Diary of a DIY Dressmaker: April 2019
We've had glorious sunshine and we've had roaring April showers this month, some classic British weather! Which is why Carrie's make this month seemed perfectly apt for the month... say hello to a gorgeous new project box for this project too!
Diary of a DIY Dressmaker: April 2019
April showers bring May flowers, it can also bring you a Tilly and the Buttons Eden raincoat.
The British weather can be unpredictable, and I love an April shower followed by a rainbow.
I had major heart eyes when I saw this Rainbow PUL material I knew that this fabric would be a match made in heaven with Tilly’s new pattern and make a rainbow coat of dreams.
I was lucky enough to meet Tilly and the team at the STITCHES show at the NEC. The Eden coat was on display and it was a game changer of a pattern. I have been waiting for Tilly and the Buttons to release a coat pattern and it was worth the wait.
This coat can be made in 2 lengths and can be made as a duffle or rain coat. There are so many positives to this pattern:
- Open to so many different types of fabric to use from denim, to PUL, to wool.
- Lots of nice features like a hood, front and back storm flaps, two styles of pockets, snaps and a zip. You can really personalise your coat to suit your tastes.
- The instructions were clear and user-friendly, as with all Tilly’s patterns.
- Tilly’s blog had lots of extra helpful videos and posts to help along the way like bagging out the coat.
- The style of this coat is all over the high street which is very exciting that you can now make your own.
I have a years’ worth of dressmaking experience and I would say this is a make for confident sewers that want to push themselves. When this pattern is broken down into sections it becomes easier to tackle.
It took 2 evenings to cut out the pattern and both the outer and lining fabrics, make the markings and do the interfacing. It took a further 5 evenings to sew and complete the coat. Each evening was roughly 2.5 hours. So in total I spent about 17.5 hours to make it from start to finish.
My top tips for the pattern are:
- Read it over several times from start to finish and read every step.
- Tick of every step off as you go - it's rewarding to see how much you have acheived.
- Allow plenty of time to cut out your pieces and label them with a post it because there are a lot of pieces in total.
- Sew it in sections and take your time; you don’t want to be unpicking PUL fabric.
- There was one section I spent an hour scratching my head on and that was where you must fold up the lining at the bottom of the hem. I hadn’t done this, so it looked as though my hem and centre front didn’t line up. I slept on it and it all made sense with a fresh pair of eyes.
This fabric I picked with My Sewing Box is amazing, the quality is some of the best I have sewn with. I picked the showstopper that is the rainbow PUL fabric for the outercoat and I chose the mustard Stof of Denmark solid jersey for the lining. I think they look amazing together. Both fabrics behaved and didn’t fray so big thumbs up. I used a jersey needle and wonder clips as the rainbow fabric did pierce if a pin was put in and did have a stretch to it.
Here are a few top tips when working with the rainbow PUL.
- Use a walking foot if you have one
- Take a scrap of the fabric and practice the feel of it under the machine.
- Use a jersey needle
- When sewing the lining use a zig zag stitch, and when sewing both PUL and lining together use a straight stitch.
- For attaching the pockets, I couldn’t pin them in place otherwise it would of made a hole so I used a small piece of double sided tape to hold it place. Once sewn down I put my hand in the pocket and peeled it off. No marks, ta da……
- Use fabric weights to cut out not pins
I found when using the iron on the lowest setting the fabric didn’t like it as it went thin and lost its shape. The way around this was not to use an iron to press the seams. I pressed the seams open with my fingers and worked just as well.
- For attaching the interfacing to the PUL fabric I used some greaseproof paper on top of the fabric on the coolest setting and this worked well and adhered to the PUL fine with no problems.
Once the coat had been sewn and the final step of attaching the Prym anorak press fasteners I did feel nervous. You have this beautiful coat and your about to punch holes in it. I paused took some scrap fabric and tested it out with one after watching the Prym you tube video on how to do it. I lined up my fasteners in order and did them in order. They all worked fine and now I want to add fasteners to everything.
I have been dressmaking for one year and every make I have grown both in skill and confidence. This Eden coat is my proudest make to date. It felt like a challenge it pushed my skills and, made me think more about the construction and I loved the feeling as I was sewing it. I love how fabric and a pattern can express your personality. I feel this coat screams Carrie and I had a happy tear when I tried it on.
I really hope this make and blog post inspires you to make one and take a very rewarding challenge in making a coat.
See more of my sewing journey on instagram @carrie_can_make_it
(I was provided the kit in exchange for my honest blog review on the pattern and fabric in my own words.)