A quick update to this post because I found a very nice looking faux fur fabric at weaverdee.com in the colour I was looking for. Next time, when I’m looking for something specific, I’ll check the online fabric sites first!
I had been looking for a faux fur coat in a wine or plum colour, but was failing miserably, I had also checked in several of the fabric shops in Edinburgh and Glasgow which had some lovely rolls of faux fur but not in the colour I wanted! I really liked the colour of this furry coat, on trend for Autumn/Winter, but it was too long and the fabric was very thick! It was a bit of a monster! I’m not entirely sure why this coat would be designed to be double breasted? as this literally makes x4 thickness’s at the front, making it look less cosy and more bulky!
However I really liked the fabric and decided to give it a refashion, basing it on the shape of a little black furry jacket that I’d bought several years ago.
I had already narrowed the sleeves and added buttons and buttonholes to this jacket.
I wanted to get rid of the double breasted overlap. Instead of fastening the poppers together, I pinned the fronts to where I wanted them to sit as single breasted, with a 2cm over wrap, and this is where I would reposition the poppers. There was a 10cm difference between the bottom edges of the two jackets (total, 20cm each side). Normally I would pin this away and stitch in the new line to the underarm seam, but the side seam was disappearing round to the back because of me changing the front! To compensate, I took 5cm from the back and 15cm from the front, this realligned the side seam. I also wanted the side seam to sit in the correct place because I wanted to resew in the side seam pockets. I don’t like coats without pockets of some sort it seems odd and much as I was in a sewing frenzy to see how it all worked out, I forced myself to take my time and sew the pockets back in.
I narrowed the underarm seam by 3cm at the hem edge to 0cm at the armhole. I applied the same alterations to the lining.
I had thought about removing the collar and revere and giving this remake a round neckline, but I decided to make it up first, to see how it looked, and I like it as it is. I reused the poppers that came with the coat. I bagged out the sleeve hems and jacket hem by machine, then unpicked a length off underarm lining seam to about 20cm, through which I could pull through the entire jacket. This sleeve opening I then machine stitched to close.
Sewing tip. Coats and jackets that have fully attached linings are usually pulled through an opening in the sleeve lining. This is usually machine stitched closed, and because it’s in the sleeve you never see it. It’s a great technique because it allows you to machine attach the sleeve hems and hem, outer fabric to lining, without leaving any odd gaps! Have a look in any bought fully lined garments to find the sleeve lining with the top stitched section!? Hand stitched hems and linings are fine too if that’s the preference.
These two images are from a bought coat. They clearly show the machine stitching that closes the opening for pulling through an entirely finished coat or jacket! This seam is the underarm sleeve seam. This is a technique used in industry in varying price ranges of RTW garments.
This is the opening, in the underarm seam of my coat, machine stitched closed.