A little bit of Spring sewing – Style Arc Riley Coat

We had a day or so of spring and then winter decided he wasn’t done yet, so this baby has not been worn much yet… 

I fancied the Style Arc Riley Coat the moment I saw the link on Fiona’s June Indie pattern update and bought it not long after that. It’s taken me some time to print it and find the right fabric… I cut out a size 10, with no alterations to the pattern itself, but made quite a few changes to the construction.

I found this gorgeous wool at Spotlight of all places again (the one trip to Spotlight resulted in 4 nice finds… unbelievable). It’s almost like double gauze, with one side black and the other black and blue striped (pictured above).  You can’t pull the two layers apart, but there’re clearly two…

(I love that little collar, almost like a little cut on mandarin collar)

I got it into my head that I wanted this coat to be reversible. So I started playing with scraps to see how I could make that happen. 

Flat felled was too thick (as mentioned, this is quite a spongy wool with two layers), simple single overlap wasn’t going to work, because I wanted the black side to be very neat and suitable for work. So I thought of the Decades of Style Jacket I made a little while ago (and never worn or blogged about). On one side the seam allowance folded to the wrong side and ironed, then you put that on top of the right side of the other part… That looked OK and wasn’t too thick, but I was a bit worried about the whole thing unraveling too much over time. So the overlocker came into action… As many of them seem to be, mine is quite temperamental and requires a lot, and I do mean a lot of testing, adjusting, testing, adjusting (I must have used at least 3 more of these size scraps). I recon I need to get someone to show me again how to use this baby properly, I must be doing something wrong or missing something… 

Anyway, I have this blazer I love with open edges that are overlooked, and I love the look – I’ve been wanting to recreate that, e.g. with a Morris blazer, but haven’t found the right fabric yet. But I thought this might work here too. 

After a quick chat on Skype to confer with my mum, my sewing partner in crime, to check in on the way to finish this, I got started. (Total aside… man, trying to show possible ways of doing seams on Skype is not easy, the light, the three dimensionality that’s there but not quite right… Not easy and always funny, and then switching languages on top of that, my sewing English is now better than my sewing German, even though I learned sewing in German…) )

Here you can see the striped a bit better…

I love the shape…

It all came together in about 4 hours (Saturday afternoon), I omitted all the facings. After having finished it, I decided that my staystitching on the neckline wasn’t enough to hold the weight of the coat over long term, so I added black staytape/cotton tape at the neckline with the overlocker. You can hardly see it and now it looks much cleaner and is much stronger.

This is the black side out… and those wonderful batwing sleeves… ahhh 🙂

I think I was twirling in this one…

I am thinking that I may add staytape to the front and hem as well, we will see.

Got to say it again, I like the way the neckline stands up a bit, kind of 60s vibe… 

The whole thing was easy to sew, the only thing that made it a bit complicated for me was the topstiching I did to make it reversible. The sleeves are fairly tight at the bottom… Here’s the awkward sewing photo… But slowly does it and it looks nice.

I was debating what to do about the sleeve hem, for now I just overlocker it and turned it over. I think I might leave it like that, it can easily become a 3/4 sleeve or stay long… And the contrast is nice. 

I’m debating about pockets… I left them out for this as I couldn’t think of a way to include them apart from doing patch pockets, which I thought maybe too heavy if there is two lots.

I will definitely make this again, and have gone to the Fabric Store tomorrow for some linen. There’s some wonderful light pink, beige and some fishbone style on the website… The one that came home with me for number two is a light green, pink and beige tartan patterned linen. Perfect for summer. And that one will be done as intended with facings and pockets 😉

Till then…

One thought on “A little bit of Spring sewing – Style Arc Riley Coat

  1. You are very clever and creative the coat looks lovely!
    I’ve been sewing since very young and loved it!

    I understant the challange of the overlock machine–I would use one for creating figure skating
    costumes for one of my daughters! I few times I would have to take it to a sewing center for repair or advice. The trip was worth the anxiety I had trying to figure it out myself!!

    Keep up your work and enjoy the fruits of your labor–your talent is a GIFT !
    Carole Stanton


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