Coming from Singapore, I do not really need a trench coat do I?
However, the challenge of sewing something new and different never fails to send my adrenaline up the roof! And I LOVE that feeling! But, in case you think me an impulsive sewist, I did put quite a bit of thought into this. You see, after confirming my trip to Denmark, I decided that a waterproof version was travel wear essential. After all, we’ve experienced unpredictable rainy weather during our Sydney vacation in July 2011 and rain again on our first day in Paris last May. With kids and luggages around, holding an umbrella is next to impossible.
Again, for practical reasons, I chose a dark color fabric since I was only gonna bring one coat on holiday, I find that it’s easier to mix and match with my holiday wear. And with kids around, dark color is generally safer around the dining table.
I bought some olive colored coated cotton raincoating from Gorgeous Fabrics early in the year. Then, in March, I saw this absolutely AMAZING grey eyelet version by Novita from Very Purple Person. Her project inspired me to add a layer of lace to my trench coat and immediately I bought some cotton lace in army green to sew a military inspired feminine version. This is a very light weight lace as I didn’t want the coat to be overly bulky. I love the design of Sewaholic’s Robson coat, it has a more feminine cut which reminds me of these trench coats I saw on Girls Generation Paparazzi MV.
I am so in love with the color and the lace effect. Only the close up photos does it justice. I also love the fact that I can wear it buttoned up or …
down, with lapels. Making it more versatile and again flexible with the weather or wind conditions. And I adore the length, it’s just so feminine!
For the buttons, I had some problems with them being aligned like they are now when I stuck to the pattern lines, not sure why so I removed the two problematic misaligned ones, wore the coat and re-drew their positions before sewing them on again. I’m happy with where they are now. I also left the pocket welts, downside of the collar and the back of the tie-belt in the original rain coating fabric for some contrast.
I was busy packing for the trip when I took less than 5 minutes to snap these photos. It was all the time I could stay in a trench coat even with tee and shorts underneath at more than 30 degrees Celsius but I couldn’t wait to show you the coat!
The coated cotton does have a tendency to crinkle quite a bit so I’m glad to have spent the time and effort to overlay it with lace. Even if it rains, the lace might get wet but at least my clothes and me stay dry. Here’s a look inside. The coat is finished with orange bias tape. I didn’t follow the instructions on finishing the bias tape but stuck to my usual method which was to sew on one side (right side facing), turn it around, press and sew on the other side. It’s an extra step for every bias tape but it’s easier. I used some grey burberry plaid inspired cotton for the pockets. I adore the contrast between orange and olive and chose to do a bound seam for the centre back seam. The orange brightens up the inside significantly.
I must have started on the robson trenchcoat in late April but it took me a month to get all pieces of both fabrics cut and basted and another month to get the coat done.
I sprayed water on each rain coating piece to identify the right side which is waterproof, in this case the top piece, before basting on the lace pieces.
These are the pieces queuing for their interfacing.
I love the instructions for finishing the pockets. A bias tape is attached to the pocket and baste to seam. This keeps it in place. I also added a tiny button to add weight and keep the pocket down.
And when I got my new sewing machine, I just couldn’t resist trying out the letters and embroidery mode on the back facing. I also used it to sew on the sleeves and top-stitch the back facing.
Trouble trouble! This project was not as smooth sailing, however, and worse when the issues were totally my own fault.
The iron must be on a little too hot when I was pressing on the left front facings. That burnt the lace at at least 4 places down the facings including the top (which would be visible on the lapels if I didn’t button them on) and I only saw the holes after top stitching. I spend 2 days unpicking the topstitching, bias tape, the seams connecting the back facings, the basting on the lace, re-cut the lace piece and redo that piece all over again. Thank goodness I had enough lace left for one front facing piece! Phew!