Thursday, August 29, 2013

Misery, Thy Name is Collar Facing

Poor Shakespeare, probably one of his most bastardized lines. Just to set the record straight, the line is spoken by Hamlet of his mother. "Frailty, thy name is woman".

But none of that explains the absolute fit the collar facings gave me on the barn coat. Two hours of meddling and torture. Now, the SEWN pattern is wonderful and the drafting very good, the instructions are even pretty clear, it's just a technique thing. If you were putting a zipper in on all options this would likely be the standard way of going about getting zipper, collar and facings on, but two of the options are not zippered and for those options, really, it is easier to build the collar and then set it in the fabric sandwich rather than building it by attaching bottom collar to the jacket and top collar to the facing and sewing them together at the outer edge. I did finally tame it into place and ended up with a beautiful coat. I reinforced the collar with some Velcro to encourage it to hold a certain way.

 And easy enough to have it grip back into place if I have turned it up against the wind or cold.

Yes, it was worth it, and yes, next time (there will certainly be a next time on this pattern), I'm doing the collar the way I would usually do my collars.
So, here are the pics of the finished barn coat.

The pocket design was pirated from my old barn coat. I love the big flapped pocket for holding treats or parts or tools, and I love the not so little hand warmer pockets.

 In winter my old coat had mittens sticking out of those pockets often. I would just slip my hands in.

I didn't think I would like the interlining approach compared to a regular loose lining, but I do and for a coat that is safer with less of anything swinging loose, perfect.

 For the same reason I opted not to do the cuffs, they hold hay bits anyway. I did hem the sleeves a little longer than I normally would. When I'm working on something I still wanted to have my wrist area covered if my gloves are off or of the shorter variety.

I knew I wasn't going to get a snap to go through all the layers of torture around the collar area, so put the snap on a keeper and did it that way.

 The closures also go right to within two inches of the coat hem.

Pocket whimsy. I just had to add a touch of this tractor ribbon. Note to self, do this stuff BEFORE the pocket is set and finished on the garment.

Now, technical data. The pattern is drafted generously and will fit the average curvy or pear shaped figure close to "out of the envelope".

 It is long in the waist and I had to shorten all the pieces. There are no markings for the waist so the main pieces back and front were pinned on Rhonda, waist shortened and then the side panels shortened to match up. The pattern will notch you to death. Good for novices, but I skipped a few myself. They all line up well. The ease is good, however there are no finished measurements offered. The arms are very long and will most likely need shortening. The sleeve itself roomy enough for a sweater or sweatshirt underneath but not too roomy. There is a lot of top stitching. I did this with regular thread, looks fine. Don't skimp on doing the stitching, it makes the jacket.

Bottom line, this is a flattering design for most figures, well drafted, multiple lengths and sizes included in one pattern and allows for tons of customizing opportunities. What's not to love?

Parting shot. Smoochie, thy name is perfect! ;).


  1. Your new barn coat is a smash hit and I love the tractor ribbon decoration. Smoochie, you are indeed perfect.

  2. What a great barn coat! And I love the fun lining you used.

  3. Gorgeous! Love the pocket! I see the largest size they offer has a 40 inch bust...what is the finished measurement of bust and hips?

  4. Gorgeous coat-- one of the best pattern examples! SEWN should use your coat on its package!

    Great improvisation. And, I think I too have begun to like interlining much better than lining. I like how it improves the hand of many of the fabrics I use.

  5. Smoochie did provide the perfect shot! What great detail with the top stitching! And, I know those pockets are going to be well used!

  6. Smoochie wants a barn coat also! This is a wonderful coat Theresa-just lovely in all the details.

  7. Theresa, that jacket is beautiful! What a great job you did, hope to be able to see it in person...Anna

  8. Wow, I am so impressed with that coat! And it sounds like my 6' self would only have to lengthen a little bit! Gorgeous.

    Hi Smoochie!

  9. Oh my, what a good looking barn coat! Your sewing is so pretty, and I love your little touches. Loving the color.

    p.s. nice facing resolution :-)

  10. Oh, nicely done and as always I love the little lining surprise- Smoochie looks like he's a big kisser!

  11. Martha, Smoochie thanks you and sends a kisses, of course!

    Cindie, Isn't that fun material?! Leftover from something and just enough for the coat. It was meant to be

    Mrsmole, I hope I gave you enough info.

    Pam, Why thank you! I'm not sure SEWN would like the pocket changes, but I have to admit, they are far more practical than those shallow in seam pockets.

    LA, Smoochie is almost as much of a ham as Stella, but he wiggles, a lot!

    Mary, Smoochie has plenty of coat of his own, even after his bad summer hair cut. Now Robin or Petter would look grand in an orange coat. Pity, not much left of any of the fabrics.

    Anna, Thank you! Things hopefully are quieting down parking wise in Ashland. I hope to make it over to the art center at least.

    LOTL, I suspect you will have to lengthen both waist and hem areas, but it is a wonderful coat pattern.

    Coco, It IS amazing what you can make a facing do when you threaten it with scissors and trash can. I love my tractor ribbon and just couldn't pass up the chance to use a bit of it.

    prttynpnk, Big kisser is putting it politely. He'll give you a bath. My only qualm with the lining is the white background, but it is all wash and wear...