I've been sewing like mad, trying to finish this raincoat by tomorrow. It was going great, until I got to the sleeves, but more on that in a minute. First, a little about the topstitching. Topstitching is obviously pretty much straightforward, but one thing I do to keep the bobbin thread from showing is this:
So. I was all set to brag about how marvelous this pattern is (and I still think it's marvelous.... but) until I got to the sleeves. Thank goodness for Gertie's Lady Grey Sew Along! I used this post as a stepping stone, and modified it to work with this kind of coat/fabric.
I used a 100% cotton bias strip because I didn't need any bulk for the sleevehead. (Oh, first I skipped the gathering stitches called for in the pattern instructions. Well, not quite true. I stitched them, and then when pinning in the sleeve noticed some BIG problems.) Like Gertie says, pull on the bias strip, and push on the fashion fabric. But not too much. The goal is to utilize the bias strip like a gentle elastic, allowing it to do all the gathering work. You're trying to avoid puckers.
A couple more peeks:
Now, everyone keep their fingers crossed that it fits! Of course, I should have/could have made a muslin, but I wanted to give her the finished coat this holiday. With her living 3-1/2 hours away, that makes it a little more difficult when there's a time crunch. I'm feeling optimistic!