Friday, 10 February 2012

Pauline Trigere Coat - Finished Just in Time

Pauline Trigere for McCall's, 1956

I started this coat a while ago, then got distracted by a load of things, like Christmas, snow, knitting, blah, blah, blah. It started to become one of those unfinished things that was hanging around, reminding me how I don't finish stuff. But I didn't let it defeat me, and here it is today:

Me half-heartedly trying to recreate the pose on the original packet.

The coat is really very simple, but the sheer massiveness of its swingy shape makes you feel totally glamourous wearing it. It swings and swishes as you walk; if you turn too quickly, it swings out, threatening to knock small children over:

Arty action shot!
As you may have noticed, my version is not exactly like the picture on the cover of the pattern. It seems that the pattern cutters at McCall's left a few things out and changed some details. The pocket on mine has a scalloped detail, there is no split in the hem of the cuff, and I left off the cape, as I didn't like the way it sat:

The cape - just not sure......

The pocket - not really like the one in the picture
The reason the coat took me so long to finish was the amount of hand sewing and inner construction involved, which I got a bit bored with at times. But as soon as it started snowing, I got back into it!

I decided to use canvas for all the interfacings, as well as reinforce the cuffs, pockets, and hems with the same canvas cut on the bias:

3" canvas bias strip, for reinforcing cuffs

This involved loosely catch stitching each piece to the inside of all the hem allowances.
Pocket hem reinforced with canvas

Revers reinforced with canvas
 Doesn't sound like much, but when your hem is about 12 feet, it can be tempting to leave it and watch T.V.! I spent so long hunched over it, I started to get bad neck ache:

But it was all worth it in the end! 

The coat is a raglan sleeve construction, which meant the seams had to be clipped to make them lay flat. The coat is really heavy, and I was worried that the clipped seams would not withstand the weight. Solution - I reinforced the junction of the seams with some ribbon, which just happened to be some Trumpers ribbon from an old Christmas present Mr Needles received:
Ribbon reinforcing underam seams - I don't throw anything away!
And finally, the buttons. I'm never very pleased with the buttonholes on my machine, I've tried doing them by hand, but I'm terrible at it, and I really don't have the nerve to do bound buttonholes. So I took a leaf out of Marc Jacobs book, and avoided them altogether by using press studs sewn underneath 2 large buttons:

Press studs under the buttons
I also added this little chain at the neck, but I doubt I'll ever use it - I never like hanging coats and jackets from those little loops as they pull the neck out of shape. But it just adds a nice finishing touch:
There you have it, a glamourous winter coat. I'm off to swish about in the snow!


  1. wow but this is better than the original darling. i love that coat! fabric and pattern are so gorgous, and i know what you mean about getting distracted when sewing a big project;) but you really did a great job and i love the result! also your hair looks fab!
    love and kiss,mary

  2. That is one lovely coat. Wow so much work .I really want to make a winter coat, but I just get scared by all the work I have come to realise is involved in making a really good one.

  3. Just gorgeous!!! I totally love the fact you have recycled the ribbon from a gift, and the idea of using press studs behind the buttons is genius! Fabulous!!!

  4. Utterly fabulous. Brilliant work, Nicole. Love the idea of using press studs behind buttons too - would never have thought of it.

  5. Oh my god, you look gorgeous - it's gorgeous! How amazing to make a whole coat *swoons*

    (I admit to skim reading any words like bias, interfacing and raglan - but am impressed in pure clothes admiration terms)

  6. Totally worth it in the end - what a beautiful coat and you look beautiful in it :o) Scarlett x

  7. I love it, you look so glamourous :)

  8. Wow oh wow! Your coat is just to die for. Love it!


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