Hey everyone, here is how I put together Audrey’s
winter coat for this year. It’s made of cotton houndstooth, interlined with amish
flannel, and lined with liberty of London. As always, all materials and time stamps are
linked down below. So to get started, I used children’s corner
Ruthie as a starting off point for the coat. I choose Ruthie since it’s designed to open
in the front already, but really, any bodice pattern would work, you could just add some
width to the front section, and I’ll go over that more in a bit.
But, with all of the pattern pieces, I am going to quilt the houndstooth together with
the flannel and the liberty of London. So I’m cutting out rectangles that are oversized
and lining everything up, making sure all the fabric pieces are flat and without any
ripples. This quilting idea, along with some other techniques throughout this video are
inspired by how Chanel made her jackets. I’m dabbling in that world and researching as
much as I can. I believe that Chanel hand-quilted her jackets together, but I’m going to use
the machine. To
mark where the vertical quilting lines are going to start and stop, I tried using some
tailor’s chalk, but that didn’t show very well on my fabric. I tried using some sewing
pins, but eventually gave into a heat-activated pen instead. Going back to Chanel, or really
any couture work, they mark everything with thread, but I wasn’t in the mood to go there
just yet. That seems like a delightful thing to do when you have nice big tables to lay
everything out nice and flat, but I sew in a bit of a shoe box with no big tables to
speak of… so heat activated pen it is! Lol I make sure to start and stop the quilting
lines a good ½” if not more from the raw edges that way I’m able to machine sew those
seams together later on, and I’ll show you what I mean when I get there.
And yes, quilting these layers together would be better with a walking foot, but I don’t
have one of those, so there you go… So moving on from there, I cut out the bodice
front pieces once the quilting is done and use those pieces to block off the skirt part
of the coat, if you will. I’m taking some fabric and playing around
with it, thinking that I want to put an inverted box pleat on each side of the coat. So I’m
just playing around to see how big I want to make the box pleat and where its position
should go. Once I get the box pleat pinned in place, then I cut that piece of fabric
so it’s even with the bodice piece’s width. Before I take the pins out that are marking
that inverted box pleat, I make little clip marks so I’ll be able to put the pleat back
together later on. Then I unpin that pleat, lay the houndstooth
piece of fabric flat, and use it as a pattern for the flannel, liberty of London, and rise
and repeat for the other side of the coat. I put the box pleat back together including
the flannel. These pieces are not quilted together, though.
So I’m going to take just the flannel and houndstooth layers from the bodice front piece
and sew them right sides together with the jacket’s bottom front piece. I’m leaving
out the liberty of London lining pieces from this seam. And this is why it’s important
to keep the quilting stitches away from the future seams.
Next I’m thinking it would be a good idea to reinforce the houndstooth fabric since
it has a little bit of a stretch to it, so I’m putting a strip of silk organza that
I had left over from another project. It really doesn’t matter the color, though, because
it’s going to be completely covered once the coat is done.
I put in a line of pins to try to stabilize the houndstooth to the organza before I sew
them together. Traditionally and alternatively, you could baste these two together.
Then I sew the organza to the houndstooth on my machine, give that an ironing, and then
sew the other side to the houndstooth and there you go, reinforced.
Moving on, I take the liberty of London and cut the width so it was about 2x as wide.
This allowed me to gather the top, using two rows of gathering stitches, and then sewing
this bottom piece to the top piece of lining. Once I press those seams open, this is one
front of my coat. One final step before I put this piece aside
is that I’m basting the flannel and houndstooth together down that center front of the bottom
of the coat. Then I set that piece aside and move on the
sleeves. I’m just repeating the same quilting steps, again keeping those stitches away from
the future seams area. I’m also adding two inches to the length
of the sleeve. The idea is that you can tuck the extra up into the hem and then let out
the length to be able to use the coat again next year.
Once I finish cutting the sleeves out, I just put them aside for now.
Finally, I cut out pieces for the back of the coat and apply the same quilting lines
that I’ve applied to the front bodice pieces and the sleeves.
And I went through the same process to cut out the back of the bottom of the coat that
I went through for the front of the bottom of the coat. I’m also putting an inverted
box pleat in the middle of the back of the coat.
Once again, I pulled the lining away so I sew the back of the coat’s bodice to its
bottom section. I pressed that seam open, and then took some liberty of London fabric,
again 2x the width of the back of the coat, and then put two rows of gather stitches at
the top, gathered that area up to fit the back bodice, and sewed it to the lining, being
careful to leave the outside of the garment as well as the flannel out of this seam.
