I was lucky enough to be one of the pattern testers for the newest (and probably one of the most anticipated) patterns from By Hand London - The Rumana Coat, this was completed last month and worn a fair bit throughout the festive season. With that in mind please forgive the creases in a couple of the photos, I had just jumped out of the car for an impromptu photo shoot.
The pattern is available in PDF format only and I decided against printing the files at home and instead opted to send them off to Net Printer, I think there were five A0 sheets in total.
In most patterns I need to grade between a 12 at the bust and a 14 at the waist and hips (or the equivalent). I decided against it for this make as I was under a tight deadline to provide feedback and decided to enlist a helper to cut the paper pattern pieces out for me. It was simpler to instruct my helper to cut a straight size 12 rather than teach him how to grade.
Whilst my helper cut out the pattern pieces I got on with steaming my wool ready for cutting. I used a beautiful teal wool coating, some cotton lawn for lining the body and some anti-static lining for the sleeves (to make it easier to get on and off).
Although I have sewn a coat before, this pattern had some new techniques for me to get my teeth into, including welt pockets and a kick pleat.
This is one of the most substantial sewing projects I've ever made and I thoroughly enjoyed the process. The straight lines and princess seams mean that the main body of the coat comes together quickly enough for plenty of mid-sew twirling in front of the mirror. This kept me motivated to make sure I took my time with top stitching the seams.
Tricky areas for me included sewing the collar stand and getting the sleeves set in properly. It took a couple of attempts to make them sit correctly.
As for the finished size, it is pretty spot on with the measurements provided. I think if I had studied them more closely I would have cut a size 14 to allow for a bit more wiggle room.
You'll notice that I haven't added a button to the front that for two reasons, firstly I'm pretty scared I'll mess it up, secondly it just meets in the middle. I may consider getting some kind of fastener, but for now it hasn't been bothering me too much.
I also haven't finished top stitching around the collar and lapels, again it isn't bothering me and I'd be worried about messing it up on the final straight.
I would recommend this pattern to sewers with some experience. Its a wonderful pattern with some classic details and tricky areas to master. I would also recommend making a muslin. It's too big an investment to get wrong.
This is officially my last make for 2017, and if you'll forgive the gushing, I am incredibly proud of the end result.
Thanks to By Hand London for having me on the testing team, oh, and the person who's front door provided the backdrop of the photos.