Bamboo Coat by Waffle Patterns: I tried.
Hello loyal readers, followers, and friends. I'm here to reveal the end of #coatgate and, well... i tried. It's not perfect. Definitely not perfect. But to date this is my most in depth project and I learned a lot along the way. The end result is wonky but wearable, and nobody who isn't a seamstress knows that it's a mess.
You can read about the origins of this coat in this post. When I posted this original post I was confident, but I soon got slapped in the fucking face by the reality of Japanese patterns. I can't pretend I don't know better: being tall and plus size instantly rules you out from Japanese patterns. But I made a muslin, did a generous FBA, and thought I was good to go.
I WAS WRONG.
I have never made a coat before, but my first mistake was making a muslin out of the shell and not out of the lining. I did my adjustments on the shell and just assumed by performing the same adjustments on the lining I would be fine. I was not fine. It was a mess.
The lining of this particular coat is bizarrely small. The sleeves of the lining are SO TIGHT but as you can see by these pics, the shell of the coat has very loose sleeves. I ended up having to add a big ass gusset to the back seam of the lining because there was no way the coat was going to work without it. The coat looked like a condom on a lima bean. This definitely could have been user error, especially because the pattern printing encourages you to make the layers you don't use invisible before printing. Maybe I selected the wrong layer. But of what I had, I performed the same adjustments to the shell as I did the lining and was left with drastically different garment sizes.
When I figured out I had two crazy different coats on my hands, I lost my shit a little bit. I cried, I drank, I watched episodes of Vanderpump Rules. Sam took me out for a drive and we stopped at view spot that overlooked the city during sunset. After some time away from the coat (which I named Staci. Props if you understand my trash tv lifestyle) I started to brainstorm some ideas to fix it. I cut a BIG OL' gusset out for my butt, and some finagling and hand sewing later, I had a wearable coat. It's definitely not perfect, and weirdly baggy in some parts. But it's obnoxiously warm and it makes me feel strong and tough to wear it, so I do.
I had some more, unrelated issues with the sleeves. I lengthened the sleeves an inch right off the bat because I am tall and have long arms. This was still a solid 2 inches too short. Again, the sleeves of the lining were so unbearably short and tight that I ended up with weird short baggy sleeves. As Tim Gun says, I made that bitch work. However, the sleeves of the coat are what drive me nuts the most during day to day wear. As you can see from these pics, I have a lot of length issues with ready to wear clothes. These jeans are too short, my sleeves are too short, I always look like a teenager who just had a growth spurt. These are things I'll have to keep in mind for my next coat project.
I've saved the best part of the coat for last: my handmade buttons. I had Sam make me my own folk art style floral wooden buttons after I ordered the most god ugly ones from Mood. I sent him a vector image of the design and he used his CNC machine to carve out the design on really fancy wood. I'm absolutely obsessed with these buttons and I may never go back to store bought again (sorry Sam).
The lessons I learned making this coat were frustrating but exciting. I'm eager to make another coat next year, and hope I have a better handle on the craft.