So this step is optional, but I thought it was a really good idea to put pockets to help
protect little hands from warm weather as well as store little gloves in there… so
I’m drafting up a pocket pattern. This is super easy to do – you’re just going to
create a shape like this. You want a tear drop shape to the pocket, so that bottom right
area, that should dip down a bit below the length of the pocket. This dip ensures that
items will stay inside the pocket, and just give a comfy feel.
Anywho, I cut out four pieces and then sewed it to the side of the coat. I am only sewing
through the houndstooth and flannel pieces, and leaving the lining out from this seam.
I’m sewing right sides together, and then flipping the pocket out and top stitching
down it. I give that an ironing and repeat sewing the
pockets to the other sides of the coat. In order to join the sides of the coat together,
I’m starting at the top of the seam, sewing about ½” below the top of the pocket, turn
the coat and sew across the top of the pocket, turning the pocket, and sewing around it,
and then continue to sew down the side of the coat. Once again, I’m keeping the lining
out of this seam. Then I press that seam open as well as press
under the raw edges of the lining about ½”. I’m going to sew these folded edges together
by hand later on. Next I join the shoulder seams together, again,
keeping those lining sections out of this seam. After I sew the seam together, I press
that seam open, and then press the lining’s raw edges under. And you guessed it, these
will be sewn together by hand later on. This whole sewing the lining together by hand
is an idea I’m taking from one of Chanel’s coats that I read about. It allows you to
quilt a jacket together first while still keeping the inside of the jacket as pretty
as the outside. No raw edges anywhere. Now at this point I need to still attach the
sleeves and the collar. So I grabbed the sleeves from earlier and join them together, only
sewing the flannel and houndstooth pieces together.
I press that seam open as well as pressing under the raw edges of the lining. I pause
on the machine sewing while I hand sew those lining pieces together.
Next I put two rows of gather stitches in the top of each sleeve. Well, I’m doing
two rows through the houndstooth and flannel, and another two through the lining. I’m
concentrating the gathers around the top of the sleeve, and sewing the flannel/houndstooth
combos together, inserting the sleeve. Once again, I am pausing to do some hand sewing.
I’m going to hand sew the linings together down the sides of the coat as well as the
shoulder seams of the coat. Then I’m going to fold over the lining of the sleeve and
hand sew that in place. I’ve heard that this is how it’s done in Chanel’s jackets
as well. And it’s kinda one of those things that
isn’t going to be completely perfect, and apparently that’s part of the appeal to
couture collectors – you can see that there was a person who constructed the garment.
So don’t stress about it. Now the final piece to this coat is the collar.
I added about ½” to the collar by putting the fold line about ¼” away from
the fold. I cut out two collars and am opting not to interface them, but you could definitely
interface yours if you wish. I put them right sides together and sew around
the outside perimeter. Take your time turning around the curves, this can make a big difference
with having a nice fluid appearance. Next I turned the collar right sides out and
gave it a good pressing. You can use your fingers to press the seam out, or it can be
helpful to use one of these little pointer tools to get the job done.
Once the collar is all pressed, then I pinned the middle of the collar to the center back
of the coat. I am just pinning the collar to the houndstooth/flannel layers of the coat.
And then I sew around the collar, attaching it to the coat.
To finish off that edge, I am going to tuck the raw edges of the collar and then fold
over the raw edge of the lining, and pin the lining on top of the coat fabrics. I will
sew this together by hand and I like the little roll that it gives to the top of the collar.
But before I can sew that down by hand, I am going to finish the front openings of the
coat. I first turn the coat layers under, and then the lining layer under. I just pin
those layers in place for now. Next come the button holes. I love using this
little tool to position button holes equally. It is a little bit pricey, but it’s a tool
that you’ll have and use for all sorts of equally spaced items within sewing.
Anywho, I mark the placement with a heat-activated pen, and really quickly, I am just basting
that coat edge under. I’ll remove these stitches after all the buttons are done.
To do the buttonholes on the houndstooth/flannel layers, here is a summary of the process I
used. I should do an updated hand sewn buttonhole video with in depth details, but here is a
summary for now. I reduce my stitch length to something tiny…
like 1.5 or smaller. I stitch about 1/8” away from the mark line on one side, do a
few stitches to get to the next length, and again, about 1/8” from the mark line. So
those machine stitches will go around the buttonhole like so.
Next, I fold the fabric in half and give a little entry clip. A buttonhole chisel tool
would probably be a cleaner approach for this, but I don’t have one yet. So anywho, I cut
to one end of the buttonhole, turn my fabric around, and cut to the other end of the buttonhole.
