Refined readers, you'll be happy to know that for what I could have spent on dinner for two in a moderately priced Japanese restaurant, I bought four leather toggle sets yesterday, complete with genuine horn toggles and four matching buttons (for sleeves and detachable neck strap).
I love them: they're beautiful, heavy, each slightly different. I can't wait to attach them.
But we're not there yet -- still much to do.
Yesterday I bound my shoulder seams. Because of the addition of the front and back yokes, the shoulder seam is comprised of as many as six layers of wool (front and back sides underlined, and front and back yokes). That's thick, but my Singer 15-91 sailed right through it. I made my own double folded bias tape out of cotton sateen cut at approximately 1", trimming the seam allowances to 1/4". Most of you know how this works...
There are many more seams to bind, including sides of torso (now stitched up) and hood (attached).
Thanks go out to reader Tory for suggesting I stabilize the plaid with a little weft-weight interfacing. That helped a lot on the pockets and pocket flaps, pieces that needed to be turned and topstitched and where I didn't want the plaid stretching out beyond the edge.
Some pocket construction pics. I was glad to have my wooden clapper.
Before attaching I drew an outline in chalk to make sure I was stitching them on straight. White chalk is perfect for this fabric; it rubs right off.
Pocket flap (forgot to topstitch along the top -- oh well; it's covered by the flap).
Pockets, like a hood, are time consuming. You must create a perfectly matched set and you're working with bulky material. Tears may be shed.
Patient readers, do you know the difference between a toggle coat and duffle coat? I do (now). A toggle coat refers only to the closures -- toggles, generally made of plastic, wood, or horn (they no longer make them from walrus teeth and thank goodness).
A duffle coat refers to the fabric itself, a coarse wool originally woven in Duffel, a town in the province of Antwerp in Belgium. It's all explained here. Therefore my coat, made from a lighter, smoother wool, while styled like a traditional duffle coat (lined in plaid, two big outside pockets with flaps, etc.), is a toggle coat, not a true duffle coat.
Friends, I hope you're all busy stitching away. Today will not be a productive sewing day for me as I have a family function, but rest assured my toggle coat won't be far from my mind. I think I can have this coat done in a day or two and I know you won't want to miss the big reveal. Monday or Tuesday?
Thanks again for all your support; I think of this as our coat, really. Just tell me where to send the bill for the toggles.
I'm a native New Yorker and sewing fanatic! I started sewing in 2009 and today make all my own clothes using vintage sewing machines and vintage patterns. I also sew for private clients. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!