Today was the day when the outer coat and the inner lining came together in step 32 - very exciting! But before I took that exciting step, I decided to do a little finishing work on the raw edge of the lining facing. This isn't in the instructions, and Gertie suggests you finish this edge after hemming with a little seam binding or bias tape but I decided that finishing this edge before doing the hem would be easier. Here is the edge I'm talking about:
Because the facing is fused with interfacing, this edge probably isn't going to unravel, so this finishing effort is for aesthetic reasons only - it will look prettier - and thus is completely optional. To finish the edge I first cut two strips of the lining fabric one inch wide:
Then I pinned it to the edge and sewed it with a quarter inch seam:
Then I folded the strip to the back of the facing, pressed it, and then stitched in the ditch on the right side to secure it:
Here's what the back side looks like. The edge of the strip is raw, but that is okay because it won't show and it will be enclosed between the outer coat and the lining:
This is generally how this edge will look like once I get it hemmed:
Most of the edge will be covered by the lining and by the hem, so only a short amount of my binding strip will show. I probably spent way too much time on this step than was warranted, but I think it makes the coat look more professional.
Finally, the time had come for the actual joining of the coat and lining (step 32). I did a bunch of pinning, and then I marked the hem seam at the bottom of the lining facing on each side of the coat to ensure everything was even:After sewing the above, I trimmed the heck out of that corner so it would turn properly. Gertie instructs you to cut notches on the curved collar seams so your collar will lie flat, so I did, with my trusty tailors point scissors which worked great:
She then instructs you to grade the seam allowances - the lining seam allowance from the waist up should be longer than the outer coat seam allowances, but the lining seam allowances should be shorter than the outer coat below the waist. I trimmed the shorter seam allowance to a quarter of an inch, and the longer to about 3/8 of an inch. It ended up being easier than I thought.
Next, you press those seam allowances open - this allows you to achieve a crisper edge later, and I did this step, but only up where it started to become difficult to press the curved collar seam - I left that alone and hoped for the best.
Gertie used silk thread to baste the coat layers in place before pressing and steaming the heck out of it to get the seamlines to roll to the underside. I skipped the basting because that involves handsewing, and just used my hands to manipulate the layers of fabric so the seam would roll to the underside. It helps that I am working with dark fabric, so any seamlines are difficult to see anyway.
So now I have a coat! It still needs a ton of finishing work, but the basic pieces are together. This was my first chance to really try it on, and it looks good. Sleeves are a good length, everything looks good. Whew.
And it feels heavy. I'm glad I didn't go with a heavy wool - I can't imagine how heavy the coat would be if I had used a traditional coat weight wool.
The next step is finishing the back of those bound buttonholes. In an effort to procrastinate on that step, I searched high and low for the buttons that I had bought for this coat so I could see how the buttons would look with the coat, and only after an exhaustive search did I finally realize that I had only bought buttons for this coat in my own mind - no such button purchase ever happened in real life. I am now at that age where if I just think about doing something, then somehow my brain registers it as "done". Pretty soon, I'll be able to hide my own Easter eggs . . .
The expensive fabric store, the one that sells a myriad of cool buttons, closes at 3:00 pm on Saturdays, so if I wanted to have any hope of finishing this coat this weekend, I knew I needed to hop over there and pick them out. This is what I got:
And that is where I stopped for the day. I was tired, and knew making the openings in the front facing to match the buttonholes was going to be fiddly work (which includes, sigh, handsewing) so I gave myself permission to continue another day - hopefully tomorrow!