My Help Cometh From the Lord!

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Making of a Lace Trench - The Muslin & The Method

LOVE this coat!
There was never any doubt in my mind that I would make a muslin for this project.  Admittedly, I don’t read the reviews on as much as I look at the photos. As a result, I was unaware of some of the drafting issues with this pattern but quickly learned what they were with the making of this muslin.  This project has made me a believer! muslins!
Uhm yeah...that's discolored interfacing on the outside of the muslin.  What can I say? 
Other than a few “minor” drafting issues (which are only minor if you know about them in advance), I really like this pattern.  I am delighted to have it in my stash as it is currently out of print.  I am definitely looking forward to making a shorter version of this trench coat in the future.  

The back prior to the kickpleat insertion.  I actually wish that I had gone with a wider kickpleat.  Always in retrospect!
I did not complete a full muslin but instead stopped when I felt as though I had an overall idea of what the construction was all about and what adjustments I needed to make.  The center of the back flap (if there is an official name for this piece, it escapes me now) was off center, the left side edge of the same piece needed lengthening and the right front flap edge, that is sewn to the armscye, needed to be lengthened as well.  
Close up of the front  All the writing on this muslin? thought process.  Yeah, I was having fun!
 I was pretty excited and challenged by this project.  It only took a couple of days to get the muslin to this point.
kickpleat close-up
I purchased the fabric on February 1st, began the muslin around the 6th, and cut into the fashion fabric on or about the 10th. 
4 yards of "Hunter" colored lace, 3.833 yards (end of bolt) of "Grass" colored crepe - $38.09!  Final cost analysis forthcoming.

 Once the muslin was complete and the fabric pieces cut – all three layers not including the lining, I cut that later - I began attaching the lace to the crepe. I began with the smaller details figuring that if I could develop a rhythm for the attachment of the those pieces, the larger pieces would be a breeze.  

single baste stitching line through the center of lace and crepe

Initially, I used an underlining technique but quickly realized that this method was too cumbersome. Not to mention the lace became somewhat constricted to the crepe as opposed to "naturally" attached. It was more like a forced fit. The actual shape of the detail itself changed, it looked...for lack of a better word...warped, curvy in places that it should have been straight.  I ended up not even using these pieces (the details on the sleeve) but would have had to re-make them if I'd chosen to.  I thought I'd captured them in pictures but can't find any.  
right side - gathers from the baste stitch
 Next, I stitched opposite sides together but didn’t like that method either. There was not as much constriction but still the fabric did not lay naturally.  Finally I decided to baste stitch a single line of stitching directly through the center of the two pieces of fabric. 
wrong side - more gathers from basting
The baste stitch caused the fabric to gather but once the stitches were "stretched out" or broken, in some places, the lace lay flat to the crepe and the two became one.  Pinning the pieces together proved to be too time consuming so I didn't use pins. I simply laid the lace atop the crepe with all edges even and shot a baste stitch straight through the center. It worked!

wrong side - once stitches were "stretched" or broken
This is the method I used to attach the lace to the crepe for all of the garment pieces.  One that was accomplished, I began working on the "third layer". The third layer, which will be detailed in a separate post, is the foundation of the garment and what really gives it structure. I knew that the lace and crepe alone would not give this coat the kind drape that I wanted so I added cotton twill to the mix. 

I think that I have covered everything (as planned) in this post. Certainly feel free to ask any questions if you have them.  I would say that this project has been a turning point in my "sewing life".  I will be the first to admit that sewing is NOT my life. As a matter of fact, it's usually the first part of my life that takes a hit when life gets...shall we say...FULL?! However, this project (and being part of a community of skilled and talented people who sew) has caused me to "re-think" the priority that I give to this God given ability that I'm SEW blessed to have!  Thanks for stopping by!  Until next time....PEACE AND BLESSINGS!!!!



  1. I love it! So fresh, just lovely. And the red shoes, what fun!!!

  2. Wow - a lace trench! Really great work! I have the pattern but the reviews on put me off it. I am glad you persevered because you have a beautiful coat there.

  3. Fantastic!! You are to be commended on making an absolutely beautiful coat. How did you create the back flounce? When Audrey wrote about this Burberry coat (, I started thinking about how to make the flounce. My thoughts were to cut out a half-circle from the center back piece and then add wedges of width to make the flare. Is this similar to what you did?

    1. Hi L May! I did something similar. Stay tuned for the Flounce post! I will detail it there. Thanks for the comment!

  4. Your Trench looks great. Great Job!

  5. I had to come and visit the initial post (not sure how I missed this). Beautiful!

    1. Hi Brenda...this is the second post. I've updated subsequent posts to include the original post. Thanks for the comment!

  6. You made my dream coat.... I'm waiting for the other posts, so I'll know where to start. Thanks for making the time to detail your process.


Thanks a bunch for stopping by! BE BLESSED!