Then I’m taking some of beeswax, using an iron to melt it, and then sliding it across
those cut edges. Beeswax is my new favorite sewing notion… I am obsessed! The beeswax
is enclosing the raw edges for a moment so the fraying doesn’t get worse while we work
the buttonhole. Alright next I’m taking some buttonhole
silk twist thread. This stuff is seriously magical! I’m running it over with an iron
and then using a straw sort of milliner needle, I begin stitching the buttonhole.
I’m starting by bringing my needle up away from the end of the buttonhole, in between
the two layers of fabric. This is going to conceal that tail of the thread.
Then I put my needle under my fabric, and wrap my thread under my needle. I pull tight,
and this is one stitch. I continue until I’ve covered my entire buttonhole. Like I said,
I plan on doing an updated video soon, and I will link the original, in all its glory,
down below for the meantime. And now for the other buttonhole, since Chanel’s
coats have a double buttonhole. I am taking a strip of the lining fabric and interfacing
it. This german interfacing comes precut in a 2” wide strip, which yes, is too small
for my 3” wide strip, but that’s not going to be an issue at all. And it’s super convenient
having interfacing in strip form. So I’ve pinning my lining fabric in place
so it does wiggle on me as I mark where to put the buttonholes. I’m making a bound
buttonhole for the lining and marking its placement on the lining fabric as well as
on the piece of strip. And as I mentioned, I’m doing a bound buttonhole.
If you already know how to do one of these, just jump to the next step using the timestamps
in the description box. Otherwise, here is a brief explanation of how to do one.
I am hand basting my 2×3 inch wide interfaced piece of fabric to my lining with right sides
together. Then I take that to my machine and stitch around the perimeter of the buttonhole
using very small stitches. When I get to those end tabs, I am careful to count the number
of stitches so I can do the same number on both ends.
Since my little piece of fabric overhangs my lining, I am just trimming that end up
and then I carefully cut the hole for the button. The straight cut for this buttonhole
is going to stop about ¼” away from each tab, and then there will be two little angle
cuts that go from the straight cut to those corners. I hope that makes sense, and here
is a visual to clear things up. Next, push the little piece of fabric towards
the back of the lining, like going through the hole of your buttonhole.
And then give that a good pressing. It is better to have a little bit of a roll towards
the wrong side of your fabric as opposed to a little bit of roll towards the right side…
it gives a tidier look. Now the next step may take a few tries, but
you really want to be as precise as you can with folding each side of that strip so it’s
about half way filling the hole of your buttonhole. You want to make these folds as even as you
can. Then press those folds into place. Next I baste the folds together and make sure
that everything is still looking nice and even. You want the folds to just touch each
other… but you don’t want to have to pull them to meet while you are basting since they
aren’t going to meet after the basting threads are removed.
Finally, I carefully stitch on the outside of the buttonhole using very small stitches.
I remove the basting threads and you could tuck the ends of the little piece of fabric
under, but in this case, they are not going to be seen, so I’m going to stop there.
And here is what my finished buttonhole looks like.
Now we are almost done with this coat! We’ve got to sewn on the buttons and do the hand
finishing work around the neckline. As I mentioned earlier, I am going to fold the outside houndstooth
under and then the lining over top of that. I am also bringing my hem up and pinning that
in place, and then pinning my lining on top of that. And I’m doing a similar idea to
hem the sleeves, too. Finally… the very last step is attaching
this flat chain. I will link where I purchased mine below off amazon.
I’m taking some size 10 pearl cotton and using that to secure the chain in place. This
chain is one of chanel’s secrets to keeping the bottom edge of her jackets in place, you
know, even with the floor and all that loveliness. I read that you should go through every loop,
but I also read that you need to remove the chain before laundering… so I am going through
every third loop. I am, after all, not the haus of chanel. So I simply go through a loop,
send my needle back through my two layers of houndstooth so my thread is hidden, and
move onto the third loop from there. Rise and repeat until the chain is in place. And
if you are curious, as I was curious, here is the difference the chain makes. The chain
is on the left side of the coat, but not on the right side yet. It doesn’t show up as
well on the video as it does in person, but even so, you can see that the left side is
just a bit flatter and nicer than the right side. I do think this is worth the extra effort
and money for a coat/jacket that you want to really shine.
So here is my finished garment. The inside of my neckline… down the center front openings…
around the hem. There are plenty of mistakes made on this coat, and many of the Chanel
techniques to refine and learn more about, but you gotta start somewhere and I think
this particular coat will be darling for our coming winter months.
I hope this video was helpful. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments
below and I’ll do my best to answer them. As always, I appreciate y’all for watching
and I hope to catch ya next time.