Swing Coat Progress Report

Hi readers! Winter has finally arrived and the days are getting shorter. Taking advantage of the cold temperature, I stayed indoor and progressed on the Burda 08/2009 swing coat. I did a muslin using medium weight calico and as it’s loose fitting, I didn’t need to adjust too much other than reducing the coat length by about 2 1/2″ and the sleeve lengths by 2″. I also trim off 5/8″ along the collar as it looked way too big on me (I looked like a child wearing adult’s clothes otherwise!).


Front view of the swing coat muslin


Massive collar was trimmed down

I used a pair of thin raglan shoulder pads for the fitting and thread traced the seam lines and welt pocket placements so they are visible on the right side of the muslin.


Pocket positions are checked with the help of thread tracing

I also marked the collar roll line with marker pens, it was awkward to mark though and you can probably see how messy the markings are.


The marked rolled line

Next thing I did was deciding whether to underline the coat or not. I did a comparison with and without silk organza as underlining and decided to go with the organza (at least for the main body of the coat and the collar). The sample with the silk organza really has more body and doesn’t get flattened as easily as the one without.


Sample with silk organza


Sample without the silk organza

The silk organza underlinings were attached to the fashion fabric pieces with white silk basting threads along the seam lines.


The underlined upper collar piece

Although I already have some fusible interfacing supplies in hand, I want to use this coat to practise pad stitching, so here we go hair canvas! The darker colour one on the left is a wool / hair / rayon mix medium weight canvas which I’ll use on the coat front and the collar. The lighter colour one is a light weight hair canvas which I’ll be using on the back yoke. I’ll still be using fusible though but it will be limited to stablising the coat facings and to reinforce buttonhole areas.


The hair canvases

I’ll be following ‘Vintage Couture Tailoring‘ book by Thomas von Nordheim which I reviewed some time ago. I read the book from cover to cover and will skip the steam stretching technique and will selectively apply the pad stitching, taping, pocket and bound buttonholes methods (I’m sweating right now just thinking of how steep this learning curve will be!).

The Liberty print silk lining arrived nicely and thanks to my hubby (I’m going to call him Mr. H from now on), he advised against it as the prints are too dominating. We (yes we made a lining decision together) agreed that a plain contrast colour lining would be better and luckily I got some turquoise colour cupro / rayon lining in the stash plus some ceramic buttons to go with the lining. The Liberty prints are now saved for other projects.


The cupro lining and buttons

Lastly, I’d like to report that my Christmas present arrived almost two months early. I’ve been keeping an eye out for the original Vogue’s New Book for Better Sewing and finally I found a less ridiculously priced one online. Mr. H has VERY KINDLY offered to pay for it! I must say it’s very generous of him and to my surprise he thinks the book’s graphics are really cool but he dislikes the skinny lady model and thinks her makeup seemed too much.


Vogue’s New Book for Better Sewing

I haven’t read the book in detail yet but found some useful information on coat construction. Gertie had done this coat already but it’s still nice to read the text and illustrations in detail.


The Big Coat


Collar construction illustrations


Talking about pocket construction here

Next week I’ll report on the coat progress including welt pockets construction, pad stitching, stay taping (basically the job lot!). See you soon!

12 thoughts on “Swing Coat Progress Report

  1. Your coat is coming along quite nicely. Very encouraging for someone like myself, that is now refocusing her energies toward sewing. :)

  2. Doing a lovely job here. I will be looking out for your posts as a coat is something I’d like to do at some point. The sample with the organza underlining is much better than without. Thanks for sharing

    • Thank you! I think the time I took to decide whether to underline was longer than the actual underlining time. Hopefully this would give the coat more ‘swing’ when it’s finished!

  3. You lucky lady! Gorgeous fabric, swoon-able lining and buttons… the book find of the century, so on and so forth. I think it’s super cute you both agreed on the lining decision :) I made a jacket from a very limp-wristed boucle once and was ever so pleasantly surprised at just how well the organza changed the turn of the fabric for the better. You won’t regret it :)

  4. Pingback: Burda 08/2009 Swing Coat Completed | sosewlovely

  5. I have the book (Vogue’s New Book for Better Sewing), I would also recommend Marian Corey’s book, McCalls Complete Book of Dressmaking which I love as a general reference from the era and which generally can be found at a fraction of the price. I will also have to look for the tailoring book you mention in one of your other blogs, before I tackle my 60s suit project (princess seams) in 2013. Lovely blog, btw, very enjoyable.

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