I received another envelope, this time with lining fabrics to match my favorite shell options. Now I can make the final decisions on fabric, finish fitting, and get on with the business of sewing this Lady Grey Coat.
The wonderful Elfriede in Boulder mailed these my way last week, with some help from my sister Anne. Anne knows I have been in a panic over the fabric choice, so when she offed to go look at Elfriede's inventory on my behalf, I had to say yes. Yes, I know it was out of her way, but I also know Annie has great taste. Plus, she knows my style and preferences, and I wanted her eye on this project. Thanks to her, I received these samples to match the shell options.
I am deep in conflict (again). Now I have so many pretty choices that I am nearly paralyzed. No one single combo stands out as perfect. Each has merits, each has flaws, and I find myself still concerned over price, ease of sewing, and wearability. So I don't know if that means that NONE of these choices are right, or if it means instead that there are just so many choices that no one combo will ever feel absolutely perfect. Or is it that I haven't struck the ideal option yet? I go back and forth and back and forth in this debate. The more I think, the worse it gets. Please offer your advice.
The first combo option high on my list is a cotton twill shell with cotton batik lining. The pros are that this fabric is easy to sew, will result in a casual (and thus easy to wear) garment, and is the least expensive of all of my options. The cons are that I don't love the batik lining, because in general batiks are not my favorite look. Additionally, batik is not a traditional lining because it is not thin and slippery, so I will be deviating from tailoring norms with this choice.
Cotton twill shell: $54 (4.5 yards x $12/yard)
Cotton batiste lining: $19.50 (3.25 yards x $10/yard)
Total fabric cost: $73.50
I do LOVE this silk tweed with blues, browns and taupes intermixed, and Elfriede sent a lovely golden china silk lining. The pros are that this is a very grown up look. The lining option is slippery, as a lining should be. The entire jacket will be silk, which is breathable and feel comfortable to wear in my south Texas climate. The cons are the expense of the fabric, plus a concern that this will be hard to sew. I have been warned I should serge every edge of the silk tweed before sewing, which will be challenging because I do not own a serger, nor have I ever worked on one before (I do however have access to one through my work, and would like to learn). Additionally, silk is slippery to work with, so the lining may be frustrating. But, then again, this is the fabric option I am most drawn to, pluse I think it will look classy with some tan gloves.
Silk Twill shell: $119 (4.25 yards x $28/yard)
China Silk lining: $32.5 (3.25 yards x $10/yard)
Total fabric cost: $151.50
Finally, Elfriede sent this abstract floral gold and teal silk charmeuse as an option for the silk tweed, but it turns out it matches a teal wool she sent with the shells samples. I love this combo, except for the price and the promise that the silk lining will be hard to sew. Pros are that this would be a traditional winter jacket, warm from the wool shell and slippery from the thick silk lining. The wool should be easy to sew. And the teal is a vibrant color that will stand out in this jacket pattern. The cons are that I do not need a warm winter jacket. Additionally, is it silly to sew a warm winter jacket with bracelet length sleeves? It strikes me as ironic to make a warm coat that will let cold air up the arms. Finally, this is very expensive. For the $200+ dollars I will spend on fabric alone, I could purchase a really nice jacket and have it tailored.
Wool Twill shell: $119 (4.25 yards x $ 28/yard)
Silk Charmeuse lining: $91 (3.25 yards x $28/yard)
Total fabric cost: $210
So I am again at a crossroads. You see, I have a history of purchasing more expensive fabric than I should, and then not succeeding on the final project. I don't want to do that again. But on the other hand, I am really trying to use this Lady Grey sewalong to complete a project by avoiding shortcuts and excuses, while using the opportunity to learn the professional tips and steps needed for a tailored jacket. In that regard, a pricier, lovely fabric is in order.
I would love any feedback. In the meantime, I will continue to refine my fit and study my tailoring guidebooks. Perhaps I will wait until I have the fit of the muslin 100% perfect before determining the final fabric. If the jacket promises to be a knockout, I can splurge. If my fit attempts falter, I should go with the less expensive option. Now I just need more tissue tracing paper for fitting... onward and forward!