Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Coat Sew-Along: Sewing the Skirt to the Bodice

Why hello! How's everyone's coats coming along?

A few notes: don't forget step 9, in which you hem your coat sleeves by hand. I forgot to mention it last week, but it will be easier to do now, before your skirt is attached. You can use either a slip stitch or a catch stitch, just make sure that you only grab a tiny thread from the sleeve layer, so you don't get any puckers. And don't pull your stitches too tight, for the same reason.

Next, once your skirt is all constructed, make sure you baste the tops of your pockets together with them pressed to the front of the coat. 

Now we can talk about step 16.

I find one of the most difficult things about this stage in a coat is the sheer volume of it! Once the bodice is attached to the skirt, it's gonna be a lot of coat. Make sure you have plenty of room to the left of your sewing machine to support it all. The second difficult thing is matching up all those seamlines and darts. I highly recommend pinning your bodice to your skirt and then machine basting just your matchpoints (about an inch in either direction). Then check to make sure everything matches up correctly. If it doesn't, you only need to unpick that one section and try again.

I pin the matchpoints by sticking a pin directly through the "ditch" of the seamline, roughly 5/8" down from the raw edge. (This is because your seams need to match up at the seamline, not at the edge.)

Then stick the pin through the ditch on the layer underneath.

Once your matchpoints are machine basted and you're happy with them, go back and stitch the whole waistline seam.

Next, trim and grade your seam allowances. The skirt seam allowance should be trimmed to about 1/4", and then the bodice seam allowance can trimmed to about 3/8", creating a beveled edge. 

There are some parts where you'll have a ridiculous amount of layers, like the pockets. Holy cow! 

What I do here, when trimming, is hold my scissors on an angle towards me, creating an automatic graded seam allowance. 

Pressing is very important right now, and I do it in 3 steps. First, I press the whole waistline seam flat. Then I press it open to get a crisp seamline. And then I press it up towards the bodice. 

We now have something that looks like a coat!
Now let's talk about step 17. 

This step is important to give structure to the hem. I've decided to let my hem hang for a bit first, in case the bias stretches out at all. So I'm going to leave this step for right before I attach my facing and lining unit. At that point, I'll even up my hemline from measuring up from the floor and trimming as necessary.

I did, however, cut a bunch of bias strips of interfacing so I'm ready. It can be a bunch of small strips, you'll just overlap them slightly when you fuse the interfacing on. 

Later this week, we'll sew up our facings and linings. (If you haven't cut your lining out yet, now's the time!)

P.S. Henry!!!


  1. Good greif this coat is gorgeous! Stop making me want all the Gertie Things!! xoxo

  2. Looks amazing. Are you going to do a sew along for your next bunch of patterns?

  3. That is going to be one beautiful coat!

  4. Wow, that is going to be some coat - love your fabric choice, and can't wait to see your collar treatment...even though I'm not sewing along I'm hooked on your daily "coat opera" :-)

  5. Hi, love the coat. Will this pattern soon be available in Belgium?Customs and taxes are really craze so I would love to find the pattern nearby. Or anywhere in Europe maybe?
    Or even a printable version...
    sounds desperate, but as I said, just in love with the coat.

    1. Naaipatronen.nl sells Gertie's coat pattern. 12.20 euro exl. shipping costs. It might still be cheaper to buy it in the USA and let them send it to you. That is what I did....

  6. What does5/8" below hemline mean?


Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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