Sunday, 17 November 2019

Love Notions' Octave Coat - and a few hints


Skill Level - Intermediate
Fabric - Discovery Trekking Outfitters' Polartec Windpro Stretch
Skills - making belt loops, marking, pressing, hemming

Love Notions' newest pattern is a stylish coat with either a shawl collar or a dramatic hood.  You have the option of a button closure or a belt - or choose both!  It comes to mid-thigh which is the perfect length for covering a tunic top.  You can make it lined or unlined and the pattern includes the new expanded sizing.  It even has a full bust pattern piece!
The Octave Coat is drafted for woven fabrics but can be made with stable knits as well.  I chose to make my coat with Discovery Trekking Outfitter's Polartec Windpro Stretch fleece - a fabric I fell in love with the moment I laid hands on it!  It's light, yet warm and is water repellant and wind resistant.  It cut and sewed beautifully and has just the right stability for this pattern.

I've bought a few coat patterns over the years - some I've tried and failed at and others I was just too intimidated to try.  Until now! I found the Love Notions Octave Coat a much easier sew than I was thinking it might be.  Tami's patterns often have videos to take the mystery out of some of the techniques and this pattern is no exception.  You will find a video to help you with the unique pocket construction and two to walk you through steps in lining the coat.  And I have a few hints to help you along!

Making Belt Loops

When I took a serger course, I learned a quick and easy way to make belt loops. 
First, serge a tail that is longer than the loop pattern piece.
Tuck the tail in the centre of the pattern piece and leave it hanging out the end.  Now fold the loop piece over the tail, keeping the tail in the fold - well away from your needles.
Serge your seam allowance - in this case .5".
Use the tail to pull the loop right side out.  My fabric was thick and I had to work a bit to get it started.
And there's your belt loop!

Marking

Make sure you transfer all the pattern markings to your pattern pieces.  I use coloured pins for sleeve/armscye markings and always use one colour for the back markings and another for the front ones so that I never get mixed up.  The markings for the pockets, though, require something a little different.  I found a fine felt marker that contrasted with my fabric.  Since my fabric was quite thick, I wasn't worried about it bleeding through, but you can get fabric markers that will wash out - or you could use tailor's chalk.
I insert a pin through the marking on the wrong side of the fabric and pull back the pattern piece so I can apply a mark to where the pin goes in the fabric.
After I've transferred all the pocket markings for that piece, I give each one another dab to make sure they're clearly visible.

Pressing

I hate ironing clothes but I simply couldn't sew without an iron.  Some fabrics, however, aren't supposed to be ironed, and my fabric fell into that category.  You can still give those seams a press, however - all you need is a pressing cloth.  Mine is an old piece of sheeting.
Set the iron temperature for as low as it will go and still provide steam. Prepare your seam for pressing - is it pressed open or do you need to press it to one side?  Put a cloth over the seam and press over the cloth.  That's all there is to it!

Hemming

The Octave Coat has a slight curve to the hem and that means that unless you allow for that, you'll have tucks in the hem.  That might not matter in a thinner fabric - such as cotton/spandex - but in thicker fabrics it might distort the hem and I want it to look clean on the inside, too.
To get around that, I serged the raw edge of the hem with the differential on my serger turned up.  This draws the fabric in a little.  Now when I pin it, I can give it a good press and I don't need to worry about tucks.
The Octave Coat can be made in woven or stable knits like I used and covers sizes XS to 5XL.  The videos and clear, concise instructions will help you walk through the construction.  It can be dressed up or made more casual depending on which fabric you use.  Comfortable, stylish - this is a coat that belongs in everyone's closet!  You can get the pattern through my affiliate link below.

Love Notions' Octave Coat

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