The tailored coat. 

I hadn’t thought, when I initially designed my tailored jacket, that in the end it would be constructed of  119 individually cut pieces. Twelve panels, plus a notched collar, two piece sleeves and welt pockets didn’t seem too adventurous. The perils of being a newcomer to tailoring, I suppose. 

My class was fantastic. As usual, my professor, Suzy was patient, explained things well, and provided clear examples. She constructed a jacket alongside us and made herself available outside of class hours if we needed any help. 

I tracked my time outside of class, because I am curious about process and trying to get a good sense of estimating for the future. Outside of class, I put in over 145 hours of time over the ten week period. This was on top of working multiple freelance jobs, taking three classes (the tailoring class plus two that also required homework time) and being a parent. And yes, I am exhausted. 

But it was worth it. I have a fully tailored self-designed coat that fits perfectly. It has shaped exterior welt pockets, a hidden sleeve pocket for my clipper card and some cash and ID, and a front lining pocket big enough for my cell phone. No need to carry a purse! 

I struggled quite a bit with the fabric. It is a somewhat loose tweed in black white, copper and teal, and in hindsight, it would have been much easier had I chosen a more stable woven. However, I do feel I have now learned to handle a tricky loose weave much better than before, so it was a good learning experience. 

The accent fabric I picked was also slightly the wrong shade of blue—I needed it to be more teal. So… I painted it with fabric watercolors. They’re stable so they won’t run or bleed, and it tweaked the color just enough to satisfy my picky color needs.

I was lucky enough to score three antique bakelite buttons at the local antiques faire and knew they’d be perfect for my coat, but really I needed four buttons not three. After some searching online I was able to locate a similar button in size and shape with a minor difference in design that worked perfectly. The one button cost me more than the other three, but matched well enough, It was pure luck.  Hopefully, I will get some photos soon!

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