Finished Object: Cat Pine Coat

v., pined, pin·ing, pines.

  1. To feel a lingering, often nostalgic desire.

Pine Swamp, much like where I grew up.  The colors remind me of the fabric I used.  The scent of the fabric reminds me of a clean cat.  I miss cats.  I miss pine swamps.

It’s finished.  Truly.

I think I made too much FBA.  Rather, when I made the FBA, I couldn’t figure out how to make the yoke piece fit onto the skirt piece.  That’s why I have little gathers in the front when I cinch the belt, and why the side seam swings to the back.

(FBA on Yoke and corresponding alteration on skirt.)

I rotated the little side dart out to make the center opening wider.  In retrospect, I ought to have kept the little dart, I think it would make the coat fit better.  To make the skirt fit, I slashed and spread.  That was fine, but the finished coat could stand to be taken in a little on the sides at the waist.  It’s huge on me!  I know coats are meant to be, but this actually gets gathering folds when I put on the belt.  Interesting note, the FBA cured all the bicep fit issues.  My arms slide right in and out with no trouble.  It feels divine to wear.

Double Ribbon-Interfaced Welt Pocket (K.King’s Cool Couture):

Confession time: I made this without practicing first.  I hate spending all that time to practice, only to have a perfect pocket after several hours of work.  I’ve been making piped welts and single welts lately, so I just went ahead.  It turned out nicely.  Same silk as used for the piping.  The instructions in the book have you flipping between several different pocket instructions, so tackle this one once you have a few welt pockets under you belt.


The back caused no end of grief.  I piped, and started sewing the yoke-to-skirt seams conventionally.  For one, the piping likes to draw up the green fabric.  For the other, the instructions (such as they are) explicitly call for lapped seams.  I ignored it, but after a few days of wrestling with seams I unpicked everything.  Piping, all.  Then I made a lapped seam, prudently basted.  I re-positioned that seam more times than I can count, I took snapshots to gauge my progress.

Black Dupioni silk piping I had on hand from anther project, thick and thin.  I didn’t have to make any!  I basted, then stitched the seam with a triple top-stitch, then stitched again in the crack between the piping and the body.

How to make a lapped seam: (detail of underarm on lining)
 Mark both seam lines.  I find it most helpful and accurate to mark with some basting.
Press under the seam on one side.  This is the lower- I lapped the lower over the upper.
Pin.  I usually pin perpendicular to my sewing, but this is a special case.  Sew, then edge stitch.
While we’re on lining:
I used a pretty decorative stitch on my machine to stitch over the lapped seams.  They slipped around a little with the straight stitching- ugly.  So I covered up the ugly.  This seems a utilitarian tribute to the original gown’s tone on tone embroidery.
Remember the hideous party filth on the old hem?  I couldn’t get it out, decided it wasn’t worth my time, so camouflaged it with some lace.
I had fleeting thoughts of finishing the edges of the lining for a dressing gown.  I love pretty linings.
Not the nice interfaced jump hem I envisioned, more a simple tidy finish.  I might change the hem, but not now.
I’m rather put out I didn’t manage to save enough fabric for a hat.  I’m still rummaging and piecing scraps together; we’ll see.  I feel like a genuine Depression-era seamstress…   Bloody napped fabric.  Bloody cut-on sleeves.
This coat construction felt a little like a blast back to theatrical sewing in highschool- rummaging for supplies, recycling, fiddling and then giving up when it is “good enough.”  I didn’t really go for perfection.  Quilters have a few sayings:
“Better finished than perfect”
“A blind man would be happy to see it.”
I like the plushy nap, I like the thick luxurious lining.  It doesn’t look exactly how I pictured, but it’s fine.  I want to make a second version of this (with some fitting fine-tuning) as a hip-length summer jacket to keep off the sun when I’m out and about.  Textured hemp?  I thought to do it unlined, but I think the sleeves might stick if I don’t line.  Hmm.  That’s a few months down the track yet.
Next up- either a TNT blouse or my blueberry Parfait dress.  Who can say?  I’m still harboring delusions I’ll finish the wardrobe contest (with pics) in time.  We’ll see!


  1. I linked here from your patternreview about your coat. WOW! What a good-looking and well-made garment all the way through! You do excellent work. Thanks for sharing the links and info.

  2. WOW! What a beautiful coat! I love the piping and the collar that's only really in the front, and the welt pockets. I know the sleeves were a pain, but the end result is gorgeous. I love the button detail on the sleeves. I don't think you'd ever find anything even remotely like this (or as good quality) in the stores. And I adore that you used your old prom dress for the liner. What a fitting way to use such a special garment!Your hair is super cute too. :)Good luck finishing the wardrobe contest! I think we're all going to need some luck this month.

  3. It looks really good – so original – like Heather said, you won't find that in the shops!The lace at the hem is a nice touch, as well as serving it's real purpose!

  4. Squee! It's gorgeous! I had so much fun following this coat! I love the lace on the lining – it's a nice touch of whimsy (in addition to having a practical purpose)

  5. I think it looks great. Now, is the belt attached or separate? If separate, I suggest you raise it about two inches to your true waist. I think that will make it look more like the pattern sketch.

  6. It's not stitched on (yet), if I wear it around my waist it creates kind of ugly gathers. I really must take it in a few inches, then the belt will belong at the waist. Thanks for the kind words and input, everyone! I love wearing this coat.

  7. Looks pretty great to me, and it's been a very helpful reality check seeing how long it takes to do a project like this properly. Beautiful coat! Mad skillz! And nice repurposing of dress for lining!

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