english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England


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Coat Sewing

Thread Theory Goldstream Peacoat

This may be the first ever time that I haven’t blogged in a while because I was too busy sewing.

Sewing and blogging are quite closely linked for me, and, typically, if I am quiet on the blog it’s because I’ve not had the time and/or energy to sew recently.

Thread Theory Goldstream Peacoat

The community element is a big part of why I sew regularly. Before this blog, and before being conscious of the sewing community, I did sew, but without the inspiration of fellow sewers, and the added incentive of sharing my own projects and plans, it was intermittent, and just one of many hobbies.

Thread Theory Goldstream Peacoat

Thread Theory Goldstream Peacoat

The project which has kept me away from the blog this time is a coat for Phil. It isn’t the coat you can see in these pictures – which is the Thread Theory Goldstream Peacoat I made for him back in 2015. Apparently I only make him coats, as this Peacoat was the first thing I sewed for him, and the current coat is the second.

Thread Theory Goldstream Peacoat

The coat I’m currently working on is the Free Sewing Carlton Coat and I’m looking forward to sharing the coat, and lots of details about its construction, once ready. I was really hoping to have the coat ready for our holiday to New York last week; nothing like an arbitrary sewing deadline to keep you busy! I started the coat just after Christmas and thought a late February deadline would be realistic (ahem, I was actually aiming to make myself a coat too), but it has taken me many, many hours and I’m committed to getting it right.

Thread Theory Goldstream Peacoat

In the interim I took some photos of Phil in his Peacoat last week, in New York Botanical Garden. It was the first coat I sewed and I made various small errors during its construction, but the coat has worn really well despite them. The wool, from Barry’s Fabrics, has worn brilliantly with the occasional removal of bobbles from areas where he has carried a bag.

Thread Theory Goldstream Peacoat

I do like re-photographing and celebrating long-standing garments, and it was nice to get some updated photos of Phil in this coat, particularly as he looks so young to me in the previous blog post pictures now. Phil wasn’t quite so fond of being photographed – as demonstrated below!

Thread Theory Goldstream Peacoat

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Goldstream Peacoat

Goldstream Peacoat - Thread Theory

So, after 9 (I think…) years dating, I finally sewed something for Phil;) To make up for lost time, I started with a fairly substantial make, a coat.

Goldstream Peacoat - Thread Theory

This is Thread Theory’s Goldstream Peacoat. I know Lauren has written about this before, but coat making isn’t necessarily that hard, it’s just looooong. The construction of this Peacoat is relatively straightforward, it’s just more time consuming than your standard sewing project. Even the cutting out takes ages. I normally always trace my paper patterns in case I want to use a different size in future, but I couldn’t face tracing all of these pattern pieces so I just cut out the tissue pattern.

Goldstream Peacoat - Thread Theory

Goldstream Peacoat - Thread Theory

Cutting out took even longer in my case, as I actually did it twice…

I originally purchased fabric from Coupons de Saint Pierre for this coat during Carmen’s Paris meet-up (In fact it was the second time I bought fabric for the coat during the meet-up, as Phil rejected the first fabric I bought, so I used it to make this Oslo cardigan for myself instead). Coupons de Saint Pierre sells pre-cut fabric lengths, but I did measure the fabric before buying. However, when I started cutting out the fabric I didn’t have nearly enough to make the coat, so I obviously didn’t measure well enough… I tried to match the fabric locally but couldn’t find an exact match in my local fabric shops. So, I did what I normally do and went to Barry’s and bought new fabric, the lovely soft wool pictured here, and started my cutting out again. I lined the coat with a printed cotton, also from Barry’s, and finished it with buttons from Birmingham Rag Market. Before cutting my fabric, I pre-treated the wool by putting it in the tumble dryer on a wool setting with some damp towels to remove shrinkage.

Goldstream Peacoat - Thread Theory

Goldstream Peacoat - Thread Theory

Goldstream Peacoat - Thread Theory

This is version 1 of the Goldstream, made in size XL. The only change I made during construction was to attach horse hair canvas to almost every pattern piece, as the wool I used was quite soft and drapey so needed the canvas for structure.

I actually made this coat over Christmas – I like to have a ‘big’ project for the Christmas holiday, and this was mine last year – and these photos were taken just after I completed it, on a shopping and sightseeing trip to London. After wearing the coat for a couple of days, Phil submitted some alteration requests! A couple of requests were fairly minor; I re-sewed the hem (which was riding up), and interfaced the pocket flaps (which were about the only pattern piece not previously interfaced). Phil was also finding the sleeves slightly tight around the armholes. The sleeves were slightly gathered, so I let them out to their full size and added a small triangle to the body of the coat at the seam line to accommodate the extra width. Obviously I would ideally have picked up this issue earlier. I did do a very basic toile for this coat and it appeared to fit ok, but I was a single layer toile in a cotton so didn’t replicate the thickness of the full coat and pick up the issue.

Goldstream Peacoat - Thread Theory

Goldstream Peacoat - Thread Theory

The first time Phil wore this coat he found a pin or two still attached, which made me think of this post by Rachel. I’m not planning to wait another 9 years to make something else for Phil (honest); I fancy trying the Newcastle Cardigan next.