For the final construction of the coat, you will need:
- A sewing machine, sharp scissors, chalk or bar soap for marking, an iron, and lots of pins!
- Your altered pattern pieces from Simplicity 5386 (see link above).
- Around 4 yards of 60" wide off-white cotton twill
- Matching thread.
- 1.5 yards of fusible interfacing
- 10 matching 3/4" buttons. The ones on the original lab coat are mother-of pearl, but you can use off white as well, as I did.
- Optional: extra wide twin needles for topstitching your flat felled seams in nice straight lines.
Okay, first you need to cut out your pieces. If you managed to get 57" to 60" wide fabric, you should be able to lay out your fabric as I explain below.
With the selvage edge folded in on BOTH sides toward the center, right sides together, place your front piece on one fold, and your back piece on the other fold and cut out.
Now open up the remaining fabric. To cut the inner front flap, fold the center front edge of your front pattern piece under 2", and place it on a single layer of fabric, grain running the same way. You need to make sure you place the pattern piece so the RIGHT side of the fabric will be facing out at the right shoulder.
Place the Facing piece next to it, and it should be facing the opposite way. I wanted the right side of my facing to face out also, even though it is on the inside, so I placed it that way. Pin and cut both pieces.
You will have a large piece left fold it in half the opposite way, (down), and place your sleeve piece on this double layer, pin and cut.
At the bottom, place your collar and backs trap pieces on a double layer, pin and cut.
Cut pocket on a single layer.
You will also want to cut one piece of fusible interfacing to match your facing piece, and one for the collar piece.
Following manufacturers directions, fuse your interfacing to the WRONG side of your facing and one collar piece.
Now for the actual sewing part!
Front and front Facing:
-Using a long basting stitch, stitch 1/2" in along the outer edge of your facing. Clip just inside the stitching at the rounded area twice, and iron under.
-Place facing and front piece right sides together at right shoulder, matching raw edges, and stitch 5/8" seam along shoulder edge, armscye, and outer right side.
-Trim seam to about 1/4", turn facing to right side, and press.
-Topstitch the facing along your ironed under edge.
-You should sew in the 3 buttonholes along the shoulder, and the 4 along the side now, before sewing the front piece to the garment. It is easier to work with at this stage. Don't cut them though, just in case! Wait until the collar is on to be sure your measurements were correct.
-Take the inner flap piece, and turn the long straight inner edge under 1" and press.
-Turn the inside of this under 1/4", and press again.
-Pin and stitch close to edge. Press again.
-Now take your inner flap and sew it to the back right shoulder, right sides together.
-Take the front piece, and sew the left shoulder, right sides together.
-Make flat felled seams along the shoulders (with the edges facing front). This is where a double needle will come in handy, as you only have to stitch once instead of twice, and the lines will be perfectly parallel.
If you don't know how to make a flat felled seam, here is a great youtube tutorial.
Yo may want to practice a couple of times on scraps if you are new to this. It matters which side of the seam you trim, as it will cause the upper edge to face AWAY from the trimmed seam side, and you want all the seams to be facing the same way on your coat!
-Now sew your side seams, stopping just at the point where the side slit flaps begin.
-Flat fell both side seams, with edge facing forward.
-Snip in 5/8" at the top of the flaps, and Iron the flaps in (now 1-1/4" ). Tuck the edge under 1/2", pin from the RIGHT side, and stitch close to edge.
-Do this for all 4 side slit flaps.
-Using a long basting stitch, sew 1/2" and 3/4" inside the sleeve cap. You will use this to gently gather the sleeve cap to ease it into the armhole.
- Sew sleeve seams, right sides together.
-Flat fell seams, again with edge facing forward.
-Pin sleeves into armholes, right sides together. Make sure you match the notches and dots (single notch means front, double notch means back). The dot at the sleeve cap should match the shoulder seam.
- Pin the sleeve at the bottom seam, the shoulder seam, and the 2 notched areas. Now gently pull the bobbin thread from your gathering stitch and distribute the gathering evenly, until the sleeve fabric matches the bodice fabric, as shown. This is only lightly gathered, so try not to get any areas where there is an actual fold or pinch in the fabric. Pin every 1/2" through gathered area. This helps prevent accidental pinches or folds in the fabric when sewing. Carefully sew in sleeves.
-Flat fell your armscye seam.
-Take the un-interfaced collar piece, and sew basting stitch along the bottom, long rounded edge.
-Turn under and press along this basting line. You can trim this to 1/4" as well, after pressing.
-Pin the two collar pieces right sides together, and sew from the bottom seam line (5/8" up), up the side, across the top, and down the other side.
-Trim the seam, cut diagonally across corners, turn right side out and press.
-Sew the buttonhole on the collar. Don't cut it though, wait until the collar is attached, just to be safe.
-With right sides together, pin collar to neck edge, starting at the edge of the faced front, and finishing at the edge of the inner flap, and sew.
-Trim inner seam, and press collar and remaining seam allowance up. The seam allowance should now be sandwiched between to two collar pieces.
-Machine topstitch stitch from the front 1/8" above seamline. Normally I sew the inner collar in by hand so the stitching is invisible, but on this lab coat, there is topstiching here so might as well use it!
-Press again to meld stitching.
-Topstitch 1/8" in, starting at bottom of the collar near the inner flap. Continue up and around the top of the collar until you reach the corner of the collar on the outside of the jacket. Carefully pivot, and continue the 1/8" topstitching down the edge of the collar, the shoulder edge, armscye, and down the entire outer right side
I like to pin along an area I'm going to topstitch, it helps prevent the fabric from "creeping".
With right sides together, sew all sides of the back tie, leaving a small 3" wide opening at the bottom center for turning. Trim seams and corners, and turn right side out through opening. Press, and slipstich the opening closed. Sew horizontal buttonholes 3/4" in from each end.
If you are hand embroidering the Caducus, you'll want to do it before you cut it out. If you are using an iron-on patch, do that now.
-Iron under 1/4" on sides and bottom point, 3/4" (and another 1/4") on the top. Topstitch the top.
-Pin into place on jacket (I eyeballed the placement while hubby wore the coat, and just made sure it was straight), then topstitch it down.
Now cut all your buttonholes, and sew on all of your buttons, along the shoulder, collar, side seam, and 2 in the back.
-Turn the hem on the bottom up by 2", and under again 1/4", press and sew close to fold and press again.
-Do the same for both sleeves.
Ta Da! You are done! Congratulations on your new Dr.Horrible Lab coat!