I have purchased all materials, patterns, workshops, etc. myself. All opinions are my own.
A year after sewing the Goldstream Peacoat with my husband, the time had finally come where I feel like tackling another big coat project! This time, the coat was to be for me, though. The pattern I chose is the Diana Coat by Viki Sews. It’s a beautiful classic single-breasted coat pattern with a vent in the center back, belt and revers collar. I get cold easily and I have a very heavy RTW coat for the depths of winter. My Diana coat is a bit lighter and I’m planning to wear it as a transitional piece in late fall and early spring.
The main fabric is a German Tweed by Zuleeg. I had actually purchased this on our first trip to Zuleeg last fall. This fabric is fully made in Germany! The sheep roam the Swabian Alps, the yarns are spun in Zwickau, Saxony, and the fabric is finally woven by Zuleeg in Helmbrechts, Bavaria. I picked up 3.5 meters of it in the colorway “Schneewittchen” (the German name of the fairytale character Snow White).
For the lining, I used a viscose satin from WilliamGee. For a bit more warmth, I quilted Climashield Apex insulation to the satin lining of the bodice pieces. The sleeves are simply lined with the satin.
I used a variety of interfacings in this project. Hair canvas for the coat fronts, under collar and coat hem. Pro-Weft Supreme Light and Medium for the coat sides and backs, sleeve heads and hems, upper collar and front facings. The belt was interfaced with cotton organdy.
I made the shoulder pads according to the instructions from Closet Case Patterns with a remnant of a light wool felt and some polyester batting. The sleeve heads are simply narrow rectangles of a cotton flannel.
The roll lines and front edges of the coat are reinforced with twill tape. I reinforced the seams at the shoulder and collar with light-weight edge tape (as opposed to cutting narrow strips of fusible myself).
Size Selection and Adjustments
I selected size 42, height group 4 based on my measurements:
Height: 178cm/5ft 10in
After measuring the pattern, I increased shoulder length (width) by about 2.5cm/1in. I shortened the bodice by 4cm above the waist, because I have a short torso. After making a muslin, I shortened the sleeves by 4cm/1.5in, but I should probably have only shortened them half that amount.
Tailoring & Constructing Viki Sews Diana
I enjoy hand sewing and tailoring, so I opted to interface the coat fronts and undercollar by padstitching the hair canvas to the fashion fabric. This is certainly a time-consuming step that can be omitted in favor of speed-tailoring with fusible interfacings, but it does give more control.
I constructed the coat and lining using a mix of the pattern instructions and the book Tailoring from the Singer Sewing Reference Library. I wholeheartedly recommend this book. It’s available used for cheap and offers a wealth of information and instructions for tailoring jackets and coats using three levels of tailoring (“custom”, “fusible” and “machine”). It also shows how to install a full or partial lining, tailor different types of collars, how and when to sew different kinds of button holes, and much more.
The pattern instructions use a speed tailoring approach, wherein fusible interfacings shape and structure the garment. Hand sewing is used almost exclusively to baste seams before stitching by machine. Traditional tailoring, on the other hand, uses lots of permanent hand sewing.
The instructions for the Viki Sews Diana coat are very thorough and contain many photographs. I would say it’s quite achievable to sew this coat using Google Translate, my handy Russian-English sewing dictionary and – when worst comes to worst – just studying the photos closely.
I’m very pleased with the fit of my coat, after making only minor adjustments. The finish is also very nice – definitely the best-made garment I own. I’m looking forward to wearing it for many years to come. One change I would make is to lengthen the belt a bit.