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Mar 3, 2016

Women's Coat Project: Vintage McCall's 4214 -- THE MUSLIN



I think I mentioned a few weeks back that I'm making a spring coat for my friend Leah.


Leah wanted something trench-like and, after looking a many pattern both contemporary and vintage, I stumbled upon McCall's 4214, which dates from 1974.  Leah loved the pattern and the size was just right.

Yesterday I whipped up a muslin -- in actual cotton muslin of all things -- and today Leah tried it on.  Leah's 5'4" so not quite petite.  Other than deepening the hem to 4 1/2" instead of 2", I made no changes to the pattern.  I made Version A, a knee-grazing full-length coat.

Here's the muslin on my dress form before hemming.



And here's the shortened version on Leah.





Leah loves the collar as-is but I'm wondering if it isn't a bit too wide.   I'll definitely be softening the sharp corners of the lapels some.  The coat will also have patch pockets and sleeve tabs, which should balance things out somewhat.  What do you think?

As far as fabrics, we chose a beautiful champagne pink nylon taffeta but haven't entirely ruled out a heavier fabric.  I have two possibilities in my stash: a liver-red boiled wool and a heavy pink cotton sateen.  Leah thinks the the sateen is too pink for her.  It also might not be that practical compared to the nylon taffeta, which will have some water resistance.  We both like the wool but it would be a very different coat in something so thick, really not suitable for spring.





This sateen is quite a few shades darker than the taffeta above though you wouldn't know it from this photo.

Interfaced, the taffeta should be able to support the wide notched collar without going limp.  It's a lovely color and will be easy to wear.  The lining will also give it more heft.

My question is whether I should narrow that collar or will rounding the points do the trick?  On the pattern envelope the collar isn't lying as flat as it does in my photos of Leah but it does seem proportionally smaller.  Maybe it's just the drape of the muslin.

It has been a long time since I've made a woman's coat but it is quite fun.  I hope to have this done in the next few weeks; we'll see,

Meanwhile, the MPB Winter Frolic is this coming Saturday.  It will be cold but there's no precipitation for Saturday in the latest forecast -- a good thing.   Don't forget the pattern swap!

Have a great day, everybody!

25 comments:

  1. Oh, I love the lapels as they are--don't change them.

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  2. I think it would be best to let Leah decide about the lapels. If she opts for rounded, I would suggest that she also consider rounding the bottom corners of the pockets. This is gonna be a knockout!

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  3. I love the collar just as is - it looks amazing in the muslin. Would she consider a cream-colored fabric for the finished coat?

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  4. I think the collar/lapels are bit too wide but the top-stitching (as per pattern envelope) may draw the eye in somewhat.

    Is the pink sateen left over from Cathy's award-winning opera coat?

    Spud.

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  5. I think the collar would look best if there was a little of the coat front showing at the collar point ie not overlapping the arm seam. Maybe just rounding the collar would accomplish that. Also the roll of the collar should bring it in a little.

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  6. I love those pinks on her. Lovely, quartzy tones there. I would be inclined to take a inch off the width of both the upper and lower lapel, then it would still have that lovely big collar look. My concern is that with all the the accents as well it could be overwhelming on such a petite person. You could turn it under and pin it to show her the difference.

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  7. It looks great!
    I'd opt for a smaller collar myself.

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  8. I think the collar does look on the large side for her frame. The pattern envelope looks to have more "roll" rather than laying flat like the muslin does. I suspect the taffeta would be more springy and roll rather than lying flat. I'd cut to the pattern size and baste and get her to try it before trimming, especially if she likes the larger collar.

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    1. Yes I agree on the collar being too large for her frame, I'm one inch taller than she is and even though I'm not technically a petite I have a very short waist and so I always need to make petite adjustments. Speaking of which, there appears to be too much length in the back waist the muslin is bunching up under her bust.

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    2. Phabulous observations!!

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    3. Yup, Just scale them down a bit. Just fold them and pin them and play with them (the beauty of muslin). But pointy!

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  9. Don't round off the collar and don't make it more narrow either, it's cool looking as it is

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  10. When Leah babushkas the fabric she reveals that she is the female version of you.

    I'd phollow Phyllis' advice (she's all-knowing).

    Your first Frolic, and after fifty...can't wait to see the changes in you.

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  11. I absolutely agree with you on the collar. I love the idea for tabs on the sleeves. Anxious to see the finished product!!

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  12. Yes, narrow the collar. I wore that coat a lot, but I rounded the lapel points, and stiffened the collar to Edwardian heights. I was 5'1" at the time.

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  13. I think the collar would look best if there was a little of the coat front showing at the collar point ie not overlapping the arm seam. Maybe just rounding the collar would accomplish that. Also the roll of the collar should bring it in a little.

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  14. Wow, great muslin!
    I really love the lapels as such and I prefer the darker red, it's looks better on her.

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  15. I too think the lapels are too wide for the lovely Laura's petite frame. Love the coat and she looks good in that beret which is a dark red.

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  16. I absolutely love wrap coats on either sex.........they have such a casual elegance to them. I saw a photo of Richard Gere in an Armani version from the movie "American Gigolo" and he is the atom bomb!!

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  17. The lapels are sharp! I would keep that killer design element. I like the 1st, more dusky color around her face, alternately suggest a green to complement her gorgeous hazel eyes. Also suggest adjusting length upwards an inch or so, just above the knee. While not technically "petite," your client has fine features, small boned, so the longer length is not the best. Almost the effect of standing in a hole.

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  18. I think the collar will become a tiny bit smaller when made up in the fabric with interfacing. And on the pattern envelope you see it pulled up for warmth and style at the back. I'd keep it as is. Love the color, it covers everything so quite wearable with everything underneath.

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  19. Ditch the patch pockets and make a welt pocket instead. Patch pockets look "home- madeish".

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  20. I'd keep the lapels/collar exactly as they are ... and for me angles are more flattering than curves. The only issue I ever had with a shirt collar with that shaping is if it was really windy the point would get flicked onto my cheek

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  21. I don't know if you noticed, but oversize rain coat lapels are totally in! Once you've posted this question, I've been seeing them everywhere around the city. I would still take them in a bit, for sanity's sake, but leave them slightly oversize.

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