I thought I would start my first blog post with my Schnittchen Silvia Coatigan as I’ve been wearing it non-stop since I finished it last autumn. I had made a blazer earlier in the year at the Sew Over It Francine Jacket class and it was such a hit that I was determined to try making a autumn/winter coat to test out my new skills. My mum had given me a 1980’s Vogue oversized coat pattern from her collection which I was thinking of modernising in to a similar shape, but when I saw the Scnittchen Silvia pattern on Instagram I fast tracked it to the top of the list.
I bought some fairly cheap tweed herringbone fabric from Saeeds in Walthamstow so that if it went horrifically it wasn’t too expensive. It actually worked really well and goes with lots of my other clothes, however it wasn’t great to sew with. It frayed a lot, which meant that it was impossible to find my notches and left me with strands of tweedy wool all over myself, the floor and the cat! If I used it again I would interface the edges so that the notches kept their position. The lining was a lovely piece of Liberty tana lawn that I got from eBay. I love using tana lawn as a lining fabric as it’s much nicer to work with than the slippery traditional linings and it’s a natural fabric so feels nicer against your skin (and doesn’t give you crazy static!). It is however an expensive habit…
I downloaded the PDF pattern from the Schnittchen website and printed it off at home. I actually rather like PDF patterns as it gives you a sturdy pattern on printer paper to use again in the future. I always trace paper patterns and assembling a PDF takes about the same amount of time, but I can watch TV and stick at the same time, which is a bonus frankly.
My main gripe with the pattern was that it only came with written instructions and no photographs or illustrations. Considering that it is described as an “easy +” pattern I would have expected a bit more guidance. It mentioned on the instructions I downloaded that there would be a picture tutorial on their website, but I couldn’t find one for this particular pattern. Perhaps I had missed it, but I found that other bloggers had had similar issues finding the pictures, so I fear they don’t exist! Luckily I had a good idea of what to do thanks to having done the Sew Over It course with the lovely Julie. If I hadn’t have done that class I think I would have been quite stumped by some of the harder parts, in particular the collar and bagging the lining. Having said that once I worked out what was going on it sewed up pretty quickly.
I added a few extra steps to what was contained in the pattern, including hand tacking the facing to the reverse of the outer jacket so that it didn’t move and turning the facing/collar at the break point so that the seamline stays on the inside of the bottom front and then turns to underneath the collar further up. With tailoring/coatmaking it’s all about a good press, so I used a pressing cloth to stop burning and to get a neat edge.
I think I will definitely make another version of the Schnittchen Silvia in a different colour as it’s a quick sewing fix and a very versatile addition to my wardrobe, although perhaps once it starts getting cold again in the autumn.