At long last, the Trench Dress is finally complete! Unfortunately, I wasn't able to model it today, so I'll have to follow up with another post.
Fabric and Notions
My fabric, which is a wool blend with metallic stripes and some fuzzy chenille-type stripes, is more drapey than crisp, so I thought it would be perfect as a dress. In fact, it was kind of difficult to work with because it shifted a lot and seemed to stretch out of shape easily --- not particularly stable. For the lining, I chose a bright blue china silk from Thai Silks (love that place!).
I used a fusible interfacing for the collar, stand, fronts, belt, belt loops, epaulets, pockets and all hems. The buttons, which are a combination of matte and shiny black, are from Stonemountain and Daughter Fabrics.
The buckle was a challenge to find. I couldn't find anything suitable at a local store, so I ended up going online and found a great recommendation on Pattern Review for an unexpected online source for a leather-wrapped rectangular buckle that worked perfectly! They were great --- ordering was easy and the buckle arrived in a couple of days.
Mistakes that Became Design Elements
As often happens, unexpected mistakes arise. For this project, it was the instability of the fabric that led to my concocting an unplanned for design feature. According to the pattern, the back yoke (storm flap?), which comes to a point at CB, is just turned up and hemmed/topstitched. I should have paid more attention to what my fabric was speaking, because I tried that with my fabric, and it turned into a wavy mess. Of course, I didn't have enough extra fabric to re-cut the piece, so I decided to just trim off the wavy section and use bias binding to add some stability and length. In hindsight, it would have been best to line it with a thin fabric (like the lining fabric).
Remember the issue with the back pleat? Well, I'm so glad I got rid of that extra fabric! There would have been too much weight and volume in the back if I left that pleat there. I could have done what Mary Nanna did, which was to stitch down the pleat until the waist and let it loose, but because of my fabric, I don't think the pleat would have been very crisp or attractive.
The sleeve hems have a new design element because I forgot to add enough of a hem allowance to the pattern! I ended up adding a 2-inch wide band to the hem (interfaced), which actually looks pretty nice --- might work well to cuff up the sleeves for a different look.
This is a great trench coat pattern that includes all of the expected elements. One thing I thought was cool were the "pockets in the darts" --- pockets are sewn into the front darts and covered by the pocket flap. Clever!
Overall, I'm pleased with this dress/coat. As others have said, the trench styling has so many details that it really becomes a labor of love to finish one. That said, I would definitely make another one of this pattern (minus the back pleat) using a more coat-appropriate fabric. Love it!
Computerized Pattern Design
4 hours ago