Well, today is the day before Thanksgiving, and it’s finally starting to get cold here in Oregon.  So it was time to actually finish the coat I started way back in July.  That’s right, I cut out and began sewing my winter coat in the middle of the summer.  Not that it was all that hot this year, but whatever.

I finished it just a little bit ago, but I wanted to talk about how it started.

Probably the single most important step in cutting out a garment is ensuring that you have all of the pieces aligned on the grain correctly.  Have you ever purchased a pair of jeans only to find that the side and inseams rotated to the center front and back of your legs when you wore them?  Ever put on a dress that seemed to sag on one side or clung in an unfortunate way?  Probably a victim of being off grain.

  I laid out my fabric on the living room floor (yes, my carpet is teal.  no, it wasn’t my idea).  You can’t see in this photo, but the entire length of fabric is laid out flat on the floor.  Once the fabric was laid out, I arranged the pattern pieces on the fabric before I began pinning and cutting.

Why bother?

Well, in this case, when I purchased the fabric, there was about 1/8 yd less than I needed to make my coat.  I went ahead and purchased it anyway.  When I laid out the pattern pieces, it quickly became apparent that there would not be enough fabric to make the belt for this classic trench coat.

So I had a decision to make.  Run out and buy another yard of very expensive fabric just to make a belt that I would rarely use?  Or go with my gut design instinct and skip the belt altogether.

Bye bye belt.

Now, could I have cobbled it together by piecing the belt?  Sure.  But in reality, I dislike how belted coats look on me anyway.  So why put in the effort to make a design element that doesn’t flatter me and that I’ve never liked anyway?

So the coat is done, but the lighting in my sewing room isn’t great for photos.  You’ll have to wait until tomorrow for the finished project, complete with cost details and my coat’s dirty little secret.