This is a project that I have been planning for a while. It all started during a shopping trip to the Dover Street Market in NYC in the summertime. I had been to the DSM in London, but the New York outpost was new to me, and it has some covetable merchandise. And the staff is lovely. Really, just a great place to spend an hour. Anyway, they had a display of pea coat-style coats with flared skirts that just looked so cool that I felt I had to have one. If I recall correctly, one was in wool melton and the other was in shearling. I decided to go with melton.
Then, just as I was starting this project, the Milan Fashion shows were going on, and I saw that Prada was showing black with bright white topstitching for Spring 15. It seemed like just what my new coat needs, so I figured, “why not?”
Probably not coincidentally considering my new obsession with Instagram, this project lends itself well to quick snaps of my progress. See some photos of my process at Rollingincloth, or look under #woolmeltoncoat. So far, I am the only one using that hashtag.
I constructed the entire coat with lapped seams. I did not want to deal with the bulk of turn-of-cloth with such a bulky fabric. I can get away with this partly because this melton frays very little, so it should be fairly stable. The only problem with this construction method is that it was very, very difficult to set in the sleeves. If I do this again, I think I will use normal seams for the armscye.
I sewed each seam twice. First, I sewed from the right side using black thread. Then, I sewed from the wrong side using 4 strands of silk embroidery floss in the bobbin and white thread at the top. This method allowed me to achieve the look of very heavy topstitching using a regular home machine.
The project is based on a commercial pattern, Marfy 2572. Initially, I was not happy about paying $27 with shipping for a pattern, but I looked everywhere and this was the only pattern that was close enough to what I wanted. In retrospect, it was totally worth the money. It fits just the way I want it to. I followed the pattern from the waist up, and made some changes to the skirt part.