Thursday, July 26, 2012

The 1970's Raincoat: First Fitting

Ok sewing people, here are the first pictures of my Betsey Johnson raincoat-in-progress.

Please excuse indoor flash photography but it is raining again (sigh).

 Contrary to what you may think, the belt does sit at my waist - my photographer has made me look like a Munchkin!

So far, I have taken narrow (6 or so mm) seams down the front, sides and back, but pinned the shoulders to the full 15mm seam-depth on the outside to try it on.

I think it fits really well from the waist down, but I might have to increase the size of the seams through the bust and upper back.

What do you think?

It is so tricky to know how much "ease" to leave in a coat.  This is me wearing it over a single t-shirt.  In real life wear  I expect to have at least one other layer under here, plus the coat lining.

Here is the enormously unflattering rear view .

I think it's pretty obvious that I need to lose some width across the upper back.

I wonder how to tie the belt for day to day wear?  I remember having a belt on a coat like this back in the 70's and it was forever coming undone in a flappy annoying way, but it is so much part of the design I felt I owed it to Betsey to put it in!

 This is a better picture.  It doesn't look too bad at all from this angle.

It's a good length.

The skirt isn't as wide as I expected, but that's probably a good thing - it won't be too bulky over a skirt.
For some reason I feel tempted to burst into a chorus of "Stand and Deliver"!

Oh - and don't worry, it isn't going to have stripey sleeves!

So... what do you think?  Reduce the girth back and front?  Or just at the back?  Or not at all?

It's so hard to know...


beate said...

nice color!
you should try it with sleeves. so you can see how much ease you need for moves. and maybe with a cardi under it. dit the pattern call for shoulderpads?
with all the coats i did (selfdraftet) i find it very tricky to get the perfect fit. it depends so much on what you wear under it.
wish you luck!

Joan said...

Good advice from Beate. I remember making the midi version of this pattern back in the '70s when I was 16 or so. I invested my hard-earned babysitting money in scarlet wool, horsehair interfacing and some specially-coated lining fabric "guaranteed to trap warmth" without adding bulk. I modified the lapels to a deeply-curved notch, sewed a half-belt into the front darts (my waist was my best feature once) and tailor-tacked the interfacing in. Fearless. I froze my arse off that winter, but I did so with style. :)

Jane said...

I've just made a coat muslin and feel the same about how much ease to leave. It's so difficult to judge. In my opinion and from what I can see from the photos, I'd definitely take some width out of the back seams and maybe a bit off the side seams. Then try it on with a cardi to see how it fits at the front. Good luck, it's going to look fab when it's finished. X

Dichohecho said...

Can you get some sort of subtle buckle for the belt? I have a coat with a similar sort of belt but it has a simple oblong sort of buckle (well not really a buckle, more like a very rectangular 8 made of plastic) which is attached to one end and keeps it done up fine.
I have a coat which my Mum bought me at the age of eleven with "room for wearing jumpers" which is *still* too big at the age of twenty-two. Argh.

Big Alice said...

Like the blue color!
I can't say, never having sewn a coat, but it does seem like the bust needs to come in at least a little, as well as the back. I do think the skirt looks great!

LinB said...

Put on all the clothes you'd normally wear under the coat, and THEN check it for fit. These photos indicate that you have too much width across the shoulders, front and back. I'd pin that out first, then put on layers and layers of heavy shirts and sweaters, then try on the coat, then fall on the floor from heat prostration, then see if any more width needs to come out. You may be surprised at how much ease you'll need. We always left our raincoat belts in their carriers, but tied the belt behind us, to fall loosely across the hips in back, even if there was a buckle.

lizzi said...

I am just so impressed that you are making a coat - I am in awe of you. The other commenters are much more knowledgeable and have given all the info you need.

sylkotwist2006 said...

As someone who can only dream of making a coat one day, I am most impressed! Thank you for posting your progress, it's really interesting, looking forward to seeing the next step!

Kirsty said...

I can't help so much with the fitting as how it comes out is unfortunately how I wear it... but I can't get the chorus of 'stand and deliver' song out of my mind!! Thanks for bringing back those memories!!