Sewing Another Trench Coat

The Trench - in purple

I made my first version of this coat a couple years ago. (You can read about it in this post The Trench.”) The pattern is from Christine Haynes aptly named book Chic & Simple Sewing, which I reviewed here.

I found this handwoven heavyweight cotton purple fabric at the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse. I thought it would do nicely for this coat. The Depot sells cut fabric (not on the bolt) for $2/yard, fabric on the bolt is $3/yard. (For more info, see my post, Fabric at the East Bay Depot.)

Then I had to decide what I would use for the bias tape. I found a lovely remnant of striped silk at Discount Fabrics in San Francisco. I liked the idea of having diagonally striped bias tape.

After I started sewing the coat and attached the sleeves, I wondered about using more of the silk fabric as an additional accent to the coat. Eventually, I decided to put some of the silk fabric along the bottom edge of the sleeves. These pieces would be sort of like cuffs but I would just be placing a piece of fabric over the sleeve ends.

If I had figured this out earlier, I could have sewed the silk on to the sleeve before I attached the sleeves. It would be a pain to rip out the seams so I ended up hand sewing the silk to the sleeves (see photos below).

I actually made the bias tape last year and finally got around to finishing The Trench this past weekend. The big difference between this version and my previous one, is fusible tape. When I made this coat the first time around, I hadn’t used any fusible tape for sewing seams. It would have made my seams on the bias tape look significantly better. The bias tape didn’t lay flat so I hid that unevenness by sewing rick rack on top of the seam line. You can see that version here.

For the purple trench, I used a double-sided fusible tape –  Design Plus Ulta-soft Double Sided Fusible (3/8″) – which I read about in the an issue of Threads magazine. It is an excellent stabilizer for lightweight fabrics. Back in 2009, I ordered of two rolls of it from LJ Designs. At that time it was $9.99 for a 27-yard roll. (The price has gone up a dollar.) My first roll is nearly depleted but I still have one roll that’s unused.

It was a very tedious process ironing the fusible to the bias tape because I had to first iron it on one side and then the other. The good thing was that there was just a little edge of fusible at the center fold of the bias tape. So I could then put the bias tape over the unfinished coat edges and iron it in place. This meant I didn’t have to pin the bias tape. Yay.

The fabric I used was rather thick so I hand sewed the hem. Also, because this particular cotton has a tendency to unravel, I sewed bias tape over all the seams, which is a nice detail on an unlined jacket.

Below are many photos of preparing and attaching the bias tape, making the pockets and cuffs, and other details.

Ironing fusible to one side of bias tape
Peeling the paper from the fusible tape
Ironing the bias tape
Ironing fusible to opposite side
Ironing bias tape in place
Sewing on bias tape
Front edge and neckline
Bias tape along front edge. Neckline bias tape ironed in place
Pinning the cuff in place for hand sewing
Finished cuff
Notches cut into pocket corner curves
Ironing the pocket

 

Pinning the pocket
Sewing the pocket to The Trench
Inside view of the bottom hem and seam covered with bias tape

Author: Chuleenan

Chuleenan sews, collects hats and shoes, and is a fabric addict. She is also the organizer for the Bay Area Sewists Meetup group.

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