A Very Pink Coat, Part 3

Added Value….  There is a significant little entry in 101 Things I learned in Fashion School (Alfredo Cabrera with Matthew Frederick, Grand Central Publishing, New York, New York, 2010, page 40).  Although aimed at Ready-To-Wear customers and the designers who cater to them, it certainly is meaningful to those of us who sew our own fashions:  “Fashion customers often need to be convinced to buy a new garment that, in effect, they already own.  …  Value added details [my emphasis] are those that are inherently necessary to a garment but are executed in a novel or interesting way…”  thus making them attractive to potential customers.  

Well, not that I really need convincing to make another coat for myself, but I will freely admit it is the unique little details in a pattern (and gorgeous fabric, of course) which convince me I MUST make THIS coat, even though I might not really NEED it.  Such was the case with my very pink coat, which is now finished.  

Those details included 1) the three welt pockets with flaps, 2) the concealed front closure, 3) the  arrowhead detail accompanying the minimal top-stitching, 4) the sleeve tabs (okay, not really a necessary detail, but a very nice one!), and 5) the opportunity to add a little flash to the lining with edge-piping.

I’ll cover the sleeve tabs first since they were the detail in question in my last post. 

 As you can observe, I decided to leave them with the buttons facing forward.  Several comments left by readers (thank you – you know who you are and I am very appreciative!) got me thinking anew about the orientation of the tabs.  Then I had an aha moment when I realized that the one button which is visible on the front of the coat, at the neckline, might look a bit disconnected without its counterparts showing on the sleeves.  Decision made, with confidence!  However, I doubt I will ever look at a sleeve tab in quite the same way again. 

The three welt pockets with flaps are quite likely my favorite detail on this coat.  First of all, I like making them.  There is a certain feeling of empowerment, although slightly nerve-wracking, to cut those big slashes into the front of the coat and be confident it will all be okay. And this type of pocket is just so pretty when they are done.  In addition, while they are utilitarian, they also suggest refinement, elevating a simple car coat to a coat with some sophistication and flair. 

Here is the underside of one of those pockets, with the slash” clearly visible.
As you can see, I used lining fabric (Bemberg from Emma One Sock Fabrics) for the facing on the flaps. And here’s a fun fact – that small pocket on the right side is called a “ticket pocket,” small and shallow, perfect for a printed ticket. As printed tickets go the way of the dinosaurs, this little pocket may become obsolete – but I sincerely hope not. It adds so much to the visual pleasure of this coat and other similar garments.
A good view of the small “ticket pocket.”

I must have a certain penchant for concealed coat fronts.  This is the third one I have made and I can let you know there may be more to come (but not soon.)   As I mentioned in my last post, I was able to reduce the bulk of the closure by using my lining fabric for one layer of the buttonhole side of the front flap.  

I made three machine buttonholes for this part of the flap, which made everything lay flat and neat. 

The gray buttons – 6 of them, which is what I needed – were in my collection, so that was a happy find. They are 1950s’ vintage gray pearl, very appropriate indeed for this 1957 pattern.

Although this coat pattern called for some topstitching, it was minimal.  Just the sleeve tabs, the pocket flaps and the collar, plus the front detail on the right side.  I was unhappy with the machine topstitching I did at the front closure.  There was enough bulk from the wool and the facing and the fly front, that it interfered with the smoothness of the topstitching.  So I took it out.  Initially I was going to do without topstitching and the arrowhead detail, but it looked a bit plain and unfinished.  So I did my fallback to what I know works – topstitching by hand.  Because of the hand-worked arrowhead detail, I felt hand topstitching would not look out of place.  Of course, I had never done an embroidery arrowhead before, so I had to practice, practice practice  so it hopefully does not look amateurish.  

I purchased matching embroidery floss for the arrowhead detail and the hand top-stitching.

Finally, coat linings lend themselves so beautifully to that extra little treatment – a narrow edge piping.

  I deviated from my Vogue pattern to add this dressmaker detail, but I am sure they would have approved.  My Avoca wool scarf which is such a perfect complement to this coat inspired me to choose checked piping.  I “robbed” a small corner from some pink silk gingham (intended for a Spring coat, as mentioned previously here) to make my flat piping.  

I purchased the pink cashmere wool for this coat from Farmhouse Fabrics.

Well, there you have it.  My first major project of 2022 finished.  I am happy I chose pink for my theme this year as it has brightened up many a dark day in this troubled world of ours. 

24 Comments

Filed under Buttons - choosing the right ones, car coats, Coats, couture construction, Dressmaker details, Mid-Century style, piping, Scarves, Uncategorized, vintage buttons, vintage Vogue patterns from the 1950s, woolens

24 responses to “A Very Pink Coat, Part 3

  1. Your coat it magnificent! I’m impressed with your hand embroidered arrowhead detail. I’ve never seen anything like that applied to a garment. It’s delightful and unique. Oh my, you’re brave to attempt topstitching by hand but if anyone could do it, it would be you. The final touch of the pink silk gingham piping is an inspirational final touch. You continue to amaze me.

    • Thank you so much, Peggy! It was so fun to learn something new in that “arrowhead” embroidery detail. I think that was something used somewhat frequently in the 1940s and 1950s, although there is a page devoted to it in my 1972 Vogue Sewing Book. This coat was very enjoyable to make, with no “Tear-my-hair-out” moments. Anyway, I really appreciate your kind words.

  2. Kathy

    Absolutely gorgeous, as usual! I love that you share your process. Even sharing your problems and solutions is so helpful—wonderful.
    All of your sewing is beautiful. I also see for granddaughters and a grandson, so I love seeing what you make for the “younger” set.
    Thank you so much💚

    • Thank you, Kathy. I am actually working on birthday dresses for my granddaughters right now. It’s always a nice change of pace to sew for children, and I love being creative with the “embellishments.” Thank you for your lovely compliments.

  3. Gorgeous colour and gorgeous details!

  4. Mery

    I love your coat and the scarf. Every stitch was worth it. I am glad your season has allowed you to sew. Thank you for sharing. This was delightful to read and vicariously enjoy. Happy spring!

    • Thank you, Mery, so much! We are still getting some days cold enough for a wool coat, so I have had the opportunity to wear this cheery wrap. This was a lovely pattern; I am so glad I had the opportunity to use it. Happy Spring to you, too!

  5. Nancy Molitor

    What a beautiful coat! I do like the buttons facing forward on the sleeve tabs and they don’t make the top button look lonely… The silk gingham also is a zesty addition to the lining detail. You will be so pretty in pink, WELL
    DONE!

  6. Betty Morgan

    very pretty

  7. Absolutely stunning!!

  8. Beth Kauffman

    Bravo!

  9. Such a lovely coat. I\m with you on concealed button front coats/ I also love that it has the front shoulder dart.

    • Good for you, Susan, for noticing that front shoulder dart. That is something not very common anymore, but it makes so much sense for a coat which one wants to be able to slip on and off easily. My 1950s’ bathrobe pattern has the same dart coming down from the shoulder seam, and it is just so comfortable and easy to wear. Another reason I love vintage patterns!

  10. I love this so much! The collar is beautiful, as are the sleeve heads. The arrow looks fabulous and the floss is a perfect match. The three welt pockets are so elegant. I may have to do something like that the next time I do a 49’er jacket. It would really elevate it.

  11. Bernice

    The coat is gorgeous! It’s been a real pleasure to read your posts as you worked on it. I’ve learned quite a bit reading the details and how you approached some of the challenges. Thank you! And enjoy wearing that lovely coat.

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