Saturday, 6 December 2014

Albion finished just in time for the winter.

So, I finished my Albion duffle coat a little while ago, but only got a chance to photograph now.  Is it just me or does November light not lend itself very well to either sewing or photographing.  I really struggled this last month with lack of light and somehow artificial light doesn't quite work either.

Anyway, my coat is finished and I am pretty pleased with it.  Just to recap from my last couple of posts, my fabric was a teal coloured wool fabric which I bought from Clothspot in early Autumn (appears to be sold out now).  I suppose I rushed into my purchase, should have really got a sample first and so when it arrived I felt it was really a bit lightweight.  But as I had bought quite a bit of it I wanted to use it anyway.

I chose to make the medium size of the pattern and did not make a toile, and as the style is oversized anyway I feel it is a bit on the big size, especially in the shoulder area, but I think I can get away with it.

I really like my lining fabric which is a soft, fleecy double gauze in grey/teal polka dot which I got from MissMatatabi on Etsy ages ago (with a view to making a dress).  As I mentioned in my previous post, I didn't think it was going to be quite warm enough so I have sewed interlining fabric between the outer fabric and lining.  This was obviously a bit more work and expense, but worth it.  I have been wearing the coat the last few days and it is very cosy.

If you are thinking of making your own winter coat,  my advice would be to spend the most you can afford (especially if you want protection from the elements & some longevity) and get some samples as it's really the only way to judge the weight of the fabric for sure.  I think my fabric was £6.95/metre, it is wool, but light weight, I would say to up the budget more, but for the price I paid it's actually ok. Of course, with wool the sky is the limit, you can pay up to £40/meter or more (eg Harris Tweed or merino suiting)

As regards the pattern,  as I may have said before (having made one for my husband back in January), there is nothing too difficult about it, the instructions are great, there are just a lot of small steps.  As it is a duffle coat there is no real shaping or fitting, so it is ideal for a beginner/intermediate sewer.  Due to busyness, mine took an inordinately long time to complete, but I made my husbands in a couple of weeks back in January (and I would still say I'm a beginner)

I got the toggles on Etsy and deliberated over whether to machine stitch or hand stitch.  After much deliberation, I hand stitched them zzz! boy was that tedious, but I was afraid that if I used a needle for leather that it would tear my fabric, so there you go.

I intend sewing press fasteners down the facing at the front as the coat tends to part slightly with the toggle closure, so probably fasteners will keep it more secure.  Also I love the pockets, the in-seam pockets are lovely and deep and cosy and, of course, there are also the front pockets.

Cost wise I haven't worked it out exactly, but I reckon it's around £70, yes perhaps I could have bought a coat ready to wear at that price, but it would be more synthetic, so for the money I think I have a pretty good coat.

Anyway overall I am pleased and also glad to finally finish it and judging by the weather forecast it may come in useful. Maybe I can get on to some faster, 'lighter' projects now.  I have, of course,  a list of desirables so where to start?

(A few more details are on my previous posts)

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