I’m glad to tell you that, after a bit of deliberation, I have found all the fabric and haby I’ll need for the Lagan coat! Today I’ll talk about the various linings I plan to use for construction.
Last month I mentioned that I didn’t want to use fusible interfacings, so I took myself off to my local fabric shop in search of an underlining. Underlinings are typically well-structured woven fabrics that are attached to the main cloth within the seam allowance; thus, they are treated as one during construction. They offer support, but they can also be a design feature: Guipure lace often has an underlining in a paler or contrast fabric to show off the intricately detailed pattern.
Your chosen underlining should be of a similar weight to your main cloth, and a common go-to is organza. Because I’m making a coat, I knew organza would be too lightweight, but I stopped by the display anyway. Good thing I did: otherwise, I’d never have seen my ideal fabric! This plaid silk taffeta is a deadstock from Designer’s Guild, and I’m a bit sorry to have to hide it away in the guts of my coat. The colours work beautifully together.
Next up was finding an interlining. This is a floating layer between the ‘proper’ lining and the main cloth, designed to trap in extra warmth. I found this 80/20 cotton/wool mix from Croft Mill, so I just needed to check the quantity needed to make another lining. Again, this won’t be seen when the coat is finished. I was worried that the pale blue might peek through the beige print lining, but after seeing that the cream colourway was nearly twice the price of the pale blue, I decided I’d live with it no matter what! It also shipped very quickly, which was an extra bonus. This is my second time shopping with Croft Mill, and again I’m very happy with the quality of their service. They also have a gorgeous selection of brushed cottons and other winter fabrics, just in case anyone else is thinking of sewing some winter garments.
My last consideration was some petersham or grosgrain ribbon for a waist stay. It’s not called for in the Lagan instructions, but I suspect I’ll need it due to the extra fabric weight. I may also add a panel of the taffeta to the back skirt to minimise ‘seating’. This panel will be a smidgen narrower than the coat – no more than 1cm/½ an inch or so – but I’ll also remember to do all the good things that I was told as a child! Sometimes, especially if you’re travelling in the cold, you can’t help sitting in your coat for a long time. At least I’ll be prepared if I put the back panel in. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Because there are fewer pieces, the chances are I’ll sew the linings first. It also means that I won’t have to worry so much about leaving things on hold for a bit, or if the fabric happens to stretch. Staystitching is one thing, but it’s no harm is the lining is a bit bigger than the main coat. The pattern pieces already have a pleat or two, so that will take up any excess.
I almost forgot: I have some shoulder pads on standby. The pattern calls for sleeve roll, but 1) I’d rather have a proper pad; and 2) My shoulders slope slightly more than average. I favour felt pads; they’re the best quality, and you can add or remove layers as needed. They’re also fairly easy to make if you happen to have odd pieces of felt around and fancy a bit of hand sewing.
So that’s about it for the Lagan coat prep! I can’t imagine that I’ve missed anything, but if I have, I’ll cover it in the next post. Because there are so many stages, I’m going to create a bullet journal spread for this project. I can see myself feeling overwhelmed or frustrated if I don’t break this down well enough, so I also hope that means it won’t be too long before I post another coat update. If you’re reading this and also thinking of making a coat, let me know – I will appreciate having some coat buddies! 😊