Friends, they say all good things must come to an end, but honestly, I could keep working on this coat forever. And not because it's such a treat, but rather because there is an endless amount of finishing work to be done on a garment like this.
The collar and the facings had to be catch-stitched into place -- Kenneth King does this between the layers themselves and so did I. OK, I also did some stitching through both layers from the outside here and there. Tiny stitches sink right into the fur, never to be seen again. And so do big stitches. I love fur!
It's a long story, but take my word for it that if the undercollar and overcollar weren't whip-stitched into place, the cat fur, which doesn't have that faux suede backing like the rabbit fur, would not correctly roll over the top of the collar, as it does (correctly) in this photo.
I had to make that happen, and the collar had to look good both turned up and turned down. Thanks for the back of your head, Michael!
I did less whip-stitching in the lapels but I still did some. Did I mention how much I don't like hand stitching? Well, I don't, but I'll do it if I have to, and the good news is I'm getting better at it. The bad news is I'm going blind threading needles.
I decided that for the time being I would not line the coat, leaving the faux suede inside visible, which looks fine except for the inside of the pockets, one of which displays the right side of the pocketing, and the other the wrong side. How did this happen? I couldn't even tell you. Life goes on.
Following Kenneth Kings instructions, I attached bias to the facings, and stitched down the bias by hand. If a lining should go in, it will get slip-stitched to the bias. If.
I tried hemming the coat and it ruined the drape. That fake suede backing can't be folded up, not on a coat that drapes like this one does. The bottom is thus raw and shaggy and drapes beautifully. I really had to go with my gut on this one. (The fur does not shed once cut, btw.)
The cuffs were a cinch: machine sewn along the inside cuff edge and then folded up over the sleeve and hand-stitched into place.
I tried a belt. Michael and I agreed that, done in the fur, it lends a bathrobe-y feel to a coat that's already a little bathrobe-y. Done in the faux suede, it cuts the coat in two in an unflattering way. So right now the coat has no closures. I may or may not explore other options (snaps?) but for right now it hangs open.
As for big rhinestone buttons, here's the deal: Michael loves this coat and wants to wear it to the opera (dressed as Margaret Dumont, perhaps?). It actually looks great on him -- well, very good. Plus -- and you'll see this in the photo shoot -- this coat is BUSY. And very thick. It needs no further embellishment.
Actually, it hangs very much like a man's beaver coat (see pic below). Maybe that's what this is -- pink beaver! (no jokes, please)
Today, I have to work on finishing touches to coat and pantsuit, and I may try to make a turban with this poly chiffon, this pattern, and this old rhinestone ring I found.
Readers, you've been so very patient during this coat construction; I know it hasn't been easy for many of you, especially you ADHD types. But I must follow my muse. And shave. Big day tomorrow.
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!