I’m following my usual procedures and transferring my pattern pieces to Swedish tracing paper. If you’ve never used it, I highly recommend it. Armed with a roll of scotch tape and some scraps one can adjust and alter with abandon! I’m also using the book Classic Tailoring Techniques by Roberto Cabrera. The book deserves an entire post of its own, so I won’t go into many details here.
So here’s Muslin #1. This is a very simple pattern, almost too simple. I was drawn to the simple pockets and the lack of flaps and welts. But I miss other details like sleeve vents and a center back vent, so I plan on adding them with the help of Mr. Cabrera. I’ve folded in the seam allowances on the lapels and collar, and also pressed along the roll line of the lapel. This helps me visualize the final product. I’ve also added a back center vent which the pattern lacks. The Cabrera book made this very simple.
My initial take is that the buttons are set too high. By lowering them I can drop the roll line which would be more flattering for my body. I knew that the lapel would be narrow, but I’d also like to feel confident wearing this coat for several years. Cabrera suggests 3.25 inches as a “safe” lapel width. I’m going to increase the lapel width from 2.5 to 2.75. Narrow, but not crazy looking, I hope.
It’s not evident in the photos but the neck opening is too wide / loose. The collar pulls away from my shirt collar rather than resting up against it. This is an easy fix. The collar is removed and a tuck is made at the center back seam to make the neckline more closely hug the body. The back seamline is then tapered from the neckline down to the mid back. The undercollar will need to be adjusted to fit the smaller neck opening. Let the alterations begin.
Muslin #1 is already being pulled apart. It didn’t last long!