I ended up ordering the cranberry, olive, pewter, and black plaid wool from Denver Fabrics to use for my winter coat.
I guess one of my goals for this year should be to perfect my plaid matching technique. I know all of the basics, but I can’t remember any project where I actually had to match plaid. I probably just read and assimilated the information from my parents’ old Vogue Sewing or Better Homes and Gardens Sewing Book. I did get pretty good at tailor’s tacks and matching darts on the dress that I made to wear to my cousin’s wedding this summer, so I think I’ll be all right.
I also bought some black lining fabric, and I’ll be using up some ugly yellow fleece as an underlining. The yellow shouldn’t show anywhere, and I need the extra warmth!
I think I’m going to be doing a slightly different collar from either version offered with the pattern, making it wider but keeping the notch, so it’ll be warm but still fall nicely. (I never look good in shawl collars.)
Then comes the question of fasteners. The pattern itself calls for buttons sewn on to the outside, and snaps used as the actual closure. I think I could live with that, but it always looks fake to have the buttons just slapped on the outside since there’s no buttonhole there, and it seems a bit silly. Besides, I have an insane fondness for bound buttonholes and was looking forward to another excuse to use them.
My options here seem to be a) sew the buttons and snaps as recommended in the pattern and take it for granted that no one other than me with notice/care, b) make bound buttonholes and sew the buttons on so that they’re functional, or c) make bound buttonholes, but close them off with scraps of fabric placed behind the buttonhole and stitch the buttons to this piece of fabric and place snaps to act as the actual closure. I’ll probably just stick with option a) since it seems like the easiest both in terms of application (I don’t have to make any bound buttonholes), ease of use (snaps are easier to do up than those silly inside buttons that I never ended up using anyway in my old coat), and the ability to change it later if I don’t like it (nothing is cut, so if I don’t like it and want to try the bound buttonholes, I can). Plus, if I think it seems silly to sew buttons on when snaps are the real closure, where is the logic in adding fake bound buttonholes to the mix?
Another consideration: I’d like a detachable hood. I can make a pattern for that with very little issue, but how it’s going to be attached to the coat is up for debate. The original idea was to have it button or snap on. If I do that, I need to keep in mind that any precipitation falling on the hood should run off the back of the coat and not down my back. So, if I have the hood snap on the inside of the coat, I need to have a second collar layer to lie on top of the permanent collar. Otherwise, I can have the hood attach to the outside of the coat under the collar, and the back of the collar will end up inside of the hood. With a wider collar, this might get annoying. Next thought: What if I make the collar itself detachable? I can make a wide notched collar, a narrow notched collar, and a hood, all to attach to the same snaps on the inside of the coat. The only question here would be of structural integrity. It seems that sewing the collar to the neck edge of the coat should add some strength to that seam, but I think I can achieve the same with facing and topstitching. Final decision pending.
Now I just need to get my apartment perfectly clean and ready for fabric cutting (a feat in my small space, but the drop-leaf table helps, and I can use my bed if all else fails). Then on to the muslin with shoulder and collar alterations!