttons on top. My phone camera doesn't really do it justice though (weird corners!):



A particularly wet summer later, I'm finally starting this project. I'm making Sewaholic's Robson coat, and I'm just finished with the muslin.

I cut a size 8 at the bust, and moved out to a size 6 for the rest. However, I needn't have bothered - I think an 8 overall, despite not matching my measurements, will be absolutely fine. I didn't cut the full length for the muslin, mostly because I didn't have enough muslin to cut it from. I think the coat as designed is a bit long, so I'll shorten it somewhat, but the length that I made for the muslin is a bit too short.

In fact, the fit seems spot on - very good in the front and back, including no swayback needed!



The only issue I can spot is the princess seem gaping a bit at the top. But most of that will be needed by by the sleeves anyway, so I'm not particularly worried about this. I'll baste things together first to make sure it looks ok.


I didn't make a muslin of the sleeves, but I measured the size 8 and it gives me about 4 inches of ease- I think it will be fine.

I was keen to make an unlined coat because I wanted it to work well for summer, but this means most tailoring techniques (couture or ready to wear) won't work very well because you can't cover the interior work. Truth be told, lining and underlining would not make it too warm for summer - I made two dresses which are both underlined&lined with silk and they are really comfortable even in 35+ degree weather. Still, I haven't got enough organza to underline the whole thing and I haven't yet found a local supplier for silk organza so if I wanted to make a lined coat I'd have at least a few weeks of downtime while I get more - a few weeks this late in summer means next year, so I'm just going the unlined route.

Here's what I plan to do:
- I will use fusible interfacing for everything required by the pattern; I got this really nice fusible from
McCullough and Wallis when I bought the fabric so it matches the weight of the silk well
- for some reason, the belt isn't on the interfacing list in the pattern instructions (haven't checked the pattern piece itself though, it might be listed there), but I think I'll need to interface it too
- I will underline the front, up to the facing edge, with silk organza
- I will try to add a back stay (under the back facing)
- I will stay the neckline and front princess seams with organza selvage; still looking to see if there are any other curves that need such stiff staying
- I will interface all hems - probably using a stiffer silk organza for this as per Nordheim's Vintage Couture Tailoring, and I need to make sure it won't show, so it will be cut narrower than the book requires
- I will might use a chain to weigh down the bottom hem if the stiff organza isn't enough
- I will line the sleeves; I have a nice original Chanel silk lining that I am thinking of using, but I'm not decided yet as it might be a tad too heavy; alternatively I will go get some China silk from one of the local suppliers, the quality I can get here is very good
- I'm planning to use flat felled seams throughout - the pattern calls for binding (which I bought 6000000 meters of) but I like flat felling more as a finish.

The initial plan was to use turquoise accents for the topstitching, buttons and binding, but now I've decided against binding, I'm thinking that maybe yellow would be a good accent instead. Or fuchsia? The stiffer organza I have is fuchsia - I'm not quite sure why the only organza that is made from silk sold by Join Lewis is fuchsia now, but that's how I ended up with that color.

One of the things I dread with this one is constantly switching thread, at every seam, in my machine. I'm using brown chocolate thread for the seams, and the accent thread for topstitching. I'm considering borrowing a machine to do the topstitching on. Maybe the local Bernina supplier can get me one to try out for a weekend, although I an not quite sure how that conversation would go with my German to be honest.

And on that bombshell, it's time to get sewing!

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