This isn’t some garish costume I made for one of the courtiers in “Shrek, the Musical”. What I’ve done is used old children’s room curtains – originally dyed to match cheerful IKEA Mammut furniture – to make a muslin for McCall’s 5766. This is an out of print coat pattern I first came across when Anelise made it. Hers is a fantastic version in red fur, no less! I needed a winter coat and after reading some good reviews on SPR, I bought the pattern second hand (but unused) through Ebay. Mine is the combination AX5 (sizes 4-12) and I made size 12. This has a finished size of 38″ (97cm) in the bust, exactly the same as my RTW coat that I wear all the time and which is size 10.
The shape is very different from the coats that have been all the rage the last season or two – which I call the Manta Ray because they bulge out in the middle. Lovely as they are, Rays do my short arse (pardon my Yorkshire!) no favours. McCall’s 5766 follows the empire line which I’m not sure is any better, to be honest. There are several questions I have before I proceed and I’d very much appreciate your thoughts.
I think we can all safely agree that the biggest problem is the sleeves. View C is the only full length in the pattern. Shortening them would help (they’re 4cm too long and possibly too wide). But my initial verdict trying on the balloon shape? Zany. It’s a look that can be offset by wearing dainty high heels but I’d like to be able to wear this coat with flat boots without looking, er, medieval. Though I like Views A and B, coats that need to be worn with long gloves don’t suit my lifestyle much.
Do you think it would be a cop-out to make just plain old straight sleeves? I’m worried that it would make the coat plain. Is there any other full length sleeve shape that you suggest? And those shoulder pads are too big, aren’t they?
The instructions were easy to follow. I didn’t use any interfacing but as there was plenty of curtain, I made the whole coat, including attaching the lining, to remind myself of what to do. Since starting this blog, I’ve done a couple of tailoring courses (one blogged here, the other was here) but I have never utilized the lessons learnt by making an actual tailored garment. This coat project was picked with the aim of adding tailoring techniques to improve on a basic. The add-ons will be:
a) A sleeve head (or sleeve roll?). This is a folded strip of flannel or domette attached to the top of the sleeve seamline to smooth out the outside appearance at the top of the sleeve.
b) A strip of interfacing fused to the hem to sharpen that bottom edge.
c) Taping the roll line. This inside strip is stretched over the roll line with the effect of making the front of the garment subtly concave, thereby following the hollowed shape below the shoulder. The roll line on this pattern isn’t marked but I’m following the instructions in this Tailoring guide (from Morplan) to determine and mark its position. Basically, you pin the roll line, press it, then copy its position onto the pattern.
Anything else you’d suggest?
As you can see, the facing of the coat has rolled outwards (See the first picture? The facing’s yellow). I notice my RTW coat suffers from this too. It’s something I’ll have to prevent when it comes to doing the real thing in wool. Do you have any tips for making the outside of the garment roll inwards?
Finally, I’m not happy with the lower half of the armscye. I think it’s too big and cuts too deeply into the bodice. Should I extend the bodice into the sleeve and make the underarm higher?
But do you think there’s enough fur here for such a big collar?
Thanks for reading!