Goldstream Sew-Along: Gather Materials
I’m so glad you’re joining me for the Goldstream Peacoat Sew-along! Tackling a big project like a wool coat is so much more approachable if the steps are broken down and we just think about one aspect of construction at a time.
As you can see from the schedule in my last post, it will still be a number of days before we actually start sewing. The prep work is just as important as the actual sewing when it comes to sewing a professional looking Peacoat!
Today let’s talk about assembling our supplies so that you have time to make your decisions and gather materials before construction begins.
First up, your material:
Image Credit: A beautiful wool Goldstream by P'tits Monstres, blogged here.
Most people choose a medium body pure wool for their Goldstream Peacoats (have a look at many beautiful wool versions by searching #goldstreampeacoat on Instagram or simply entering ‘Goldstream Peacoat’ in your search engine). I prefer a very dense wool for this project because it creates the most crisp looking coat. Looser wools will tend to drape more against the body to result in a casual looking coat...which could be a great look for Variation 2 as this style with a hood is meant to be casual!
Other materials will also work well though! Look for any ‘coating’ material with enough body to create a crisp collar but avoid anything that is too thick to sew multiple layers with your sewing machine. When we attach the facing to the neckline we will be sewing through four layers of wool plus the interfacing used on the collar. Perhaps test out your prospective material by buying a small piece of yardage or asking for a swatch and then running multiple layers through your machine.
Next, the lining:
Image Credit: A cozily lined Goldstream Peacoat sewn and blogged at Cecile Bricole.
When lining your Goldstream, there are a couple of things to consider:
- How does the weight of your chosen material interact with the weight of your chosen lining? If you are sewing with a heavier wool, choose a more substantial lining so that the final effect does not seem flimsy and cheap when contrasted to the outer shell of the coat. If you are sewing with a light weight wool, avoid choosing a heavy quilted lining that might weigh the outer shell down and cause it to sag over time.
- What purpose will your Goldstream serve? Will it be a winter coat designed to keep the wearer very warm on a daily basis? Choose a quilted or flannel-backed lining. Or will it be a special coat that is worn for semi-formal occasions? Choose a beautiful bemberg lining or perhaps something with a bit of flair (pinstripes, paisley, a twill weave, etc.)
Now let’s pick our interfacing! You will want to use a pretty substantial interfacing for this project - far heavier than would normally be chosen for the average shirt or dress sewing project. Horsehair interfacing is ideal as it has the perfect amount of structure and body to pair with wool but, failing that, look for a medium to heavy weight woven interfacing - it could be fusible or sewn-in. I usually prefer sewn-in interfacing when working with wool because fusibles don’t tend to fuse very thoroughly.
When sewn as instructed, the Goldstream features a fairly minimal amount of added structure. The collar and facings are interfaced but the coat front is left unsupported. This keeps the project simple and approachable for those new to sewing a coat. It is very easy to add more structure to your Goldstream if you desire! Purchase sewn in interfacing or horse hair canvas and cut out two coat fronts. You can cut the entire coat front or you can cut a shape as illustrated in the diagram above so as not to add bulk to the dart. You will need double the stated interfacing if you plan to cut two coat fronts.
When my mom sewed a Goldstream for my dad, she experimented (for the very first time!) with hair canvas by following the directions in my handy Reader’s Digest sewing book (I share some of the relevant pages in our Belvedere Waistcoat sew-along). Structure is added to the key areas on the lapel and chest only so it is not necessary to buy very much hair canvas for this method. You can read about her sewing experience here.
Whatever level of interfacing you choose (your coat will still look wonderful if minimally interfaced as instructed!), apply the interfacing by fusing as instructed, or baste it to the coat within the seam allowances. Add even more structure by hand stitching across the entire surface so the interfacing stays adhered to the wool (this is called ‘pad-stitching’ and you can find more details on how to do this in our Tailored Peacoat Series).
In addition to interfacing, shoulder pads help to add structure to the Goldstream Peacoat. If possible, avoid those bulky wedge shaped shoulder pads that are often found hanging on the wall in the notions section of big box fabric stores as they add quite a severe shape (unless, of course, this amount of shaping is what you are after!). A more subtle, modern shoulder pad is suitable for the Goldstream.
Tailored coats usually include shoulder pads made from layers of fleece, hair canvas, and batting. You could make your own, find a pair from an online tailoring shop (scroll down to link to the shops I recommend), or scavenge a pair from one of the numerous tailored menswear garments in your local thrift store!
Lastly, it’s time to choose our buttons! I love a classic black peacoat with discrete black fouled anchor buttons. The fouled anchor design references the garment’s military provenance but being black instead of a shiny brass, the finished coat is a more versatile piece.
If you want to create a true classic though, brass fouled anchor buttons are the way to go! If you are created a more casual duffle-style coat, a leather or wood button would be lovely. I’ve always been a fan of braided leather buttons.
Select seven 1” buttons in your main style. Find four ½” buttons to coordinate (in the case of Variation 1 where they will be featured on the epaulets and sleeve tabs) or blend in with the wool (in the case of Variation 2 where they will be more or less invisibly adhering the removable hood to the neckline).
Here is a list of some excellent North American resources for wool, lining, stabilizer and buttons:
Stylemaker Fabrics: (US) A wide variety of wool blends in lovely colors (and there are even a few nice plaids and prints!)
Sultan’s Fine Fabrics: (Canada) High quality 100% wools which, at the time of publication, are new in the shop and deeply discounted!
Mood Fabrics: (US) An enormous selection all conveniently organized in one ‘coating’ section.
Mood Fabrics: (US) They have a nice selection of rayon twill linings including some heavier weight ones which would be ideal for the Goldstream.
Club Tissus: (Canada) Their Kasha lining has a satin right side and flannel wrong side to create a warm coat that still looks dressy.
Black & Sons: (US) Excellent selection of tailoring supplies with both fusible and sewn-in coat weight interfacings. Also, they carry double breasted coat fronts that can be pad-stitched onto the Goldstream front and trimmed to fit the specific style of the pattern if needed.
Black & Sons: (US) If you are purchasing your stabilizer from this online shop, you might as well purchase some shoulder pads too!
Make your own: Here’s a tutorial from Closet Case Patterns!
Find some at your local thrift store (any wool blazer or coat will have some that you can use!
Thread Theory: (Canada) I love our sustainably produced tagua nut fouled anchor buttons! They were designed for the Goldstream Peacoat and are the perfect size and lustre.
Black & Sons: (US) A wide variety of metal anchor button designs.
Lots of Buttons (US) A great place to go if you are searching for something specific as their selection is huge and their site features many ways to search.
Before you run off in search of fabric, keep in mind that I will be posting about styling and fitting in two days! During that post I will share RTW inspiration, past customer projects and we’ll also talk about how to make a muslin (and what type of material you should use for it). Some of these discussions might affect your final fabric choice!